What are some scripture passages you would recommend meditating on and memorizing to assist in the battle against porn/sexual sins? What are some resources to assist in the battle against pornography/sexual sin? Do you have some practical recommendations for what to do/change in order to turn from Porn and turn more and more to God?
This question is really three questions, and I will answer one by one:
1 Corinthians 6:19-20: “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
Romans 6:11-12: “Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts.”
I find it very helpful to have these verses committed to memory, to repeat them, pray them, impress upon yourself the significance of them (ie. What does it mean to be bought at a price? What did that cost Jesus Christ? Let that sink in… and remind yourself again and again of it).
For a (huge) list of resources on pornography from a Christian perspective, Dr. David Murray’s website HeadHeartHand.org, is a great place to go. He has links to books, ebooks, websites, blogs, videos, podcasts and sermons all meant to teach and help!! Click here.
Many of the resources linked to above provide practical recommendations (different approaches might help different people). In the Scripture verses provided above that—reading and praying and committing them to memory to equip yourself with the sword of the Spirit to fight—those are also practical helps.
My further recommendations I find helpful to divide into ‘home recommendations’ and ‘personal recommendations’:
The follow basic practical steps needed to taken in every home, to protect against pornography and other unsafe and ungodly internet material. If your parents do not know this, show this list to them:
- Filter your internet. An absolute must in a home. Non-negotiable. Not matter who lives there. If you live on your own, do this first before you hang curtains! As a former computer programmer and current tech enthusiast, I have found none better than Circle. After purchasing, it’s free on Home WiFi—but you can (and also must!) subscribe to 3G/4G/LTE filtering as well. There is also the more familiar Covenant Eyes (monthly fee). I have found this not as smooth or easy to use as Circle, but find what works best for you.
- Do not allow electronics into your bedroom. Never. Ever. Another absolute must.
- Provide passwords and account info to your parents. Always. Let them know every social app you’re using, and let them have full access to it. If they don’t, tell them and allow them today. And explain to them what each one is for. If you’re older and moved out of your parents’ home, you can still tell them. Or tell your elder. You need accountability.
- Turn on Google SafeSearch. Do it. And lock it. (If you have Circle, that is an option in the Circle app you can click.) It also filters YouTube comments, which lean towards being a complete cesspool of filth.
- Filter your internet. Again. If you have 3G/4G/LTE on your cellphone or any other electronic device, you need to pay for a filtering or accountability subscription. You need to—it’s simply the cost of owning and using a cellphone. Cellphones are expensive, get used to it. (Or get rid of it).
- Commit yourself not to sin sexually. Job 31:1, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.” (NIV) Say, “I will not. I will not. I will not.”
- Think of your mother, and your sisters. Would you want other young men to think of them the way you’re tempted to think of other girls and women? (Does this work for girls too?)
- Think of God. He commands us to be sexually pure (not sexually abstinent, by the way—He’s not against sexual relations; in their proper place in marriage He gives His blessing upon them). But He says, “No.” Why do you say, “Yes,” then? Using pornography is unbelief. It’s telling God that you know better and that you don’t really believe Him when He says it’s not good.
- If you’re dating someone: Never ‘make out’. Never. Kissing a boyfriend or girlfriend in a way different than you would your mother or father is sexual in nature. It’s also electrifying(!) and hard to stop. Save yourself for marriage. This is not directly related to pornography, I know, but in the same ballpark of sexual sin. And related to self-control! (See below ‘Final Note’).
- Tell someone. Tell your parents (one or the other perhaps, or both) of your temptations to sin. Tell your pastor, tell your elder, or tell a close friend or godly older person in church. This is not an absolute must unless you’re stuck and continually failing at resisting sexual sin. But it can be helpful (and humbling! … but better to cut your hand off and enter heaven with only one hand than to miss heaven altogether because you were embarassed.)
Sexual sin is different than other sin (like stealing, or murder). Because God made us all with sexual desires—but He didn’t make us all thieves. Sexual desire itself is not sin. It was part of the “good” creation before sin. But God tells us it is fitting to pursue only in the context of marriage.
So with sexual desire, the main thing is: Do we have self control? Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:23), and can be prayed for and developed. To ask it another way: Will we bring all our thoughts and sexual desires to be captive to God’s will?
And know this: God is also gracious to those who confess their sexual sin to Him, because Jesus Christ died on the cross also to forgive sexual sins. To take a note from Dr. David Murray: “If we confess our masturbation, He is faithful and just to forgive us our masturbation and to cleanse us from all our masturbation!” (paraphrase of 1 John 1:9).