I must admit that addressing this topic has been very challenging.  While I have a very clear understanding of the role that control plays in my addiction, it was more difficult for me to connect with it’s specific role when I watch porn.  However, after much introspection and conversation with friends I can now make a more direct connection.  I am very grateful to the XXX Church for assigning me this topic and for the journey that followed as a result.  

On the surface, the relationship between control and watching porn is very easy:  I control what, when and where I act out.  I pick the fantasy.  I can hop to one scene or another and best of all, I face no risk of rejection.  I am in total control!!  But so what……I’m also in total control if I jump behind the wheel of a car and drive head first into a brick wall.  I’m may be in control but at what cost?  I kidded myself for a long time thinking that I wasn’t hurting myself or those around me when I watched porn, but boy was I wrong.  As I dug deeper, I had to ask myself what I was really trying to control when I watched porn?  And what damage was I doing to myself, my loved ones and my relationship with God?  

So what am I really trying to control?  In speaking with a good friend in recovery, we agreed that we are not only trying to control the situation, but we are also trying to control how the need will be met.  Keep in mind that sex is not bad.  In fact God has made us sexual beings and has given us ways for our sexual needs to be met.  However I often foolishly default to “my way is better than God’s way” and substitute a surrogate pleasure (porn) for this need to be met.  But the real need is not sex, it is intimacy.  Somewhere along the way I told myself what I consider to be “the great lie:  that sex = intimacy.”  This one false belief has led me down many a lonesome and troubling paths.

So let’s look at the second question above and how is my relationship with God is affected.  When I try to exert control over my life rather than trusting God, am I not really worshiping a false idol?  I’m really saying, “this thing that I’m worshiping (porn) will solve all of my problems?  Watching porn, medicating my feelings and controlling my environment is much better than turning to God and asking for his guidance?!”  Seeing it in writing really points out how crazy this thinking is.  Keep in mind that the bible is very clear on worshiping false idols.  In Colossians 3:5 Paul defines idolatry as “sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed” and we also know that the first commandment prohibits Idolatry: “You shall have no other gods before me.”  I’ve always thought of false idols as simply the “golden calf”. But when I expand my thinking it encompasses anything I worship:  Money, power, prestige, career………and yes porn.  So one of the major consequences of watching porn and therefore worshiping false gods is the pain and dysfunction that consequently poisons my life and my relationships, including with God.  Sadly, one lesson I just can’t seem to master is that placing my trust in God is always a better solution than trusting my own devices.  

So to summarize, it is merely an illusion to think that porn makes me feel all-powerful/like I’m in control.  The reality is that I am far from in control of what is important: realizing intimate relationships with my loved ones and with God.  Choosing porn takes me farther away from reality.  Choosing healthy intimate interactions with my loved ones brings me closer to God.  

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