OK. Let’s go step onto the scary trail. Let’s talk about pornography, and about porn addictions.
I’m going to speak about things that I have no training in. I have opinions, based on experience. I’ve not put this into words for a long time, so this may get overly-detailed (that’s how my process works).
Comment: I’ll be speaking as a guy (I generally do, but this time it may make a difference).
Warning: This isn't complete. Not sure it's actually possible to be complete on this topic. This is more of an outline, notes, rough thoughts.
Personal opinion: neither accountability nor inner healing will solve porn addictions. They may address some symptoms, but not solve the problem.
Personal opinion: solving symptoms is never a substitute for solving the core issue. If one symptom is solved, but the core issue is not, then the core issue will build pressure, and pop out in another place, or (more likely?) blow the scab off the same symptom.
Personal observation: when “church folk” respond to any addiction, their response is generally in the realm of “self control.” This does help a small number of people.
Personal opinion: a porn addiction is not primarily about sex or about discipline. These are merely symptoms.
Personal opinion: the core issue is identity, specifically intimacy in relationship. Intimacy, in this context, is NOT a euphemism for sex: it’s about being known and accepted fully, and about knowing and accepting fully. And the first place for this intimacy is with God:
Personal opinion: if a man does not have an intimate relationship with God, if a man does not have confidence that he is fully known and fully accepted by God, then he will try to meet that very legitimate need by illegitimate means. Pornography is one of those illegitimate means.
Personal opinion: that business of being known fully and being accepted fully by one’s wife (or wife-to-be) is supplemental and very helpful, but does not replace the need for this relationship with God. Neither does sex replace real relationship with God. [That’s covered in the DUH-101 course.]
Personal opinion: This inherently creates a problem: the only solution is to know and receive the actions/choices of someone else. Fundamentally, no man can solve this problem on their own, by their own strength. There’s room for a sermon there, but this is not the time for that sermon.
Personal Opinion: the only thing that a man can do to facilitate others’ meeting of these needs is to initiate that sort of relationship. With God, that’s only about making one’s self as open as possible before God, and that is a scary process. With a bride that’s a terrifying thing, because it’s the same kind of vulnerability, but vulnerability before a fallible human being who has her own needs. Scary. But that’s all he can do to help her offer that to him: offer it to her, both for her well-being, and by way of being an example.
Personal opinion: the only things I’ve ever seen work appear to be two sides of the same coin: It can be described as “Develop this kind of relationship with God” or it can be described as “Know – really know, not just study – who you are in Christ,” but these are (IMHO) really the same thing.
Personal opinion: there is a bit of good news in an addiction to pornography: you were made for intimate relationship with God, and this addiction demonstrates that you have a real hunger, and a real readiness for that intimacy. You’re ready to develop a close relationship with your Maker. And God is ready to develop that close relationship with you.
I say again: a porn addiction is rock-solid proof that you are now ready and able to have the kind of intimate relationship with God that you’ve always wanted.
Is it scary? Hell yes!
Are we guaranteed a life of ease and no problems? You’re kidding, right?
But is it possible? abso-freakin-lutely.
And yeah, it really is the better deal! Oh my goodness, yes!