Guest Author: Robbie Torres

I must have been 13 years old the first time I watched porn. I remember looking at images of girls only several years older than me and feeling a rush of adrenaline, guilt, shame and oddly enough, acceptance. 
My family never talked about porn. I had the usual “don’t use drugs or alcohol” conversation. But, for whatever reason, a seed was planted at thirteen that grew into an addiction lasting the better portion of my life. I was fully consumed and spent hours downloading videos, each dirtier than the last. I had this burning desire to keep consuming.  I reckon I’ve spent fourteen years bonded to porn and masturbation. 

In 2013 I surrendered my life to Christ and immediately began to feel conviction. God began revealing the damage porn and masturbation was having on my relationship with Him and those around me. I took that to mean I needed to fix myself. And over the next three years I attempted to do just that. I’d go 1-2 weeks without giving into myself, and then end up indulging and feeling awful for weeks. God, ever so patiently, made me realize I could no longer be the one to fix myself... I needed Him. Only He could put me on the path to victory. 

Swallowing my pride, I began to ask men around me to hold me accountable. They had full permission to know the status of my struggle. I also gave them status updates if they didn’t ask. I prayed, asked for help, and gave thanks to Jesus each day I won. Next, God started placing people in my life who found victory over porn. These folks would speak truth over me and encourage me. The healing process was no picnic,  but God let me know I’d make it.  And on my honeymoon with my wife, God brought one of the sweetest moments of this battle. In complete freedom I shared with my wife that I had not watched porn/masturbated in six months! God brought healing and freedom into our marriage.

Today I’m twenty eight, married, and over one year free from porn and masturbation. I walk in freedom. I didn’t overcome on my own but by His will. He took my sin and shame and redeemed me, not for my own good but, for His glory. It is by His grace that I’ve found victory.

Richie Cruz