Tips on How to Help A Friend Struggling with Porn

support-groupThis is adapted from an email I wrote in response to the question of how to help a good friend who is battling porn addiction:

Really important to emphasize God’s grace and forgiveness to your friend. That is to let him know that his ongoing failings haven’t moved him beyond God’s grace and forgiveness. With that in mind also let him know that he can pray a prayer of surrender of his sexuality to God. This surrender is an act of submission and an acknowledgment that he is powerless to defeat sexual sin in his life and he desperately needs the power of almighty God to bring him back into alignment with God’s purpose for his sex/sexuality.

On a practical level he should pray this prayer every day. He should also have a plan for regular reading of scripture in small bites. The discipline of prayer, scripture, and then accountability should become his “program”.

You hear a ton about “accountability” but in a nutshell it basically means he is choosing to not be anonymous while online or in other areas of his life. It is a commitment to be way more transparent about his inner life than he would normally choose to be. This can be done with one person or in a very small group. But there really is no getting around this aspect of it. There must be some “iron sharpening iron” and that happens as he interacts in community with other guys and is willing to open his life up.

Obviously there is also the practical notions of steering clear of things that are obvious triggers. Movies that are sensual, sexual, suggestive. Even rather innocent moves that insinuate. Music, TV, magazines, social media, etc. Depending on where his triggers are or where he is the most susceptible, he will have to make some real decisions about how he interacts with media etc. I’m not weird or anything, I don’t think those things are inherently evil! But they are easy distractions that often allow us to form dependencies and provide an easy way to slide off the cliff into porn.

I would also recommend he read/listen to some books. My friend Joe Dallas www.joedallas.com has a book called The Game Plan which is excellent. There’s also the Every Man’s Battle series of books. He could also read my book Breaking the Silence. There are tons of resources at www.xxxchurch.com too. I’ll be starting an online accountability group soon through www.xxxchurch.com so he might want to consider joining that.

I’m happy to chat with him over the phone or on Skype if he is interested. Just be very encouraging and straight with him. Let him know that it’s good that he wants help but he will have to make some  real decisions about what that means, then take some hard action steps if he wants to live a life of integrity in this arena. It’s hard, trust me, I know!

Courage, Bernie

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About pastor bernie

Collegiate/Young Adult pastor Forest Lake Church, near Orlando, FL

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