The Curse of Pornography


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The Real Solution

Evil imaginations and inordinate affections (fantasies and illicit passions) make a lot of trouble for some very respectable looking men and women. Married men and women, and a lot who aren’t married, have a good idea how every person they meet would look if they didn’t have any clothing on. Many women would be horrified if they knew what thoughts some men struggle with about them. This can also be true the other way around. At its root, that has nothing to do with the internet or Playboy magazines. It comes from not letting God deal with our sinful hearts.

If we have fallen into this trap there is only one real answer. We need to fall at the feet of Jesus and repent of our sin. We need to repent of the looks we sneak at women walking by. We need to repent of the pictures and videos we have viewed on our smartphones. We need to repent of our evil thoughts and our lusts. Once we have accepted Jesus as the Lord of our life, God can help us to find our way out of the trap we are in.

Accountability Groups

Secrecy often makes it harder for former porn addicts to gain or maintain victory over their sinful habits even if they are Christians. It is often helpful to enter an accountability covenant relationship with someone else or a small group of people. Knowing that you will either need to confess that you have failed or lie to protect yourself will often help you to find victory. The prayers and encouragement of your accountability partners will help as well.

You may also need to install a filter or accountability app on your computer and cell phone to keep you from failing in times of weakness. If nothing else works, you may need to eliminate technology with internet access from your life completely. Though this may sound extreme, let’s not forget that the goal is complete victory not occasional victory over the desires brought on by porn and everything that goes with it.

It really comes back to a few simple questions. Do you really believe that watching porn is sin? Do you really want to have victory? If the answer to these questions is a sincere yes, you will do whatever it takes to have victory in this area. Note the following statement that Jesus made.

“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.  And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire” (Matthew 18:8-9).

Jesus probably didn’t intend for us to literally cut off our hand or pluck out an eye. But He is saying that we need to do what is necessary to be victorious, even if it means taking radical action.

Cultivate Your Marriage

“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5 )

Here are a few more thoughts. It has been proven that men and women who are in a good marriage relationship are far less likely to fall into this sin than those who aren’t. In fact, one study says that a happily married man is 61% less likely to fall into the porn trap. A godly wife can be a big help to a struggling husband. She can help ward off a lot of temptation by being willing and eager to build a strong intimate marriage that fulfills his needs (and hers). Of course the opposite is true as well. Every married couple should sit down and read 1 Corinthians 7:1-5 together. Note especially the word deprive, used in verse 5 of this passage (the KJV translates this as defraud, which is even stronger). Refusing intimate relationships with your spouse can greatly increase the power of the temptation to delve into pornography or something else impure. Fulfilled husbands and wives are not nearly as likely to fall into the porn trap.  If a person feels they should refuse intimate relationships to encourage their spouse not to develop selfish and aggressive habits, a better solution would be to get spiritual counsel from Christians who are walking with God and who love their spouse.

This passage makes it clear that intimate relationships should not be selfish. Husbands and wives have power over each other’s bodies to give them fulfillment in ways that they could not rightly give to themselves. Indulging in porn is totally selfish. It is also interesting to note here that the husband and wife should be discussing these issues and finding a consensus on them. Intimate relationships should never be based just on the husband’s desires and opinions.

But What if I’m Single?

God doesn’t call everyone into marriage. Single men and women are about twice as likely to fall into pornography and lust than their married counterparts. Many single men and women fall into the grip of watching porn and masturbating.

If you are single and struggling, keep in mind that fulfillment in life doesn’t come from marriage or sex. It comes from being in the will of God. Please do not believe for a minute that God has deprived you of finding fulfillment in life just because you are single and cannot enjoy physical intimacy with another person. He has a beautiful plan for your life that will be fulfilling in every way without doing what the world does to find fulfillment for these desires.[4]

But there shall by no means enter it [the holy city] anything that defiles, or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. (Revelation 21:27)

[1] It would likely have been good to leave the room before I did.

[2] All Bible passages quoted from the New King James Version unless otherwise noted.

[3] For more discussion on this subject see our online essay, What the Bible says About Homosexuality

[4] You might also want to read our booklet on Masturbation and Sexual Desire.

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5 Comments

  1. Hello, my marriage is a rocky one. It is a long story. I’ve been married for 22 yrs. my husband works for one month offshore, and two weeks home. His schedule has been like that for years. He was a single dad of twin boys, and I couldn’t have children. I can honestly say that a big part of me marrying him, was wanting to be a mom, to his sons. My husband is constantly (when he’s home) making sarcastic comments about lack of sex. I have had a lot of female problems, hence why I couldn’t get pregnant. I have tried to tell him that kissing, holding each other, cuddling all would help towards a more intimate marriage. He refuses to hear. And I can’t take it anymore. I believe he is looking at porn, when he is offshore. Reason being, he starts talking about sex more. We have other problems, too. My marriage is a very unhappy one. My husband refuses to talk about anything. All we talk about is the weather and politics. We are getting older, and I think if anything ever happened to me, he would throw me, in a nursing home, and never come see me! He has turned ourtwo sons against me. Even tho I adopted them, he has never acted like I’m their mom.i have devoted 23 yrs of my life to a man , who is very cold. And his sons are, too. And now I’m 60 yrs old, and very unhappy. Please pray for me.

    • @Joni, Thanks for sharing your story, both here and on the Alcohol page. It is unfortunate that your husband feels this way. Do you have any close Christian friends you can share with? And a church that stands by you? I did pray for you, and I hope that others reading these comments will pray for you as well. Find your solace in reading the New Testament and in prayer. The Bible talks about a friend who is closer than a brother [or husband, sister, parent]. That friend is Jesus, and He will never leave you nor forsake you. LB

    • I read your story and I definitely feel for you. I have experienced very similar behavior from the men that God has put into my life. All they care about is sex and that’s all they want to talk about. I hate it too because I just want to be loved, honored, respected and cherished just as you do. I will definitely pray for you.

  2. If refusing intimate relations with my spouse can greatly increase the power of temptation to delve into pornography or something else impure, can failing to satisfy my husbands sexual desires have the same effect? I appreciate the article, I have long lasting trauma due to viewing pornography & masturbation (starting) around the age of 12, I believe it is extremely devastating & dangerous. I am now in my forties, I feel strongly that my marriage and divorce were a direct result of both our experiences with pornography and I’m still trying to figure out the details of our relational demise.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience. Pornography and masturbation are both selfish ways people use to try to satisfy the normal desires God has given us. Selfishness will always destroy, so it is no wonder that pornography and masturbation destroy marriages. On the other hand fulfilling the desires of our spouse in true love will bind a marriage together. If a spouse demands actions that don’t seem right, then it is important to seek God’s direction. I’m not saying that a person–a wife especially–needs to perform unnatural acts simply to satisfy her husband.

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