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Caught up in porn? Fight for love instead

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A Facebook friend introduced me to a group dedicated to helping people battle pornography, whether as a consumer of the content or as someone impacted by the industry in some way.

It’s called Fight the New Drug and its executive director, Natale McAneney, issued a challenge for the new year. She encourages people battling porn to fight for love instead, which I think is an excellent idea.

Many people caught in porn strive diligently to end their habit, often by using their willpower alone. But, that type of battle comes from a defensive posture. People trying to fight that way always seem to lose because they resist, resist, resist until they lack energy to fight the temptation and cave in to lust once again.

I’ve also talked about avoidance as an effective strategy to combat that nasty habit. For example, if you are battling a porn habit, but put yourself in situations that tantalize your senses — like visiting a beach — then simply avoiding the beach generally goes a long way to overcoming the problem.

That’s a simplistic example, but you get the point.

However, the biggest weapon for fighting a bad habit is replacement. You can’t just give up a bad habit. It must be replaced with a better habit.

Jesus himself encouraged this strategy in Luke 11:24-26:

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

In his example, the person was successful in ridding himself of a habit, but he did nothing to fill the gap. As a result, he wound up in a worse situation than he was originally in.

That’s why I like Natale’s new challenge. She encourages people to fight porn by replacing it with love — true, genuine, heartfelt love.

“Bottom line, the internet has changed our world, and has made some of the most explicit, violent, and degrading material imaginable available and easily accessible to everyone, and it isn’t doing anyone any favors,” she wrote.

“Whether you personally consume it or not, we are all living in a world where every single scenario has been perverted by porn at some point—and that changes the way we see the world, and the way we are viewed by others in our society,” Natale added.

“The good news is, each one of us can actually make a difference and be a voice against sexual exploitation and fight for real relationships, real sex, and real love,” she explained.

Natale is right. Porn causes isolation for two reasons.

First, consuming it is generally not something you do in public or as a group. You’re often alone, in darkness and in fantasy.

Second, the guilt of consuming pornography by yourself often often works to keep people even more isolated. It’s a vicious circle, for sure.

So, rather than striving to will yourself to end the addictive habit, replace it with something else. Seek opportunities for real relationships and real love.

In 1 Corinthians 13:13, Paul writes, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

It’s a brilliant strategy. Make 2020 a year to fight for love!

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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