What keeps men trapped in the toxic cycle of pornography?
It starts out so simple for someone who is hooked on pornography. They probably saw an air-brushed photo of a model online or in a magazine when they were children. Over the years they would spend more time looking at porn, and eventually they reached a point where it was consuming more of their time – and their lives.
Dr. Ted Roberts is the founder of Pure Desire Ministries where he has counseled thousands of men to freedom from pornography. He is also the host of a powerful cinematic study called the Conquer Series. In the Conquer Series, Dr. Ted describes the continually tightening grip porn has on a man’s life as a noose of bondage. He explains that there are four elements of the noose.
The Noose Of Bondage
1. The Root of Bondage – These are the deep wounds in a man’s life from early traumas that influenced his ideas and perceptions of himself in negative ways. They are the foundations that his porn usage will grow upon throughout his life as he tries to medicate these wounds.
2. The Mindset – Dr. Roberts explains that addictive behavior is driven by a sense of shame. “Some part, some past issue, is lodged in their soul where they don’t feel that they really have it together. They’re not good enough. That works on them and then it begins to develop a lifestyle. They begin to develop a mindset that there’s something wrong with me. They begin to develop what’s called a ‘shame perspective’. Shame is different than guilt. Guilt is ‘I did something wrong’. Shame is ‘There’s something wrong with me’.”
3. The Lifestyle – Dr. Roberts says that for a typical Christian man, “It’s binge, purge. He acts out sexually and he has an altar call and he comes forward and he says ‘God, I’ll never do it again, I promise’ …Guess what. Takes a while and he’ll act out again. It’s binge, purge, binge, purge.”
4. The Cloak – Because of the massive shame associated with pornography addiction, a man will do his best to cover up his usage. That sets up a strong denial structure. As a Christian, a man is even more concerned about his porn addiction being exposed because the church has so much shame associated with it.
“How Do I Get Free?”
There are three steps in the process of breaking free from porn addiction.
1. BREAK THE DENIAL STRUCTURES
Dr. Roberts explains that men addicted to porn engage in constant denial because of the shame involved. But breaking through the denials is vital to recovery.
“I’ve never counseled a guy in the last 20 years,” said Dr. Roberts, “who doesn’t love Christ with all of his heart, doesn’t read the Bible on a daily basis, doesn’t pray regularly, and yet he can’t stop his sexual behavior. He cannot. He’s lost the ability to do it. It’s starting to affect his brain. It started out as a moral decision, but now it’s affecting his brain. And so he loses the capacity to do that.”
“I’ve never had anyone walk into my office and say, ‘Dr. Roberts, would you help me? I’m in sexual bondage.’ They always walk in and say, ‘My wife caught me, but I’ve never done it before.’… I don’t buy that. I buy that you’ve been doing this stuff since your early teenage years. You’ve been medicating your pain. You have to break the denial structures.”
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