Pornography is a modern-day pandemic. Not only is porn the top-searched subject at www.everymanministries.com, an estimated $14 billion is spent per year on pornography in the U.S. which is more than professional baseball, basketball and football rake in—combined.
Shockingly, one report says the majority of males consuming porn online are ages 11-15 years old, creating a future of men with distorted visions of romantic love.
While porn ravages families, fuels sexual addictions and the sex trafficking and slavery industry, some counselors still recommend couples watch porn to help “educate” and “explore” the erotic entertainment. That’s like trying to sell the added health benefits of “mercury” shots. Can you say, “duped”?
God created sex, and designed it for a man and woman in the context of marriage. Sex is sacred, and can be absolutely wonderful. Leave it to Satan to pimp porn and steal the magnificence of making love with your spouse.
If masturbation is a slippery slope, porn is the pit it leads to. If you’re watching porn regularly, then I want to let down some rope so you can climb out. To get out of the porn pit , first you have to realize the collateral damage it’s causing to your brain, body, and the most important relationships in your life.
- Porn is potentially addictive. Watching porn conditions your body and brain to react to the visual stimuli, creating a neural-pathway—or rut—in the pleasure center of the brain. When the body reaches orgasm, the endorphins and dopamine released have the same affect as snorting cocaine or shooting heroin. The result is a feeling of euphoria that begins with watching porn.
- Porn warps reality. God is love and He teaches us to love others, not fantasize while watching porn. Your brain and body get conditioned to respond to the images on your screen, instead of responding to your spouse’s physical touch and needs. Ultimately, it’s possible, even likely, you will prefer porn over people.
For single, and unhappily married men, I believe the issue centers around the need for intimacy. We’re built to give and receive love. But if you have an intimacy deficit, it’s easy to go to the cheap stuff, not the good—or real—stuff.
The key is to replace, not resist. With porn, and sin in general, it’s nearly impossible to resist the temptation once you are slipping down the slope. Instead, replace the negative with a positive passion.
To say no to porn, you have to say yes to something, or someone, else. Say yes to planning for porn. Say yes to God’s spirit. Say yes to what’s important in life.
Say yes to my five-point plan to beat the porn plague:
1. Punt my plan for God’s plan. Surrendering your life, your will, your hopes and dreams to God may seem initially like a cop out. But when God is in control, and you are seeking to know him with everything you’ve got, then porn just doesn’t compute.
2. Marinate your mind in the Word. Porn is a weapon used in the battle for your mind. Instead of allowing your mind to wander online, open the Bible. Memorize a scripture that directly applies to your life. Meditate on the verse and ask God to speak to you. He will. Then, you will see how he transforms your perspective, and you will sense a higher love than you may have ever known. The Bible puts it this way in Romans 12:2:
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
3. Enlist strong support. Find other men you can talk candidly about this. The process of confessing and praying with other men is a powerful antidote to the porn infection. We ALL wrestle with sexual temptation and it’s only worse if you keep your struggle a secret. God knew this too, as written in 2 Timothy 2:22
“Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.”
4. Implement strong boundaries. Get serious about eradicating the porn plague by planning ahead, and taking action. For example, throw out any “dirty” magazines, videos or posters. Next, download software to your computer that prevents access to internet porn. Don’t go to sexually explicit movies. What are your weaknesses? Then, built fortresses around them to protect yourself.
5. Nurture a healthy romance with your spouse. The Bible says to love your wife as Christ loved the church. It’s sacrificial and extravagant. It’s also highly rewarding and pleasurable to have a growing emotionally, physically, spiritually love life with your spouse. For the single men, you have to replace your desire for intimacy with loving God with your time and talents. Usually it’s serving others. Giving yourself for God’s worthy cause. Get involved instead of getting online. When you feel like your life has meaning and purpose, then you will replace loneliness with significance.
Finally, I highly recommend seeking God’s “presence” daily. When you feel His spirit of life, truth and love envelope your heart, mind and soul you will find intimacy worth cherishing. And, the porn plague will eradicated.
Kenny Luck, founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church, provides biblically oriented teaching and leadership for men and pastors seeking relevant, timely material that battle cultural, worldly concepts threatening men and God’s men. Follow Kenny and Every Man Ministries now on Facebook, Twitter (@everyMM) and YouTube.
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