I’ll never forget the first time I was introduced to pornography. I was a thirteen year old eighth grader sitting in the school cafeteria early in the morning before school. Like any thirteen year old kid, I was trying to finish up my homework from the night before with some friends. The conversation went from homework to video games to movies quickly. One particular boy started describing this video he looked up last night on the computer. He began describing the scene for us in detail about the woman that he was introduced to that evening. You talk about a “mind blowing” experience. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Of course this sparked my interest, but that interest faded as the school bell rang to begin class. I didn’t think about the conversation until the following day when another friend in my class began describing the naked woman he saw online. I was so confused with the two conversations that went on that week. By this time, I still had never heard of the word porn or pornography, and definitely didn’t know what it meant.
I grew up in a good Christian home. Both my parents were active in the church from serving to teaching to volunteering anytime there was an opportunity. I knew that this topic of porn was not right, but it felt so good. I explored and fell into the trap that forever changed my mind. What became a once a week fulfillment quickly turned into a daily activity. By the time I was in high school I was a porn addict. I thought I was the only guy facing this. Sex was never mentioned from the pulpit or in a classroom setting. I certainly never heard the term “porn addiction” until it was already too late.
Fast forward seven years and I’m believing the lie that porn will disappear after I get married. The temptations were less and the activities were less frequent, but it never went away. By this time I had already began my full-time ministry position as a young pastor with a big vision to do something great for God. Surely the call of God would make this addiction go away.
I searched constantly for help. I went to counseling, prayer meetings, revival services, and emailed bloggers, but nothing was working. It was all about working harder and searching more for what seemed to be an impossible cure. Now as a father of four beautiful children I had embraced the lie that this is who I am. There is no cure to this sickness!
One night after I succumbed to my addiction, I was just fed up with this life. I searched for help and found this ministry online called Restored Warriors. I immediately sent out an SOS email to whomever would respond. The following morning I received an email back from Daniel, the Resorted Warriors founder and director. His interest in me and my pain was real. We set up a time to talk and he explained this ministry that God had just recently given him. I quickly joined a men’s group and began this journey to victory. I was introduced to Covenant Eyes and found that this program will help with my accountability. Covenant Eyes has been an incredible tool for my wife and I. It has allowed me to be more open and honest than ever before.
I’ve taken a year off from the pastor role to work on this area of my life and I can honestly say that I have begun to see some incredible changes. I’m currently in communication with my Restored Warriors brothers and my marriage has been incredible. I can’t praise God enough for the victory that He was promised me through His salvation and love. Dr Ted Roberts said, “If you could see victory over porn by yourself, wouldn’t you have already accomplished this.”
God has changed my thinking and has renewed my identity in Him. I’ve realized that I can’t do this alone. Since I’ve started this men’s program with Restored Warriors and have added Covenant Eyes to me devices, I have experienced 6 months of sobriety and still continue to see God remolding my mind and vision for my life, my family, and my ministry.