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Understanding Denial & How it Fuels Porn Addiction

By Kayla Sullivan

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In a culture dominated by the need to control, denial – especially in regards to addiction, is on the rise. Wanting to appear as if we’re in charge, we struggle to admit when something else is controlling us. Regardless of what we’re in bondage to, Hebrews 12:1 tells us to “lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us.”

Let’s Get Personal

When dealing with pornography or sexual addiction, the personal denial structure is one of the first things that must be broken. Commonly, those who struggle with porn either deny that a problem exists entirely, or they will shift the blame to someone or something else.

Though we like to believe we can, the truth remains that we cannot control what others do, think, or say. We cannot continue to shift the blame to others for the sinful choices that we’re making. This causes us to justify our sin, which then creates a separation between us and God.

C.H. Spurgeon stated,

“There can be no peace between you and Christ while there is peace between you and sin.”

How could your life, and your relationship with Jesus, be drastically different by taking responsibility for your own actions?

Fear

Most of the time,  fear promotes our desire for self-preservation. We’re afraid to admit when we’re struggling, as we do not want to appear weak, be rejected or fear judgement from others.

Other times, it’s the fear of the unknown. Questions can surface regarding how long it may take, or even whether or not you’re believed when you speak your truths.

This last one can be exceptionally challenging for an individual whose family is well-known throughout the community or the church. Deep within, you know that what you endured and what was presented as truth are two entirely different things. We struggle between carrying the secret or exposing the shame.

But what if you don’t fully recognize all of the contributing factors?

Comprehension

Denial can take on many faces, and may not be specifically relevant to denying one’s personal behavior. Stories have emerged of individuals who are in denial, or complete ignorance, as to the level of family dysfunction they endured as a small child.

In his book, Pure Desire, Dr. Ted Roberts references a study conducted by Dr. Patrick Carnes and the heart wrenching tale of one individual. When asked whether or not the man was ever sexually abused, he boldly said no. He cited that he knows many people have been, but declared himself fortunate that he never had to endure that trauma.

Later in the survey, the same individual was asked about his earliest sexual memory. Sadly, the memory was of an uncle inappropriately touching him when he was only five years old.  Something about this memory may have seemed normal or acceptable to him.  As a result, he denied the existence of the problem.  Consequently, it likely contributed to an ongoing struggle in his life.

This is only one example of how the enemy will use denial, or lack of understanding, to keep people trapped in bondage to sexual sin.

Contribution

Recently I was reading the account of a single mom who was having a hard time connecting with her child. This child would erupt into bursts of uncontrollable anger, and the mom would mentally check out. Eventually, she sought counseling for her son. But through the process, mom’s secrets were unearthed.

Mom was the product of a broken home. Her mother had become addicted in an attempt to numb the overwhelming pain that she was facing. As a result, mom would act out of annoyance when this girl would need something. Now, in trying to be the exact opposite of her mom, she was holding her child at a distance – and the barrier between them was growing at a time when the child needed the support and assurance of his mother the most.

Until we can identify those areas that we have presumed to be normal, we will continue to operate based on those experiences – whether good or bad.

Blame

This doesn’t mean that we can blame those instances. Instead, it means that we become conscious about them. We cannot heal from things if we cannot identify them.

In my life, true freedom was found when I was willing to acknowledge that there had been instances in my past that were out of my control. Instead of continuing to operate out of a victim mentality, I realized that only I could choose how much I was going to allow the past to interfere with my present and future.

As Eleanor Roosevelt once said,

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

It’s Not How you Start a Race but How you Finish

Maybe you’ve realized that there was a level of dysfunction in your home as a child. Or maybe you are finally seeing how your personal choices have led you astray. The main thing is that you are choosing to break the denial structures that have been in existence in your life.

Stepping out of isolation is one of the best ways that you can help yourself find healing.

The Conquer Series, a small group study created to help men ensnared by sexual bondage, has been helping more than one million people begin their journey to freedom. It combines scientific research, Biblical examples, and cinematic reenactments to help one gain a better understanding of the process of finding and maintaining sobriety.

Men will learn why trying harder has not worked, how the brain has been changed through the viewing of pornography, and the importance of finding their identity in Christ. Created as a small group study, the Conquer Series has helped men find a community that will rally in support of them – offering prayer, encouragement, accountability, and hope every step of the way.

It’s Worth It

One man, who attended a Conquer Group at Southland Church in Steinbach, Manitoba wrote, “At first when I saw the invitation to attend the Conquer Series at church, I was stoked.  I told my wife I needed to attend, and she agreed.  At the time, I struggled with porn and masturbation, but thought everything was under control and this would teach me something new.  But I had no clue what I was getting myself into and the journey God was taking me on.”

He continued,

“After the first session of the Conquer Series, I knew why the Holy Spirit nudged me to attend.  I was in much deeper than I thought.  The road was long and winding.  The battle became fierce, but thanks to the Lord who is strong in our weakness.  I have found true freedom in the Lord!”

Are you ready to reclaim the power that has been handed over to Satan in regards to your life?

Order the Conquer Series today!


The Conquer Series is a powerful cinematic 12-disc DVD series which is helping over 1 million men conquer porn and walk in freedom.


Get started, and order the Conquer Series today.


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