My story is not unlike others you’ve heard. It’s not uncommon. As much as we like to think we’re safe, the truth is, there is evil out there. It’s not just waiting for you to fall; it’s actually chasing you down, pursuing you. Just as it pursued me for 17 years. And believe me, it’s still there, lurking in the shadows, planning and plotting, prowling like a lion, seeking whom he shall devour. Yes, evil is pursuing. But I have a battle plan…a strategy that will send evil running for the hills.

Before we get down to business, I think it’s important for you to understand who is talking to you. There are so many people in the world today who call themselves experts on any number of topics. People speak or write with their own authority, yet they don’t have results to back up what they say. I am a firm believer in results. I, myself, am very careful who I listen to, seek wisdom and advice from, and allow to speak into my life. I encourage you to do the same.

I am not, by any means, an expert. But I do have results. What are my results? What gives me the authority to talk to you about pornography (or addiction in general)? Why should you care about what I have to say?

Because I’ve experienced it for myself. I’ve been there, fought the battle, and have come out victorious on the other side.

I was exposed to pornography when I was 8 years old, in my own house, in my own bedroom. This was before computers and smartphones. (Before my family had a computer, anyway.) At 8 years old, I had no idea what pornography was. All I know was it made me feel…something. I always thought that “something” was good – it made me feel good. But no, that’s not it. That’s not it at all. Sure, physically, it made me feel good. After all, isn’t that the point?

But that day, a battle – no, a war – was waged in my mind. Because as good as it made me feel physically, it made me feel infinitely worse in every other way. Shame. Guilt. Insecurity. Fear. Depression. Suicidal thoughts. All of those things plagued me, even as a child. There I was, a young, naive, innocent 8-year-old girl, who loved barbies and riding my bike with the neighborhood kids. Yet, my secret life had already begun.

I got sucked in. Deeper and deeper I went down this dark, twisted path. For 17 years I fought the war, and for 17 years, I lost. I lost so much to my addiction.

I was fighting the battle without a strategy, and I knew I would lose the war. I knew there was no hope for me. My life was over before it even began.

Until September 28, 2014. Until my miracle. Until God…

When I was lost and confused, He guided me. When I was filthy and disgusting, He washed me clean. When I was hopeless, He rescued me. When I was drowning in my own sin, He delivered me. When I had walked away from Him, when I didn’t believe in Him, even when I spat in His face, He pursued me, and He loved me.

And He equipped me. He gave me a battle plan, and He helps me walk out that plan every single day.

After 17 years of addiction, I have experienced a radical transformation. Complete deliverance. Complete healing. After 17 years of bondage, I am now free. (You can read the detailed story here.)

Freedom is something I have tried countless times to put into words, but I can’t seem to find the right words. Freedom is sweet. It is refreshing. It is life-giving. And somehow, it actually restores the life that was sucked out by bondage.

I once saw a movie (don’t ask what movie, because I don’t remember…I’m so not a movie person…), and the main character was a prisoner of war in some foreign country. For years he was tortured, starved nearly to death, beaten, neglected, tormented.

He was hopeful in the beginning, as he thought, “This can’t last forever. Someone will find me.” But as time went on, he began to lose hope. He would never see his family, his friends, his country again. He would never see home again. He was going to die there, at the hand of the enemy.

Until one day, everything changed. It happened so fast, he almost didn’t know what hit him. His guys…his team…his brothers had been planning his rescue for weeks. While he sat in his dark, dingy prison cell, someone else was working in the background on his behalf. They rescued him from the prison, and as soon as they touched down in his home country, he stepped off the plane and fell to his knees, kissing the ground. He was home. He was safe. The fight was over. He kissed the land he never thought he would see again.

That’s what freedom is like. After 17 years of being imprisoned in my own mind, beaten and tormented by my own thoughts, starving and neglected, freedom is like setting foot on my home country once again. Over a year later, I still fall to my knees and kiss the ground every single day.

I’m writing this today because every single person reading this deserves to taste that freedom. And even more than that, your Father in heaven deserves for you to be free.

So if you struggle with porn – or any other addiction, for that matter – this is for you. This is my battle plan. These are the keys to freedom, which my Father handed to me. And now I’m handing them to you.

These 5 steps are simple and effective. I follow these 5 steps every single day, and I have for the last 383 days.

  1. Make it nearly impossible for yourself to fall.For me, that meant installing safe browsers on my phone and computer. I only used my phone (never my computer) to watch porn, so I removed Safari from my phone and used the Covenant Eyes browser instead. I had a friend set the restrictions, and then set a password I didn’t know, so I wouldn’t be tempted to go in and change the settings. I removed Pinterest, Instagram, and any other app you can use to access porn. (There is so much porn on both of those, it’s ridiculous!) There were a lot of times when I did not take my phone into my bedroom or bathroom, and because I live with 2 roommates, that meant there was nowhere in my house that was “safe” to watch porn. When I lived alone a few years ago, I cut off my internet at my house for 6 months.

    It could mean something completely different for you. Maybe you need to get rid of your smartphone and go back to a “dumb phone” that can only call and text. Maybe you need to set your computer up in a high-traffic area of your house. Maybe you would benefit from signing up for the $5/month Covenant Eyes web filter & accountability software.

    The bottom line is, whatever you have to do to make it impossible for yourself to fall, do it. Yes, it’s inconvenient, but it’s so worth it.

