It’s always a shock to hear that someone I know is addicted to pornography. By now, I know of several, some non-believers and some … Christians. I’ve also read and heard about brothers in Christ who were addicted for many years, and who are finally coming out and confessing their sin, which they had hidden for a long time. “How is it possible for a man who reads his Bible to continue in this sin?” I’ve wondered countless times. Another thought that burdens my mind is, “How would I feel if my husband were addicted? How does any woman manage to live life after discovering that her husband is addicted to looking at pictures of other women?”
Obscenity (another term for porn) is just that: Obscene. Dirty. Filthy. Trash. Our God has called us to holiness:
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God … Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body. And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
1 Corinthians 5:9-11, 13b-20
The Greek word for “fornication” used here is porneia, which is closely related to our modern-day term, pornography. Some (really deceived) Christian brothers may think that porn doesn’t count as fornication because they don’t actually perform intercourse with another woman. To that, I would say,
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee, for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”
Dear women: we have a right to be offended when our husbands, or our sons, or our Christian brothers are entangled in this form of unrighteousness! Wives, you have a right to be JEALOUS! of those naked women that your husband is lusting after in his heart.
Here’s what the Bible says about the special nature of the physical bond between a man and his wife:
“Drink water from your own cistern,
And running water from your own well.
Should your fountains be dispersed abroad,
Streams of water in the streets?
Let them be only your own,
And not for strangers with you.
Let your fountain be blessed,
And rejoice with the wife of your youth.
As a loving deer and a graceful doe,
Let her breasts satisfy you at all times;
And always be enraptured with her love.
For why should you, my son, be enraptured by an immoral
And be embraced in the arms of a seductress?
For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD,
And He ponders all his paths.
His own iniquities entrap the wicked man,
And he is caught in the cords of his sin.
He shall die for lack of instruction,
And in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.”
Proverbs 5:15-23 (NKJV)
“Drink water from your own cistern.” The only place a man should be going to satisfy his sexual thirst is his own wife! Other women, whether present in the flesh, or in effigy, are NOT ALLOWED!
Not too long ago, I heard that there exists such a thing as “cartoon porn.” That is just as bad. Even though they may not be lusting after images of real, live women, men who view cartoons of naked women are still being unfaithful to their wives in their hearts. And those young men who aren’t married yet–they are training their hearts to run after ungodliness. When they do get married, they will drag their wives, and families, through a hell of pain and problems, not to mention what they will do to their relationship with God right now. The Bible says to FLEE fornication–FLEE pornography! Run far away from it, don’t just walk around the corner, and then come back later when nobody’s looking. Ladies, stand strong on this one. NOW is the time to say, “I am NOT okay with this. Get rid of that disgusting trash.”
[Note: I do not advocate divorce. I am simply saying that one must speak out against what is wrong, and make it clear that one is not okay with those things that God forbids, and moreover, that one will have nothing to do with those things (will not participate in them). Neither do I advocate making ultimatums to your husband. Making your opinion known, and attempting to manipulate, are two different things. Please do not think I am telling you to boss your husband around or blackmail him. I am not telling you to leave him. I am not telling you to hate him. I am not telling you to give him the cold shoulder or the silent treatment. If you are in the painful situation of having a husband who is addicted to porn, he is still the leader of you and your home, though he is being disobedient to God (for now); you must still submit to him in all other matters, though not if he wants you to watch porn with him–that is something you can not do, for then you would be complicit in his sin, and you too, would be viewing other people’s naked bodies to lust after them, and would commit adultery in your heart. You must put yourself in God’s hands, and trust in Him to deliver your husband from what he is trapped by; this will require much prayer and patience (longsuffering) on your part. However, if we are talking about a son being involved in viewing porn, you must be proactive in dealing with this issue. You shouldn’t allow your children (whether sons or daughters) to get caught up in this. They need your help in resisting this evil. Talk to them about it. Protect them from harmful influences and situations. Pray for them constantly. Monitor their internet use. This is your responsibility as a parent.]
We need to train our sons to love purity and holiness. We need to know everything that is going on in their lives. Don’t be ashamed of this. Don’t feel like you’re a snoop, no matter what the culture says about kids needing their space, and their freedom. No. Kids are bombarded by this stuff all the time. It’s so pervasive. If you’re not careful, your 10-year old will be introduced to porn by his next-door neighbor. I know this to be true. It might even occur as early as kindergarten. All that needs to happen is for a child to stumble upon something he shouldn’t see, left out by an older brother (or father), or for that child to be allowed by his parents to watch R-rated movies with sensuality and sex, and next thing you know, your kindergartener is hearing about it from his friends at school. This has happened to my children at their previous school (before we started home education)–BEWARE! We need to protect our children’s innocence. They aren’t ready for this kind of mature warfare yet!
