Couple Escapes the Grip of Pornography Addiction
By Jarrod Anderson
The 700 Club
CBN.com -Joel says, “I remember the first time that I saw pornography. It was in the 7th grade and I was at a friend’s house. He pulls out all these magazines. And-and this was the first time experience to even see any of this stuff. And from the age of 11, you know, that just became a very powerful force. I couldn’t deal with it.”
“Immediately I was hooked, and it happened at a very vulnerable time in my life. I was looking for things that would give me a sense of satisfaction in life and make me feel alive and give me some identity and some value and some worth.”
Joel recalls, “Throughout my teenage years, I used pornography as a crutch. I was raised as a Christian, I knew it was wrong, and I tried to stop. But I just couldn’t. And I found myself drifting away from God, deeper and deeper into my addiction. I became very angry. The amount of shame and just the amount of guilt that you feel when you’re doing things that you know are not healthy. And you can’t tell anybody. So it just becomes this source of, for me it was anger.”
“A couple years after high school, I married Sarah and we had a daughter. And ironically, I was also a worship leader at a church. But even all of that did not help me shake my addiction. Because by now, I had convinced myself that it was normal.” He remembers thinking, “I’m trying to live this life and give my life to God. You’re dealing with pornography, you’ve got this little girl, you’ve got a wife. And how do you—how do you balance all that? Definitely more feelings of guilt and shame came into the-into the picture.”
Joel says, “So I drifted farther and farther from God and from Sarah. Then, one day she found one of the porn movies that I had rented. She goes, ‘hey, I found this.’ And that was when she said, ‘well, you know, I really feel like this is something we could do together.’”
Joel remembers, “I did not expect that. I later found out that her past was also riddled with pornography. Sarah says, “I had a family member that introduced me to pornography during times of sexual abuse. Because of that and for so many years that I was exposed to it, it was always replaying in my mind. So I thought, ‘well, you know, if we do this together it could be really exciting this – you know, it could just maybe take us to a whole 'nother level.’”
Joel says, “For a while it was great. But when the excitement wore off, I felt even worse. I had all but given up on our marriage and on any hope that I could change. So I began looking for something more. Later, I found it while working at a gym, when a woman came up to me. And the very first thing out of her mouth was, ‘you’re cute, we should go out.’ And I said, ‘no, I’m married.’ And she just said, ‘I don’t care.’ So we set up an appointment, a lunch appointment. And I went and paid cash for a hotel. I said, you know, ‘this is it.’”
“But the day that we were supposed to meet, she sent me a text. She had got a flat tire and that she couldn’t make it. And it was like the blinders just came off. It was as clear as day, the Holy Spirit talking to me. ‘Joel, if you keep going, I’ll let you go. But I’m still with you.’ And it was that moment that I really felt in my life that I have a new chance. I have a lease on life that I can actually take God up on. And from that moment on, soberness and just this awareness that God’s calling me to something different.”
Joel says, “I told Sarah what had happened and even though she was hurt, it did start us on a path to healing. We got rid of the pornography and we forgave each other. Then, we rededicated our lives to God. Every day I would just get up and I would say, ‘who I was yesterday does not determine who I am today.’ I don’t have to be the same person. And then we came together and we let 1st Corinthians 13:4 become the guide of our lives. ‘Love is patient. It’s kind. It doesn’t boast. It’s not prideful. It’s not—it doesn’t keep a record of wrongs. It’s not selfishly driven. It doesn’t act unbecomingly. It bears all things. It hopes all things. It never fails. And that was really the turning moment in our life when the Eord of God became the foundation of my life.”
Joel says, “It did take some time. But God helped me overcome my struggles with pornography and anger. And Sarah also found healing.”
Sarah says, “We have a great marriage now. We do talk about everything. And our intimate life now is just unbelievable compared to what we thought was unbelievable then.”
Joel states, “There’s a happy ending because of the grace of God and His ability to change us. Thank God, He doesn’t give up.”
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