Today marks 3 years since I stopped looking at porn or masturbating. I am told that this is hard mode but I don’t understand how you could do it any other way. For me porn and masturbation are linked and you really cant have one with without the other. Furthermore I am not in a relationship so not only have I not masturbated I have not had sex.
How often has the devil told you that you cannot overcome this? I am living proof that you can go at least 3 years without porn, masturbation, or sex.
If you want to know my secret its simply obedience. Maybe you say “but I want to obey God and not look at porn and masturbate.” That’s not what I am talking about. What I mean is that we can not obey God in the area of porn and masturbation and disobey God in other areas. We have to obey God in every area of life or we will fail in this area of life. So often we go to God begging God to change us so we can give up porn and masturbation, while being unwilling to allow God to change any other area of our lives. This isn’t going to work.
When I was a kid the youth director at my church had a black belt. So me and all the other guys would ask him questions about fighting, and none of us could figure out why he would more or less blow us off. I mean we all saw the karate kid; it should take about a month to make us black belts.
So after I graduated high school I started taking karate. I was in it 7 years and never earned my black belt, but boy did I learn a lot. My last belt test was about 6 hours. To get to that point took a tremendous amount of changes in my life. I had to go to class at night, so I changed my schedule for karate. In my first class I was a white belt and a 6 year old gold belt told me to move because I was in his spot, even though he was 6 he had a higher position than me, so I had to be humble to take karate. After I learned something I had to go home and practice it, so I changed my home life for karate. I found out that the fizz in soda was carbon dioxide and that was bad for you so I gave up soda for karate.
The reality is that it takes about 45 minutes to explain to someone how to stand in the style of karate I took. No wonder my youth director blew us off. We were looking for an easy simple answer when there were only uncomfortable, and rather complicated answers. Personally I was asking him questions that I thought would take 30 seconds to answer, that would have probably taken him 3 or 4 hours to answer (yes there are a lot of details in karate).
The truth is that your porn addiction is connected to every aspect of your life and if you are unwilling to change the other aspects you are going to have very few victories and they are not going to last very long.
The very start of my no fap journey was reading Marcie Aikens biography and she had a quote in the book that said that “God made sex to bring to people closer together than anything else could”. It blew my mind. I had never heard anyone talk about sex unless they were talking about the physical aspect of sex. That one change did not stop me from looking at porn but it began the process of preparing me to stop.
My next step was fasting. There is a verse in the I Corinthians 7 that tells married couples that if they are not going to have sex that they should only do it for a time when they are fasting and praying. I looked at it and said well God I cant have sex right now because I am not married so I need to start fasting. And I found at that fasting helped immensely with temptation, and opened up my eyes to many of the temptations I allowed in my life that I needed to get rid of. Yes I get that this verse is talking to married couples, but I needed to apply this verse to my life and it helped.
I graduated from Bible college when I was 22 but I never got discipled while I was at Bible college and one of the greatest things to ever happen to me happened. I switched churches and started getting disciple by my new pastor. In 3 months I grew more as a Christian than 4 years of Bible college.
I began to get counseling from my new pastor about past wounds. The first wound was from my sister. She is 9 years older than me and when I was little she was physically abusive to me, and she has always been emotionally abusive to me. When my dad died when I was 11 she got much worse, and actually told my mom that with dad gone mom was not discipling me enough so my sister would discipline me too to make up the difference. Obviously mom didn’t allow that, but my sister still looked for ways to hurt me to make up for dad being gone. Dad wasn’t abusive, but dad being gone gave her an excuse to hurt me and she took it. My pastor helped me to begin the process of healing this wound.
Furthermore at the last church I was in I was neglected. I went to that church 28 years and never one time had a meal with any of my leaders. I was involved in 5 different ministries a week for 6 or 7 years. They were happy to have me work but they never once invested any time in my life. After I left that church I never once had a phone call or someone visit to see what was wrong. Nobody cared.
Two biggest indicators of an addictive personality are abuse and negligence. I had both, but thankfully my pastor during the discipleship process helped heal both those wounds, and ended the negligence.
This is all the stuff I did before I had any success at nofap. Honestly I needed to get this stuff straight before I could really begin my no fap journey. It took me about 4 months of discipleship before I took the must humbling step of my life, I told my pastor about my addiction, and he began the process of restoring me from it.
