Brother Kay drove down to a popular supermarket at Olu Obasanjo Way, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, to shop. After about ten minutes of filling his handheld shopping basket with toiletries and a magazine, he briskly walked down the aisle, towards the cashier’s counter, where he placed the steel basket and waited to pay his bill.
“Please, could you be fast? I need to join someone outside waiting for me,” he requested to the cashier in a very restless tone. He was the only one at the counter and yet, he seemed so eager to leave before any other shoppers joined him there.
The cashier nodded in response, as she took out one item after the other from the basket, while simultaneously punching the cash machine. Then she brought out the glossy luxuriant magazine from the basket. He looked uncomfortably away, then at his wristwatch, as she tapped the machine.
Just as the small strip of white paper was popping out of the cash machine for his bill, someone else joined him at the counter.
“Please pack up. Add speed!” he almost barked at her.
“Your bill is N6,800 sir,” she snapped back at him, as she tore the piece of paper off the machine and literally tossed it at him.
“Good afternoon, teacher,” the shopper who had joined Kay at the counter, greeted.
“Aargh!” The word “teacher” meant trouble oh!! He was only a teacher in one place – the church!!!
He mechanically turned his head like a programmed robot to look at the voice that had just greeted him. Kay recognised him immediately but could not remember his name. He was a student of his Sunday school class. Oh heck! This girl cashier was dumb and had no sense of privacy for she left the magazine exposed, even as she packed the other inoffensive items into the branded polyethene bags. The image on the magazine was that of a pretty barely-clad Caucasian girl in lingerie and the publication’s cover alone spilled out its contents. From the corners of his eyes, Kay noticed that his student was overtly staring at the voluptuous magazine, as it was being packed for him. This was embarrassing! How was he going to explain this purchase to a brother in the Lord that looked up to him as a mentor? Knowing he had been caught red-handed, Brother Kay remarked rather casually to his student:
“The magazine is not for me. My neighbour asked me to help him buy it. I couldn’t refuse his request because he normally shops for me when I am not disposed to do so.”
The young man nodded but the look of disbelief was evident all over his face.
As Kay ignited his car, veering his vehicle towards home, he was filled with guilt, shame, and regret. When would he get over pornography?
Before he gave his life to Christ, Kay was steeped in many sexual sins; masturbation, fornication, and pornography. At a certain time, he began to accompany some of his wayward friends to patronise prostitutes in brothels. Kay was the type who believed in the so-called “safe sex.” Throughout all his promiscuous years, he had never had to treat a venereal disease because he always wore “the sheath” whenever he was on his flings. Yet, over time, he realised that he was dying spiritually. Things never went right for him, and it often felt like there was this strong evil force retrogressing him all the time. While his mates were ascending in their careers and pursuits, he was stagnant. He could not even keep a decent healthy relationship because he was not interested in real intimacy with women. He was only interested in their bodies and not who they were as persons.
What had propelled Kay to surrender his life to Christ? Well, one night, he had gone to his favourite brothel to fulfil the lust of the flesh. To his utter amazement, he had seen a man he knew to be mentally deranged; a madman whom he had often seen loitering the streets of Port Harcourt. The mentally deranged man had appeared to be in his lucid moments, as he haggled with one of the girls sitting carelessly outside the house of prostitution. Kay had watched in disbelief as the girl had led the sick man inside her room, after her initial phoney ridicule of him. It was from that day that Kay realised that patronising brothels placed him in the same cadre with the mentally deranged. That night, Kay had turned his back on the brothel never to return again.
The following Sunday after what he had witnessed at the brothel, Kay was in church and he had asked God to have mercy on him and forgive him. Then he went through the process of becoming a member and steward, in the church. His early years in the church were rewarding, even if they were not spectacular. They were years of obedience and budding faith in the word of God. However, after three years of faithfully walking with the Lord, Kay relapsed to sin. He was drawn to pornography and masturbation again. He, however, avoided fornication because he was a steward and he was worried about being found. The old man was no longer crucified on the cross with Christ. Sooner than later, his Christian walk (no longer a race), became a cycle of willful sinning and temporary repentance.
“Lord, I promise I will not allow it happen again.”
“Lord, forgive this recalcitrant son of yours.”
“Lord, I’ve missed it again.”
“Father, I’m sure you must be tired of me by now. I am so sorry.”
“Blot out my transgressions and remember them no more, please Lord Jesus.”
But being caught purchasing a pornographic magazine in a supermarket by one of his own Sunday school students, made Kay realise that he needed outside help before pornography would make a mess of him. Kay took a decision not to teach in church again until he had conquered pornography and its accompanying masturbation. For several years, he had struggled in secrecy to conquer pornography to no avail, but now, he decided that he needed to find help.
Kay confided in a brother who was a man in the Lord, and after counselling sessions which lasted for about a month, Brother Kay learnt the following lessons:
He had to first acknowledge the problems that pornography had caused him. Spiritually, pornography had separated him from God. Every time he indulged in pornography, his relationship with the Holy Spirit was damaged. Pornography always left a trail of guilt that crippled his confidence and authority as a child of God. Pornography had also interfered with his creativity, productivity and sense of purpose, because it stole valuable and precious time, which could have been appropriated for useful pursuits – Galatians 5:21.
He had to replace pornography with useful and Godly habits. This involved identifying his goals, core values, beliefs, and working out a roadmap for his life. Idle time could easily become porn time unless properly managed, so it was always needful for him to set goals and plan for the future. He had to establish and maintain a connection with his goals – Proverbs 27:20.
He had to face his fears. Kay acknowledged that he spent more time on pornography and masturbation when he was emotionally fatigued or stressed out, or even upset. He had to face his fears and find others ways of coping with pressure or depression, like praying and engaging in group dates with other Christians – Galatians 3: 13.
He had to take responsibility for his recovery from addiction to pornography. He had to realise that he was not quitting pornography for any other person but himself. He was not doing the church, his family or God a favour by quitting pornography. He was the sole beneficiary of quitting the fruitless habit. He had to work out his escape from the trap. No one else could do it for him. At best, he could only be encouraged but the ultimate decision lay with him. He had to take responsibility for his recovery from pornography and this also involved creating a porn-free environment. He had to destroy every porn magazine, video and avoid porn sites whenever he was on the internet – Proverbs 6:27-28.
Pray to God for help. He had to depend absolutely on God to win this fight. Sexual sins had polluted his life for too long, and he had to go into spiritual warfare and yield himself to the Holy Ghost in order to conquer the lure of pornography and masturbation. He had to depend on God, hour by hour, not to be led into the temptation of viewing pornography – Galatians 5:16, 21-25.