Where can I get help for my growing problem with Internet pornography?

First, just so you will have a point of reference, this is a growing concern among clergy. Almost one of every seven calls we receive on our Pastoral Care Line is regarding Internet pornography. Some pastors are just dabbling, some are headed down the road to addiction and some are crying for help trying to break free from the addiction.

We are seeing this problem as a growing epidemic nationally. There are several factors that make this a particularly pervasive sin:

  • Thousands of pornographic web sites are being added each year.
  • Internet surfing is very private. Many offenses occur in the pastor's study at church during working hours.
  • Internet pornography web sites are too easily accessible.
  • Men are the most vulnerable to visual images.

There are a number of directions we can suggest for dealing with this dangerous sin:

  • We encourage you to find another man with whom you can open up and be vulnerable. If you are married, you really need to talk with your spouse. Many of the pastors who call us concerning this issue tell us that they have not told anyone about their struggles. Read Psalm 32:3-5 for an accurate picture of the challenges we face when we keep silent about our sin.
  • If you feel you have no safe place to turn, please consider calling our toll-free Pastoral Care Line at (877) 233-4455. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Mountain Time. Our staff has more than 60 years of combined pastoral experience.
  • Focus on the Family also has a number of resources available on this subject that can be requested by calling (800) A-FAMILY:

"Pastors and Addiction" (CS957) A Focus on the Family broadcast audiocassette

"Overcoming Sexual Addiction" (PC94F) A set of audiocassettes from our Pastor to Pastor series

"When Sex Becomes Addiction" (LF194) A short booklet

False Intimacy (BK895) A book by a leading counselor on sexual issues

"Dangers of the Internet" (PC00G) A set of audiocassettes from our Pastor to Pastor series

Pastoral Care Directory (PC025) A resource directory for ministers and their families

  • It would be wise to purchase an Internet software filter.
  • Get into an accountability relationship. We have discovered that precious few pastors have close friends -- folks with whom they can be totally honest and vulnerable. Ask God to help you discern who you should attempt to meet with on a regular basis for prayer, confession and disclosure.
  • Last, but not least -- bathe yourself in the word of God. Meditate on such passages as Psalms 119:9-11; Philippians 4:8; Romans 6 and 7; Hebrews 12:1-2; Romans 12:1-2; Psalm 15.