No one is invincible when it comes to temptation. This is especially true for those who have created a weakness with pornography or masturbation. As you can see, the world is full of tempting images which we can hardly escape. You cannot let that be an excuse though. We must set boundaries to live a life of moral safety as much as we possibly can. Of course we cannot become extreme about this and must live a balanced life. Those who take this to the extreme will burn out quickly. I did this myself and even thought living like the Amish wasn’t a bad idea. However, I’m not Amish nor do I desire to be, not that there is anything wrong with being Amish but there are a lot of technologies that I find beneficial in my life. Don’t worry though, you can absolutely escape a porn addiction without having a perfect environment.
One time I was talking to a friend about my frustrations of trying to stay away from pornography. He said, “There was a time when it was easy to stay away from filth and one had to search it out in order to obtain it. Now it’s difficult to stay away from it and one must map their daily life in such a way to avoid pornography.” It’s true, it is much more difficult to avoid pornography these days but just like we seek shelter from a storm so can we do the same with pornography by setting boundaries in our life.
I’ll give you some examples from my own life but do not feel you must do the same. It’s your decision to create and construct your life however you feel is best. One example involves movie rentals. It’s impossible to go into a video rental store without being bombarded with tempting images on the front of DVD covers. So I decided not to go into video rental stores. Some people will say that is extreme and it is not a problem for them. I say “ok” that’s great but for me personally it’s too much of a temptation to go into those stores. Too much of those images and my weakness is triggered. Now something to keep in mind is you do get stronger with time and do create sort of a protective armor against temptation. So I could probably go into one of those stores right now and come out just fine. However, for me, those images would eat away at my protective armor until I had no protection at all and became completely vulnerable. So instead of tempting myself in my pride I choose to humbly admit I have a weakness and need to set boundaries. Recovering alcoholics don’t go hang out at the bar or in the alcohol section of the grocery store. That would be silly. So why would someone recovering from pornography put themselves in tempting situations like the magazine rack or home alone with unrestricted access to the Internet.
Another boundary I decided on was my occupation. For me it was just too tempting to have unrestricted access to the Internet at work. So I decided to find an occupation that didn’t require me to use the computer so much. When I say unrestricted, I mean unmonitored and unfiltered. Monitoring and a filter is usually enough to deter people from looking at pornography. I wanted to take this a step further, especially in the beginning stages of my recovery.
We can’t control the world of course but I believe at least two places in ones life should be safe and a refuge from temptations. These places are the home and work. You should not have to worry about filth in these places. I’ve definitely had to step up in the past and say something about things at work that shouldn’t have been there. That can be uncomfortable but it’s better than falling back into addiction.
There are many areas in life in which we can and should set boundaries. It usually comes down to the type of media and the type of people you allow yourself to be around. Don’t let fear of what others will think keep you from making important decisions for yourself.
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