Picture something with me for a second. Imagine you have a good friend who has some major health issues. His doctor told him that he needs to start eating better, or he could actually die.
You pay him a visit at his house. When he answers the door, you're slightly shocked.
He's carrying an unopened bag of Oreos.
You don't really know what to say, so you don't say anything. You walk with him into his living room. He's carrying the bag of Oreos with him.
As you enter the room, you notice on a side table there's an unopened bag of Doritos. Party size.
You think to yourself, "What in the world is he doing having all this junk food everywhere? Doesn't he remember what his doctor told him?!"
A few minutes later you walk into his kitchen and you see a twelve-pack of Mountain Dew sitting on the counter.
You finally ask him what the deal is, and why he has all this junk food everywhere when his life is at stake.
He answers, "I don't know. I guess they are just things I've always had. I'm just kind of used to them being around."
How might you respond? Maybe you'd say, "Sure, I can understand how it's been normal for you to have junk food around. But you're making it so much harder for yourself. It's literally at your fingertips anytime you have a craving!"
Would you not think that it was crazy for your friend to have his favorite junk food on hand, 24/7, ready for the taking any moment he chooses? And, when it could cost him his life?
This is the exact same thing that we do with our struggle with pornography.
Think about it. We can literally see anything we want in a matter of seconds, anytime. On your phone (which is never far away), your computer, your tablet.
How is any functioning male supposed to resist that day after day, week after week, month after month? It's no wonder the stats of porn use are as staggering as they are!
If you want to experience true, lasting freedom from porn, changes to your environment may be needed. Maybe radical changes.
Over the years, I have thrown away literally dozens of DVDs. I've deleted my Facebook account. I don't have an Instagram account. We don't have cable. We don't have Netflix. We have a great internet filter and monitoring device on all our devices. My wife can see literally everything I view or search for. And, we restrict my access when I am alone for extended periods.
Does this sound extreme?
Consider the alternative.
We are living in a time when, again, we can view literally anything within a few seconds, 24/7, with complete secrecy and anonymity. What's more, busyness, stress, and anxiety are arguably at the highest levels in history. When we feel stressed, pressed from all sides, we long for relief. Even if the relief is temporary. And porn provides a very effective escape and relief with a few taps of our fingers.
This is what I would consider an extreme situation.
I have found, in my decades-long experience with porn addiction, and living on both sides of this struggle, that living without guardrails makes the pursuit of freedom exponentially more difficult. It's no silver bullet, but it is a foundational component of a good plan.
Just like the Oreo analogy, you're asking for a much more difficult path to freedom by giving yourself easy, unlimited access to the very thing you're trying to stop consuming.
Would you say your environment is currently set up in a way to help you on your path to freedom? Or, are you constantly carrying around a bag of Oreos?
Do you think some inconveniences are worth it in order to live in freedom?
If you would like a starting point, we use the program Qustodio for our devices. Covenant Eyes is also a very popular filter and monitoring program.
Experiencing freedom is going to cost you something. It comes at a price.
But one thing I promise you: the benefits far outweigh the cost.