By Steve Pokorny
When you hear the word “freedom,” what do you hear? For many of us who have grown up in the pornified culture, we have been told freedom means, “do what you like.” As the many wounds reveal from those who have experienced a broken sexuality, if they’re honest they know that one can only drink from the septic tank long enough before one starts feeling sick and the effects of drinking from that tank become very apparent.
We’ve all been fed the line that to be free is to do whatever we want. Yet this is anything but freedom and instead ultimately leads to slavery. As we continue to choose activities contrary to our dignity, even in the midst of guilt, shame, and self-hatred, we find that we have trouble saying no. If we cannot say no to something – or anything – we find that we can’t truly say yes.
This is why pornography is so devastating. It programs us to believe that what we really want is an abundance of pleasure, no matter if it comes at the expense of others. It miseducates us into thinking that the value of the person is rooted in sex appeal, and if she’s not the “flavor of the month,” then we can discard her and find someone (or something) that provides the same (or better) kick. And if we are blessed to get into a real relationship, with someone who has real thoughts, feelings, opinions, fluctuating weight gain, and a lowered libido than the actors one has been programmed by, we will discover that the promise of pornography as the fulfillment of desire to be bankrupt.
Mere sex appeal is not the real deal but simply a facade. As any married couple trying to live their vows can relate, the raw material of attraction – which is a good – quickly dissipates, and there must be something more to help them make it through the difficult moments that inevitably arise. Every person is going to change, and at the end of the day, we want someone who is going seeing us for who we are, and even in perceiving our faults, goes all in, stays committed to building a relationship with us.
If we remain on the level of mere libido, controlled by our passions, we cannot love. St. John Paul the Great said, “Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it.” Without love, life is meaningless and hopeless. And boy, does the world need hope more than ever!
So what’s the solution? Choose real freedom. Don’t settle for the cheap counterfeits that modern media proposes, constantly pushing in our face that “you need this, you can’t live without this!”
Real freedom is found in Jesus Christ, who offers us not mere pleasure, but instead the liberation from libido so we can be set us free from our bondage to become more – to be who we truly are – and attain our heart’s deepest desire.
Steve Pokorny is the Founder of Freedom Coaching, a one-to-one mentoring system designed to break the power of pornified images. His book, Redeemed Vision: Setting the Blind Free from the Pornified Culture, is available from Charis Publishing.