Why are human beings so fascinated with graphic sexual images? The surface answer is that they make us hot, they turn us on, and they get our motors revving. But we're not stopping at surface answers. We are diving deeper. Most of us know what sexual images turn us on, but few of us know why. This information is absolutely vital to our spiritual and emotional growth. After all, how can we "take thoughts captive" unless we acknowledge the true nature of those thoughts and seek to fully understand where they come from? How can we break free from their bondage if we ignore the grip they have on us?
Over the past year I have been interacting with two individuals. Although they come from very different backgrounds, they have one thing in common: Each is addicted to some form of pornography. Mitch, a Christian leader in his church and community, occasionally dons a disguise and drives to a topless bar on the outskirts of town; and Tammy, who uses her company laptop to view porn while traveling, tells herself this is better than hanging out in the hotel lobby bar and running the risk of an actual affair.
Each has asked the same questions: If I'm a Christian, why do I still do this? Why hasn't God given me the strength to stop?
While God is perfectly capable of miraculously delivering us from our sexual addictions, this isn't usually how the process works. God invites us to fully participate in this healing work with him—for our own growth and benefit. A significant amount of soul work on our part is necessary, or else we will never move past the pain of addiction or past the pain that drives us toward porn in the first place.1