ROOT #3 | Isolation

by Freedom Fight | December 1, 2022

This series is exploring the Roots of Addiction laid out in the book of Ephesians. You can start at the beginning here or watch Freedom Fight founder, Ted Shimer, as he provides the important context of our identity in Christ as a foundation for understanding the Roots to Addiction to help you quit porn.

The Root:Isolation.
The Solution: Develop authentic relationships/accountability. 
speak the truth…we are members of one another.
– Ephesians 4:25

“The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety, it’s connection.”

Sex addiction is classified as an intimacy disorder, and it causes us to isolate from God and from one another. When a person feels disconnected from others, it makes them more susceptible to the fake intimacy of porn, making it more difficult to quit.

Reliance on God and small group connection

were the two most important factors for finding freedom listed by Dr. Patrick Carnes in his survey of over 600 recovered sex addicts

If a lack of connection to God and others contributes to addiction, then it makes sense that connecting with God and others would be an essential part of recovery. 

From the beginning, sin has caused people to isolate from God and one another. After Adam and Eve sinned the Bible says, 

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
– Genesis 3:7 

Adam and Eve decided to hide who they really were- both physically and emotionally- from one another and also from God.

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God.
– Genesis 3:8

As with Adam and Eve, sin leads us to isolate from God and from others, but God calls us out of hiding. He wants us to leave the shadows so we can be in authentic relationships with Him and others. 

Don’t believe the lie that private repentance with God is enough. People who struggle with sexual sin must break their isolation and come into community by confessing their sins to others. 

Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
– James 5:6

We all long for fulfillment and true intimacy. 

When that thirst is not met, we try to quench it on our own. Jesus tells us that our thirst for ultimate fulfillment is found in Him.

If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.
– John 7:37-38

A personal relationship with Christ begins when we trust in His death on the cross as a payment for our sins and invite Him to live His life through us. This is such a significant event that Jesus calls it being “born again” (John 3:3). Once we come to know Christ, we grow in that relationship by spending time with Him: seeking God through a daily walk in His Word, spending time in prayer, living a life of worship and seeking God with other believers. 

Surprisingly, God, Himself, says that a close connection with Him isn’t all we need. We need companionship and community. Upon creating a perfect world where God Himself was Adam’s companion, God said,

 “It is not good that the man should be alone.”
– Genesis 2:18

In a perfect world with a perfect God and a perfect man, God recognized our need for human companionship. 

We need companionship and community. We often cannot experience God’s love and acceptance until we have experienced love acceptance from other people. Where pornography isolated us from intimacy, connection with God and others increases our capacity to experience intimacy. 

Let’s look at this Biblical truth in light of what we know about our brains. God did not create us for isolation but for connection and our brains are hardwired for that connection. One of the primary ways that we have been wired for connection is through sex. Oxytocin is the hormone that helps us bond with others. However, it is also released during porn use or a hookup and increases a person’s compulsion to create emotional bonds during sexual behavior. This dopamine-oxytocin combo is described by behavior therapist, Andrea Kuszewski, to explain why when someone watches porn they are “bonding” with it and these chemicals make one “keep coming back to have that feeling.”  

Remember, God, who created us and knows us inside and out, puts sexual sin in a unique category:

Flee from sexual immorality.
Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
– I Corinthians 6:18

We all have a thirst for intimacy and porn is a cheap substitute to meet this need. 

Not only does porn lead to isolation, but isolation makes porn more tempting. Sadly, today’s younger generations is the loneliest in US history. Additionally, the majority of Christian college students using porn say porn negatively impacts their relationships because it isolates them from others. It is not surprising that the shame and hiding associated with porn use isolates and harms relationships. Ironically, porn offers a fake intimacy to fill the relational void it helps create. This is why BRACE can be such a powerful tool; it helps foster authentic relationships. 

It is not enough to simply attend a small group or have an accountability partner. These relationships must be open and authentic. 

If you want freedom, you must live in reality. Wearing a mask starts subtly for many of us who have a fear of being rejected. A small group with authenticity becomes a place of healing as we find love and acceptance in a community that desires recovery for us. Learning to be real with a small group or close friend is an essential step to breaking free and being the person God created you to be. 

Living in authenticity allows one to experience the truth offered us by Jesus:

It is more blessed to give than to receive.
– Acts 20:35

Just living in authentic community is not the goal. The goal is giving in authentic community. Addiction turns a person inward: their craving, their struggles and even their progress can become the focus. But when a porn addict experiences the power of community, they’ll want to help others find that community. Community helps us get our eyes off ourselves and on to others which is critical to growth and freedom. The Bible says God, 

Comforts us in all our affliction,
so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction
with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 

– I Corinthians 1:3-4

The root of isolation is addressed head on by forging authentic relationships.

Looking for more resources to help you quit porn?

1. Join an authentic community of others on their journey to quit porn. No matter how long you’ve been using porn or how you’ve tried to get free, our proven program is for you. We’ll guide you every step of the way. Start now by clicking here!

2. Join the free 30-day challenge – a powerful biblically based and scientifically informed program to help you quit porn – click here to join.

3. The ROOTS blogs (Roots, #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6) are all content summarized from a more thorough and detailed account found in the The Freedom Fight book. You can go buy it here if you need more details and help to quit porn.Book on How to Quite Porn









Published: December 1, 2022  |   Quitting Roots and Solutions
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