The Insidious Nature of the Evil One and the Pain of Pornography

randomlychad  —  September 9, 2012 — 17 Comments

In A Boy and His Drug, I wrote of how I was not only allowed, but encouraged as a young boy to look at pornography. How that period lasted from the ages of ten-eighteen.

In The Unexpected Face of Grace I wrote of how God brought grace, and freedom, to me unexpectedly.

This is the rest of the story.

How I wish that had been the end of the story. How I wish, after breaking free, throwing out all of my posters and magazines, that I had never again looked at pornography.

As much as I’d like it to be true, I can’t say that. You see, as life got hard–had its trials–porn was there, cycling in, and out, of my life. I didn’t want to look, but I did. It was familiar. It was a friend from my youth.

Not really requiring anything from me, it had never let me down. Friends that is the insidious nature of evil, and of the evil one. First to tempt, then accuse. To first tell me “This will make you feel better,” only to follow it with “You horrible sinner! You call yourself a Christian! What would your wife think?”

Now let me be plain: Satan didn’t make me sin. I sinned–I chose to heed the voice of temptation. And true to his nature, the enemy was there to ensure I received a proper beat down for my choice. He’s not known as the “accuser of the brethren” for nothing.

In my guilt, and shame, I would cry out to God, confess to Him, tell Him how sorry I was. But in that spirit of that shame, believing I was alone in my wretchedness, I never told another human soul. And there was my undoing: I told no one. Not my wife, friends, anybody.

I bore the burden alone.

And so it went for many years–lather, rinse, repeat.

Until the time where I either wasn’t careful, didn’t care, or wanted to be caught: my Internet history found me out. Or rather my wife found my Internet history.

And what a blow that was–to me, yes, but much more to her. What do you suppose Satan’s message was to her? That her husband’s involvement in pornography was a way to anesthitize his pain, and stemmed from his childhood?

Not even close.

It was: “You’re not enough.” He looks at this stuff because you’re not enough woman for him. Thereby compounding his lies. He took my sin, and used it to assault her in the very core of her being: her femininity.

Even though to me it was never about sex, but rather medicating the pain of a life I couldn’t control. It was my besetting sin.

How I wish I’d never hurt her in that way, could take it all back. But I can’t. However, it is now covered under the blood, and not something I struggle with anymore.

Why? Why don’t I struggle with it? Why is it not cycling into, and out, my life like before?

There are five key reasons:

1) I have a God Who loves me enough to not leave me as I am.
2) I have a wife who, despite the pain I caused her, loves me enough to not leave me as I am. And who encouraged me to seek help.
3) I found help at Celebrate Recovery, and confessed my sins to similarly struggling men. I was astounded to learn that I wasn’t alone. Of all the lies Satan tells us, that’s got to be the biggest: that we are alone.
4) As corny, as cliché as this may sound, God spoke to me through Dr. Phil. The good doctor was doing an episode that featured a segment on porn, and said something that was seared into my soul: “That’s somebody’s daughter.”

That’s somebody’s daughter. I have a daughter. Would I want someone, somewhere, looking at my daughter? That thought alone brought me up cold–because the answer was a resounding “NO!!!!”

5) There is accountability in confession: by choosing to put my story out there I disarm the enemy. He’s no longer able to accuse me here in this place–because it’s not a secret anymore. And having done so, I was again astonished to learn that I’m not alone.

——————

Mike Foster of POTSC says this: “Being brave with your story gives others the courage to be brave with theirs.”

Anne Jackson puts it this way: “By going first, you give others a gift. The gift of going second.” Meaning someone has to be brave, be courageous, share the uncomfortable–because you never know who you’re going to encourage by doing so.

Will you be brave today, give someone the gift of going second? You don’t have to share here, but please do find somewhere to share. You’re not alone.

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • Truth -- “There Is Accountability In Confession: By Choosing To Put My Story Out There I Disarm The Enemy. He’s No Longer Able To Accuse Me Here In This Place--because It’s Not A Secret Anymore.”

