This is for my dear friend Beth, for my wife Amber, and any other child of the risen Lord that’s been lied to, deceived, or led astray from the truth.
This won’t be for the faint of heart; for tackling real issues of the heart never is. All I have to say with the welling of tears is….THE WORLD HAS IT ALL RIGHT! No amount of arguing can exist that will justify its existence or reasoning, but the world is breeding the seeds of lust right. Pornography is the desires of sinful hearts everywhere who are hurting, lost, confused, angry and consumed by the searching of love & acceptance.
Recently the question was posed by my dear friend Beth on Facebook that asked, “Porn innocent pleasure without victims or destructive intimacy stealing behavior?” Interesting question, DEEP answers given….a total of 32 comments/arguments in fact. Here are a few of the most prominent and disturbing ones:
Innocent pleasure unless it’s an addiction for a person. Most people aren’t lusting after the actions, it’s the actual sex.
The sneaking around/lies would be more of an addictive behavior. I don’t think that addictive behaviors interfere with normal life activities. A lot of alcoholics function quite normally but are still addicted….I think that for the most part men are happy with what they have and know they will never have a porn star.
Watching it together can lead to some pretty hot sex which I’m sure they’d rather have then watch. If a man accepts that I have a shoe addiction and let’s me buy shoes, then there isn’t a problem and I don’t have to sneak around and lie. If it interferes with everything else, then there is a problem.
Doesn’t it degrade men? Women watch it too! If you are forsaking sex with your partner in favor of, lying and sneaking, then yes you need help. Anything can be addictive if you have that tendency. It can be a destructor if carried too far.
Remember the naked boy and girl icon of the 70’s? We all look. We omit thing s that we think will hurt another, we embellish to make things sound like they are better or not exactly what they are. Can you honestly say you can handle the unabashed truth in every subject of your life and if you can, do you really want to hear it?
So many thoughts, expressions and passions expressed; but these all BEG the question in the heart’s of Christ followers: Where do WE stand? Where did we go wrong from the days of sensual appreciation of ONLY our spouses? Have we EVER been that way?
My general comments to the question Beth asked stemmed from personal experience and current struggles I’ve had with lust:
It’s an intimacy destructor. PERIOD. I’ve never been a porn junky, but I have struggles on the lust issue from a simple picture showing little bits of cleavage here and there. Porn is a destructor of the intimacy of the mind. It takes God’s holy vision between a husband and wife and perverts it to expectations unable to be fulfilled.
The bottom line is pornography is a REPLACEMENT for God-designed intimacy one-on-one with your spouse and instead fill a void you have negatively and TEMPORARILY with the illusion of happiness/contentment.
Now that is my initial reaction to the question from a spiritual, Child-of-God perspective. But in a world saturated with skin & sin, it is most like the less popular opinion. Reading some of these expressions and frankly the justifications used to make pornography OK makes my heart break.
Having an attraction for the opposite sex was God’s plan from creation, “This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. (Genesis 2:24 NLT)“. Also King Solomon was one of the first to vividly describe the intimacy and adoration of sexual relations of his wife and her for him, as it pertains to God’s intended glory. “Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine. How fragrant your cologne; your name is like its spreading fragrance. No wonder all the young women love you! Take me with you; come, let’s run! The king has brought me into his bedroom. How happy we are for you, O king. We praise your love even more than wine. How right they are to adore you. If you don’t know, O most beautiful woman, follow the trail of my flock, and graze your young goats by the shepherds’ tents. You are as exciting, my darling, as a mare among Pharaoh’s stallions. How lovely are your cheeks; your earrings set them afire! How lovely is your neck, enhanced by a string of jewels. We will make for you earrings of gold and beads of silver. (Song of Songs 1:2-4, 8-11 NLT)
Having the attraction isn’t a problem if it isn’t with whom you are sexually going to be married to….according to scripture. Jesus said:
I tell you that everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (The Gospel according to Matthew 5:28 TLV)
Why would Jesus, our Savior and the one to whom we are to MODEL after in our Christian faith, say such a statement if we are to excuse it willingly? This verse alone weekly, sometimes daily sets my failure tone. I hold onto those words as best as I am able, yet hearing the words of the world’s acceptance like, “If a man accepts that I have a shoe addiction and let’s me buy shoes, then there isn’t a problem.“…KILLS ME.
