[Editor’s Note: This guest post was graciously contributed by our new friend from Edinburgh, UK, Nick Franks. We left in all his strange UK spellings because it makes him seem more charming.]
I would hazard a guess that if you’re a bloke reading this post and you’ve just read the words “lessons about addiction” in the title, you likely read it to mean “lessons about porn.” Or when your church leader last jumped up at the end of the evening meeting to encourage any of guys who are “struggling with stuff” to come forward, it’s likely you’d be thinking that they were referring to porn.
And it’s 99% likely that you’re right. But addiction to pornography can be way more multi-facetted than this, even if your main struggle in life is in the area of lust and self-control.
Have you ever thought that perhaps your primary struggle with addiction isn’t actually with the porn at all? Here are three real-life lessons about addiction I’ve learned.
1) You Can Be Addicted to Laziness, So Look After Your Mind
One of the sure-fire ways of kicking temptation in the face is to get to bed at a great time. The classic Latin saying reminds us that mens sana incopore sano – “a healthy mind is linked to a healthy body” – so if your body is a wreck because of late night after late night, movie binge after movie binge, then you’re going to be in no fit state to resist the temptation to dysfunctional ways that make you miserable.
You’re an absolute sitting duck when it comes to temptation if you aren’t getting enough rest and quality sleep. You’re setting yourself up to fail, and you probably haven’t appreciated how stupid it is to resolve to move forwards in areas of purity and wholesome thought while you still stay up until 2:00 am playing PS4.
Similarly, don’t laze around in bed until half the day has gone. Drifting in and out of dozy laziness is the perfect condition for unhelpful thinking to send you rapidly to images that are not right to look at.
Resolve to set an alarm for both going to bed and getting out of bed!
2) You Can Be Addicted to Inactivity, So Look After Your Body
Do you realise the importance of your metabolic fitness and general muscular strength? But did you also know you can do something about that? Here’s another of our lessons about addiction:
Regular exercise, whether it’s lifting weights, cardio, or just some kind of physical activity, can have tremendous benefits in the area of addiction.
I’m not suggesting you become the next Tom Hardy with traps the size of a small mountain range, but I am suggesting you start disciplining yourself to have some kind of physical conditioning.
The bottom line is: the healthier you are physically the healthier you will be as a whole human being in your body, mind and in your spirit together as you battle against pornography.
3) You Can Be Addicted to Gluttony, So Look After Your Waistline
Looking after your sleep and physical conditioning is complimented beautifully in the battle against porn by looking after what you throw down your neck.
Do you eat a balanced diet or are you always succumbing to the McDonald’s or Domino’s fast food lifestyle?
Sugar and fat are two sure-fire ways of becoming flabby in your mind as well as flabby in your shorts, just as constantly eating for two people via massive portion sizes is also unhelpful.
Men’s health is 15% physical fitness and 85% nutrition. Therefore, you can be training perfectly but still be struggling because you’re fighting against yourself with poor nutrition.
Give yourself treat days when you can eat whatever the heck you want but don’t do that for more than one day in seven. Ensure that you have an intentional, well-researched nutritional plan that takes into account your weight, your height, your body shape, and the goals that you want to smash.
Gents, the bottom line is that if you are not winning the battles for your sleep, your exercise, and your nutrition, if you are addicted as much to laziness, inactivity, and gluttony as you are images of naked women, then you’re never going to take a step forward in the war against pornography.
But I believe you can choose today to address each of these three powerful pillars in the fight for holiness.
Go for it.
Learning to love as he should, Nick Franks is a blogger and songwriter based in Edinburgh UK, with an obsession for Jesus, the church, the Bible, prayer, and Liverpool Football Club. He is married to Mairi. You can read more from Nick at his blog, or follow him on Twitter or on Instagram.