I was nine or ten when I first saw pornography. It was in my brother's room. The Frisbee my friend and I were throwing just happened to go in my brother's open bedroom window. As I retrieved it, I brought a magazine with me. That was the start of our collection.
I was 15 before I first started masturbating. I'd never heard of it until a "friend" told me about it. He said, "You've got to try this. it's so awesome!" I struggled with consistent masturbating for the next 18 years.
I was 17 when I had sex for the first time. I sang in my high school's choir. As I wondered into class one day I saw on the face of one girl the same look I'd seen in hundreds of pornography magazines. The look said, "My body is yours, if you want it." She was a one night stand that claimed she was pregnant. She wasn't. No consequences, so I kept looking for answers in sex.
By the time I was 19 I had shut down my emotions; they were too painful for me to embrace. I was trying to control and compartmentalize them and find answers for my pain.
While I was sleeping around, I also dated three Christian girls. Each one of them broke up with me. After the third break up, I said, "I've had it with Christian girls!" I decided the next girl I met was going to be the first in a string of illicit relationships. I met my future wife shortly there after; the whole time we were dating we were sleeping together, she wasn't a Christian at the time. We ended up living together for three months before she accepted the Lord and I recommitted my life to God. A year and a half later we were at Bible College.
I struggled with masturbating all through college and seminary. Oh, I had brief windows of victory through accountability partners & prayer, but nothing lasted. I was on a business trip to Hawaii in '96 when I saw internet porn for the first time. I'd heard a friend struggled with internet porn. So I thought I'd check it out. That was a bad idea. I ended up confession adultery to my wife (Matthew 5:28). And still my internet porn use continued.
I was in my last year of a three year Masters of Divinity degree at seminary, when I came home to find my wife on the internet. She could tell I'd been looking at porn. Her words to me were instrumental in finally breaking through the walls of denial I'd placed around myself. She said, "What is with this stuff? And when is it going to stop?!"
For me, January 27, 2000 is a day I've marked for all eternity. After a counseling session with a Biblical therapist, I stood out in the parking lot, looked up into a clear blue sky and said to God, "I'm on a whole new road, aren't I?" It was as if His Spirit bore witness with my spirit and He said, "Yeah...yeah you are."
I've been on this "different road" for almost 10 years now. God has brought me an ongoing freedom from my sexual behaviors. I have a clearer sense of how much I'm worth to Him and to others. Eight years ago I would not have believed the current reality I now regularly experience "taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5).
The emotional and sexual intimacy my wife and I experience has been ground fought hard for and it has been profoundly worth the fight. I am deeply grateful to the Lord for the power of His Spirit, the Pure Life Alliance For Men Only program and for a handful of His servants in my life. If I found victory, I know you can too.
Blake Williams, Executive Director, Pure Life Alliance (www.purelifealliance.org)