Pornography leads to acts of sexual immorality and much more. The societies acceptance of pornography is hurting our children and generations of families.
Please stop watching pornography, you may not have a problem but you are supporting one of the biggest global industries. If you are struggling with sexual addiction or pornography addiction, you are not alone and help is available.
"Acts of Sexual Immorality causes Heaven to Cry"
MINISTRY OF RECOVERY BY GOD'S GRACE
An article was written in the March 3, 2014 Edition of the Western Catholic Report about the fellowship. Please read the article to gain a better understanding of who we are and where we come from.
Men's Group Struggles with Sex Addiction
by Chris Miller
Western Catholic Reporter - March 3, 2014 Edition
Article in Western Catholic Reporter
Why did Jesus have to be tempted in the 1st place? Some biblical commentary talk about 2 stages of Jesus’s temptation. The 1st stage or 1st attack likely occurred during the initial 2/3 or longer of the 40 days. There are no details in scripture regarding this attack on Jesus, but the evidence of the attack is implied by the Gospel account of Mark, Luke and Matthew. The 2nd stage or 2nd attack was the final three temptations of satan: 1) Satan asks Jesus to “Turn stone into bread”; 2) then to “Throw yourself off the high wall”; and 3) finally, Satan “Offered the whole world if worship satan.”
Why is this important? Well, it would have been easy to overcome these temptations in the preliminary stage of the 40 days. In the addiction world, we utilize an acronym call HALT which stands for Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and Tired representing our greatest vulnerability to our temptations. Jesus near the end of the 40 days and nights would have been experiencing HALT, an extremely vulnerable point for any human being. It is at this point when Satan pulls out the heavy artillery.
What is Temptation? Temptation is the seduction away from our love of God. Jesus was driven by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness. The key word is driven. Jesus performed an act of obedience to God - it was God’s will for him to go into the wilderness to be tempted. Why? Because at the moment of temptation, Satan is using all his power to draw us away from God; seducing us with pleasures, possessions, power. When we resist Satan, we are telling God how much we love him. Jesus had to show his love for the Father.
So every-time, I give into temptation, I am telling God that I don’t care about Him; I only care about what is important to me. As we see our children disobeying us as parents, that pain we feel as a result of the disrespect and lack of trust (faith). My Heavenly Father would feel the same pain when I disrespect and disobey Him.
I would like to change gears for a second and talk to you about a friend of mine. When he went eight years old, he saw his father shooting a target with a hand gun. It was an air pistol and he just wanted to hold it but his dad wouldn’t let him. One day, he was left alone in the house. His dad was outside doing yard work. He chose to look for the hand gun to hold it. He knew it was in his parent’s bedroom so, he went in looking through his dad’s dresser drawers. He came across the hand gun but when he reached to pick up the gun, it was sitting on a stack of magazines. On the magazine was a picture of a naked lady. He was intrigued and curious picking up the magazines. Unbeknownst to him, it wasn’t the hand gun in his hand that was the most dangerous; it was the magazines. He put the hand gun back and started flipping through the magazines.
Our understanding of the brain and its relationship to hormones has made some dramatic leaps over the past 10 years. What we now understand through findings in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is that there is a strong relationship between certain hormones released in our body and memory of events. Of the important hormones is stress hormones such adrenaline, oxytocin, dopamine that is elevated during times of stress to assist with the fight or flight response (survival).
Now back to my friend, imagine if you will, an 8 year old boy sitting on his parents’ bed looking at pornographic magazines. Even at 8 years old, the holy spirit is saying to him. This is wrong. So, this boy is acutely aware of his senses, he is trying to hear when his dad comes back into the house; fight and flight responses have been activated. These stress hormones are flowing through his brain resulting in the images being etched into his memory. What is important to understand is that the addiction isn’t necessarily related to the images but the hormones flowing through the brain. The chance of being caught, pushing the limit of the activity to the point of someone walking into the room and catching you.
That friend is me and those images that I saw over 30 years ago are fixed as fresh today as they were at 8 years old. I remember every detail of the images and even the story lines. That was the beginning of a journey that was out of my control, and it wasn’t until I came to terms with the substantial loss of control that I submitted all control over to God. It is only through God that I am in a position to combat temptation. The moment that I relinquish control from God is the moment that I start to stumble and fall.
A major issue today is that pornography is literally in the palm of our hands. If you own a smart phone, you are given access to pornography on your phone. Pornography is a billion dollar industry. It is accepted as normal for the most part by secular society. It is attacking us at the core of our community; the home. It is not only men but women are also affected by pornography and temptation of lust; less common but still a major problem.
