How to Stop Watching Porn for Good - Finds.Life.Church

How to Stop Watching Porn for Good

by finds.life

Whether you’re here wondering how to stop watching porn for yourself or how to help someone you care about, we’re glad you’re here. You’re about to find some help. Below, you’ll find reasons to quit porn, clear steps for stopping, help with confessing an addiction, the story of someone who’s quitting, and prayers for quitting porn

First, Breathe 

Take a second to breathe in God’s peace. Then, breath out some of the stress pornography may have caused in your life. As you consider God’s grace, say a simple prayer thanking God for His kindness in helping His people stop watching porn forever—and find deep, lasting healing. 

Already Watched the Message?

If you’re here because you heard Pastor Craig Groeschel’s message about how to stop watching porn, that’s great. You’re going to find some more helpful ideas and next steps below. If you haven’t yet heard his message about quitting porn, it’s a great place to start. Watch it or bookmark it to save and watch later.

How to Stop Watching Porn

First, read through the whole thing from start to finish. You’re not going to remember everything, and even if you could remember it, it would be nearly impossible to put everything into practice on day one. So bookmark this guide or save it to your home screen, and use the links below to navigate to the sections you need most each time you return. These words are not a one-stop-shop to stop watching porn forever, but they do point to the kinds of steps anyone can take to find freedom from pornography for good. 

Reasons to Quit Porn    How to Stop Watching Porn

4 Thoughts for Confession and Listening    7 Prayers for Quitting Porn

Know the Reasons to Stop Watching Porn:

We asked a few of our friends why they decided to stop watching porn. Here’s what they said: 

“My porn addiction made it feel like there was always some dark shadow hanging over me. I’d forget about it for a while, but then in the middle of some peaceful or happy moment, I’d remember, and it would steal my joy.”

I was always worried about bringing a porn addiction into a serious dating relationship.”

I objectified and used people to satisfy my lustful desires rather than genuinely caring for them as people.”

The battle against porn can’t be won alone, and I have to constantly be vulnerable and allow people to spur me on in the process of recovering from the addiction.”

Do you relate?

Maybe your reasons are the men and women trapped in human trafficking to meet the demands of the porn industry. Or maybe it’s the impact porn is having on your relationships. You could have discovered the powerful grace of Jesus, and you want to give Him your whole life. Or you’ve heard about how the side effects of porn addiction can negatively impact the brain, diminish sex drive, impact sleep, and lead to anxious thoughts. Whether you’re the one experiencing addiction, or it’s someone you love, you might just be tired of the sexual, relational, and spiritual pain.

Whatever your reasons, it’s good to identify a few, truly value them, and thank God that His grace and power are strong enough to help you make good on them. 

5 Steps to Learn How to Stop Watching Porn:

1. The first step is the next step you take.

If you were jogging down the road and saw a large bear standing on its hind legs, stopping would be your next step. You can apply this principle a few ways. Continuing to read through this guide as a first step. Choosing to take action based on something you read in this guide is another.

If you struggle with an addiction to porn, what is your normal first step toward it? It matters. Whatever that first step typically looks like, don’t take it. Go a different direction. Turn off your phone. Close your laptop. Disconnect the TV from the hotel wall. Cancel the subscription. Get rid of the movies. Trash the stash. You get it.

So what’s your first step going to be? 

2. Tell God and people.

If you ran into a bear in the woods, you’d be quick to call for help. The same should be true when you run into a temptation to watch porn. Call for help from God and from trusted friends.

One of the many problems with porn is that it dehumanizes people. When you tell others about your struggles, it’s like fighting back. God knew we would need people to help us heal. It’s all over the Bible. 

In fact, God’s plan to heal the world came in the form of one of us—as Jesus. So if porn seems like a problem in your life, and you’re not telling others about it, ask yourself, “Why?”

Is it because you think you’re a rare case? Statistics tell us, whether you’re male or female, Christian or not, struggling with porn is not rare. Consider telling a good friend of your gender who’s healthy in this area, a counselor, a LifeGroup leader, your family, or your spouse. If you’re not in a LifeGroup, find one online or in-person today.

