12th December 2016

Pornography

1. Viewing pornography devalues my wife.

This should be a no-brainer for every man out there.  When we intentionally view porn and/or women in little to no clothing, we’re telling our wives that they’re not good enough for us.  Regardless as to how we may try to rationalize or tell our wives otherwise, our actions speak loudest.  Bottom line–we’re finding pleasure in other women other than our wives.  How else do we expect them to feel?

2. Viewing pornography robs my wife of my complete devotion (which she deserves).

For most men (if not all), pornography is a sexual experience.  There is great passion and sexual emotions tied to it–and that’s why it’s so addictive.  Yet, my sexual passion and emotional intimacy that accompanies sex is meant only for one other person–my wife.  On a very personal note, when I made the decision to only have eyes for my wife and covenanted with God not to look at another women, the intimacy my wife and I share grew exponentially.

3. Viewing pornography will adversely impact my children.

No man is an island and there is no sin committed that doesn’t impact those around us.  Our marriages are foundational anchors for our children.  Pornography will always cause this anchor to be set adrift.  Our kids will find out one way or another that we’re choosing our own self-gratification over loving our wives and families as we should.  By choosing to view pornography, we’re willingly putting our kids at risk to follow in our footsteps and laying a broken foundation for their lives.  Do we want this for our sons and daughters?

4. Viewing pornography is committing a form of adultery.

Jesus stated it simply, “that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).  There’s no way to sugarcoat this poison.  Viewing porn is like dancing with the devil–you will get burnt.  This is not to say that we will never “lust” at another woman for the rest of our lives.  However, when we sense our mind is heading down this forbidden road, it is absolutely necessary that we stop ourselves.  Our walk with God, our marriage and our family is at stake.  When I find myself being tempted, I quickly turn to God and remind myself that this marriage is ultimately a covenant that He has established.  It’s about glorifying Him, and I need to do everything I can to protect it.  Here’s the best part.  Within God’s marriage covenant, there is total provision and protection.  As I cling to God and my wife, God will pull us close and grow our marriage.5. Viewing pornography weakens my relationship with God.

As a Christian, this is the biggest reason why I want to run from any temptation to view pornography or look at another women (in a romantic or sexual way).  To look at another woman in lust is wrong.  It’s a sin.   God’s word also indicates that a pattern of unconfessedsin will adversely impact my relationship with Him.  So what’s it going to be?  As a Christian husband and father, my relationship with God needs to define who I am and how I live.  If I’m called by Christ to offer my body as a living sacrifice as an act of worship (Romans 12:1), certainly this includes how I uphold the sacred covenant of marriage.

These five reasons hold true for every married man.  They also apply to our boys, teens and single men.  Whatever you do before you marry will be carried with you when you walk down the isle on your wedding day.  Men, we reap what we sow. Regardless of your marriage status or your age, porn will warp your life and the relationships around you.It’s high time we declare an all-out war against this devastating nemesis. Our wives and children need to know we will go to battle for them.  God would have it no other way.  Join me this Valentine’s Day season and make the commitment to your wife to only have eyes for her.   Take the time to write it out in your own words.  Give it to her and then do whatever it takes to live it out one day at a time.  This is where prayer and accountability are essential.  Look to God to show you the way and find some men to walk this path with you.  You won’t regret it…and neither will your wife or children.

 

I will be the first person to admit that men, in general, are wired differently than women when it comes to visual stimuli regarding the opposite sex (yet, recent statistics have shown that this is a problem for women as well).  Having been involved in family ministry for over 10 years, I have walked alongside many men struggling with some form of pornography.  I can count on one hand the men that I’ve known that truly are not tempted and don’t struggle with the unabashed access we now have to online nudity.  In this sense, it is true that most men, and this includes Christian men, are tempted to look at pornography when it is literally one click away. Yet, to say that men need or must pursue porn to function in life is just a flat out lie.  By God’s grace, Ms. Lawrence’s quote is way off base, and men can say “no” to porn and the lies that surround it.Pornography’s 3 Big Lies:

1. “It doesn’t hurt anyone.”

2. “God wired me this way.  So it’s okay.”

3. “It creates intimacy within our marriage.”

The Truth:1.  Pornography hurts everyone.

Our sins always impact our relationships, first vertically with God and then horizontally with others.  Pornography is no different, and given its intimate nature can cause even greater harm.  When we choose porn over our spouse we devalue them and are essentially saying, “You’re not good enough.  I need someone else to fulfill me.”  Can you imagine the hurt this inflicts upon our spouse when we continually choose porn over them? Another sobering thought is that the young woman we are looking at is someone’s daughter and very possibly the wife of another man.  

2.  Yes, God hard-coded sexual desires within both men and women. Yet, He designed the fulfillment of these desires to be bound within the covenantal boundaries of a marital relationship.

The sexual act that is part of the covenant of marriage reflects the reality of this most personal-oneness relationship. The physical act of sexual union also speaks to the passionate bond that a man and woman are designed to share.  Within this most sacred God-made covenant, marital intimacy takes on a meaning of pure oneness.  In this sense, it is absolutely wonderful for a man to desire his wife and a woman to desire her husband.   The book of the Song of Solomon elaborates in great detail the fervent love that a man and woman can share within their marriage.  God wants us to desire and fulfill sexual intimacy with our spouses. 

The beauty of the marital covenant, like other God-given covenants is this:  Within the boundaries of this union, i.e. holding fast to Christ, there is both total provision and complete protection.  To go outside of the marriage relationship to seek sexual pleasure, in any form, i.e. visually, emotionally and/or physically is inviting the enemy to have his way.3.  Sexual sins like pornography destroy families.

While some couples may experience greater sexual satisfaction when involving pornography within their marriage, it will overtime kill their marriage.  Porn will devastate true intimacy.  There is no shade of grey when it comes to porn.  There is a simple truth that is universal in its application:  Anything that comes between God and me (the vertical) will cause separation in my marriage (the horizontal). As shared before, we never sin on an island.  Sadly, couples that turn to pornography for greater “intimacy” within their marriages are doing just the opposite.   It also has ramifications for our children.  Beyond sad is the fact that the average age now for a child to view pornography is 11 years old (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding).  I’ve personally met dozens of adult men and women that are still recovering from their father’s legacy of porn and/or their exposure to it because of their father.  

There are a few verses that God used to convict me in this area:

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.  

Hebrews 13:4

 

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined[d] to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin[e] a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 6:15-19

While porn may give us a temporary sexual “high,” it will always damage our most intimate relationships with God, our spouses and our children.  Ms. Lawrence was correct that most men are wired in a way to desire intimacy with women that may lead a man down the path of pornography (a lot of women are as well).  However, God also wired man with the ability to choose which path he will take.  This God-given yearning for sexual intimacy was designed to exist and thrive within a oneness relationship with our wives.  When it comes right down to it, our sexual desires as men and women are more about our spouses (putting their needs before our own), creating children, the marriage covenant and the glory of God than they are about us. 

 

If you’ve experienced some defeats over the years around this issue, don’t lose hope. Almost every man alive has taken a hit when it comes to pornography.  We holdfast to God’s promise, that if we repent and seek forgiveness, His grace and mercy awaits us. Men, make the resolution, from here on out, to only have eyes for your wives.  I encourage our wives to make the same resolution toward their husbands (see theResolved Eyes Blog).  By God’s grace, pornography’s lies will not be a part of the heritage we leave our children.  Rather, our legacy, while imperfect, will be a relentless pursuit to uphold the sacred honor of our marriages.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.

Ephesians 5:25-30

 

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