I know that pornography is sinful. I am living a double life. How can I stop watching pornography according to the Bible?
Pornography is like the hook on a fishing line. Once the fish bites down on the hook, it is difficult for the fish to break free. Both men and women, who have been caught in the habit of watching pornography, have said that it was very difficult to stop watching. They were like the fish caught at the end of the line. The fisherman just reeled the fish in closer and closer. One man said that eventually the “old porn” did not satisfy so he wanted something new. He was sucked in deeper and deeper. What he wanted was more and more evil. The sad part was that he began to justify his behavior. So, discover how can I stop watching pornography?
The Bible does not use the word pornography., but the Bible reveals that pornography did exist in the Old Testament era in Palestine and in Israel. For while books were not published and photographs did not exist in ancient times, clay artifacts that depicted sexual acts, naked statues and idols have been found by archaeologists in Palestine. It is obvious that they wanted to see these sexual images since they created them. The Bible condemns such behavior. It is clear that pornography is sin.
1 Peter 5:8 warns us that the devil seeks to devour us.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)
So, we have been warned and we must resist the devil (see links to the Armor of God below). But a Christian must also take other steps to free himself or herself from the habit of or addiction to pornography?
First, victory over the habit of watching pornography must start by recognizing that it is sin to watch it. For 2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to flee youthful lusts.
Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NASB)
We understand the lusts that we experienced in our teenage years. It is not a sin to be tempted to see naked people and sexual behaviors. Jeremiah 17:9 tells us that our hearts are deceitful and desperately wicked. That is, we cannot trust our hearts or conscience to accurately determine what is sin. We must depend upon the Word of God. Scripture reveals that sexual stimulation with anyone other than one’s husband or wife is a sin. So, if a person is not married, and they have sexual needs, the apostle Paul commands us to get married (1 Corinthians 7:2). Sexual behavior with anyone other than our husband or wife is a sin. James 1:13-15 teaches us that temptation is not a sin, but yielding to temptation, that is staring at and watch pornography, is a sin.
Second, the person must be confident that he or she is a Christian. If someone has doubts they are a Christian, they should read “Searching for God” and determine if they are a believer in Jesus Christ. This is important because God the Holy Spirit will help Christians achieve victory over sin. Ephesians 3:16 says that the Holy Spirit can strengthen us on the inside.
. . . to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. Ephesians 3:16 (NASB)
The Holy Spirit is our source of power to break the habit or the addiction to any sin. Remember that pornography is addictive, and we are told to not be mastered by anything (1 Corinthians 6:12; 2 Peter 2:19).
Third, in 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24, God promises that He will sanctify every believer, that is, gradually transform believers so that they sin less and less. In theology this is called progressive sanctification, that we will be without blame at the coming of Christ. Verse 24 tells us that it will come to pass. That is, God is in the process of making every believer righteous. He is working to give us victory over sin.
Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass. 1 Thessalonians 5:23–24 (NASB)
Philippians 1:6 also gives us the same promise in a different way. It says that God promises to finish the work in us that He started. What did He start? When God saved us, He forgave all our sins. He made us righteous. Then He works in us by the Holy Spirit to give us victory over every sin. Here is Philippians 1:6.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
So, this reveals God wants to transform and He is transforming us so that we sin less and less.
Fourth, in 1 Corinthians 7:2, the apostle Paul urges men and women to get married to help with sexual lusts. But that alone will not cure the habit of pornography. There are many married men and women who have the habit of pornography. The real answer to the day-to-day victory over sin is achieved by walking in the Spirit. So, rather than repeat the entire study here, please read it, “How to Walk by the Spirit.” It reveals how believers in Jesus Christ can be strengthened on the inside to overcome any sin, including the sin of pornography.
Remember God is already helping believers to achieve victory by convicting them of sin and the Holy Spirit provides the ability. This study explains how this is possible. Last, any Christian who is struggling with pornography should know that God promises forgiveness, including pornography, if he or she is repentant (1 John 1:9). But we must remember that repentance includes turning away from the sin.
Ask God to help you to achieve victory. You can also ask us to pray for you, if you desire.
Suggested Links:Armor of God, part 1
Armor of God, part 2
Can I be forgiven for watching porn?
How can I stop being addicted to the sin of pornography?
Is masturbation a sin?
Is masturbation a sin if I control my thoughts?