Here’s what one person from Life.Church experienced after telling others: 

“I started telling people. I realized lots of people, including my own brothers, struggled with this too.”

3. Be filled with grace.

Whether you’re struggling with an addiction or supporting someone who is, you’re going to need a lot of grace for yourself and others. If you’re struggling with addiction, you’ll need to accept grace from God and others. But don’t forget to extend grace to others as they work through their own pain.

If your spouse struggles with a pornography addiction, consider counseling together, sharing with a couple you respect, and working on your own healing from the pain you’re experiencing. If your spouse has admitted to porn addiction, you have an incredible opportunity to show them the healing power of the gospel of grace. All of this will require grace upon grace upon grace, and there’s always more where that came from.

4. Get help to deal with both the surface and deeper issues.

Pornography addiction is just as real as any substance addiction, and it impacts as many or more parts of life. In addition to prayer and confession to friends or pastors, most people will need more help. This addiction is more than just wanting to see images of sex between strangers. However, that is what the brain is addicted to, and very practical help will be needed to change.

This is where counseling, 12-step programs, consistent accountability from groups, and hard work will come in. Remember, other substance abuses are often not rooted in some kind of immense desire for the substance—there are wounds, abuses, neglect, and big questions looking to be answered in the wrong way through these addictions. 

To quit porn addiction forever, you, your friends, and your family will need to address the deeper issues. Additionally, find a local counselor, coach, or clinic through Christian Care Connect.

Here’s how one person found deeper healing:

“I discovered that the root issue of my addiction was wanting to be accepted and loved as I am. I learned how to find that with real people who care about me and ultimately with God. So now I’m learning how to explore God’s beautiful creation of sex with my spouse without shame.”

5. Make your devices safe.

Listen, if a bear keeps coming into your house through your front door, then you probably need a better front door. Pornography night not be an issue in your house yet, but it could be someday. So begin listing all the devices with internet access. THese days, this could include anything from phones, TVs, laptops, tablets, and even refrigerators!

If you or a loved one wants to stop watching porn or just want to be more careful, add ad-blockers to your web browsing devices. Look into software like CovenantEyes to help block porn websites and provide transparency. Software can help as part of a relationship-centered approach to overcoming this addiction.

Here’s how one person created accountability.

“I installed CovenantEyes filtering software on all of my devices, and got an accountability partner who monitored those filter reports. Then, when I got married, I discussed my past with my wife and added her to the accountability reports.”

4 Thoughts for Confession and Listening:

1. Pray about it.

If you’re confessing a porn addiction, pray and ask God for His grace. Next, pray for empathy for the person you’re confessing to and for wisdom about how much to share. Finally, ask God for the courage to follow through. If someone else is confessing to you, say a quick, silent prayer asking God for grace, empathy, patience, and wisdom, knowing you can’t fix this addiction.

2. Do your part with help.

If you’re admitting an addiction, your part is to tell the truth kindly—more on that in the next section. If someone admits to you their pornography addiction, here are a few things to remember.

First, they have decided to trust you with something very painful. However, you’re not their counselor, you (ideally) aren’t their only confidant, and you are not responsible for fixing the problem. They just overcame a huge hurdle, so thank them for sharing.

They’re telling you because they believe it’s wrong, so they don’t need to be reminded right now. Don’t freak out. They are taking an important step, but there will be many more down the road.

You don’t have to know all the next steps. You can listen, ask them what they plan to do next, and check in to see if they’ve taken their next step. If you’re hearing from your spouse, child, or significant other, it’s a good idea for you to seek help from a counselor, pastor, and trusted friends.

3. Tell the truth kindly.

If you’re confessing, remember that you’ve probably been practicing this conversation in your mind for a while. The person you confess to hasn’t. You’ve possibly had a chance to start the healing process and see a path forward. While they might be blindsided by the information. While you can’t control their reaction, you can take steps to help share with kindness and compassion. 

If you’re confessing to your spouse or significant other, be especially thoughtful about timing, location, and exactly what you share. Think of how you would want to be treated in this situation and put your spouse first. Don’t let this stop you from being honest, but practice empathy as you confess. Bringing in a counselor, a pastor, or, if appropriate, your LifeGroup leaders for wisdom is a good idea.

