The Thanksgiving holiday typically brings to mind traditional thoughts of spending time with family and friends while enjoying food, football, and fellowship. Warm and fuzzy pictures of loved ones gathered around a table overflowing with food are everywhere.
But for people struggling with pornography, the Thanksgiving season can be a difficult time filled with stress and anxiety. A major pornography website’s statistics illustrate the challenges porn users face.
The website said that Thanksgiving Thursday is the second slowest viewing day of the year. The day involves much interaction with family and friends and makes it more difficult for the porn user to sneak away to his secluded viewing place.
Since porn addicts thrive on secrecy and isolation, being around a lot of people all day can be very stressful and uncomfortable. As a result, the Monday after Thanksgiving is the website’s second busiest day. This indicates that once the families have returned to their homes, the porn addict quickly seeks out his solitude and computer screen.
According to a national treatment resource center, “When they are forced to face family and reality at Thanksgiving, addicts may try to tell themselves to hold it together for just one day, but the end result is most often a sharp spike in their addictive behaviors. The reason for this is human nature. We all want to be as comfortable as we can be in any situation, especially one where we have something to hide or feel ashamed of.”
Despite the pressures that may accompany the Thanksgiving season, Christians should recall the Apostle Paul’s encouragement to be content regardless of the circumstances. “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content…I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11, 13).
Being content includes being thankful for all the blessings God has given you, even though you may feel unworthy.
Dr. Heath Lambert, the author of Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace, explained, “If you struggle with porn, one of your greatest needs is to grow in the grace of gratitude. Just because you may never have thought about it doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Porn is only consumed by thankless people.”
Dr. Lambert added,
“The desire for porn is a desire to escape from what the Lord has given you into a fake universe full of things you do not have and will never have. Porn is the trading of gratitude for greed…Every greedy glance at pornography is a missed opportunity to be thankful to the Lord and to others for all the good things in your life.”
As Thanksgiving approaches, it is important for you to be aware of your triggers that you may encounter. For instance, if you are single and holidays tend to make you feel depressed because you are alone, then try to make opportunities where you will be around a few close friends.
Or perhaps you know that a relative who abused you verbally, sexually, or physically when you were a child will be at some gathering. If so, you may want to skip that event so your mind is not flooded with bad memories that make you want to seek out porn for comfort.
Christian Drug Rehab noted, “Maybe it’s how your mother micromanages the mashing of the potatoes or the way you and your siblings fall into the same rivalry patterns you’ve been manifesting since elementary school. If you think back on Thanksgivings past, you can probably identify the sorts of events, patterns or comments that create resentment or that make you want to use.”
Whatever your triggers may be, try to anticipate where you may encounter them. Develop plans on how you will avoid or handle them so that you are not caught off-guard.
Tips To Help Avoid Medicating With Porn
Viewing pornography involves trying to self-medicate the pain from past negative experiences. But porn is not a medicine or a remedy, and actually causes tremendous agony and destruction to the user and his family.
Paul Cole, the president of the Christian Men’s Network, said,
“Sexual addiction is akin to the body breathing in methane gas. While methane isn’t itself poisonous, it displaces the oxygen in a person’s lungs. A man inhaling methane gas smells no odor and is unaware he’s in a lethal situation. However, the gas chokes all the air out of his lungs, puts him to sleep, then kills him. Similarly, sexual addiction slowly replaces the breath of life from a man’s heart.”
Thanksgiving may increase or ignite your feelings of shame and guilt, creating an intense desire to escape to pornography. So here are a few tips to help you during the Thanksgiving holiday.
1. Get Support
If you belong to a small group or have a trusted accountability partner, call one of them a couple days before Thanksgiving. Tell them your concerns or anxieties so they can help you make a plan for handling them. Call them whenever you need to during the holiday and then, when it is over, call again to discuss how things went and how you might better handle the upcoming Christmas season.
2. Don’t have unreasonable expectations
Don’t expect everything to go as planned. If the turkey is too dry, arguments pop up, or kids get too rowdy, just remember that is common at family gatherings. Nothing will go perfectly, so don’t let anything stress you. Look for opportunities to create new memories.
3. Pray And Trust God
Be sure to pray and read the Bible. Spending time with God is vital to your recovery, and not just at the holidays. Then trust God to give you the strength and protection for the stressful days ahead.
4. Be Grateful
Remember this holiday is all about being thankful. Even if you are still struggling with pornography, you have so much to be thankful for this year. Take time to thank God for all His blessings and His eternal love for you.
You Can Overcome Pornography
Let Thanksgiving be the time you recognize that God truly loves you, and He wants to see you living a porn-free life. The 12-DVD cinematic production Conquer Series has helped over one million men around the world begin their journey to a porn-free lifestyle.
Each video includes powerful testimonies, scientific evidence, solid Biblical teaching, and military reenactments. A study guide and a personal journal are also available to help you stay focused on your recovery and avoid relapse.
Eric Wagner said,
“This program is the first and only program I’ve heard of that actually speaks to the problem and does not berate, belittle or work out of false assumptions about the addiction and gives true practical methods to come to an actual solution…Find a way to embrace The Conquer Series. Let God use it to set you free from all of the shame and doubt and disgust you feel.”
The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.
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