And that’s what this is: WARFARE. Satan is waging a war against God’s holy people. That old serpent, the devil, is doing his best to deceive us, and to bloody us, and to stain our reputation as servants of the Most High God. There are women out there who may feel ready to give up, because it’s just so hard to stand strong against the current of the culture, and especially against their own husband’s brokenness and depravity. Don’t give up! Going along with the tide will only get you sucked out to open sea, where the waves will crash down over your head and drown you.
If your husband is addicted to pornography, he needs to confess his sin to God, to you, and before other, respected Christians. He needs to take out the trash, and destroy all ties to the sin of pornography–as Jesus said, “If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off.” As for you, look for older Christian women that you look up to. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you in doing what’s right. Stay away from people who tell you that “it’s no big deal.” Those people are useless to you in this problem. In fact, they are spewing Satan’s poisonous lies, without even realizing it.
Anchor in to God through prayer and Bible reading.
And know this: You are a beautiful woman. God loves you more than anyone else in this world could possibly love you. And He sees everything that you’re going through. The Psalms say, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” (Psalm 56:8) Imagine, God keeping our tears in a bottle and recording our weeping in His book! We women long to be treasured and adored by our husbands. Right now, while your husband may be hooked on other women’s bodies (it’s so painful), focus on the outrageous love God has for you. Not having been there personally myself, my advice may ring hollow with you; but what else can you do? I know what the Scriptures tell us, and that’s all we have to hold on to, like a lifeline thrown out to us on stormy waters.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
And I have a word of caution to those ladies who are not having to deal with this, personally. Please, put yourselves in the shoes of those women in your church, or elsewhere, who have to live with this everyday. If you were one of them, how would you feel to see other women dressing in low blouses that show their breasts when they lean over, or tight pants (or leggings, which are in style right now) that show every curve of their private area and rear, or short skirts and dresses that reveal lots of leg?–and then to know that your (dear) husband is inwardly battling just to keep his thoughts pure, to not notice how those women are dressed (so seductively and alluringly, though they probably never gave it a second thought). Please, please show love toward those suffering ladies and their struggling spouses by dressing MODESTLY. I have witnessed, so many, many times, oblivious young women (and some older ones, too) singing in the worship team, in skin-tight leggings (just leggings, with nothing else over them), or mini skirts, or very short dresses, doing the opposite of what they’re there to do–instead of inspiring men to worship GOD, they are drawing men’s lustful eyes toward themselves! Have pity. Is that how we should treat our brothers and sisters in Christ? Maybe you don’t think your outfit is all that bad–BUT WHAT ABOUT OTHERS?
“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
An addiction to pornography can be overcome. God says to us: “THERE HATH NO TEMPTATION TAKEN YOU BUT SUCH AS IS COMMON TO MAN: BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL, WHO WILL NOT SUFFER YOU TO BE TEMPTED ABOVE THAT YE ARE ABLE; BUT WILL WITH THE TEMPTATION ALSO MAKE A WAY TO ESCAPE, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO BEAR IT.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
But He never said that it would be easy.
After reading this, you may think that I despise all men who are addicted to pornography. Actually, I don’t. I am very angry about what this sin is doing to the church of Christ; I am deeply pained and yes, outraged, when I hear of Christian brothers who have been (or currently are) ensnared by this sin. I feel deeply for their hurting wives, and children (who eventually come to find out about it). And yet, I feel compassion for them. My life hasn’t been perfect. I’ve done things I wish I never did. It was so easy for me to sin against God when I began to drift away from Him spiritually. It was so easy to rationalize my behavior, and believe all those lies that what I was doing really wasn’t “that bad.” It took awhile for the Spirit of God to convince me of my waywardness, as I was convicted by the reading of the Word. After the “scales fell from my eyes,” I felt devastated by my sin, and how I had damaged others. I wept, and have wept since, many times. Perhaps I will tell that story another time. For now, be reassured that I know something of brokenness, and regret. Thankfully, Jesus Christ is faithful, Who did not abandon me even after I spit in His face. If you are a true believer, He will not abandon you, either. We are His masterpiece. A work of art isn’t finished in a day; it takes time–but when God is done with us, we will be beautiful!
“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Ephesians 2: 4-10
(Just a note: in this article I haven’t touched on the women who are being used by the porn industry to fill greedy men’s pockets. Please know that I consider those girls and women as deeply loved by God. They were created by Him, and they are VALUED by God, even though sin-blackened men may treat them as objects (shame on all those men). Those women are not always blameless, however. Some have been coerced into this trade, or sold as slaves; others have freely chosen this line of work (though they may have felt pressured into it by their difficult circumstances). Still others, I admit, may be just as greedy as men for worldly gain. Women involved in porn need to GET OUT! I won’t be addressing this subject in depth right now; later on, I hope to write more.)