In honesty looking back now, when my pastor began the discipleship process that’s when the restoration process started. The porn and masturbation stopped when I told him about my addiction. The only reason why I stopped looking at porn and masturbating when I told my pastor about my addiction, is because he was already in the process of restoring me in other areas of my life when I told him of my addiction. Really for me it took 4 months of preparation to get to this point.
But being restored did not stop when I told my pastor about my addiction, the only thing that stopped were my relapses.
Because of abuse and neglect for all my teenage years, and all of my 20’s I still didn’t know how to deal with people, and learning how to be intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually intimate with people helped me to replace porn. Right before I started going to my new church I got a new job, and after about 6 or 7 months I had a time period of several months where I kept coming across people from my old life and I realized that I had burned a lot of bridges with those people in the past because of how I acted before my pastor took me under his wing. A part of my nofap journey was finding out how to have HEALTHY relationships and in many ways I started doing this after I stopped relapsing.
During this time period I really started figuring out how neglected I was. I finally figured out what discipleship is, I finally figured out how to have healthy relationships with people and I realized that at a scriptural level many of the people who had authority over me as a kid and in my own church were utterly disobedient to the word of God. I went to a Christian high school associated with the church I went to and none of the men at the school ever did a thing for me. One day I was at Walmart and saw my old high school principle and I felt so betrayed I just walked out because I felt that if he talked with me I was going to cuss him out. My pastor really helped me through much of the anger at the men in my life who could have made a difference but didn’t care.
During my first 110 days of nofap if I was tempted I fasted until I wasn’t tempted or could talk to my pastor about my temptation. At the time I felt like that was the giant step I was taking in overcoming my addiction, but truth be told the process of dealing with the wounds from abuse and neglect were the biggest parts of my nofap success. I could never have dealt with the temptation, if I did not have a healthy way to deal with the anger and hurt of the other problems.
I can remember day 110 pretty well because that’s when I decided that everything I was ever told about sex was a lie and I started studying the Bible to see what it said about sex and I was shocked to find how the Bibles main focus on sex was on knowing one another, instead of the physical.
After that God started showing me so much that was wrong with my heart. I was covetous, envious, I was full of fear, I was double minded, the world had been setting standards for relationships since I could watch tv, I was filled with pride.
As the Lord showed me these problems I began taking the Bible and dealing with them, in obedience. Its been three years and I just realized a couple of months ago how pride has still been trying to get me to go back to porn.
I haven’t looked at porn or masturbated in 3 years because I got a lot of other trash out of my life.
But at the same time God has replaced that trash with some wonderful things. I have some wonderful great relationships now that I could not dream of 4 years ago. God has shown me how this process is a manifestation of his grace. I used to think God was so mean for not taking away my desire to look at porn, but now I see how good God is to use porn to force me to get rid of all this other trash and to force me to heal in areas of abuse and neglect.
I used to think that it was awful that I wasn’t married because then I could have legal sex, but now I am very grateful to God for allowing me to deal with these problems before I got married. In all honesty the neglect I faced after my dad died would probably be a bigger deal than the porn addiction because my people skills were so bad. The awfulness of porn forced me to deal with that, and I am grateful.
Right now my biggest struggle is in the area of lack of fellowship. I am in a ministry that has me at a different church every week which can leave me isolated, but its what God has called me to do at this point in my life. I can see a huge difference in how my flesh tempts me when I can practice intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy, and when I cant. Its really fascinating and it confirms what the Lord has shown me.
And for those of you who are wondering. I still get nocturnal emissions, but I very rarely have dreams with them, and I rarely wake up anymore during the nocturnal emission. Nocturnal emissions still tend to make me much more horny the next couple of days, but due to the vast amount of changes that God has brought to my life in the last 3 years the temptation is very manageable. And no nocturnal emissions is not a failure. Masturbation is a simulation of the sexual response cycle, nocturnal emissions is not. So nocturnal emissions is not a failure.
If I can have success for 3 years, without porn, without masturbation, without sex so can you. But looking back my biggest successes were not the nofap stuff, that just helped me keep tract of days, my biggest successes were all the other areas of my life that needed to be brought in line to obey God.