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FROM PASTOR’S KID TO PORN ADDICT

Original article can be found here


Have you ever kept something so hidden that you would die before revealing it? I have. I hated myself for looking at porn, but I couldn’t stop. I was living a double life. On the outside, I appeared to be a model of Christian virtue. On the inside, I was consumed by secret sins.


THE PERFECT KID


I am a pastor’s kid, and I grew up in the Church. I attended the same Christian school from Kindergarten through 12th grade. In elementary school, I was always the teacher’s pet. In middle school, I was the nice guy who didn’t play violent video games with the other boys (mostly because I wasn’t allowed to). Everyone came to expect me to act better than my friends. This was partly because I was obedient and respectful, and partly because I was seen as a pastor’s kid. I wanted to live up to this expectation. It became part of my identity. I was the responsible, nice guy in my class who was always asked to pray before meals with my friends. As a result, my friends, teachers, siblings, and parents all thought I was a model of Christian virtue.


THE BROKEN KID


The truth was, I was addicted to pornography. It still shocks me when I think about that. I didn’t become a porn addict overnight.


It was a gradual process of one small compromise at a time. It started when I was 12 years old, curiously exploring YouTube. Curiosity turned into fixation, and fixation turned into addiction. I came to think that I could pollute my mind without it affecting my life. I couldn’t.

I began lusting all the time and battling with emotional instability. I bottled these struggles up and made sure that no one ever knew about them. I was still very concerned with maintaining my righteous reputation, so I lived in fear of my secret sins being discovered throughout middle school and most of high school. I was especially afraid of my dad finding out, because I couldn’t bear the thought of facing his disappointment.


LOW POINT


When I started dating my current girlfriend in 10th grade, I knew that I needed to change. So I began working really hard to stop watching porn. I was successful for a while but relied on my own strength and not God’s strength. I began making small compromises again. Little by little, I returned to my porn addiction like a dog returning to eat its own vomit. On the outside, I had a beautiful girlfriend who was amazing in every way. On the inside, I was once again consumed by the sexual sins of porn, lust, fantasy, and masturbation.


TURNING POINT


Fast forward to the beginning of 12th grade. My girlfriend and I were very committed to each other by this point, and my guilt became unbearable. I was still terrified of anyone finding out about my secret sins. However, I realized that my only hope of finding freedom was to reach out for help. That’s when I had the most terrifying and painful conversation I’ve ever had. I told my girlfriend everything. But instead of breaking up with me, she truly showed me Christ’s love by forgiving me. Don’t get me wrong, it really hurt her and was extremely difficult for both of us, but she gave me the push that I needed to seek help. At her prompting, I reached out to a guy named Shane who works for Proven Men. Shane is a member of my church, and I thank God for leading him there. During a conversation at church, he told me about his work with Proven Men, though it still took months for me to reach out to him. We got coffee, and I shared with him the full story of my struggle with sexual sins. He became a big brother in my life[.]


VICTORY


After going through the study twice, the most important thing I’ve learned is that victory is only achieved through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And perhaps that sounds cliché, but in 1 Corinthians 1:18 the Apostle Paul says, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (ESV). The message of the Gospel can become boring for some, but it is truly life-changing for those who accept it. Before I reached out for help, I was trying to escape my bondage to sin through my own strength. However, when I shared my secret struggles with others, I saw my need for God’s strength. It is only through God’s strength that I can have victory over sexual sins. The Lord used my struggle to show me how desperately I need a personal relationship with Him. Now, a little over a year later, I am fighting every day with God’s help to be the same man on the inside and the outside. My girlfriend and I have an even deeper level of trust, and I am striving to be open and honest in all of my relationships. Because of the confidence I have in my relationship with Jesus, I was even able to share my story with my dad. He and I have a closer relationship now than ever before. I pray that my testimony would inspire you to reach out for help. No one can win this battle alone. We all need strength from God and support from His family.

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