The #1 Reason Why You Still Watch Porn

If you struggle with sexual purity in any way, watching movies or TV shows with sex scenes or nudity will not help you be more pure.

There was an internal dialogue that went on inside my head for the 10-plus years I struggled with pornography. The conversation went something like this: “That was the last time I’m ever going to watch that. I’m never doing that again.” The conviction I felt was real. The guilt and remorse I had was authentic. I was serious … until the next time I watched it or clicked it.

Between the secret stumbles I had with pornography, my wife and I had conversations about movies and TV shows. There were several times she asked if watching a movie with a sex scene or “brief” nudity was the wisest thing to do. I’d apologize after we walked out of the movie theater, or  I’d fast forward through that scene in the DVD I convinced her to watch.

Eight years removed from confessing my addiction to porn, I’ve realized that the biggest lies I told weren’t to my wife … they were to myself.

I convinced myself that there wasn’t a connection between the TV shows and movies I watched in public and the struggle I had with lust and porn in private. I justified my willingness to compromise sexual purity with a variety of excuses.

Every week, I talk to men that struggle with porn. Some email from our blog. Others attend my church, know our story and seek me out for help.

Some have been busted by their wives, and she’s made them email me. Others are tired of feeling guilt and shame and need to confess to someone. Sometimes, a guy isn’t even meeting with me because of pornography. They’re having problems in their marriage or in the area of sexual intimacy in their marriage, and I’ll ask if they struggle with porn. Their head drops as embarrassment overcomes them, and they usually softly say, “Yes.”

When someone tells me that they’ve been hiding a secret struggle of pornography, I usually follow up with one question. “Tell me about the last few movies you’ve watched in public. What is the last movie you went to with your wife or with your buddies? What are the last three movies you’ve watched on Netflix?”

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Ninety percent of the time, the movies they tell me they’ve watched with friends or with their wives in public contain sexual content, sensuality or nudity.

Here is what I know:

Voluntarily exposing your heart and mind to sexual content will never help you resist sexual sin.

If you struggle with sexual purity in any way … pornography, lust, masturbation, premarital sex … watching movies or TV shows with sex scenes or nudity will not help you be more pure.

Our biggest problem is the lies that we tell ourselves:

It’s not that big of a deal.

It’s just one sex scene.

It’s just a little nudity.

It won’t affect me beyond this moment.

Maybe the reason you still watch porn in private is a direct result of the movies and TV shows you’re willing to watch in public.

Please hear my heart … this post isn’t an indictment on movies or television. I’m not suggesting that in order to please God or be pure or be a Christian you can’t watch TV or never go to the movies. This is a plea to see the connection between what we allow in our heart and our ability to resist sexual temptation.

Maybe the first step to freedom doesn’t start with an Internet filter or accountability partner.

Maybe the power you’re looking for to resist sexual temptation begins with a decision to raise your standard of sexual purity.

Big changes usually start with small decisions.

Your willingness to evaluate the movies you watch in public could drastically help you resist sexual sin in private.

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Justin & Trisha Davis
Justin and Trisha Davis returned to ministry in 2009 following a four year journey of restoration. They use their story of pain, loss and redemption to bring hope and healing to couples all over the country.
  • Charlie

    Really good article and important point thank you. We need to not accept sexual sin of any kind whether it is on TV or anywhere else, but there is so much tolerance for it we get used to it and don’t realize what it is doing to us.

  • Providential Pathways Ministry

    Simply not watching is like putting a band aid on a bullet wound. Porn addiction is just an outward sign of a much more extensive internal damage. A “bullet” hole may be small; but the internal damage caused by the impact and wound channel is what can really cause ones death. Likewise, an outward physical addiction is just a sign that someone has suffered an “internal” trauma of some type.

    Any addiction (including porn) is just a “symptom” of a much larger issue. To really overcome addiction the underlying cause needs to be addressed. In all the years I have met and ministered to people with addictions, there has not be ONE who hadn’t suffered some type of emotional wounds prior to the addiction. (It then becomes a perpetual motion machine unless the underlying “damage” can be addressed and brought to healing.)

    The Bible tells us to be “Transformed by the renewing of our minds”. (Rm 12:2). If we don’t address the underlying issues with our “mind and emotions”, the “will” part of our soul will have a very difficult time controlling our body.

