John Cozart: Freedom from Pornography
By Rob Hull
The 700 Club
CBN.com- “The first time I looked at pornography,” remembers John Cozart, “it was exciting but yet I felt like I was doing something wrong. Something that I was not supposed to be doing. It was difficult to put it down. It was difficult to walk away from it. The addiction began to take root.”
John Cozart was a young boy when he first saw pornographic magazines at a friend’s house. It wasn’t long before he had his own stack of magazines and a secret addiction.
“So there was a lot of sneaking around. A lot of secrecy. A cycle of self-gratification. looking at the magazines. It continued throughout my teenage years.”
He married Joy at nineteen, and hoped his addiction was over. It wasn’t. And the internet made it easy to be discreet at home.”
“There was this euphoric feeling that just swept through me and it took me to another place. Some of the stuff that was popping up, it was a lot more graphic more sexually explicit than what I was exposed to even as a teenager, than the magazines that I had looked at. I had this feeling like, ‘Wow, here we go again. This thing’s followed me into my marriage.’ I found myself retreating to my office and spending more and more time looking at pornography on the computer, and once again keeping it a secret from my wife.”
John became a Christian in his twenties but still felt powerless to overcome his porn addiction.
“Because of the guilt, because of the shame I began to withdraw from the Lord, and looking back there was probably a withdrawal from my wife even early on. And the guilt was telling me that I was doing something wrong, and the shame was telling me that I was wrong, that there was something wrong with me.”
His secret was revealed when Joy walked into his office. She was shocked to see pictures of naked women on his computer screen.
“It was almost like I had just put a knife into her. She had that look in her face, in her eyes like, ‘You’ve just betrayed me, you’ve just… How could you? After all that we’ve been through.’”
“The trust was gone. Everything that we had built over the years of our marriage was gone. There was nothing I could say. My words meant nothing. My apology meant nothing. ‘I’m sorry’ meant nothing.”
Hope finally arrived when a friend gave John a CD called Somebody’s Daughter - A Journey to Freedom from Pornography.
“I just wanted to be free. I wanted to be pure. I was a Christian and I wanted to get back that intimacy that I had early on as a new Christian, as a new believer. I remember the first day that I began to listen to that CD. I felt like for the very first time that there was hope. It was like somebody was saying to me, ‘I know where you’re at. I know what you’ve gone through. I know what you’re going through now.’ And they were telling me that, ‘You can get through this.’ And I felt like at that particular point God was answering my prayer.”
John took the first steps on his journey toward freedom from pornography.
“It really started with me just being honest and being vulnerable and saying, ‘This is where I’m at.’ The thing about sexual sin is it thrives in secrecy, in darkness. That’s where it lives. Once I began to verbalize my addiction, the power began to subside and it started to diminish almost over night.”
“The intimacy that I once had with God has returned. There’s a passage of scripture, Psalm 51 that says, ‘Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation…’ and being free that joy has been restored. My wife and I will be celebrating thirty years of marriage, and I’m proud of that I really am. Man, she is the love of my life.”
John runs Unshackled Ministries. He is devoted to help men find freedom from pornography addiction, just as he did.
“The Bible says, ‘There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.’ When I read that verse, that tells me that God Himself does not condemn me. He doesn’t condone my sin, but God loves me and there’s nothing that I could do that could ever separate me from God’s love. He’s there willing and waiting to set us free, to give us the life that we’ve longed for. It starts with honesty. It starts with confession. Once you bring this sin out of the darkness and into the light, that’s when freedom begins.”
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