They say it takes 30 days to start a habit and up to 3 months to sustain the habit into daily life. So if you’ve had the surroundings of pornography AT ANY LEVEL in your life longer than 30 days consistently, it’s a HABIT. If you’ve involved pornography in your life consistently, on-off, sporadic, yet with no break in pattern for 3 months or more….you are playing with addiction! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you’re addicted after 3 months, I’m saying you’re on the verge.
Addiction is defined as, “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming. The key term we tend to redefine to soften the blow is ENSLAVED. “Oh, I’m not enslaves to this!” “I’m not controlled by pornography, I only view it every-do-often!” “Looking at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition isn’t pornography; besides they’re covered!” No matter the severity, if your eyes are on Jesus, your eyes are only to be only on your spouse!
When the consistency of related activities (in this case dealing with lust/pornography) begins to consume your daily activities in one way or another, it is addictive behavior. Let’s be honest….we all struggle with addictive behaviors that are unhealthy with our walk with Christ. If we were honest with ourselves, it would be either food, caffeine, sports, iPhones, or even Candy Crush!
The major problem with pornography? The internal damage it does to marriage and ultimately your definition of intimacy. To look at one another and keep the purity of vision The Lord had for us is damaged. To observe beauty in its natural form without expectations of a mold unable to fulfill is forever tainted. The hearts between the two are scarred with the laceration of other faces trying to fill the space intended for just Jesus & your spouse; you may never think of them alone again.
Earlier comments lead us to think that addictive behaviors don’t interfere with normal lives; yet later another person states that pornography is degrading to men….and women! All this sums up to me and prayerfully you the interested reader, that the WORLD has it all wrong! Pornography is addictive and does destroy the mentality of the mind for emotional & spiritual intimacy fulfillment! Watching, looking or fantasizing about it is degrading to both sexes! Take an honest thought into this next statement, coming from a male’s perspective: Who wants to see the value of a woman to whom you are IN LOVE with be stimulating your penis with her mouth and then you kiss her afterward?
To some, the world has you so trained in responsiveness to sexuality that you’d chuckle at the vision of what I just said. But would you really? Would you really see that vision of your wife (MEN) attractive and not degrading in Godly intimacy with you??. He didn’t intend for our minds to pervert this act of one flesh.
For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16 NIV)
But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. (James 1:14 NASB)
Being carried away is not fun and and being enticed everyday with lustful surroundings is the most frustrating. Yet this battle of the flesh is never ending while we are still in the world. I have and still struggle with lust of the flesh….God makes beauty everywhere! Yet when that temptation turns my eyes towards someone else, that’s where control has to be redirected.
You can excuse the practice all you want with it being used to help recapture or build a sense of passion and kinky sexuality in your relationship; yet in doing so, you distance that intimacy with God who blesses the intimacy you so seek. People look all over for replacements for closeness and intimacy with someone; leaving the depth, joy and happiness of REAL intimacy through God more distant in our lives. I have spent too many days allowing the temptation of lust teeter-totter my life along the grips of pornography. I thank GOD for He protection of my eyes and my heart from the depths of that sin….yet I still cry out because I used to think all the time that I was ok and not affected like other men.
I was WRONG.
My marriage, my self-worth and my spiritual definition in Christ was effected by the moderate glances, the hypnotic stares and the eventual actions of temporary blindness to God’s reality for my intimacy. It is all a LIE!! Feeling like anyone else can fulfill this need God gave us is LUDICROUS! We are not pieces of meat to be devoured; nor are we objects for self-gratification. We are HIS and we need to stand strong and ACT like it!
The next time you look into your spouses eyes….what will you value the most? The physical pleasure only….or the whole awesome package God gave you for eternity….will you allow it!?