There are a number of misconceptions and myths about pornography. One myth is "I look at pornography once in a while but I don’t have a problem. Who am I hurting?" Well, if you're married, you're hurting your spouse with acts of betrayal. You are choosing pornography over your spouse. Your spouse cannot compete against pornography. Images of perfect flawless women often airbrushed to perfection by software programs. There are even some magazines that use computer generated women; these women aren’t even real in some cases. Secondly, you are supporting a billion dollar industry that is known for human trafficking and prostitution. Even if you only use free sites, pornography isn’t free. There was a person at the other end of the camera at some point. They may not have been in place voluntarily, you don’t know.
A second myth is our understanding of the life of a pornography star. Pornography stars have the highest incidence of drug addiction and suicide. What is perceived on the images and videos isn’t real life. These are beings who have been traumatized as children and victimized as adults.
Another reality is that according to our Lord, you're more likely to commit adultery with the thoughts and fantasies of sex with another person besides your spouse. In other words, you are putting your very soul in jeopardy. Is that selfish act worth jeopardizing eternal life with God?
What is the big deal? It is considered as normal in society. Well, if it is accepted as normal in society then it should be okay to go over to your neighbour's house peer into their bedroom window and watch them having sex. There was nothing normal about sitting with a computer masturbating to pornographic videos and images while your spouse is sleeping in bed.
What can you do about it? If you are a man or woman struggling with looking at pornography, maybe you don’t struggle but you do look at pornography periodically, I hope that I have convinced you to stopping at this point. If you can’t STOP, please get help. You cannot stop this on your own. Trust me I tried for over 20 years. Talk to your priest, this is a universal sin confessed to your priest. Your priest or pastor isn’t going to be shocked or have a sudden heart attack by your confession. Talk to your spouse, the admission of a problem has a much better outcome for your relationship as opposed to being told you have a problem repetitively by your spouse. Give our group a call, you are not alone. For men, simply muster up enough courage to come to one of our meetings. For women, there are some groups that you could consider. I am very sorry but our group is only for men. But it is easy to start a group, you only need 2 people and I would be more than happy to make a contribution to the process. But in the meantime, there is Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), Sexaholics (SA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) and Co-dependents of Sex Addicts (COSA).
If you have pornographic material around your home or on your computer, I would recommend doing away with it; don't leave it out in the trash for someone to find but burn it. If you don’t have a problem with this action of purging your junk should be easy. If you have problems, this will be very hard action to complete. Remember, it only took 1 image for me to become hooked on sexually explicit material. What about your children or grandchildren? Do you wish to risk their soul because of your selfish needs? Remember it only took 1 image!
Reflecting back to Jesus’s temptation, what did He use as a weapon against satan? He used scripture. He quoted scripture.
In the support group, we are encouraged to memorize scripture and prayer for use in combat against temptation. Not only for temptation but to help purge our minds of the endless images of pornographic material etched into our brains over the many years for some of us.
So, you're reading this and your thinking to yourself, I don’t have a problem with this form of temptation, what am I supposed to do? Based upon the enormity of the statistical problem on internet pornography, you most definitely know someone who looks at pornography. That someone maybe a family member (brother, sister, parents, cousins), a friend or a co worker. You need to confront them with the problem. You may think you don’t have a problem, but by knowing someone who has a problem, you are part of the problem! You are required to tell them to stop. I would suggest directing them to our group website and educate them on the myths of pornography. The harm to their relationships and to themself. More importantly, if you have children, for the safety of your child’s soul, you need to tell them to stop in order to protect your children. Remember, it only took 1 image. An image that may be seen at another location; a friend’s or family members’ home.
For the spouses, I am sorry, if you are conscious of your spouses use of pornography, it hurts. You feel betrayed and no matter how you approach your spouse, it is downplayed and regarded as normal. What do you do? I would suggest going to talk to someone such as your priest, a psychologist or a counsellor. Give our group a call for additional direction as there are groups of men and women with similar issues. These groups are COSA and S-ANON. You may need to take a stand as hard as this will be. In other words, you may have to threaten separation from the relationship for your health and the health of your children. But, you must follow through with the threat. It is usually at the moment of crisis that the addict will come to a realization of the depth of the problem; the selfishness of their behaviors. It is often at that point when recovery and reconciliation can begin. The separation may only be temporary but might be the needed trigger and healing of your relationship.
In conclusion, there are many forms of temptation but today lust seems to be the most powerful and damaging temptation attacking our community at the home level. It is destroying families and causing futures generational problems with pornography and sexual addiction. I hope you will appreciate your role in this problem and your willingness to take action.