Becoming a Mighty Man of God
By David DiCicco and Rob Hull
The 700 Club
Jon recalls what people thought of him at church, “Everybody thought, you know, hey, Jon is a great Christian guy; he’s got a walk that you could emulate. But at home I was a miserable porn addict.”
Jon Snyder’s battle with porn addiction started as a young boy, when a friend brought a magazine to school.
“I knew that I was drawn to it,” says Jon. “And when I kind of caught my first glimpse, I thought, ‘wow, you know, this is great, this is something else, I want to see more.’ It put me on a path. I realized that this had power over me.”
Jon grew up in a Christian home, but that wasn’t enough to stop his secret fascination with pornography.
“I didn’t have the relationship with God to kind of give me that moral compass that would steer me in the right direction,” says Jon. “I didn’t know how to switch off that urge. I didn’t know how to switch off that desire. There was this bad thing that I wasn’t supposed to look at. But at the same time, there was this part of me that was saying, I really like this, and so I must be bad, and so it puts this wedge of shame between me and God, as it related to my own sexuality.”
As Jon entered high school he says guilt and shame took a heavy toll.
“I was experiencing suicidal tendencies and things like that. I really didn’t like the person that I was. Because the person that everybody else liked wasn’t the person that I saw when I looked in the mirror. And when I’d look in the mirror, I would see my faults I would pick myself apart. Alcohol, pornography, those became my crutches. That’s how I dealt with the emotional pain that I was feeling at that time in my life.”
Jon’s mother gave him a Bible and he says he eventually began reading it.
“Suddenly the word of God became alive to me. And it started to minister to the wounds and it started to minister to the questions that I had as a teen. That was the start of my relationship with God. And that started to change things in a very powerful way.”
Jon says he was able to avoid looking at pornography for months at a time. But in his twenties, when Internet pornography became more accessible, he fell even deeper into addiction.
“There was even greater perversion that was opening up in my heart and kind of corrupting my mind and jading me to things that nobody should ever look at. There was hardly a day going by, it was starting to affect my work and other areas of my life. Obviously it was a downward spiral of self-esteem. It’s this vicious cycle that –that a lot of addicts get into. They feel horrible about themselves, and so they medicate with their addiction. But then the addiction makes them feel worse about themselves, and so the cycle just perpetuates itself. And so I was absolutely stuck right there. I knew I was addicted, I knew that everything I had tried wasn’t working. I think I had pretty much gotten to a point of despair at that point where I felt like, can I ever be free, will I ever be free, what is it going to take for me to be free from this?”
Jon joined accountability groups and became active in his church, he even confessed to his girlfriend Lisa, but he says he was still trapped.
“I was tired of settling for sin management. I wanted freedom from sin. And so I was trying everything that I knew how to do at that point to forsake this sin, but it’s a spiritual problem, first and foremost. The devil’s been doing this for a long time, tempting people for a long time and he knows how to push our buttons and exploit the weaknesses in our hearts. So I had heart wounds, I had heart needs, and I had a perspective of God and a perspective of myself that needed to all be flipped on its ear before I would ever start to walk in real freedom.”
Jon married Lisa, but his struggle with pornography continued into their marriage. He says it was finally accepting God’s love and grace that set him on a path to freedom.
“I committed myself to seeking the face of the Lord and to have Him minister the truths that I needed in my heart in order to see me set free. God was restoring the person, almost in a sense, before He was even dealing with the sin; He was giving me what I needed in order to be able to walk away from it as a whole person again.”
After years of addiction, Jon says he finally saw permanent changes.
“The love of God has so permeated, the way that I see myself and the way that I see God. There’s a process of healing the heart that absolutely has to take place, because if that heart isn’t healed, nothing else is going to work. And so God taught me, you know what, when you look in the mirror, see yourself as I see you, because I created you with a purpose, I created you perfect, I’m so happy with you, I’m so well pleased of you, I’m so proud of you.”
Today Jon is an author and public speaker who now helps other men find freedom from pornography addiction as he did, through the love and grace of God.
“I’m a new creation in Christ,” says Jon. “All things have passed away, all things have become new. And so I get to enjoy all the benefits of being a new creation. I get to enjoy the benefits of fellowship with Him. There is freedom, real freedom where you can enjoy your life, not white knuckling your sin for the rest of your life and just working on sin management. I don’t believe in sin management, I believe that you can actually walk in freedom from this sin.”
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