A believer struggling with pornography demonstrates that he or she can’t handle open access. The desires of their flesh are too strong and their self-control too weak. We take away their freedom to open access to protect them from themselves.
A young man or woman comes to you, admitting their struggle with pornography. Let’s say this person professes to be a believer—someone who is born-again (John 3:3-8) and has the Holy Spirit dwelling in them (Rom. 8:9-11).
A common strategy in fighting against pornography is restricting access. Let me make two contentions:
- If there are no restrictions on their internet, this believer’s open access points need to be shut down and eliminated. Unencumbered open access is dangerous for their soul.
- Maybe he has already narrowed his access. That’s a good step in fighting this problem. But often I encounter believers who are still He confesses that he’s looked at nude pictures on Instagram, or he’s watched an inappropriate video on Youtube. If he’s accessed porn that means he’s got access to pornography somewhere in his life. In this case, he should re-examine if he is being radical enough in his fight against sexual sin. Sin dulls our spiritual senses and makes us do foolish things. Has he grown lazy in maintaining his firewall? Are there cracks in his firewall? Is he taking drastic steps in cutting off his sin?
Contention #1: Open Access Needs to Be Eliminated
Unfettered access to the internet is dangerous for any struggler’s soul. In a weak moment, when there is access, he or she will look at pornography. If they confess to me, I aggressively pursue cutting off their access. It’s healthy and wise to set up roadblocks to unmonitored and unfiltered access.
A believer struggling with pornography demonstrates that he or she can’t handle open access. The desires of their flesh are too strong and their self-control too weak. We take away their freedom to open access to protect them from themselves. But we do it with these three caveats in mind:
- Pride makes them think, “I can handle this.” They are wrong.
- Our over-arching goal is greater maturity in Christ (Col. 1:27-28). With more spiritual maturity, the fruits of the Spirit, like self-discipline, will grow.
Greater maturity in Christ = Greater self-discipline
- Restricting access ALONE is not an adequate strategy. Believers can cut off access to porn, but they still wrestle with fleshly desires, raging inside their hearts. At best, when you restrict access, you put a fortified wall around a sin-crazed heart. That leaves us to pursue the deeper matters of the heart in later conversations.