  2. Accountability.I have a few people in my life who check in on me every once in a while to see how I’m doing and if I’m staying on track. The first several months, it was daily. Sometimes multiple times a day. The agreement was that I had to be completely, 100% honest with them…if I was struggling, if I was tempted, if I slipped up, there was no hiding. I had to tell them. I also knew I could call or text anytime I felt myself going in the wrong direction. Accountability is extremely important.

    Maybe it’s your spouse, your best friend, a spiritual mentor. I would encourage you to ask God to show you who that person is.

    Accountability is not always easy or comfortable, but it is a vital part of freedom.

  3. Track your progress on a calendar.This one little tool has helped me so much. It is so encouraging to see the days add up. I started doing the calendar last fall and 383 days later, I still look forward to marking it every day. Because it’s a sign of victory, as well as a reminder to take it one day at a time.

    You can use a paper calendar, or there are apps you can get on your phone to help you track the days. I have an app on my iPhone called “Streaks” and it is a calendar you mark every day. It shows your current streak and your longest streak.

    My mentor, Dani Johnson, described this calendar as “another layer of accountability.” You see, as you watch the number grow, you want to protect your progress! You don’t want to make it to 30 days or 60 days, only to have to start all over again! And I can tell you that is absolutely true! There have been times, even after a few hundred days, I have almost slipped up, but that number kept me on track.

  4. Share your progress with other people!I have a few people in my life who have walked this road with me over the last year, and I send them updates. When I confessed my addiction to Dani years ago – long before I was ever set free from it – she was the only one who knew my struggle. So when I did get free, she was the first person I told. I sent her a screenshot of my calendar when I hit milestones…10 days, 30 days, 45 days, 60 days, 90 days, whatever it may be. There are a few others who have been great encouragers in this area, and I share my progress with them.

    It’s so, so, soooo important to celebrate your progress. Don’t keep it to yourself! When you hit one day, one week, one month – whatever it is – SHARE that with someone! You don’t have to shout it from the mountaintops. Share it with the people you have set up as accountability. Share it with your spouse, your best friend, the people who have walked this road with you.

    Dani always says, “What you feed will flourish, and what you neglect will die.” Feed your progress, and you will see even more!

  5. Find things that will feed your mind truth.Your mind is like a movie projector – the messaging you put in is what shows up on the screen of your life. (That’s another profound quote from Dani.)

    For probably the first 6 months, I had to have good messages, sermons, trainings, and music playing constantly. My mind was so full of trash, I couldn’t let it have even one idle minute. If I wasn’t purposely putting in good messaging, the 17 years of horrible messaging automatically showed up.

    Still today, I continue to feed my mind the right messaging. I’ve gone through days and weeks where I did not intentionally do this, and I can absolutely tell the difference!

    There are a few resources I’d like to refer you to. These are extremely helpful, no matter what you’re dealing with.

    The Way Of Purity – If you are really serious about getting free from pornography or other sexual addiction, I highly recommend this 60-day course from Setting Captives Free. Setting Captives Free has several other courses on different topics ranging from eating disorders to gambling to self-harm, and many more. (Note: This used to be an online course. When I tried to get the link, it appears the website is gone. I’m assuming the workbook is the same course I completed online.)

    Not A Fan – This is the book that started it all for me. (You can read the story here.) I cannot recommend this book enough. You must read it. Must.

    Gods At War – This is another book by the same author as Not A Fan. It is an excellent follow-up to Not A Fan. This isn’t about your actions or behaviors – it’s about your heart. If you truly want to walk with your Father and please Him, this book is going to help you sort through the heart issues that are hindering your relationship with Him. (I am reading it right now for the third time, and I am getting convicted all over again.)

My friend, there is a war going on, and if you don’t have a battle plan, you will lose. I wish someone had handed me a battle plan sooner. To be honest, someone tried to hand me one…but I refused. I thought I was going to die there, in my prison.

Take the battle plan. Take these strategies and use them every single day.

And if you are struggling and you’re not sure what to do, where to go, who to run to, my door is open. If you need someone to come alongside you, encourage you, strengthen you, lift you up, I am here. If you need someone to help you discern truth from lies, I know the Author of all truth…I’ve got Him on speed dial, and I’d be glad to hook you up with Him.

7 in 10 men and 1 in 5 women use porn at least once a week. 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month. 1 in 5 mobile searches are for porn. 56% of divorce cases involve one party having an addiction to pornography. All of that being said, it’s pretty safe to assume someone (or lots of people) you know has a problem with porn.

So would you share this message today? Click the “Share” button below, or copy & paste the link to Facebook. You could save a relationship, a marriage, or even a life today. You could be part of someone else’s redemption story. You could help bring someone into freedom today. All by sharing a link.

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4 thoughts on “5 Practical Strategies To Win The Battle Against Porn Addiction

  1. Thank you Mary. It bring hope knowing no matter how long i have been addicted to porn i can be free. I have found that having a filter on my laptop is a great help as even when tempted i have no way of watching it. Now i have to do the same for my phone.I had tried many times to stop watchin porn over the years, but i failed. I have come to realise one of the reasons i failed is i didnt change my thinking. I was made to believe once my pastor prayed for me, then thats it, i would never be tempted again. While i know this may be the case for some, for me it wasnt and because i still felt tempted i started to doubt if God really wanted me free ( which he does or Jesus would not have died for me). Now with the battle plan i know that i will win this war!

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