Saturday, September 15, 2012

The PORN Effect (Day 12)

Sometimes, the only way I can keep my head above water in my own fight for purity is to help other men. So yesterday I brought some copies of "Taking Down Goliath" to my local parish. I really recommend anything that Matt Fradd puts out but especially this CD because he allows for you to burn and give away as many copies as physically possible. And you'll want to because his stuff is good! You cannot go wrong —from his blog, to his website, to his several talks on DVD and CD—  all great material. To be honest his site the Porn Effect is what inspired me to start this blog. And now hopefully many men are fighting the "porn effect" with the "P.O.R.N. Effect". Here is some great advice from Matt Fradd:

Step 1: Admit That There's A Problem
I recently heard that married men live from 5 to 10 years longer than those who don't marry. Apparently the reason is that their wives force them to go see a doctor when something is wrong. It seems that we as men can be so stubborn that we would rather lose a decade of our life than admit that we might not have it all together. But this first step is vital and if you are not willing to admit that you are not in control and that your lust, your use of porn, your masturbation is a problem then unfortunately this site has no more use for you.

Step 2: Set Yourself A Goal
If you own pornography, whether it be in the form of magazines, videos or websites. Trash them immediately. Don't just trash them so you can go back to them in a moment of weakness. Burn them, delete them, set up a porn filter on your computer. I know of one man, when he found out the truth of what porn was doing to him he took all his Porn DVD's and a sledge hammer and destroyed what was slowly destroying him. Set a realistic goal that you know you can reach, for me it began with "I will not look at porn or masturbate for 1 week". Once I made it through the week, I set another goal for myself.

Step 3: Prayer
I would fail in my mission if I did not address the nessecity of prayer, and by prayer I mean, repentance, surrender, trust. These are all exceptionally hard things to do, we don't like to repent because we don't like being wrong. We don't like to surrender because we have been taught to have complete control over our lives. We don't like to trust because we have been let down constantly by those we love and by those who have manipulated us. I can only speak from my own experience. You will not find a magical prayer, or a nice little list of rules to follow to become pure. Purity is not the destination, it is a lifestyle, a daily battle. Heaven is the destination and purity will help us get there. Personally I have found a devotion to the daily Rosary to be an incredibly powerful tool. After each Rosary I hold it up and say "Mary I have taken up your chain (the rosary), now take off my chains of lust"....

Step 4: Fasting
If I cannot say no to that next chip, chocolate bar, slice of pizza, beer, (fill in the blank). How will I be able to say no to the porn pop up site. Fasting strengthens our wills and our hearts. An alcoholic that cannot say no to his next beer is not free, he is enslaved. We need to deny our appetites not because food and drink and television are bad but so that we will be master of these things and not allow these things to have mastery over  us. It's easy to say that we are not enslaved by TV, but try giving it up for a week and see if you don't feel the burn! I would encourage you to join www.e5men.org e5 men is an growing army of men who are sick of the lust and the lies they've believed and are now taking a day a month to fast for a woman in their life.

Step 5: Replacing The Habit
Fr Laurence Freeman OSB suggests that to defeat a bad habit, it's important to develop a good habit, in order to displace the bad one.  Sitting around the house continually focused on "not masturbating or looking at porn" will cause you to become inverted and scrupulous. Get up off your tail and get involved in some physical exercise, be it football, jogging, lifting weights, (I wouldn't recommend draughts).As Christians we are not called simply to avoid evil, we are called to do good! do something productive such as helping the poor, becoming a member of an apostolic group in the parish, joining a prayer group, forming a group of young newly wed couples to assist with marriage preparation in a parish, becoming a regular visitor to refugees, homeless, mentally ill people, etc.

Step 6: The Importance Of A Accountability Partner & Confessor
Sorry if I am the first one to break this to you but you cannot do this alone. Check out this accountability software that shows your friends EXACTLY what you've been viewing.You are going to need solid brothers to fight beside. Find a fellow man that you trust and share with each other your struggles, your falls & your victories. I cannot stress enough how important the sacrament of confession is. If you are a Catholic and you fall into sin through porn or masturbation it is vital for your healing that you seek a good and holy priest out that you can confess to. There is no sin that God cannot forgive.The only sin that God cannot forgive is the one that you will not ask forgiveness for. And don't priest hop, by this I mean go to a different priest each time so they're unaware of how often you fall. The Priest is not there to judge you, and he has heard it all before. Again this is not something I have discovered from a nice little Catholic book. I have experienced time and again that the Sacrament of confession not only frees us from our sin but it also brings healing.

Step 7: Know Your Battle Field
You know  where you are likely to fall into lust. For me it was late at night on the computer when everyone else was in bed. You must know you're battle field and act accordingly. Jesus said "If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out" What is Jesus saying? He's warning us not to pussy foot around with sin. Allow me to give you a modern day translation "If your computer causes you to sin, get rid of it!, if your Television causes you to sin, throw it away!" And yes it is that serious.

Step 8: Mastery Over The Eyes
Basically the eyes are the gate way to the soul and what you choose to let in will affect you for better or for worse. Let me give you an analogy: Imagine the temptation to lust as a sumo wrestler. If you get into the ring with him he is going to knock you flat on your back. So what do you do? You starve the sumo! You starve the eyes. This means making the choice to look away from the porn rack in the petrol station, not taking that second gawk and the cashier's cleavage as she bends over. Our minds are like sponges, and if you dip it into a cesspool of filth, or The pure (living) water of Christ it will affect how you reason and act.

Step 9: Do Not Become Scrupulous
An easy trap to fall into when breaking free from porn is to become scrupulous, constantly examining yourself to see if you sinned or not. I remember one teenage guy telling me recently that he just saw a beautiful woman, and he wondered if he was lusting or not. Let's get this straight. If you are a man and you are not attracted to a good looking woman, please don't make the mistake of thinking that you are pure! There is something wrong with you! Women are beautiful! Recognizing this is not lusting, it is in fact giving glory to her Creator. But after seeing this woman do you think about all of the things you could do to her sexually? There's a big difference.

Step 10: Do Not Despair
One thing I have come to understand is that Jesus Christ did not come to earth and die on a cross to kick us while we are down. He does not come to condemn but to raise up and save. The Lord humbles, the Devil humiliates. The Lord corrects, the Devil accuses. You are not the enemy of God, you are his beloved son (daughter) in whom he is well pleased, he sees all of you, even the parts your ashamed of and he loves you. This love is a cleansing love, it burns, breaks and liberates. God is more eager to rescue you from this sin than a mother, her child from a burning house. Healing is possible. Healing is possible. While we will never be free from temptation in this life please don't fall into the trap of thinking that all men masturbate and look at pornography. They don't. I don't. God delights in you. As a father is not satisfied with his son addicted to alcohol, God is not satisfied with your sin.

2 comments:

  1. You are such an inspiration! Keep fighting the good fight! Every new post brings someone closer to Christ and further from addiction!

    ReplyDelete
  2. XXX vids porn iphonepornvid movie. Free porn movie redtubemobile videos. High porn videos freegermansex porn.

    ReplyDelete