I was asked recently how a woman can help her husband (or boyfriend) if he’s struggling with the temptation to view pornography. This is such a difficult question because, ultimately, he has to be the one who does what is necessary to overcome this temptation.
However, there are 3 things that you can do:
1) Sit down with him and let him know that you want to support him and help him in any way as he wrestles against this temptation. Then gently and lovingly ask him to share with you the things that seem to trigger the desire to view porn. As you show compassion and understanding, he will be more likely to feel safe sharing the things that trigger him. Then once he shares those “triggers”, you can ask what you can do to help him deal with the reasons he’s turning to porn. You may be able to come up with ideas on how he can avoid situations that trigger him.
2) Insist that he actively pursues assistance from a 12-step group, sexual addiction treatment program, or a godly mentor with experience in this area. He needs other people to help hold him accountable and to pray for him. He NEEDS to have other men speak into his life and help him deal with the common temptation to lust and view pornography. Accountability is Biblical. James 5:16 instructs, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
3) Pray for God to break the stronghold of pornography and lust in his life! You don’t have the power to do that, but God does! So, lift your husband to God in prayer daily. Ask God to sever the addiction to porn. Ask God to place a desire in your husband’s heart to seek the Lord over everything else. Ask God to show your husband the way out of temptation to view porn. God can do these things. Our role is to pray!
Most every person I know struggles with something, and often in the midst of that struggle, we get stuck in a rut. Even though we don’t like where we are, we often do the very things that keep us mired down in that area.
Some people get stuck in a rut regarding a dysfunctional coping mechanism such as drinking too much alcohol, or overeating, or over-shopping! Other people get stuck in a rut in terms of unhealthy and unhelpful communication with their family members. They might get stuck in the habit of yelling and criticizing or complaining. And still other people get stuck in a rut regarding depression and despair. Obviously, no one wants to stay in this rut, but we can’t seem to get ourselves unstuck!
Please allow me to share a few Bible insights that have really helped me get unstuck so I can move forward with joy, peace, and hope.
I’ve learned to do what Paul teaches in Philippians 3:13-14…. Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Let me make this personal. I lost my husband about 10 months ago. It was shocking. It was devastating. My world tipped upside down. And I could have easily got stuck in depression and even resentment toward God. However, I distinctly remember the moment I decided to pivot from the pain and turn forward, asking God to open up new adventures and new joys in my life. That was a choice. It was a really good one. I was able to heal and start grabbing hold of joy again.
I’ve learned to pause and consult God when I notice dysfunctional habits in my life. I ask Him to change my heart so that I desire good things, healthy things, and behavior that please Him. On my own, I don’t really have the strength to make these changes, but when God comes in and changes my heart in response to prayer, then I have the strength and strong desire necessary to make those changes! Listen to what God says in Ezekiel 36:26-27 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Ask God to change your heart. That’s the first step in getting unstuck from bad habits and unhealthy behavior.