It’s cheap (often free), accessible, and addictive. Up to 99% of men and 86% of women consume it while risking destruction of their own soul and most valued relationships. It rakes in billions of dollars in profits for a few while exploiting the others involved. Neither marriage nor Christianity guarantees pornography won’t affect you. Don’t let pornography destroy your Christian marriage!
If you are 100% certain that pornography is not an issue for you or your marriage, you can quit reading right now. But this has become one of the most common problems I am asked about. Every week I get messages from both men and women like this:
- My wife has cancer and cannot be sexually active. Porn was easy, cheap (free) and secretive, and it distracted me from the pains of life. Even with prayer I couldn’t completely defeat it. I feel like there’s no hope. Can God can rescue me?
- I was abused as little girl. Now I masturbate while watching lesbian porn. I am tired of living like this. This one sin is destroying my life. I need God to deliver me free from this bondage. I long to walk in sexual integrity and live above defilement.
- Over the last year our marriage has been tested. Our sex life has been horrid and my wife is now caught up in porn. I’m mentally and emotionally devastated, and our relationship is in serious trouble.
- I’ve struggled with porn my whole life. I’m in my 60s now and still can’t quit though I’ve tried to stop many times. I lost both of my marriages because I used porn for sexual relief. Now I’m afraid that I might lose control and get back into porn again.
The pull of sexual images on your brain is deep. It’s everywhere in our culture. Your kids can be exposed on their phone while riding the schoolbus. Media is saturated with it. Barna research reports that most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past. The “immoral woman” (or man) of Proverbs 5-7 no longer waits on the street corner; she waits on the little device in your pocket.
The enemy knows he’s often successful using this weapon against the souls and marriages of humans. Among other reasons our God-created need and desire for intimacy makes us vulnerable to looking for love in all the wrong places, including pornography.
The gospel provides answers to the problem of pornography – not easy ones, but effective ones. To keep your soul and your marriage from being destroyed by this insidious and ever-prowling lion, here are three truths you must embrace.
Freedom from Pornography is Possible
Your first exposure to pornography may not have been your choice, but your continued consumption of it is. You are only a victim as long as you choose to remain one.
You are not the first one to face this battle. Thousands of years ago Job faced it and said, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl.” (Job 31:1) Jesus said, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) The battlefield in our modern culture may have shifted a little, the human heart has not changed. God says sexual integrity is the standard.
If you question whether you can “control” your pornography consumption, and that cutting back is all you need to do, you will fail. It’s like cancer; one cell not eradicated will come back to bite you. “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned? Can a man walk on hot coals without his feet being scorched?” (Proverbs 6:27-28) The only option for freedom is complete eradication.
If your spouse is the one consumed by pornography, this is not about you. You don’t have to accept this bad behavior. You can be your spouse’s advocate in finding freedom, but requiring that of your spouse is appropriate.
If Jesus, or Paul, or John, were living today, do you think they would be consuming pornography? (Do you really need me to answer that question?)
God Requires Your Absolute Commitment to Freedom
Is finding freedom easy? Absolutely not! Like other addictions pornography gets its hooks in your brain and doesn’t want to let go. Some will have a harder time breaking free than others; your personal history, biology, and personality will affect your journey. But none of that is an excuse.
Compassion does not say “It’s OK.” Compassion points to freedom. Just like “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk,” so it is with pornography.
Your commitment to freedom does not mean sitting back and waiting for God to take away your desire for pornography. Sometimes He does that, but His usual way of working with humans is to require your deep investment in the process, and your ongoing no-holds-barred commitment to that freedom.
You cannot do this without Him! But in working together with Him you are required to do whatever it takes on your side. That includes choosing to shine the light on the shame you are feeling and get some help. Here are some places to find that help:
- www.xxxchurch.com – resources for men and women struggling with pornography and their loved ones
- Every Man’s Battle – resources to help men live with sexual integrity
- SHE Recovery – help for women struggling with sexual brokenness
- Covenant Eyes – internet filtering software to help protect you from pornography
- Be Broken – resources to help adults experience healing from sexual addiction and brokenness
- Pure Desire – helping men, women, and couples take their lives back from unwanted sexual behavior and betrayal trauma
Just do it!
God can be Ruler over your Sex Life
You’ve decided to make Jesus your Lord and Savior, right? Make Him the Lord of your sex life – every day.
Every single day consecrate your sex life to Him, and whatever avenues have been a part of your vulnerability. Out loud, before your day begins, turn your sex life over to Him. And determine in advance what you will do when you feel pulled into your old habits. Make a specific plan about what you will do instead of going to pornography.
If you’re still reading this, it’s likely the Holy Spirit is putting His finger on this part of your being and saying, “This right here, let Me have it!” Agree with Him, and choose to walk the journey to freedom one step at a time.
Your Turn: Where has pornography been affecting you or your marriage? What are you going to do about it? Leave a comment below.
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Do You Want Freedom from Pornography?
The journey to freedom from pornography is not easy for many people. It gets its hooks in your brain, and doesn’t want to let go.
Get our free downloadable Resource Guide outlining 7 important steps on your journey to Freedom from Pornography. You don’t have to do this alone!