This past Monday, we released a podcast about Men Fighting Porn Addiction featuring an interview with our founder who has been locked in that addiction and found freedom in recovery. He also answered several of your questions about the subject, including porn's effect on marriage and what purity looks like for single Christians.
If you haven't heard it yet, you can listen to it right here:
Now, we're creating a full list of additional tools and resources to help women who are struggling!
Celebrate Recovery Group Locator
If you listened to the podcast, you'll know that this was the greatest tool in the arsenal because it attacks the addiction on multiple fronts. You find positive friendships, accountability, sponsorship, testimonies, teachings, the Bible-based 12 Steps, and a guidance on how to find the hidden reasons BEHIND your addiction. Best of all, it's free and it's everywhere! Click to search for a Celebrate Recovery in your area.
6 Reasons Men and Women are Drawn to Porn by Luke Gilkerson
Hope and Help for the Porn Addict by Trip Lee
Porn's Effect on the Brain by Austin Ross
3 Gospel Principles for Battling Porn Addiction by Luke Gilkerson
Terry Crews (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) Fight Porn Addiction by Mary Elizabeth Williams
Fight Sexual Addiction Like a Man by Ryan Frederick
Resisting the Power of Pornography by Steve Watters
Sexual Success by Dr. Doug Weiss
I'm a Christian Addicted to Porn by Shaun Groves
Fighting for Purity by Gerald Hiestand
Married Men: Your Porn Habit is an Adultery Habit by Matt Walsh
Men Fighting Porn Addiction with Matt Coker
PornFree Radio by Matt Dobschuetz
Porn-Again Christian by Matt Coker
Blazing Grace Podcast by UrbanMinisitry.org
We've Lost the War on Porn - Now What? with Matt Coker
Is Masturbation Always a Sin? (Opening Segment) with Matt Coker
Accountable2You: Individual - $5/month | Family - $9/month
CovenantEyes: Individual - $11/month | Family - $15/month
Ever Accountable: Individual - $7/month | Family - $10/month
Lion: Free | Costs $10 to add Accountability Partners (1-Time Fee)
X3watch: $7/month or $65/year
*A WARNING ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY SOFTWARE*
Realize that this is simply a tool that should make getting porn more difficult, thus giving you the opportunity to surrender the temptation to God or call an accountability partner, but these will NOT stop you from looking at porn.
Much like we are warned of Diet Soda because it tricks us into thinking because we are being healthy, we can eat a few more calories, and thus we wind up still gaining weight, be warned that Accountability Software is not a cure for your addiction. Don't convince yourself that you are safe from temptation because you've got your phone locked down.
You must remember this is simply a tool that should be used in conjunction with several others as you work on your recovery.
Your First Steps
Here are the ABC's of getting started in your Recovery process - 10 things you can start on right now that will benefit you moving forward:
Realize that you are addicted. Understand that you are powerless to defeat this addiction on your own (if you could, you would've done it already).
Realize that the ONLY place you can find enough willpower to defeat this addiction is Jesus Christ, the one whom has conquered all our sins. He must be your source of strength in the face of temptation.
Find someone you trust, someone the same gender as you, and someone whom you're not related to (you'd be more likely to lie to them), and confess that you have this problem. Let it all out and drop the baggage. If they are willing, make this person your accountability partner who can check on you and help keep you on track.
Install safeguards where you know you've been tempted or triggered before. Install accountability software, set up parental rating controls on Netflix (give your password to your accountability partner), cancel HBO and Showtime, etc.
Take a scouring pad to your phone and laptop. Erase every photo, video, story, and bookmark that you may have saved that is sexually provocative. If you have any magazines, books, DVDs, or even R-rated movies with too much skin, gather it all up and destroy it (not just throw it out - take scissors to it all and THEN throw it out).
Stop for 10 to 15 minutes each morning to have some quiet time with God. Pray, read the Bible, sing praise songs, and meditate (that really just means "listen"). Connect with God and make it a PRIORITY APPOINTMENT each and every day - NOT OPTIONAL.
Find a group of like-minded individuals. If you are lucky enough to know of more women struggling, start up an accountability group and meet once a week. Or, join a Celebrate Recovery program near you. Anonymous and confidential opportunities to share your struggles and victories is a major boost to your recovery.
Remember that this is going to be a process. Sure, we've heard stories of people deciding they were done and walking away without so much as a hiccup along the way, but those cases are super rare. Most people must work at it day by day, trusting God in the steady progress. Don't stress about the future or live in the guilt of the past - hope in the here and now.
Take a look back at your life from as far back as you can remember. Write down every significant event in your life, good or bad. This will help you see when your addiction started and how it progressed.
Take a daily look at yourself and your actions. When you feel tempted, whether you gave in or not, write the incident down. What happened right before that? Did you give in or break free? Why or how? These kind of questions in your journal entries should help you see a current pattern in your life as to what triggers these temptations and hopefully, this should help you make an action plan to fight these triggers in the future.
No more stalling.
No more putting it off.
This is the day that the Lord has made.
This is where the healing begins.
Today is the beginning of the next chapter of your life.
There is a very popular adage from groups like AA and Celebrate Recovery that goes, “Live One Day at a Time.”
This is a two-fold message.
The first is that when we are trying to change a bad habit or overcome an addiction, we have to focus on today and today only. If we look at it like, “I can never touch a cigarette again for the rest of my life,” that can seem like a wall far too tall to climb. But “I can’t touch a cigarette today,” well, that’s a piece of cake.
We can’t place these large goals on our path, because then we lose sight of the here and now. If we make a goal to be "clean" for one month, and then we slip up on day 23, we are negating all of our victories up to then and judging ourselves a failure. But when our goal is simply 24 hours, we feel we’ve accomplished something every night as we put our heads on our pillows. And we have!
