How to Overcome A Pornography Addiction


Some sources say the average age of exposure to pornography is around 11 years old, others say around 8, and still others, around 4 years old.  

The internet has brought it right to our doorstep whether we want it or not.

6 year olds discover it on google on the family computer even though they can’t spell the word ‘naked’ (thanks, google, for correcting our spelling?).

12 year olds ask 10 year olds for nude pictures.

Teenagers look at it on their iPad in the living room – under their parent’s noses.

Husbands show their wives porn videos on their phones.

Pastors recommend it to couples to spice up their love life.

Pornography is fast becoming “normal”, and, like the frog in the pot of water on the stove, we are getting used to it.  

Today I’m not addressing how porn addiction happens – I’ve placed links to a bunch of articles at the end of this post for you to educate yourself on what porn does to your brain and your body, and how it becomes an addiction.

I want to address getting free from addiction to porn.   

How to overcome an addiction to pornography

God’s desire for us is freedom and addiction is not freedom. It is bondage and slavery.

“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey – whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Romans 6:16 (NIV)

Offering yourself to porn will result in slavery to porn. And that’s not freedom.

You may be addicted to porn if:

  • You think about it all the time
  • You feel you can’t live without it
  • You default to it to make you feel better when you are upset, angry, depressed, or lonely
  • It controls you
  • You feel you can’t stop
  • It’s affecting your work, social life, relationships, and sleep

How to break an addiction to pornography:  

Admit you have a problem.

Getting free from addiction happens mostly in your head and admitting you have a problem is the first step to overcoming. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)

Denying you are addicted will keep you trapped in the cycle of failure and shame.

Take ownership of your addiction.

Stop blaming your wife, scantily dressed women, your friends, or your phone. Take responsibility for your actions. You are choosing to look at porn; no one is forcing you to.

Learn to hate porn by thinking about the consequences of viewing it before they happen.

Imagine how you will feel afterwards – tired, guilty, ashamed, disgusted, disappointed. Make it unattractive in your mind.

 Claim God’s promise to give you a new heart – a heart that hates this thing that is consuming your life. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit in you and move you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.” Ezekiel 36:26,27 (NIV)

 You have to hate porn enough to be willing to do whatever it takes to overcome it and only God can make that change in your heart. Pray for it.

Figure out why you turn to porn.

Is it comfort, release of stress, loneliness, self-hatred, rejection? Addiction is often caused by trying to medicate some private pain. Start dealing with the reasons why you turn to porn.

Educate yourself on what porn does to your body and brain.

(See the links posted below.) Knowledge is power and enables you to make better choices. Don’t be passive about your addiction. God needs you to cooperate with Him so that you can overcome.

Learn to flee temptation.

“Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men. Avoid it, do not travel on it; turn from it and go on your way.” Proverbs 4:14,15 (NIV)

Avoid the places or things that put you in a position to be tempted. Leave social media groups that share porn. Delete apps or put restrictions on your devices to help you. Install accountability software – see www.covenanteyes.com

Destroy any porn in your possession, hard copy or digital.

 Delay giving in to the temptation to look at porn for a few minutes and it should subside. Overcome that first craving and you will get stronger. Resisting once will make you stronger the next time. Build your ability to resist by resisting.  

Replace porn viewing with something better.

Once you’ve resisted the craving don’t hang around and wait for it to return. Go do something productive! Exercise. Play an instrument. Walk in nature. Call a friend. Study what the Bible says about thoughts, the mind, sexual purity.

“Therefore get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent, and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.” James 1:21 (NIV)  

“I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.” Romans 6:19 (NIV)   

Recognise your need of God.  

By admitting you need God’s help you are opening your life up for His supernatural intervention. When you begin to yield yourself to God He can begin a new work in your life.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (KJV)

Submission to God gives power to resist the devil. Resisting in your own strength may work some of the time but eventually you will fail. Instead of focusing on the craving for porn and trying to resist it, learn to surrender the craving to God and let Him kill it for you.

“Do not offer (yield) the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer (yield) yourselves to God…” Romans 6:13 (NIV)

“For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose.” Philippians 2:13 (NIV)

Find someone safe you can share your struggle with.

Make sure it is someone who will pray for you, support you, and hold you accountable.

Make it difficult to access.

Put accountability software on your devices. Leave your phone in another room when you go to bed. Put your computer in a central place in the house where others will see what you are doing.

Be patient – it didn’t take 5 minutes to become addicted and overcoming any addiction takes time. It will take 6-7 weeks for your brain to be retrained to crave something besides porn.

Give yourself grace when you fail, but don’t stay down. If you give up you will definitely not overcome the addiction. Get up and try again.

Here are the links to articles related to porn:
Porn is not only a male problem, it is fast becoming a female problem too. Read Confessions of A Female Porn Addict

Freedom from Addictions

The New Narcotic

How a Porn Addiction Affects a Man’s Personality

Should You Marry Someone Who Uses Porn?

How One Man Confessed His Porn Addiction to His Wife and What Happened Next 

Could Porn be Killing Your Husband’s Sex Drive?

Please also check out the site www.covenanteyes.com for help if you are addicted to porn or if someone you love is addicted to it.

About The Author

Jennifer Lovemore

Jennifer has diplomas in relationship counselling and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), is a certified SYMBIS facilitator, and is certified in TPM (Transformation Prayer Minsitry). She lives in South Africa, has three grown children, and is married to her best friend – Richard.

1 COMMENT

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