Again, in the case of a marriage, it is often a wise choice to bring in a mutually trusted third party to help facilitate some of the healing that will take place.

4. Follow up.

When someone shares something heavy with you, it’s easy to have one of two tendencies—you bring it up too often afterward, or you never bring it up again. Neither is helpful. So, think about your follow-up strategy. After you ask them about their next step, decide how frequently you’ll check in to pray for them, ask how they are doing, and see how their next step went. Also, be sure to honor them in the way you follow up. If they told you in private, bring it up again privately.

If you’re a man and looking for content to help you and your friends find freedom and live the lives you really want, we think you’ll love Wild Life.

7 Prayers for Quitting Porn

Prayer is a helpful and often underestimated tactic to stop watching porn addiction and overcoming all kinds of sexual pain. Here’s why:

In summary, prayer puts us in the right place for healing, which is a place of openness and hunger for God’s amazing grace. Here are some prayers to help you stop watching porn. 

1. How to pray when you’re feeling triggered to look at porn.

God, You know what I’m feeling. Thank You that I don’t have to act on my temptation. You gave me my emotional, physical, and mental desires, and You know how I can use them to honor You and love others. Give me wisdom to know what to stop, grace to be kind to myself, and courage to do the right thing, right now. In Jesus’ name, amen.

2. How to pray when you’re trying to confess.

God, You know the people I need to confess to. You know everything I’ve done, and You still have grace for me. Thank You. Will You give me the wisdom to know what to say, the kindness in saying it, and the courage to do it soon? In Jesus’ name, amen.

3. How to pray when your eyes want to look.

God, thank You for making humans wonderfully. Thank You for making this person I just saw or the people my eyes want to see. They are someone’s family, and they are Your children. I will not use them for an addiction any longer. Like me, they are fully human, and fully loved by You and others. If they are stuck in some kind of abusive situation, please bring along people who can help them get free. I’m fixing my eyes on You, and by Your strength, I turn away from any kind of wrong thoughts. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

4. How to pray if you relapse.

God, You are such a good Father to me. I am sorry for giving in to temptation. Forgive me for doing what I don’t want to do, and for acting against our relationship. Thank You for forgiving me fully and for the way Jesus covers my entire life with grace. Help me to make it right with others, and help me know who to talk with about this. In Jesus’ name, amen.

5. How to pray each day to stop watching porn.

God, You are fully capable of my complete healing from this addiction. Thank You for the way You made me so wonderfully. Thank You for my body, my brain, my eyes, my soul, and my heart. You made me on purpose, and You love me as I am while You lovingly restore me. Give me today the strength I need to forgive myself, forgive others, resist temptation, and bring my full self to the life You put in front of me. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

6. How to pray for someone who’s overcoming pornography addiction.

God, thank You for being a good Father to ________. You made them wonderfully, and You are restoring them well. I put them in Your hands and trust You fully with their complete healing. Help me to know what part You want me to play, and please show me the ways I need to surrender to Your grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

7. How to pray for people caught in the porn industry.

God, You know the reasons people have become stuck in the pornography industry. You know about the addictions, pain, financial issues, abuse, and human trafficking that occur. You see each person as Your child, and You know about the kind of healing and freedom that’s possible for them. We ask by the power of Your Holy Spirit that today people would find a way out. We ask for paths full of healing, provision, and recovery from this industry. In Jesus’ name, amen. 

There Is Always A Way Out

No matter what situation you’re in, no matter how this addiction has affected you or your family, there is a good, loving God who is full of grace, who has provided hope and healing. 

Learning how to stop watching porn may happen fast, or it may be a journey, but it is not the final destination of your life. It is part of God’s plan to restore you to a relationship with Him, as this person at Life.Church found out:

“Today I’m almost 8 years clean. I have learned so much about myself and about God. As I learn how pure and perfect God’s love is for us, I can’t help but want to stay as far away as I can from porn.”

If you already know Jesus, you know this is true. If you haven’t come to know Jesus, we’d love for you to visit our church online or in person, or consider praying this prayer to say yes to Him

Finally, here’s some truth you might want to memorize:

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. 1 Corinthians 10:13 NLT


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