The second message is that we cannot live in the past or worry about the future. When we’ve finally come to admit that we have a problem with a hurt, habit, or hang-up, we start to see our pasts a lot more clearly. All the times we were wrong and all the times we wronged others. We start uncovering memories that we had buried down deep and opening wounds we never let heal properly. There is a certain part of recovery that requires this look into our pasts, but we cannot live there.
When we live in our past, we are continually condemning ourselves, reminding ourselves how lost we are, telling ourselves that we don’t deserve freedom or a better life. Or worse, that we are so bad, God has given up on us for sure. This is not true. It’s never true.
We also cannot live in the future, worrying about what is coming next. God has already promised to provide for us, told us not to worry. What good does worry do for you anyway?
“So don’t be anxious about tomorrow. God will take care of your tomorrow too. Live one day at a time.” (Matthew 6:34 LB)
That’s right, “Live one day at a time” is a Biblical principle! Words of Jesus! So don’t make the mistake of believing that this message is just for those in recovery. These words are for everyone who ever struggles with living in the past, worrying about the future, or setting unrealistic goals which are almost always doomed to fail. Just focus on today. Today is all you have. Learn from the past, prepare for the future, but LIVE in the here and now. Life by the yard is hard, but life by the inch is a cinch!
Founder of BackRowOnline.com & Host of the Back Row Baptist Podcast
BY CIPRIANO MARTINEZ
At the beginning of this year, out of nowhere (so I thought) came the thought of stepping down as Ministry leader of the Celebrate Recovery at my home church. So the wrestling with God began. Many emotions came out of this decision that was placed at my feet. I have always felt that in ministry work that there will come a season that a person needs to step aside in order for others to lead in the same capacity so that they can grow. For me, the year 2016 is that time to step down. The life we live is determined by many choices that we make; we may feel confused or maybe unsure about decisions we have to make. In past years, there have been times I have worried that I was not in line with God’s will and fearful of making the wrong decisions.
But we shouldn’t be fearful and afraid to make decisions. As long as we reach out to the lost and share the Gospel, this will honor God. I am excited for the year of 2017 and this excitement is building up in a way that is filled with the Holy Spirit. So, my encouragement to you, dear reader, is to fly when you feel you need to fly, run when you feel you need to run, and dream when feel like dreaming. But in all this, share Jesus with everyone along your path and our God will light your way.
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. (2 Corinthians 4:6-10)
Cipriano Martinez is the ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery at Highland Baptist Church in Clovis, NM, as well as the CR State Representative of Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. He is blessed to be clean and sober for 9 years and counting. He is happily married and has 5 kids ranging from high school to diapers. He enjoys sharing his life with others, golf, and spending time with his family, and also feels a strong calling to vocational ministry. You can contact him via twitter @ciprianom79.
Cipriano Martinez | @ciprianom79
Many times I just sit and think about how God has changed my life and how grateful I should be. The day I surrendered my life to Christ, I was not a young child or kid listening to a sermon in church but instead, I was at the lowest point I’d ever been in as an adult. That day I remember all too well. I had been incarcerated, going on two weeks, and I was facing many charges. I had burned the majority of my bridges and, as I look back, I remember clearly that there was no hope in sight. One morning, my cell mate asked me if I wanted to go to church. I was hesitant at first but I accepted the offer. The very next morning, I surrendered my life to Christ in an 8’ x 10’ concrete jail cell. If only I could remember my cell mate's name, I would like to thank him for the life changing invitation.
James Daman | @jdaman04
Living in Phoenix causes me to completely forget that other areas don't experience 60-70 degree weather in Winter and early Spring. Winter often feels like Spring in other parts of the country, however in Phoenix, we know Spring is here when we start seeing lots of weeds pop up in our yard. As I work on getting rid of the weeds, I can't help but compare it to the work we do in Celebrate Recovery.
First, our goal is to get rid of the weeds, I don't know many people who are proud of their weeds. When I did a Google search to see if there were any weed contests around the world, I was able to find them, however they were all competitions for a different kind of weed.
In order to achieve our goal of getting rid of the weeds, we must work at it. We can't just pull the top of the weed off, we must get to the root and often we need help. Our lives can be a lot like that. Our inventory is a lot like getting at the root, it takes work, but it's worth it. If we just take care of the surface, it may look nice, but the issue will resurface, much like the weed.
Megan Oaks | @MeganCOaks
For anyone who has read my testimony, or been following closely my life in the blogging world; you’ll know a very special day is approaching in my life. A day that may bring back some pain, but today I am anxiously awaiting its arrival so I can celebrate. In just a few sort weeks, my husband and I will reach the one-year mark from the day he walked out of our home and declared our marriage was over.
Matt Coker | @BackRowOnline
Before joining the leadership at my church’s Celebrate Recovery program, I was a small group leader at a Celebrate Recovery held in a different church in town. I lead a group called “Integrity of the Mind,” a group of men who want to build up their sexual integrity and develop a healthy view of women and get a handle on any sexual habits or addictions.
When I took the group over, the group had four people in it, and it had been that way for the better part of the two years or so that the group has existed. But after I was asked to share my testimony, we quickly rose to having 15 people in the group.
The leaders of that Celebrate Recovery had really been pushing this group, because they felt lead that this was an area that many men in the program found themselves in. And it had taken hold of many people, who were deciding to be real men.
About a month after I gave my testimony that year, a man walked into the group and sat down. As we do with each new person, we asked him to tell us why he feels he needs to join our group. He told us of his womanizing, his objectifying of women, and so on, and that he finally came to a realization that this is hindering his walk with God and his happiness in life.
Then he turned and looked at me and said something I didn't expect.