(This post is months old and continues to get read through "google searches". If you are looking for a way to permanently break an addiction to pornography, you have come to the right place. Today, all the books on this topic, that I'm aware of, tell you to stop doing pornography by either humiliating you or telling you aren't trying hard enough. This post is part of a series. It shows the key to stopping undesirable behavior is to do the opposite of the undesirable behavior. It turns out the opposite of pornography is Biblical masculinity. However, today most churches are teaching worldly masculinity...and worldly masculinity actually encourages masturbating with pornography. We have helped men permanently break an addiction to pornography. If you are interested in more information or one of our people giving a presentation, please e-mail me through the profile section on this blog.)
Among men, pornography is the fastest growing addiction today...WHY? Let's put the last three posts together...
Wednesday's Post: Pornography is the undesirable behavior of giving of one's self to an image.
Tuesday's Post: The way to stop undesirable behavior is get God's help to DO the OPPOSITE
Monday's Post: OUGHT involves solving the problem by DOING the OPPOSITE. IS involves focusing on stopping the APPEARANCE of bad behavior.
Sounds like the key to achieving OUGHT is to find out the OPPOSITE of pornography.
Again, the strategy of focusing on STOPPING a pornography addiction follows the IS strategy...accountability partners, APPEARANCE, lack of UNDERSTANDING, lack of RESPONSIBILITY for solving the problem.
For example, over fifteen years ago I learned how to deal with lusting after women. The answer was NOT to stop looking...how can you NOT look at a woman while you are driving or walking? This is an attempt to stop doing something by stop doing it. You have to do the OPPOSITE. I learned to look away and look back in 10 minutes...this is something I can do! The issue is NOT the first look...it is the second look. The purpose of the second look is to get one's imagination going...which Jesus declared as adultery if the person is imagining intercourse with the woman.
When I tell this to men, they'll say that after 10 minutes the woman is probably gone. I agree AND I ask them the next time they look away, wait 10 minutes and ask themselves what did they miss by looking away. They answer nothing...but at the time it APPEARED to be the most important thing in the world. Then I ask them how they felt when they looked away for 10 minutes. The answer basically sounds like this: "Different/Good because I didn't have to deal with the guilt I usually have when I look again." Even if the woman is still in sight after 10 minutes, the individual's decision to look again now comes with UNDERSTANDING of the purpose of looking again and 10 minutes of not feeling guilty that they are choosing to give up. Also, when the man looks away, he tends to notice how ridiculous other men look as they stare at the woman.
The same technique could be used with pornography that is put in front of you against your will...however, people addicted to pornography choose to view it...
What is your definition of "masculinity"?
Take a moment and define this term...write it down. IF you continue reading without defining this term, you are LUKEWARM.
Most people define "masculinity" with words that accentuate the Physical...manliness, strong, powerful, toughness, wild, warrior, fighter, courage, virility, dominance - able to impose his will to the point that there is no risk...
In "Wild at Heart", John Eldredge says Adam was created outside the Garden so God intended men to exist in the wilderness. He further states that every man is born "Wild at Heart" (wild, uncontrolled, brash, and wreckless) and there is something wrong if they are not.
In fact, this has led to a belief among "Christian leaders" that God wants men and boys to be "warriors". This is not supported by the Bible and comes from man-made tradition. In fact, it contradicts Jesus life. The ONLY time Jesus got physical was after He thought for a day and it was against inanimate objects. Everything Jesus taught was focused on us being LEADERS with His definition being "a servant"...not a BOSS or warrior.
Whether we like it or not, John Eldredge states the way it IS...masculinity today IS defined in this Physical manner. Was this always the definition of "masculinity"?
Actually, this definition of "masculinity" was created during the Industrial Revolution. Before the Industrial Revolution, home and work were in the same location. This is obvious with a farm, but even the downtown stores were both...the front was the family business and the back (or upstairs) of the building was the home. Before the Industrial Revolution men AND women worked...men AND women raised the kids. It was only once home and work were divided that "men worked" and "women stayed at home to raise the kids". At that point, men were encouraged to be "wild at heart" in order to compete in the pyramidal scheme known as "corporate" America.
It may interest you to know that ALL the parenting books written BEFORE the Industrial Revolution were to the FATHER. Look at the statistics for single fathers vs. single mothers. Kids are MUCH WORSE off if they are raised by a single mother than a single father. It would seem the quickest way to ruin society is for the FATHERS to be removed from the home AND encouraged to act like an animal.
