The Vicious Cycle Of Pornography

Neal Pollard

Dr. Les Parrott III, in the book Helping the Struggling Adolescent, discusses the four-step cycle of pornography addiction. It is (1) preoccupation (with thoughts and a search for sexual material), (2) ritualization (the specific, immoral routine), (3) compulsive sexual behavior (the culminating act), and (4) despair (utter hopelessness or powerless about one’s behavior).  It is not just adolescents, but also teenagers, young adults, and the middle-aged who are caught in this vicious cycle.

Sin is described as a powerful, but deadly, attraction (Js. 1:13-15). It is described as an entanglement that can overcome one (2 Pet. 2:20).  Sin is destructive, though it promises life and pleasure (cf. Ecc. 9:18; 2 Pt. 2:19).  Pornography is one of the devil’s sharpest tools, slashing and cutting hearts, lives, marriages, families, and other relationships.  It destroys trust, can actually hurt natural, healthy desires, desensitizes the user, and alters how the user views other people.  Many experts say it leads some to act out on desires kindled by feeding the addiction.

The thing about Parrott’s observation is that the hunger so deeply felt by one addicted to pornography is ultimately followed by the acidic reflux of remorse.  However, the pain of remorse is forgotten the next time the hunger pangs are felt.  Each gluttonous indulgence in dark desires risks internal and external trouble like that already mentioned.

Like any other addiction, to food, tobacco, alcohol, drugs, etc., success comes in breaking the cycle.  That means changing habits, retraining thinking, removing temptation, and clinging more closely to one’s relationship with God.  He will help those who humbly and honestly come to Him for help.  Anyone who has struggled with an addiction knows that the low that follows quenching it is lower than the euphoria that precedes it or occurs during it.  Sin simply cannot fulfill.  It can deceive, but it hollows out and leaves a wake of harm and destruction.  True satisfaction is built only by channeling our hunger and thirst for that which is righteous (Mat. 5:6).  If you are struggling with this (or any) addiction, break the cycle!

One thought on “The Vicious Cycle Of Pornography

  1. Excellent article! Sadly, we are in an epidemic and few recognize it for what it really is “a killer of mind, body, soul, spirit, family, church, and community”. It’s worse than booze, more addictive than, cocaine or crack, more accepted than human life, and promoted by every facet of society. Pornography is the modern equivalent of the Roman orgies of old. As a society we have a long way to go before we are rid of this vile and stench-filled practice. Our society has so embraced the lies promised by porn that it now has a twisted gray area “love affair” with it that currently is insatiable. For those under it’s sway it keeps marriages in distress, it causes a loss of character, love, kindness, and most importantly falsifies holiness. As members of Christ’s church I pray we do not ignore this plague but instead reach out in love and help restore dignity and respect to brothers or sisters that are caught up in this. To those outside of the body I hope we realize the opportunity that is before us to help minister to the hurting and bring them out of the world and into a holy relationship with their Savior.

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