Cure for Porn Addiction

Don't Move to Iceland

by Covenant Eyes (See all authors)

Perhaps you've heard the news. Iceland is gearing up to ban Internet pornography. It won't only be a crime, it would be straight-up impossible to look at porn with government filters in place. Soon, your first step to freedom could be to move to Iceland. I've priced tickets. Your flight will be less than $1000.

Here's the question, though: does banning something actually help?

Answer: no.

Rewriting Eden

Now, Iceland is considering this ban for entirely humanitarian reasons. They want to ban pornography because of the negative effects on women and children. Christians who struggle, though, could find a ban appealing for entirely different reasons. It would be nice to be in a "temptation-free" zone. It would be nice to not have to worry about having accountability partners or that humble prayer, "God, it's me again...sorry."

Unfortunately, too many of us attribute our struggles to external causes. We blame our struggles on the overuse of sex in advertising, the immodesty of people at the store, or the latest blockbuster replete with sex scenes. If everyone else in the world got with the purity program, we would be fine.

How many times have you tried to rewrite Eden? I know there have been times when I have said, "God, if I were You, I would have surrounded that tree with a barbed wire fence and zapped that snake."

Why would God put temptation smack in the middle of the Garden and make it "pleasing to the eyes" and desirable? At the very least He could have created a fruit that was ugly, difficult to chew, and stunk. If He had done that, then Adam and Eve wouldn't have had this problem, and then we wouldn't have this problem.

We do the same thing now. "God, if I were You, I would have given me a switch or something. Why would you put me smack in the middle of temptation and make it so beautiful? Why couldn't all the Christian movies be well-made and the romantic ones be cheesy?"

We are the problem

We want this life of freedom to be easy. We get frustrated with God when it is hard: if it wasn't so available; if society didn't accept it so freely; if it wasn't so mainstream; if God would intervene and just wipe out the Internet and set us back a couple millennia...then I would be fine.

Here's the problem: Temptation is not the problem. For that matter, pornography is not the problem.

Ban it all you would like. Restrict all access. But don't forget that sexual immorality was present in the Bible, and they didn't have Internet.

Is pornography a problem in society? Yes. Does pornography have damaging effects on individuals, women, children, and men alike? Yes. But pornography is not the problem-we are the problem.

As long as we try to externalize our struggle and blame it on everything else under the sun, we will never find true freedom. Filters, bans, and accountability all have their place. Like crutches to a broken leg, they support and make the process to healing much better, but they do not fix the leg.

Likewise for us, our struggles stem from our own Yetzer Hara. Does society have an influence in our struggle? Certainly. Does the ease of access of pornography make our struggle more difficult? Yes. Can bans and filters ease that difficulty? Certainly. But they do nothing to fix our problem.

Our problem can only be fixed by the mercy and redemptive power of Hashem. That power can only act when we acknowledge that we actually need it. It is in our nature to blame and to try and strong-will our way out of things. At the end of the day, though, our willpower can never get us freedom. In fact, our strong will usually ends up getting us in more trouble.

So, before you make plans to pack your bags and head to Iceland, do something else first: Acknowledge your responsibility in this struggle. Regardless of the temptations of the world around you, you are misusing the desires your Loving Father gave you. All the bans in the world won't bring the healing you need. Only He can do that, but only if you get out of the way and let Him.