How to Quit Porn: A Spiritual Transformation7 min read

Hopefully the moment you clicked the link to this article your computer gave you a warning that this article will have the word porn in it. That is a sign that you are trying to keep your family away from pornography by installing a security system and filter on your computer. That is a step in the right direction.

But, even passwords on computers and security systems can't keep our children completely away from pornography. It is the scourge of the earth in our times. It ruins countless numbers of marriages and families each day. It comes in text messages and in books, movies, TV and radio. It is in doctors offices and on subways. And, it suppresses our lights. One of the signs of addiction is a feeling of darkness and distance.

Question: Signs of Addiction

This parenting question was recently asked:

Nicholeen,

Since you have had so much exposure to teens who were into pornography etc. I am hoping you can help me. The other day I found out that my son was accessing pornography on his phone. I didn't even know he had a data package on the little flip phone we got him for safety reasons. The man at the cell phone store told us that it only had phone and text capabilities. I never even thought to look though it for data plan options. I only found out when the cell phone company sent me a notice informing me that my data limit was reached. Good thing I checked into the notice.

I was so stunned. I think I kind of panicked actually. Never did I think my child, who knows what right and wrong is, and loves his God and family would do this. So, my question is, what do I do now? I don't want to talk to him until I know how to really help him. This is a totally new thing for me. I already told him that behavior wasn't acceptable, but I kind of feel like I should give him a plan for how to stop doing this. In fact, he asked me for a plan. He said, 'Mom, I want to stop looking at this stuff, but don't know how. Can you give me a plan for how to quit this?

Please help! I am hoping you have a pornography treatment plan or something?

Answer: How To Stop Addiction

Thank you so much for sharing this personal experience from you life. Pornography is the sneakiest sin a person can be involved in. It gets in the heads of its victims and distorts reality. It perverts relationships both in and out of the marriage bed. It encourages masturbation, which can be damaging physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And, it leads to feelings of extreme guilt and filthiness. Some of these feelings are not easily forgotten.

Often times a person who is addicted to pornography and masturbation (because they do go hand in hand) has the delusion that he/she can't repent. They think that repenting would be a sin because they are sure to offend again. And, everyone knows that part of repenting is saying you will never do that action again. Right?

Spiritual Safety

It is true that part of repentance is saying you will not do the same sin again. And, that is what we must all try for. But, we could fall again. Does God only forgive us once? No. He will forgive again. Keep being humble and repenting.

If a person doesn't repent when they know they have done wrong, they are in spiritual danger. Once a person thinks that God won't accept their repentance, then they might think that God won't want to hear their prayers either. In fact, it is very likely that they could feel uncomfortable praying because they don't feel worthy to pray.

If you or someone you know believes this, it is a lie. It is a trick to keep you from the person you were meant to become, and to keep you from the one who can help you conquer your addiction best; the Spirit of truth and love. This Holy Spirit comes when you pray.

Prayer is a vital part of conquering any addiction, but especially pornography and masturbation addiction which controls the body almost constantly with images and urges.

When a person prays they are blessed with the Spirit as a companion. That Spirit will help them feel whole again. It will renew them and keep them from thinking about their addiction.

James' Spiritual Journey

When the BBC filmed The World's Strictest Parents at my home in 2009, James, the 17 year old British boy they introduced us to, had a smoking addiction. On day three, without any warning, James asked if he could say the family prayer. I told him he could and taught him how to pray. Then he knelt with the family and thanked God for the day and asked Him if He would bless him not to feel cravings for cigarettes that day. It was truly moving!

At the end of the day, James came to me in smiles and said that he knew God had heard his prayer because he hadn't thought about cigarettes that whole day.

Prayer can do the same for other addictions. Stopping addictions is a physical and spiritual journey.

Addiction Recovery Plan

This is what I prescribe to stop addictions at my home. (This works for lying, porn, swearing, food etc.)

  • Pray each morning until you feel the Spirit, and then stop to pray whenever you feel it gone.

  • Have only supervised access to media, and if applicable friends and food.

  • Have a good thought to cancel out the bad thought/craving. I was always taught that bad and good can't occupy the same place and the same time. So, if I ever had a bad thought I would sing a good, spiritual song. This removes the bad thought and replaces it, so that it can't return.

  • Stand on holy ground. Keep doors in the home open and leave an area if a temptation is felt.

  • Read scriptures daily for additional focus and Spirit.

  • Fast as often as needed for strength.

  • Check up with someone each day on your progress and if you were tempted. The issue must be deliberately discussed daily in order to maintain enough focus and power to conquer it. Addictions always return as soon as the person has stopped trying to conquer the problem. After the person has checked up daily for a period of time, then they can move to weekly and then monthly check ups. If a child at my home has an addiction they are conquering, then they are instructed to check in with me each night before bed. If they don't self-govern and remember to check in with me, then they will earn a major maintenance the next day. The check in part is vital to recovery and has to be chosen. If someone else is remembering the check in, then self-mastery is unlikely.

After Thoughts

Make sure that you focus on establishing a vision of what your child wants in life. Do they want a marriage. Help the child understand what happens to a marriage and to intimacy if one partner is perverted. Explain that intimacy should be beautiful and loving, not sensual and dirty. Explain that this will create a longer lasting relationship based on love and respect. In short you must discuss the message those pictures put in your child's mind.

Also, have your child seek help from your ecclesiastical leaders as well. As part of the repentance process, they should repent to their bishops and pastors too. These leaders love all people and don't judge. They pray for understanding and will gently support the repentance process too.

I always feel it is important to remind youth what freedom is. Remind them that you have two shared goals for their lives; freedom and happiness. And, as long as something (an addition) has control over their thoughts and feelings, then they are not free or happy. Help your loved ones know that you want what they want.

Finally, keep a loving, understanding, calm, tone when you discuss addiction. Emotion has no place in a discussion about helping someone else. Don't be offended. ( I know that is a hard one sometimes.) Recognize that your loved one feels pain. The horrible pain that comes with knowing they don't have self-government. It feels alone and empty. Lift them up, love them, and understand their shame and suffering, while you proactively help them replace their bad addiction with good spiritual habits.

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how to quit porn ~ a spiritual transformation copyright Nicholeen Peck 2013

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