Stop Porn. Start Creating.

When I was 11, my mind was first exposed to the toxicity of pornography. My young mind was easily impressionable and continues to fight off the challenges that began that year. Outside of the obvious perversion, there was something else that continued to lead me down the path of self-destruction. The reality of how the enemy has come to kill, steal and destroy has been most apparent in my life through the ever-changing waves of chaos connected to watching porn.

Reflecting back, my heart wasn’t ever prepared to see what I have seen. It wasn’t for another 3 years that I officially surrendered my heart to the Lord. Within those three years, I had already dismantled the original wiring of my mind. The twisting of my mind to recognize women as sexual exploits has really challenged the deepest parts of my soul. Evidently, the grips of death have awakened my whole being to needing Jesus.

I hate pornography.

Everything about it demoralizes both men and women, ruins intimacy, kills romance, murders relationships and most importantly defaces the value of the cross. Jesus died for so much more than allowing a selfish habit to take over every single part of our being. He isn’t in it for us to seek glory. He did not pull us out of the grave to watch us to dig another one. No, He came,“…that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

What then is fullest life? It is paradoxically simple and complex, this life with God. 

    Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24

There is something to be said about desiring to be a man so caught up in Jesus that he chases nothing else. When I was in the 8th grade, I gave up my life to the Lord. It was a radical encounter that I will never forget! Following a week of service projects all throughout Cincinnati, Ohio, I found myself face down before the King of Glory. There were tears, there was prayer, there was repentance, there was confession, there was the voice of the Lord, there was change. Jesus grabbed a hold of my life in that moment and marked me as His own. God told me I was going to sing for Him, and that was that, no questions asked. Until I came face to face with the computer screen again. I was 3 years into a relationship with pornography that was helping me cope with my parents divorce, puberty, poverty, and understanding myself. The stimulation took me to a place where I could have control and forget about everything else for a while. Why would I want to give that up? Why would I want to stop doing something that feels so good?

It took me a handful of years to recognize it as a problem. My parents raised me in a household versed in recovery. Not so much heavily discussed, but heavily practiced. And yet, denial had me gripping false hope through plastered images, that 13 years later, still have mental residue. I don’t blame my parents. They raised my sisters and me to be who we are called to be. I couldn’t be more thankful for how I was raised. There was pain I constantly ignored, and never brought them into, and I thought only porn could fix.

After going through the cycles of trying to fight my way out to the point of insanity, reality set in. “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2. My mind was deceived. And it needed some fixing. And is it any wonder? “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12. For 13 years, my reality was that I couldn’t change my actions. I tried and I tried and I tried and I tried and I tried. Then I stopped. I saw that I was conforming to the pattern of this world. My mind was the problem. 

This is the part where actively living a life with God comes in. Our life is for Him, by Him, through Him and with Him. There is nothing we can do on our own. The revelation of my need to change was because He loves me. My heart to change is because He loves me. My ability to change is all Jesus. I am nothing without Christ the King. There is no excuse to just stand by and watch your life. Scripture says, “Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. It's an active relationship with God that brings about full transformation through the process of sanctification.

There is an opportunity to turn from your selfish heart. Jesus will reveal the nature of that need to You. He is faithful and will help walk you through the process. But, it takes work. It is not an easy task. And it is not overnight. 13 years later, Jesus has helped me put an end to the cycles of pornography in my life. In the words of Brock Human of United Pursuit “I’ve made up my mind, I’m never going back, I’m never going back.” 

There was so much time I wasted investing in a hopeless perversion of my actual desire to be with God. Pornography is strictly a false idol that does nothing but steal breath and worship away from a loving Father. And so, I began to do art. I began actively participating in being a creative being as the Lord invites us to be in the garden of Eden. We are created to create because we were made in the image of the Creator. Creation is not a lesser task of the church. It acts as a bridge to connect your whole being to the God of the universe. It helps one’s heart, mind and soul understand each facet better. It helps us process what exactly is going on. “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18. Use your body for what it was made for. Don’t sin against your Maker. Don’t sin against yourself. Stop porn and start creating.