Rusty Rohr was raised in a Christian home. He accepted the Lord when he was 5 years old. He even completed a pastoral internship.
But Rohr is also a recovering pornography addict.
Although it is a sin that is hidden in the shadows of the church, he is not alone. Statistics from a ChristiaNet survey show that 50 percent of Christian men and 20 percent of Christian women are addicted to pornography. According to Covenant Eyes, 47 percent of Christian families experience the porn problem at home.
This week marks White Ribbon Against Pornography week, raising awareness of pornography addiction and how to find recovery. Rohr shared his testimony with The Christian Post in order to show other men that there is a real source of hope, and His name is God. Rohr and his wife, Alegra, found help through Pure Life Ministries, a program in Kentucky. The couple said they want others to know about Pure Life and ministries like it.
Rohr explained to CP in a telephone interview that after making and keeping a chastity commitment at the age of 13, he soon found other ways to channel his adolescent lust.
The lust became addiction, he said, and followed him to his adulthood, until it threatened his marriage and his family. Though he sought help through various programs, he never found victory, he said.
“Prior to Pure Life, most of my efforts to change focused on pastoral counseling and behavior modification. … I arrived at PLM…I was worn out from years of being double-minded,” Rohr said.
“How could I read that ‘anyone who looks at a woman lustfully in his heart has already committed adultery in his heart’ and reconcile that with my life? So I stopped reading His Word, except for a few encouraging passages that made me feel better,” he continued.
Rohr and his wife finally found Pure Life, a Christian program based in Kentucky that offered a live-in treatment option. The ministry was created to deal with what is “undoubtedly the most serious spiritual issue facing the Body of Christ,” Pure Life’s website says. According to the site, the ministry, which includes 35 full-time biblical counselors and staff, is based on the Word of God. Many counselors and staff members are graduates of the program.
Pure Life, like other online Christian recovery programs, offers a 24-hour help line, as well as live, online counselors. Several materials and resources are available on its website. The ministry holds seminars and an annual conference.
It offers programs for both men and women, single and married, including a live-in option for males who seek more aggressive help. The ministry is unique in that when married couples go through the program, both husband and wife are counseled and taught individually and as a couple.
Rohr entered the live-in program in September 2010.
Rohr said through Pure Life, God opened his eyes to the fact that he “was mostly blind to pride in my life; I thought I was a good person. I even had a mental list of all the nice things I did for my wife and others, but this list actually served to increase my sense of entitlement to lust, like it was a little reward for being a great guy.”
He said for the first time in his life since his boyhood, “I was personally introduced to the fear of God. I was confronted with the following Scripture: ‘If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, only a fearful expectation of judgment.’”
“I have been reminded at Pure Life that every motive, attitude, word, deed and event, the secrets of my heart will be exposed before God,” Rohr continued.
Rohr is still involved in the Pure Life counseling program, as is his wife. He said though pornography is a chronic temptation for him, he now finds victory over it.
“God has made it mercifully clear that if, like the psalmist, I seek Him with all my heart, hide His Word in my heart – if my soul is consumed with longing for His Word at all times … that He will be faithful to draw my affections and gratitude. So I [have] a growing confidence that God will complete the work He’s begun, He’s promised to do so.”