Wasteland Kings

In the first part of this series, I talked about how struggling with porn does not just involve acknowledging that you have a problem. In order to truly struggle with porn and the other sins in our lives, we must actively fight back against them. While I understand this can be really scary, it’s absolutely vital to experiencing victory.

While we need God’s strength to defeat the sin struggles and addictions in our lives, we have to at least show up to the battle. For years I knew that porn was a big problem in my life and I just shoved it into a corner and hid it away from everyone. I couldn’t beat the problem because I wasn’t giving God any opportunities to work through me and give me the strength to defeat porn.

Even though God can solve every problem in your life in an instant, He instead wants to work through those problems with you. Instead of hitting your problems with something like the flood from Noah’s time, He wants to go deep into your heart and heal the broken parts of it. He wants you to play a part in the healing and restoration because He’s trying to create intimacy and develop a relationship with you.

Simply put, God wants to work through you because He’s inviting you into a deeper relationship with Him. I recognize that the invitation can be scary, especially when it comes alongside a call to open up the dark closets of our hearts. While this invitation really scared me in the beginning, I see it now as one of the most priceless offerings of God besides the sacrifice of Jesus.

I’m a naturally guarded and very private individual. One of the surprisingly hard parts of losing my parents was that everyone, even people I had never met, knew all about a really personal part of my life. Going through that hard part of the loss just made me retreat further into isolation.

It wasn’t until I got a small group and an accountability partner through my church that I really started to come out of my shell. I still remember the first time my group point-blank asked me about my biggest sin problem. In that moment I seriously considered lying to them and making something up.

I made the decision to be honest and come clean about my porn addiction because I knew that hiding it wouldn’t help me deal with it. I knew that I had to start making a conscious decision to fight my addiction to porn. Turning points like this one define whether you are truly battling against the sin in your life or just acknowledging that it’s a problem.

These turning points involve taking responsibility for the problem in your life and deciding to do something about it. Many of us who say we struggle with something in our lives are actually just victims of the brokenness and sin in our lives. There is a very large difference between being the victim of porn and someone who is fighting against it.

That difference is what leads people like me to the healing water of Christ. Just praying and asking God to take away your brokenness and sin is not enough. You must join the fight with God in the battle against your sin.

My battle against porn, that I continue to fight today, has two main components. The first is personal accountability. The second is the accountability software that I use on all my computers.

Telling your accountability partner that you’ve fallen to temptation and looked at and/or masturbated to porn is really difficult. It’s also difficult to let them know that you’re being tempted and that you feel the pull to look at porn. It’s been almost a year since I’ve looked at porn and I still deal with temptation from time to time. I have to let my accountability partner know when I feel the pull so he can help me make sure I don’t fall to temptation.

I still don’t always want to call him or let him know about it, especially in the moment. I also have a problem with pride and I don’t like admitting that I feel the desire to look at porn. While this is a hard part of accountability that will never end, it’s absolutely vital to finding freedom from porn.

Installing accountability software on all my computers has also been vital for me. When I say all of my computers, I mean every single computer that I own, my iPhone, and my iPad. I can’t even download apps without one of my friends being there to unlock my phone for a couple of minutes.

A friend recently asked me if I could handle not having the accountability software on my computers. I told them that I don’t know the answer to that question and that it really doesn’t matter to me. For one, that software gives me peace of mind because I don’t have to actively think about how easy it could be to go look at porn.

Secondly, that software is a constant reminder that recovering from my addiction to porn is a daily battle. If I don’t stay vigilant in that fight, porn is going to sneak up and devour me. I need this reminder because I would love to declare victory over porn and say that it will never bother me again.

Sadly that is not the truth. Even if I experience a decade of freedom, I will always be a recovering porn addict. If I let down my guard and stopped fighting this problem, it would only wait until the right moment and attack with full force. I’ve heard too many stories of guys who gave it up because they were dating a girl and then fell back into the problem during marriage.

If we want real victory over this problem, we must take real responsibility. That starts with getting into a small group at church or going to Celebrate Recovery and coming clean about our problems. After that, we must actively fight against porn every day.

Our fight may come in the form of accountability software or calling someone to talk about being temped. It could even come in the form of being mindful about the movies and shows that we watch. Regardless of the tactics, we must take up our cross daily and fight or we will continue to live in slavery to porn.

Also, remember that God is with you in this battle every step of the way. He wants to help you by pouring His love and strength into you. The best sources for those two things are spending time with God EVERY DAY and spending time in close community with other believers.

God will never leave your side and will always provide a way to fight against temptation.

“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. But with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13


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How I Got Here
My Intimacy Problem

Matthew Rial