“Pornography is not more powerful than God.” – Jake's journey through addiction

by Cindy McGarvie

Testimonies are powerful.

For my book Lost Boys: Bring Them Home, I interviewed a number of young men about their experience with pornography and their journey to freedom. I was only able to record three in the book, but all of the stories were powerful and deserve to be told.

The following is Jake’s story. He’s now 28, married and works in a physically demanding and high-risk job. He also serves in youth ministry at his church and is passionate about sharing God’s hope and redemption to lost boys.



Jake’s Story

I was introduced to porn as a six or seven-year-old, but it didn’t really grab a hold of me until I was fifteen.

I was at school, skipping a class and hiding in the boy’s toilets at the gym. There was another student doing the same thing, he was a year older than me. He had one of those flip phones and showed me some short porn videos. I remember he did it very openly and unashamedly. After that I went home and searched the internet.

That was when porn took hold of me.

Porn was presented to me as a normal thing … however, I felt dirty and condemned.

Within the space of about 12 months I was watching porn all the time, up to five times per day, while also abusing Speed and Ice. I was totally dependent on drugs and porn; hence my schooling life went down the tubes at 16.

Porn was presented to me as a normal thing by the other student, however, I felt dirty and condemned. The moment I did it for the first time, alone and in secret, I felt shame and guilt.

Porn was made to grip a person and it did. I hid it on my father’s computer, but when I got more into drugs I didn’t bother trying to hide it anymore.

I knew that I watched too much porn, but I didn’t acknowledge that it was an addiction. I didn’t have any moral compass to measure anything by. I got into more and more perverse material. Porn validated what I needed.

If just one person in my life had challenged me about my porn consumption it may have changed my course. A few times I remember thinking, “Why am I watching this stuff?” and “How did I even get here?”

If just one person in my life had challenged me about my porn consumption it may have changed my course.

I lived with this addiction for around five years. When I slept with girls, I was completely in fantasy land, I wasn’t thinking of the girl I was with, my mind was driven by the hundreds of images that were flying through my mind. Porn destroyed my relationships

Finally, when I’d reached a really low point at 20, I asked my father to buy me a ticket out of the mess I had created – a life which consisted of drugs, crime and violence. He helped me move to another state to live with my mother (my parents divorced when I was very young and I lived with my father).

At that time, my mother had started going to church and encouraged me to go with her. So, every Sunday I sat in church listening while during the week I continued taking drugs, getting drunk, consuming porn up to five times a day and indulging in my old ways.

After two months of this I went for a trip back home to visit my old friends. When I was there I realised that the desire and thrill of my former lifestyle had diminished. I began to see it as empty and desired to have God in my life. When I went to night clubs, I kept hearing what I believe was the voice of God urging me to surrender my life to Him.

When I returned I surrendered my life totally to Christ.

I read a book called Wild at Heart by John Eldridge. From what I learned through it, I was able to overcome my porn and other sexual addictions.

In my journey to freedom, which took around 18 months, I realised that being alone and in isolation was the place where I was tempted the most. Even after staying porn free, every time I was alone, the temptation would come. As a Christian, these temptations still come on occasion, but I have no desire to follow them.

It’s a lie when you think you can’t override this pull. There is a way out of it.

I made a mess of running my own life.

Anyone who thinks they can become the leader of their own life and not completely submit to God will get lost. They’ll be led astray by their own desires and they’ll live less than how they were created to be.

It’s a lie when you think you can’t override this pull. There is a way out of it.

Pornography is not more powerful than God.

I hope you found Jake's story insightful and encouraging. 

This issue is too big to be ignored and it's a key focus of the Youth for Christ ministry.

I encourage you, if you haven't already, to find ways to open the discussion with the young men in your life, with your church, with our government.

Note: Jake's name has been changed.

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