    • Bony

      Emotional Wounds…boo hoo. It’s amazing to me how everyone needs emotional healing these days. To be sure people have wounds. In fact we all do! Jesus didn’t walk around trying heal everyone’s emotional wounds. Rather he encourage them to repent. The author makes a great point; what we watch matters. Why? Because our eyes are gateways to our souls. When we minister in other countries to people that have been raised in harsh circumstances people rarely need the amount of coddling that US Christians do. The reason? In my estimation the take the Bible at face value. Jesus heals wounds for sure, and we all need healing. But I don’t believe someone has to go in search of some wound in order to be set free. In fact truth Jesus said will set us free! His word is Truth

  • David

    Filters and accountability partners are great for some. But for others, those are just fences that never really solve the problem. Just because something becomes impossible does not mean you still would not if you had the chance. The heart is still the same. Though at the same time, the less you feed the beast, at first the hungrier it becomes, but it eventually just gets weak. So there is profit to them. However, I discovered in my personal life, the biggest success came when I personally and deeply devoted myself and re-committed myself both to God and my wife, and this commitment and devotion is something that will trump any filter. It’s a filter on the heart. It makes other sexual draws seem what they are – immoral and disgusting. Of course some times are harder than others, and the natural man will always crave the things it shouldn’t. But are we devoted to the natural man or are we devoted to our God and our beloved spouse? This devotion determines what comes next. From now on, I treat each impulse as a reminder of who I’m committed to, and it works better than any internet filter. Besides, these days, there are always work-arounds. Nobody is as creative with search engines as they are when they are trying to work around a filter that won’t let them do what they want to do. So lets go a step further. Put the filter on your heart. Re-evaluate your devotions and re-commit to the ones you really should be committing to.

  • Katie Lopez

    Same situation and i have faith thay My Lord will Work with both my husband and my self

  • Thank you, Justin and Trisha. Well said and I believe what you are saying to be completely true. We seek to justify small things and want to prove to ourselves that we are strong enough to see a little bit of sensuality without it affecting us. But the reality is that the only wise thing is to cut off all the “little” things that lead to the “big” thing. Thank you.

  • Allison

    I like porn ♥

  • GodandCountry

    A great article and one I agree with as well. I will also like to add that the most vital part of defeating sexual sin is the empowerment of the Holy Spirit.

  • spencer

    Thanks for this great article of a social problem that many take lightly or deny completely. I have been addicted to porn for many years. At fist I didn’t give it much thought and played it down. Then I tried to justify it saying no one is getting hurt. It’s a harmless way in getting over stress and get some pleasure and enjoyment. It doesn’t break any commandments. It’s just one vice. I quit drinking without much hardship and this was my “one vice” that I “kept” for myself. I said to myself “if I got too saintly I might grow wings and a halo”. So this was a part of my life for many years but something always was nagging my conscious. Before long there was guilt and I too kept saying this is the last I will delete the sites and will not get DVD’s. After a while I would be drawn into a sexually oriented picture or clip that a buddy would have mailed. Suddenly I would find myself looking at sexual oriented movie then a softcore and finally hardcore, It’s surprising that once you get into that mood you can actually type the whole web address of the porn sites you visited. Like its being saved in your memory all this time. I am still struggling but determined to overcome. Overcoming porn addiction is a part of my daily prayer as I realized I cannot do this on my own and thus have seeked divine intervention.

    These Biblical verses helped me to realize that Porn leads to sin and helps me in the fight to overcome.Sexual sin is the only sin that defile your own body. The bible says that your body is the temple of the holy spirit. It also says that all sins will be forgiven except the sins against the Holy Spirit

    1 Corinthians 6:19New International Version (NIV)
    Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;
    Mathew 12:31
    “Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.” –

    I know it says blasphemy but I’d rather not want to gamble with defiling the temple of the Holy Spirit either.

    This is one verse that kept me fighting my addiction. As I didn’t want to end up sa a dog.

    Proverbs 26:11
    As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly.

    If you have it in your heart say a prayer for me to overcome porn addiction.

  • jack albert

    Sometimes our better halves find other halves,and we are left stranded.