Let me re-share a quick story and some important life lessons
This morning, like he has every morning for the last decade,
my 86-year-old grandfather picked a fresh wild flower on his morning walk and
took it to my grandmother. This morning I decided to go with him to see her.
And as he placed the flower on her gravestone, he looked at me and said, “I
just wish I had picked her a fresh flower every morning when she was alive. She
would have loved that.”
As you can imagine, his words touched a nerve in me. I almost
immediately started thinking about everything and everyone I care about, and
what I don’t want to regret down the road. It almost felt like every aspect of
my life was flashing before my eyes. And as soon as I got home, I started
jotting down some key things that had come to mind. When I was done, I read the
list to Marc. He nodded his head all the way through to the end, and then said,
“I couldn’t agree more. I don’t think anyone wants to regret any of those
things when they’re older.” Perhaps you will also agree…
Spending too little time with the right people
Sooner or later, you just want to be around the people who
make you smile. So today, spend time with those who help you love yourself
more. And remember, the people you take for granted today may be the only ones
you need tomorrow. Never be too busy to make time for those who matter most.
Not taking action on meaningful goals
Instead of complaining about your circumstances, get busy creating new ones. You either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. Most of the time, the only difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do. When it’s all said and done, be sure you haven’t said more than you’ve done.
3. Settling for less than you are capable of
Remember, growth and change may be painful sometimes, but
nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
Collecting more excuses than you can count
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you
don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
Letting impatience dominate your decisions and actions
Patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a
good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.
And of course, if you’re struggling with any of these points,
know that you are not alone. Many of us
are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and
live a life free of headaches and heartache.
Of course, making these shifts—thinking and living
better—takes guidance and practice.
I’m a free man! The joy of saying those words far surpasses any momentary pleasure that porn can give.
The chains that once bound me have been shattered into pieces. The joy that I have from this freedom is only surpassed by the joy I receive from helping others who struggle.
Today, I help men who struggle with porn and sex addiction as a BraveHearts Certified Sex Addiction Mentor. I also serve the Church through my ministry, Strengthen Your Brothers, where I lead small faith-based recovery groups, help organize an annual men’s retreat for purity, and share my story at local churches to raise awareness of the problem of pornography in the Church.
I have been given this beautiful mission by God after destroying my own life, losing my reputation as a believer and my ministry as a local youth pastor through my addiction. When I thought all was lost, hopeless, and no future remained, God had other plans.
When My Troubles Started
It all began like most of the guys that I work with: the same story, only different names. I was only seven years old when a neighborhood friend passed the first adult magazine into my hands. At first, this magazine seemed very wrong and even nasty to me. However, the excitement and allure of it was very real and powerful.
It didn’t take long for me to “discover myself.” By the age of ten, I was already in the beginning stages of developing a future sex and porn addiction.
I still remember my family getting our first home computer back in 1997. I was 15 years old and had already been sexually promiscuous for years. This new computer with internet access might as well have been a heroin dealer moving in. I soon discovered internet pornography and my developing addiction took on a whole new level.
I was truly living and acting like a junkie. I became a slave to this sin of isolation and shame. As I frequented internet porn more and more, I sank deeper and deeper into that dark abyss they call “addiction.” I would sometimes stay up all night viewing it and wouldn’t be able to go to school or work the next day.
A Constant State of Contradiction
Around this time, I had a truly life changing encounter with Jesus Christ. I began to immerse myself in the Bible, pray, and attend church services. I felt like a totally new person in every way except one: sexual immorality.
I thought somehow that this shouldn’t be! How was I so strong now in so many areas of my life, but still in complete bondage to sexual sin? I was still doing the very things that I hated! Was it me, or was it something else inside of me that had the control? My heart grew sad, confused, and desperate.
I did not understand what was going on inside. I only knew that I was out of control.
Out of shame and embarrassment, I kept my struggles mostly to myself. My porn and sex addiction were under the radar, while my public life was soaring ever higher. I went to a Bible college/school of ministry and soon became a very respected local youth pastor. In public, I was teaching, preaching, and praying for the youth. Behind closed doors, I was a regular junkie sneaking off to get his fix. I lived in a constant state of contradiction, which even confused myself! How could this be? I loved the Lord and his people!
At my lowest point, I had a very public fall and my sexual sin was exposed to the world. This was the best thing that could have ever happened to me! Sometimes it takes people hitting rock bottom before they will ever look up.
This began the crisis and shock stage of my recovery from addiction. This very huge and public fall was just what I needed to get my attention and for me to start looking up. This problem had to be dealt with!
After losing my ministry, friends, and reputation, I felt defeated. I was in the most depressed state of my entire life. It took a while, but I slowly began to climb out of the dark pit of destruction.
The only problem was that I didn’t know where to go for help. I tried for a few years simply to pray harder, stay away from women completely, read books on the subject, and “white-knuckle it.” This gave me a little relief, but no lasting healing or real sobriety.
I still remember almost sinking into a state of numbness, where I resigned to the fact that I would just always be like this. I really felt that this was just something that I was going to have to live with for the rest of my life. Thank God I was wrong!
