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Let’s Talk About Porn: Tips For Kids To Break Porn Addiction (Part 3)

Tips To Break Porn Addiction

(This is Part 3 of our Let’s Talk About Porn series. You can read Part 1 and Part 2 of the series right here. )

When I was seven years old, I was first exposed to pornography while watching the fuzzy channels on the TV with my brother, in our shared bedroom. I’ll never forget that time. It was a moment of feeling good and bad at the same time. And throughout my life, I struggled with this specific sin, particularly as a teenager.

There are very few things that I regret in life, but this is one of them. I tried EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, to get rid of the struggle: prayer, accountability, Internet blockers, confession, you name it. But porn became an addiction for me. I always seemed to go back to the old habit. Why? Because I struggled with feeling not good enough and porn made me feel good enough.

Then shame and guilt entered, so I hid my sin from others and didn’t let them in. But I wanted to feel better about myself, so I looked at porn again. This cycle happened over and over again throughout my life. And little did I know that what I saw on the tv screen at age seven was going to haunt me for the next 2-3 decades. Little did I know this particular issue was going to bring destruction and distrust within my marriage. Little did I know that my view of women was going to be forever scarred.

Winning The Battle

But even though porn has been a battle at different times throughout my life, there have been some BIG wins along the way. There have been incredibly stressful seasons, but also sweet times of redemption and restoration. And though I’m not perfect and still struggle with lust, God has been gracious to me in helping me succeed more in this battle. How so?

There are several things I’ve found that help me in this struggle that I think will be helpful for you to break porn addiction. Breaking them into three categories, they are: honest accountability, knowing your trigger points, and eliminating access to temptation.

Honest Accountability

Few things work better in times of temptation and struggle than honest accountability to another person. Accountability means letting someone in on your struggles for the purpose of healing. They check in on you periodically, therefore holding you accountable. And honestly, knowing you’ll have to tell someone how you’re doing can actually prevent you from crossing tempting boundaries.

Here are a few tips as you find someone to come alongside you and keep you accountable:

  1. Porn makes you want to hide in shame, whereas accountability forces you to expose the dark areas in your life.
  2. Find someone older than you that you trust and can speak wisdom into your life. (Preferably someone of the same gender: for boys…talk to your father, father figure, coach, teacher, small group leader/youth pastor, etc.)
  3. Remember your goal: to be healed/break habits, not merely behave better.
  4. When you mess up, look to Jesus and remember the good news of the gospel. Before, when and after you struggle, know that God doesn’t love you any more or less. You’re not considered worthy or righteous based on your behavior, but rather upon Jesus’s righteousness and sacrifice. God accepts and loves you, even though He knew you would struggle and sin. Jesus is your true satisfier and Savior!
  5. Don’t make it weird. From the beginning, voice how this won’t be easy or comfortable, but it’s for your good. Make it clear how you want/need to be held accountable. It’s no fun talking about these things, but when you both agree that this is a journey of healing, it makes for a safer, less awkward relationship.
  6. Set realistic and healthy expectations/boundaries.

Trigger Points

Remember, pornography is an answer or outward expression of a deep, inner issue. There’s some problem or longing going on deep within that porn helps soothe. In other words, there are triggers we each have that if not careful, can lead us to sin. It’s almost as if porn is the answer to my triggers.

Brad Habrick, Pastor of Counseling at The Summit Church in Durham, NC, created an exhaustive list of triggers that people have that lead them to sin (or look at porn), or find their answer/satisfaction in porn. Here are a lot of the triggers he listed:

