Pornography is no longer a “back alley” event. In this day of technology, it is readily available to anyone with an internet browser. Even when I peruse images to use in my articles about God, I am inundated with nakedness. Without question, our bodies are beautiful, fearfully and wonderfully created! Able to produce and experience deep joy and contentment. But also without question, our Heavenly Father left guidelines and boundaries for this kind of pleasure. Believers aren’t exempt, male or female, from falling into the pit that is pornography. Some might think it’s a “victimless crime”. Some might think that an addiction can’t develope in a very short time. Some might think it won’t hurt their mate, because it isn’t “real”. In each instance, someone would be wrong! Pornography promises pleasure, but leaves a trail of destruction in its wake. Whether you’re single or married, if you are pulled into the lure of pornography, you are on a slippery slope, physically, psychologically and spiritually! You are not, however, powerless to break its hold on you.
The most common way porno does its damage is to place a wedge into an otherwise happy relationship. I realize that this isn’t an addiction uncommon only to men, but because of the high percentages of marital problems caused by men who watch it, hurting their wives in the process, I am aiming this piece toward those couples. If you don’t fit into that category, you may still glean some wisdom here by continuing to read.
As believers, we must address the things that keep us distanced from God, even if they are unpleasant. The Torah has much to say about whose nakedness we should be seeing. Does God set these kinds of limits just to take the fun out of our lives? Hardly. He knows the end result of all intentional sin. He knows it destroys. Lives, loves, marriages, and most of all, our spirit. We can shine God’s Light on pornography and the issues it causes in our relationships. Whether you are the one stuck in front of the computer screen, lured in by false promises of pleasure, or the one hurt when you discovered your mate’s browsing history, pornography isn’t bigger than God! Before you go about trying to shine light, though, be sure you are securely connected to its source through repentance, prayer and Scripture study. Only then are we ready to shine God’s light, instead of casting shadows. If pornography has slithered into your life, here are some tips to put it where it rightfully belongs, in a pit without you:
- Get informed! Men, did you know that a long-term addiction to porn leads to impotence? Don’t take my word for it, utilize your search bar! The inability to achieve your fantasy in real life leads to frustration and dissatisfaction over time. Women, get yourselves informed, too! The reasons your husbands are watching porn aren’t the ones you may think. Hop on over to your search bar and learn why men are watching. This isn’t to justify the porn in his life, but only to help you understand that it isn’t dissatisfaction with you or your body. A little understanding can go a long way in finding a solution that leaves you both happy and whole.
- Take what you have learned before God. Sometimes, the only way for us to find success is to have Him help us sort things out. He is faithful and willing to guide us when we come to Him ready to get honest about ourselves and our lives. Men, He will help you to understand that the women you are looking at are His creations. They are daughters, sisters, and even young mothers! There are some women enslaved by the industry, brought in as teens. When you watch, you are contributing to their downfall! Women, You also need to get honest with God with what you have learned so that you aren’t undermining your man’s efforts to quit watching. Handing out guilt trips, being constantly paranoid that he’s watching when you aren’t in the room, and belittling or berating your man won’t help bring resolution. It will only bring more problems. If you let Him, God will empower you to be forgiving, and help you to understand your own beauty through His eyes. We might not be able to trust a human 100%, after all, we are all flawed, but we can always trust God to lead us through the dark valleys. Always.
- Communicate with your mate. Have an old-fashioned, honest conversation about what’s going on in each of your heads. This should be a conversation about finding resolution, and not an argument. Without insulting or accusing, share your sexual feelings, needs and desires with each other. Men, realize that making your wife feel less than desirable will not make her feel more amorous, but less. Women, understand that your husband is more “sight” oriented than you when it comes to sexuality. When you have this conversation, be transparent. You are not doing the relationship a favor if you are anything less than completely honest about your feelings.
- Set a barrier between yourself and porn. There are settings on your browser to limit adult content. Through your service provider, there are web guards that can’t be changed without a phone call to customer service. Again, a little research will reveal what method will best work for your household. If you are tempted by magazines, strip clubs or adult stores, do what you need to do to keep away from them. Only stop at convenient stores that don’t offer porn mags, take a different route home from work, whatever it is that you can do to assure your own success. There is never, ever a good reason for a married man to be at a strip-club! Learn to say no to your friends, or no to a boss who wants to hold a meeting at one. Surely, there is a better way to entertain out of town clients! Sometimes it will boil down to sheer self-discipline, but do whatever it takes! No doubt about it, the marriage and sex life you save will be your own!
- Keep Communicating! It’s worth mentioning twice. Women, understand that men tend to leave something behind once it has been exposed and hashed out. Keep that in mind when you are still hurting, but it seems like he has already moved on. He may be oblivious to the fact that your heart is still aching, and you are still feeling insecure. It’s okay for you to share that with him in a loving, non confrontational manner. Men, understand that your wife thinks differently than you, and lingers on her hurt longer than you may think. It may be advantageous to your marriage for you to offer her reassurance from time to time. Share with her what you have learned about yourself in conquering your addiction. If you are struggling, share that with her, too. Pretending that it didn’t happen or that it didn’t do any damage only leaves a door open for more damage to occur. Both of you need to be able to talk about this subject openly with each other. If you are struggling to do that, the problem may be way deeper than pornography, and needs to be discovered, too. The person you have vowed to love and keep until the end of your lives should be the easiest person in this world to talk to!
As the days grow darker in the world around us, there has never been a bigger need for those who are shining God’s Light! Pornography is one of the many things that will dim your light (or even extinguish it), even if not a single soul knows you are viewing it! I assure you that God knows! Pornography is a solid wall between how God says your life could be and how it actually is.
~He that turns his ear away from Torah, even his prayer is an abomination~ Proverb 28
He can deliver you and He can restore your thoughts, your heart and even your marriage, but He won’t do it forcefully and He won’t do it all. Your part is in being honest, with Him and with each other. Your part is repentance from what you know is sin. Your part, if the porno has interfered in your marriage, is forgiveness toward each other, and a willingness to seek solutions, instead of tearing each other down. No, pornography isn’t bigger than God, and you don’t have to let it grow to be bigger than you! The sex life God gave us is a splendid and glorious thing…in the marriage bed. Anywhere else, it becomes darkness, broken hearts and broken lives. We can never be whole when we succumb to our own brokenness. Rise (and shine) above it!