Thursday, November 13, 2008

Man's Most Deadliest Predator - Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my series on Pornography. You can read my first post here. Please be aware that as I share, some of the things that are discussed may be offensive. Please understand that my intent is not to offend the innocent, but rather bring light to a growing problem in the church today.

As I continue my discussion about Pornography, I thought that the best place to start was with a brief testimony of my own journey. I feel that if you understand what I have gone through, then perhaps you can appreciate even more the information I want to share.

If you are someone struggling with this addiction, please let my story show you that any one can overcome this problem if you are willing to seek help.

I grew up in a non-Christian home. Since there was no guarding of pornography, I was first introduced to it at a young age, probably 8-9 years old. A year or so later I was introduced to masturbation by our neighbor’s son, who was probably 5-6 years older than me. As you can imagine, if you put those two things together, it was a recipe for disaster.

I truly don’t think that I was out of control, or addicted, to pornography until later in life. The main reason is that I grew up at a time when the internet was still relatively new, and the only way to purchase pornography was through mail catalogs or at a store.

However, as an early adult when the internet began to take off, I found it very easy to find pornography. At first it was through online stores, where I would purchase videos, etc. Eventually, it became where I could find what I was looking for with just a few key strokes of the computer.

Through the decade of my 20’s the problem rose to a true addiction. I was using women for sexual satisfaction, I was masturbating multiple times a day; and much like a drug addiction, it continued to take more and more to fulfill my “high”.

Then I met my wife and we began dating. During our dating life, we decided to start attending church as we began thinking about marriage. It was this time that God started convicting me of my habits. I decided it was time to come clean with Autumn and to quit my nasty habit. That was when I realized it was not a habit, but rather an addiction.

I got rid of all my pornography and my means to get the pornography. However, the damage was done. There were (and still are) so many images burned into my mind, that the only way I can block them is to cover them up with something else (I will get to that later).

As far as my wife thought, as we entered our marriage the problem was eliminated. I admit it had been greatly reduced, but it was not gone.

Until about 5 years ago, when I read a book called Every Man's Battle. This book explained to me that what I was still doing (masturbating to images in my mind) was still an attack of our marriage. I also truly understood for the first time that it was an addiction and that I needed help.

Autumn and I read the book together. I came completely clean of everything I have or had done. We made a commitment to work and solve this problem together. I have remained completely transparent with her and as I struggle or stumble I share with her immediately. I am blessed that in our marriage I have not strayed to fulfill this addiction. It has been limited to self gratification.

I realize that this is just a snapshot of the journey we are on. There is so much more to the process. I plan to spend most of next week breaking this down and discussing it in more specific detail. For now, realize that I know what it is like and let me encourage you and your spouse that if I can overcome this struggle, then so can you!


Anonymous said...

Thank you , Jason, for taking this risk. I know that healing comes as we tell the truth about our struggles to each other! That's the ONLY way I've found healing in my life! You rock, man! I'm totally praying for you and for a more radically honest church!

John's Daily Dose of 1.21 Jigawatts said...

Every Man's Battle is a great book. I read it as well. I actually had Kelly read it too. It's tough to tune out the sexual draw of pornography. I love the author's strategy of just bouncing your eyes away from temptation. It's easy to slowly slide down that muddy slope. I appreciate your honesty and I do think that this is a huge problem for all men (me included). - John

Jason Hicks said...

Thanks for your thoughts and support. I think you are right John, there are more men affected by this then are willing to admit...for what ever reason.

Luke said...

Thanks for your story! It is encouraging to hear how others are making it in the battle against masturbation and pornography.

I work for Covenant Eyes, and I get a chance to talk to so many people around the world who are making strides towards freedom. It is a blessing to hear how people are breaking free because of their commitment to integrity and accountability.

I recently was interviewed on Dr. Kevin Skinner's radio show about my porn addiction past and how I broke free. I'd love to hear your thoughts.