  • Boredom (Sin is my joy)…when I’m bored, porn brings me joy.
  • Loneliness (Sin is my friend)…when I’m lonely, porn makes me feel less alone.
  • Stress (sin is my comforter)…when I’m stressed, I find comfort in porn.
  • Frustration (sin is my peace)…when I’m frustrated, porn makes me feel at peace at the moment.
  • Fatigue (Sin as my source of life)…when I’m tired, porn makes me feel alive.
  • Hurt (sin as my refuge)…when I’m hurt, I can run to porn which takes the edge off.
  • Betrayal (sin as my revenge)…when I feel betrayed, I run to porn out of revenge.
  • Bitterness (sin as my justice)…when I’m bitter, I run to porn to seek justice.
  • Opportunity (sin as my pleasure)…when no one’s around, I run to porn because it feels good.
  • Rejection (sin as my comfort)…when I feel rejected, I run to porn because it accepts me and comforts me.
  • Failure (sin as my success)…when I feel like a failure, I go to porn because it makes me feel like a winner and successful.
  • Success (sin as my reward)…when I do something great, I go to porn because I earned it.
  • Entitlement (sin as my deserved)…when I feel entitled, I go to porn because I deserve it.
  • Desire to please (sin as my affirmation)…when I feel like I have to please people, I run to porn because it accepts me and it’s pleasing.
  • Time of day (sin as a pacifier)…when I’m looking to pass the time by, I go to porn.
  • Location (sin as my escape)…when I’m in this room/space, I go to porn because it helps me escape reality.
  • Negative self-thoughts (sins as my silencer)…when I have negative thoughts towards myself, I go to porn because it silences these bad thoughts.
  • Weakness (sin as my power)…when I feel weak, I go to porn because it makes me feel strong and powerful.

3 Questions You Must Ask

Do you struggle with porn? Here are a few questions to ask:

  1. Deep down, why do I look at porn? (it’s more than just pleasure)
  2. What are my trigger points and why/how do they lead me to seek out porn?
  3. Right before I look/want to look at porn, what am I feeling? Any of those trigger points stand out?

“The power of all temptation is the prospect that it will make me happier. No one sins out of a sense of duty.”

John Piper in Future Grace

Is porn pleasurable? Yes, otherwise people wouldn’t WANT to look at it. But deep down it’s an empty pleasure, a misguided passion. So thinking along those lines, what are some alternatives to dealing with trigger points? What should I do with these misguided/misplaced passions? Instead of porn, what should I run to in order to break porn addiction?

Instead of Porn Try…

  • Participate in physical activity: this gets your mind, body, and heart going in a different direction.
  • Do something you love or are passionate about (hobby)
  • Pick something of purpose to do that brings meaning to your life (or someone else’s life).
  • Do something productive: chores, homework, serve, 
  • Talk to the person keeping you accountable. Let them in on your trigger points/temptation. Let them know when you’re feeling tempted.
  • Pray and let God know how you’re feeling and ask Him for help at the moment.

All the above distracts you from porn and turns your heart, mind, and body towards doing something rather doing nothing (doing nothing = breeding ground for sinful desires). So pick one or two items from the list above and do it, then notice how you feel afterward! 

And one more action step that God tells us in the Bible is to flee sexual immorality. Flee it… or in other words, eliminate your access points.

Eliminating Access Points to Temptation

“Flee sexual immorality.” – 1 Corinthians 6:18a

There’s a reason God tells us to flee this sin…because it is powerful and enticing and capable of causing great destruction in many areas of our life. So in a culture where screens are everywhere, and life is becoming more and more digital, how do you flee this temptation? One major way to do so is to eliminate access points to temptation.

You know your weaknesses, so choose to be wise and proactive and plan accordingly. For example:

  • If my phone in my bedroom is a temptation for me, I shouldn’t have it in there. Buy an alarm clock, charge your phone in the kitchen at night, etc.
  • Delete apps that make it easy for you to fall into lustful thoughts
  • Add accountability software or a monitoring app, such as Covenant Eyes, which allows designated others to know what you’re looking at online. This helps keep you honest and helps you at least pause before clicking on that link/website you know you shouldn’t be looking at.
  • Leave the situation. If you find yourself being highly tempted at the moment, get up and do something or be around someone else. Being alone and tempted is a bad recipe.
  • Start a new routine: think about the actual times/locations that you struggle the most with sexual sin, then change your routine. Start doing something different during that time.

Final Thoughts

These three categories will immensely help those who are struggling with porn, even if they just put one action step into practice. And if you slip up and fall back into temptation, don’t kick yourself, but quickly go back to fleeing the temptation (and let your accountability person know).

Also, please know that even though all the above suggestions may help break your porn addiction, they’re not necessarily foolproof. As a reminder, this temptation is very powerful and hard to break. If you know you want to break porn addiction in your life because of how destructive it is, why not try one of these actions steps today? Pick one and see how you start to feel afterward and notice how the temptation begins to lessen. You’ll be glad you did!


Porn is a major issue in today’s digital age. So as a parent, how should you talk to your kids about porn? Find out in Part 4 of the series right here.

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