The definition for "masculinity" BEFORE the Industrial Revolution was "the ability to put the interests of others above your own".
Think about it...this is BRUTAL...it would take a REALLY TOUGH person to put their spouse and kids' interests ahead of their own.
How many men fit this definition of "masculinity"?
Look at the "masculine" men of the Bible again with this definition...
God (OUGHT) made men to put the interests of others ahead of their own...that is when they can truly be called "masculine". This is the same as the definition of LOVE!
John Eldredge is not the only person who teaches IS masculinity...the world glorifies it...and most of the churches reinforce it. Listen to ANY sermon on "being a man"...ask your pastor/teacher their definition of "masculinity"...this is not just John Eldredge.
One of the things John Eldredge nails in "Wild at Heart" is males have this need to thrillseek...jumping out of planes, riding motorcycles, going to war, hunting, rockclimbing, gambling, racing, etc...all of these things tend to be activities men seek in order to fulfill their need to experience a thrill. God clearly made males to experience a thrill. What is the greatest thrill a man can experience?
The IS "masculinity" people constantly use movies to illustrate their points. Usually it is "Braveheart", "Gladiator", or "Lord of the Rings"...all of them involve an adventure, a battle, and saving a beauty as a passage into "masculinity". What was the greatest thrill in "Lord of the Rings"?
If you saw the trilogy, it was over ten hours of battles with people, spirits, forces of nature, animals, and people/animals...by the end of the last movie, it seems they had faced EVERY thrill a man could face. However, once all the "thrills" were over, the four hobbits are back in the shire having pints of ale. It is THEN that we see the greatest thrill a man can experience. Sam decides he is going to share the deep feelings he has always had for a woman who works at the pub...with THAT woman! As Sam gets up, his buddies (who have been on the GREATEST THRILL ADVENTURE KNOWN TO MAN) look at each other cringing. They have battled "EVERYTHING"...and THEY consider taking an emotional risk with a woman as SCARY!
An emotional risk is when a person shares something personal about themselves that they think will cause someone else to think less of them. This is contrastive. In the example above, Sam shares his feelings with this woman knowing she could be repulsed and completely reject him. This sharing is Fellowship. This vulnerable act is COMPLETELY the opposite of what society tells us is masculine! Only telling someone information that makes you look good is comparative...and isn't thrilling.
God made men to experience their greatest thrill in life when they take an emotional risk with a woman.
THE OPPOSITE OF PORNOGRAPHY
Our culture has turned masculinity into being an animal and thinking about yourself, especially sexually. Pornography is the ultimate example of IS masculinity: an act that ONLY benefits the man AND requires NO emotional risk.
The OPPOSITE of pornography is to take an emotional risk with a woman!
I have helped a handful of men eliminate their addiction to pornography by encouraging them to take an emotional risk with a woman.
All of them have told me that taking an emotional risk with a woman has been the toughest thing they have ever done and the most rewarding. All of them have said they needed to trust God in order to do it! All of them have describe the experience using a typical thrill example..."It felt like jumping out of a plane...without a parachute!"..."I felt like I had jumped off a cliff!"
NONE of these men WANT to look at pornography. They are trying to be "masculine". However, EVERY message they get (both inside and outside the church) makes pornography synonymous with masculinity. They are NEVER told WHY pornography is bad...because it is sin? WHY is it sin? What is the SOLUTION? These questions are NOT being answered and pornography continues to become more mainstream and a greater part of the fabric of society. In my area of the state, a woman who teaches a young adults group at her church told a story at a recent party about her and her boyfriend watching pornographic videos together. To this younger generation, we look legalistic if we can't give a bottom rung, non-contradictory explanation of WHY pornography is unprofitable.
Once they UNDERSTAND masculinity (OUGHT) and what to DO, they are relieved! There is something to accomplish...NOT avoid. It makes sense...all they were looking for was a non-contradictory answer that the church couldn't provide.
No "accountability" partners...no appealing to their "mental toughness" to stop undesirable behavior...just solving the problem with OUGHT.
Our culture has soft-sold OUGHT masculinity and tricked males into accepting the responsibility...and the EFFECT is we are raising generations of people who increasingly can't function in society...their fathers are ACTUALLY encouraged by the church and society to act like animals and be about their own interests outside the home.
The REASON pornography is unprofitable for ALL OF US is that we are depriving society of OUGHT masculinity...people who are created to be about the best interests of others and raise the next generation...
...and the church keeps preaching/teaching IS.
The background portion of this discussion can now deal with a concept we face everyday: Beauty vs. Attraction.