As many of you might already know, I am a recovering porn addict. There, I said it and I’m not afraid to. As a college freshman and a millennial baby, growing up in this generation has been extremely difficult, especially when dealing with sexual desires. Having a father who was cheating on my mother during their “Godly” marriage and choosing prostitutes as a substitute for her, my idea of sex was very tinted from my early teens, the most important hormonal part of my development. This led to some very poor choices on my part, and started a spiraling pornography addiction that has continued until very recent.

In fact, anime had become the largest proponent of my sexual addiction, displaying chests of unnaturally large sizes, creating disgusting scenarios that (thankfully) never happen in real life, and fantasized sex as though it was like going to a shoe shop for the newest pair of Nikes. Shows like Super Sonico, Kis X Sis, Creamy Pie, and many others were the things that kept me in bondage for almost four years and nearly ruined my life.

With all of this in mind, I can say with confidence that sex has become a huge part of our culture. Young girls are taught to dress for approval from pervy guys instead of seeking the recognition from the one who matters and boys are trained on exciting their hormones through outlets like sex cams, bikini models, and Playboy magazines. These actions are enhanced once these people grow up, taking their sexual experiments to the real world with strip clubs, swing groups, and hookups. If you look at the distortion of sexual guidelines discussed in the Bible, we as a culture have strayed far from them.

And for Christians in this day and age, escaping the sexual emphasis in our everyday lives is difficult, especially since it lives almost everywhere. You can rarely walk into a movie, shop in a grocery store, or even visit Facebook without running into some kind of pornographic material.  Heck, anime has its fair share of sex-filled content across a majority of shows, creating the two genres we see today, ecchi and hentai. Even while attempting to find fellowship and accountability with a local church, Christian men will have the potential to be pulled further from Christ, as some Godly women have settled to imitate the worldly standards of dressing. It almost feels like many girls do not consider the Bible when they make their wardrobe decisions, and it makes pursuing Godliness extremely hard.

So with all of these sexual temptations saturating our culture, how can one overcome these? The task seems daunting, and impossible to do on our own; sometimes we try to escape our addictions and constantly fall back underneath their power. I wanted to breakdown the three ways that I have found freedom from sexual sin, and explain the secret to having victory in your life:

 1). Recognize and clean your dirty rear-view mirrors

Have you ever tried working out at your local gym to drop thirty pounds, but soon lose the motivation to keep going after the third or fourth day? Or how about fasting from TV to spend more time with your children, but fall out of this pattern as quickly as it started? Better yet, have you ever made a plan over the weekend to finish homework for a certain class, and then decided to procrastinate? There is a definite correlation between these three common scenarios: you have dirty rear-view mirrors that you refuse to clean. You have noticed the filth that has blocked your vision, yet you still will not take a wet wipe to glass. In other words, you don’t have the genuine desire to be healed from sexual addiction.

For me personally, I knew that fighting against my pornography addiction would open up the door to a closer relationship with Christ, and help me seek a God-ordained marriage for my future, but I still refused to put in the hard work. I noticed the dirty rear-view mirrors on my car, but I didn’t have the genuine desire to clean them. If you don’t want to be healed, you never will be, and if you say you want to be clean, but your life does not reflect this motivation, you are lying to yourself. This took many successes and failures to figure out, and I can say with all the authority from Jesus Christ that genuine desire is where healing starts!

2). Look ahead at the road, and glance at your mirrors for perspective.

Now at this point you may be getting extremely tired of these car analogies, but please don’t put the breaks on this article just yet! If you are driving down a busy highway during rush hour and you constantly look back at your mirrors, what do you think will happen? Most likely, you will come to a red light, become oblivious to the semi stopping in front of you, and have a major collision; the same principle is true for fighting sexual temptation. Looking back at your failures and letting them define your present will NEVER allow you to receive the healing that God has for you. Keeping your attention solely on your mirrors while driving is the equivalent of driving backwards, and that’s just plain stupid. To put this bluntly, let’s not be stupid people. If you desperately need to be clean of your sexual past, look forward to all of the amazing things that God has planned instead of the terrible things that have already been forgiven.

The only reason why a driver should ever have to look back at their mirrors is to remember where other cars are located, and to safely navigate to their destination. Paul speaks to this idea in 2 Corinthians:

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, ESV)

When we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior, the mistakes of before have passed away, literally being put to death; the only thing that remains when something dies is the memory of what was left. As radical believers, we must only look back to remember where we were and use that as motivation to chase after God. Point being, look ahead at the road and only glance at the mirrors of your car when necessary.

3). Let Jesus take the wheel.

I don’t care who you are, what you’ve done, or how far you think you have come. Let me make this very clear: you will always lose the battle against pornography without the help of Jesus Christ. Now you may be a person reading this who is of a different religion or who does not even claim a religion at all, thinking that you don’t need God to heal from pornography. First and foremost let me welcome you to this ministry! However (ex-atheist speaking here), I have learned from my past philosophies that every action can be proven and justified through a worldly lens because there is no definite, unshakeable foundation to stand on. Without the Biblical rules that are set out for Christians to live the best possible lives, people are left with their own opinions, and feel entitled to make them law over themselves. They can persuade themselves of anything, and the battle would be lost.

Say, for instance, that you are an atheist that has been three months clean from pornography. You had to stay up late to finish some last minute work, and lay in bed next to your wife, ready to fall asleep. Suddenly, an impure thought occurs to you: “Is it really wrong to look at pornography?” Satan begins convincing you that the thing which held you captive is actually your saving grace, and there is nothing to tell you otherwise. Besides, the Bible didn’t say, “The truth will set you free,” for nothing.

Most importantly, the revelation that I have come to while fighting against pornography for four years is that it is impossible to win without the creator of the universe on your side. When you have “confessed with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe that he was raised from the dead”, a divine form of God, the Holy Spirit, enters into your heart, and helps you make the right choices towards victory. Literally, you have been “born again”, and have an entirely new self. And whenever Satan tries to tempt you with sexual temptation, you can stand your ground and fight back with the truth that comes from the Bible. So let Jesus take the wheel of your car so that you can find the freedom that you desire. Not letting Him take control is like giving the driver’s seat to your drunk friend, who is sure to land you into a crash. 

As a side note to all Christian men who also happen to be watchers of anime, I would highly recommend to take a break from the media. No, it does not mean that you will be separated from your favorite episodes of ERASED for forever, but it does allow you to revaluate your relationship with God. Pray about the hobby that you partake in, and ask God what He would want you to do about it.