The Lord eventually led me to a faith-based recovery group that got me out of isolation and gave me hope and connection with others like myself. They taught me recovery principles and gave me accountability. This is also where I learned about Covenant Eyes, which played a huge role in my recovery journey and still does to this day.
Finally, I was able to start seeing real results in my recovery and healing began to take place in my relationships. With the help of God, the recovery group, Covenant Eyes, and a good guide, I was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Fast forward five years and a new man has emerged from the ashes. A broken and recreated man that is truly grateful to God and so many others that helped along the way. God has redeemed my life, forgiven me for my past mistakes, and given me a hope and a future. He can do the same for you!
Below are a sample of porn stats. Each statistic or quote has been carefully researched and referenced with the original source in our Porn Stats PDF document. In this way, this compilation of stats, quotes, and figures do not act as a last word on the subject, but as a first word, providing a good starting place for your own research.
Stats on the Porn Industry
“It seems so obvious: If we invent a machine, the first thing we are going to do—after making a profit—is use it to watch porn.” – Damon Brown, Author of Playboy’s Greatest Covers
It’s projected that virtual reality (VR) porn should be a $1 billion business by the year 2025. That’s third behind an expected $1.4 billion virtual reality video game market and $1.23 billion VR NFL-related content.
Pornographers are hoping VR porn will boost porn website revenues that have been mostly stagnant from 2010 to 2015. In that time, adult content increased roughly 0.3% to $3.3 billion.
In 2006, estimated revenues for sex-related entertainment businesses were just under $13 billion in the US. These estimates included video sales and rentals, Internet sales, cable, pay-per-view, phone sex, exotic dance clubs magazines, and novelty stores.
28,258 users are watching pornography every second.
$3,075.64 is spent on porn every second on the Internet.
88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression, and 49% of scenes contain verbal aggression.
79% of porn performers have used marijuana, and 50% have used ecstasy.
1 in 5 mobile searches are for pornography.
“Amateurs come across better on screen. Our customers feel that. Especially by women you can see it. They still feel strong pain.” – Carlo Scalisi, Owner of 21 Sexury Video
There are higher percentages of subscriptions to porn sites in zip codes that…
Are more urban than rural.
Have experienced an increase in higher than average household income.
Have a great density of young people (age 15-24).
Have a higher proportion of people with undergraduate degrees.
Have higher measures of social capital (i.e. more people who donate blood, engage in volunteer activities, or participate in community projects).
Stats on How People Perceive Porn
90% of teens and 96% of young adults are either encouraging, accepting, or neutral when they talk about porn with their friends.
Just 55% of adults 25 and older believe porn is wrong.
Teens and young adults 13-24 believe not recycling is worse than viewing pornography.
Only 43% of teens believe porn is bad for society, compared to 31% of young adults 18-24, 51% of Millennials, 44% Gen-Xers, and 59% of Boomers.
43% of teens
31% of young adults
51% of Millennials
44% of Gen-Xers
59% of Boomers
Porn in the Church Stats
1 in 5 youth pastors and 1 in 7 senior pastorsuse porn on a regular basis and currently struggling. That’s more than 50,000 U.S. church leaders.
1 in 5 Youth Pastors
1 in 7 Senior Pastors
43% of senior pastors and youth pastors say they have struggled with pornography in the past.
64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month.
Only 7% of pastors report their church has a ministry program for those struggling with porn.
Teens and Porn Stats
A 2018 study revealed:
Nearly 27% of teens receive sexts.
Around 15% are sending them.
57% of teens search out porn at least monthly.
51% of male students and 32% of female students first viewed porn before their teenage years.
The first exposure to pornography among men is 12 years old, on average.
71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents.
A 2016 study on Canadian adolescents showed that 45.3% admitted to problems in erectile dysfunction.
“The young women who talk to me on campuses about the effect of pornography on their intimate lives speak of feeling that they can never measure up, that they can never ask for what they want; and that if they do not offer what porn offers, they cannot expect to hold a guy. The young men talk about what it is like to grow up learning about sex from porn, and how it is not helpful to them in trying to figure out how to be with a real woman…For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, real naked women are just bad porn.”
– Naomi Wolf
Pornography and Marriage Stats
“I have also seen in my clinical experience that pornography damages the sexual performance of the viewers. Pornography viewers tend to have problems with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. Having spent so much time in unnatural sexual experiences with paper, celluloid and cyberspace, they seem to find it difficult to have sex with a real human being. Pornography is raising their expectation and demand for types and amounts of sexual experiences; at the same time it is reducing their ability to experience sex.”
– Dr. MaryAnne Layden
68% of divorce cases involved one party meeting a new lover over the Internet.
56% involved one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.”
70% of wives of sex addicts could be diagnosed with PTSD.
Prolonged exposure to pornography leads to:
Diminished trust between intimate couples.
Belief that promiscuity is the natural state.
Lack of attraction to family and child-raising.
A 2014 study found that compulsive pornography users “had greater impairments of sexual arousal and erectile difficulties in intimate relationshipsbut not with sexually explicit materials.”