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Enslaved to Porn: Why I Returned Again and Again to Pornography

pornography addiction

There’s a historical event that illustrates what my pornography addiction was like.

During a bank robbery in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1973, robbers held several hostages for six long days. During this time, a curious thing began to happen: The hostages began to show signs of sympathy for their captors.

Even after the ordeal was over, one of the hostages later became good friends with one of the robbers.

The criminologist assigned to help police with the case coined the term “Stockholm Syndrome.”

While there is considerable discussion surrounding the exact nature of this phenomenon, there have been several reported cases of the syndrome; some hostages seem to form powerful emotional attachments to their victimizers as an internal defense mechanism.

Israel longs for Egypt.

By way of analogy, we can see Stockholm-like symptoms in the attitudes of the Israelites during their wilderness years.

Only weeks after they watched God open the Red Sea, they were murmuring against God when they ran out of provisions. They thought about their life back in Egypt—the bread, the pots of meat (Exodus 16:1-3).

Wasn’t this the same group of people who groaned because of their slavery (Exodus 2:23)? Why, instead of remembering the cruelty of Egypt—the task masters, the heavy burdens, the centuries of toil making bricks under the hot sun, the ruthless slaughter of their children—did they remember pots of meat?

My longing for porn.

I have been just as guilty of the same lunacy when it comes to my own habitual sins—like my love affair with pornography.

Yes, in my sober moments, I could see the ugliness of my pornography addiction for what it was. But there were many times I rushed back to porn like a dog to its vomit. In the moment of indulgence, I was blind to the shame and oppressiveness of my addiction—or perhaps it’s more accurate to say that I saw the shame of it, but it somehow seemed less ugly to me.

Something in me wanted to have a pornography addiction, wanted the slavery.

Longing for Pornography Addiction?

Over the years, I’ve pondered why this is, and here are my observations…

Who do you trust?

God made Israel many promises of deliverance. If they trusted God, He would bring them out of slavery into a land of blessing. But “the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened” (Hebrews 4:2).

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lukegilkerson@churchleaders.com'
Luke Gilkerson is the general editor and primary author of the Covenant Eyes blog. Luke has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Bowling Green State University and is working on an MA in Religion from Reformed Theological Seminary. Before working at Covenant Eyes he spent six years as a campus minister. Luke and his wife Trisha live with their four sons in Owosso, Michigan, and they blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com.