  • Wow, wow, wow…so well said. Thank you for sharing this, Chad. Thank you for allowing us…ok, me…the gift of going second. I’m going through a lot right now, both personally and professionally, and “living in the light” has been the theme that continues to come through. The more we hide and stuff these things away, the worse we make it. Thanks for pointing out that truth.

    • You’re very welcome, Ryan! Living in the light disarms the evil one, and (seemingly paradoxically) dispels shame.

      As a fellow pilgrim, all I can do is share the light I’ve been given.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Love you, brother. I appreciate your transparency here. This was courageous. You’re doing good work.

    • Thanks, brother! Love you, too.

  • Mean bro. Such a hard topic to talk about, I reckon.

    Honestly, reading this makes me realise that I need to talk about it. I hate it, because I’m ashamed. But as much as I try to keep it in my past, it haunts me. Even on my best days.

    What I’m saying is thanks Chad, reading this is giving me a push I don’t really want but probably need.

    • James, we all need a push from time to time. Jesus is faithful like that (if we listen). Cause I can’t believe it’s me, but Him talking to you through this piece.

  • Thanks for stepping up with this one Chad -- powerful!

    • Thanks, Tor! Thanks for sharing with your followers!

  • Beautiful, powerful, truth-filled post! I think CR is an incredible ministry too, by the way. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  • Wow, Chad, we have a lot in common! After thinking I was being so careful, one little slip up found me out by my wife on our browser history. Yet she is an example of grace to me through it all.

    For me, CR several years ago helped me to realize I wasn’t alone. I stopped attending the meetings for the longest time thinking it wasn’t doing me any good. This was probably the work of the evil one. But you know what? I went to another somewhat local CR last Sunday afternoon and I realized anew how much I need CR in my life right now. It’s a 45 minute drive one way but this church does CR right and lives are being changed!

    I’m at a desert place right now, man. I’ve given up a lot. I can’t commit to anything from start to finish. I’m inconsistent and imperfect. I’m not giving up, though! One day I’ll find myself coming out on the other side of the desert. That’s my hope, at least.

    • Thomas,.

      I’m so glad to hear from you! I was concerned when your blog went AWOL, an email bounced, and I couldn’t reach you via Twitter.

      So glad that you’re fighting on!

      The enemy lies to us, gets us to hide in shame, believe that were unique in our depravity.

      Here’s a truth that’s taken too long to learn: you will struggle as long as you identify yourself as a struggler. You are so much more than a struggler, than a sinner saved by grace.

      You are a son of the King! Which makes you a prince, with all the rights and privileges of the kingdom!

      God is the Father you never had, but always longed for. He is not at all like the man who let you down. I know that’s hard to see right now.

      Satan’s strategy hasn’t changed: he begins by assaulting your identity:
      “You call yourself a Christian? You’re not a Christian.” I know this voice very well. Remember that God never accuses, or condemns, but rather convicts. If it’s accusing you’re under, call it what it is, and put the cross of Christ between you and it.

      If you see yourself as a sinful man, well--you’re in good company: so were all the disciples. Peter denied Him three times--almost literally to His face!

      I adjure you know, Thomas, in the name of Jesus to stop beating yourself up. Take hold of who you are--a son of God--and come out of the desert!
      Look at what you wrote in your comment: “I can’t commit… I’ve given up… One day…”

      Stop agreeing with that shit! All the devil requires is your acquiescence--your agreement--with those things to take you to the cleaners.

      Do me a favor, please? Get two books: Wild At Heart & Waking the Dead. Both are by John Eldredge, & will change your life.

      Glad to see you back!

  • Powerful Chad. Insidious is the perfect word choice. You and your marriage are trophies of God’s grace.

    • Thanks, Clay! We sure are. His grace marvels everyday.

      Congratulations on your book! Really, really good!