Two of a woman's strongest desires are to feel protected and loved. But her man's pornography usage can threaten her ability to believe he is really trying to meet those needs.
Dr. Doug Weiss, the founder of Heart to Heart Counseling Center and a featured expert in the Conquer Series that helps men overcome porn usage, explains the significance of a wife needing to feel protected.
"She cannot feel that way if you are lusting after the women in your pornographic material."
He continues, "When you were married, you promised her to love, cherish and be devoted to her until you died. By bringing other women—even if only on a computer screen—into your marriage, you are cheating on her, and you are crushing her spirit."
Dr. Weiss asks the question,
"Which way is your sword pointing? Because what a man loves is what he protects."
He explains that if you take active steps to overcome your porn usage and maintain sobriety, your sword is aiming against the enemy and protecting those behind you: your wife and kids. If you are continuing your porn usage, your sword is actually aimed toward your family and wounding them.
Pornography Is Affecting Your Family
Pornography has a devastating effect on your wife and children. The National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families stated that 47% of American families reported that pornography is a problem in their home.
Researchers have found that 56% of divorces result from one partner having an obsessive interest in pornography. Based on divorce data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that would indicate porn was a major cause in over 460,000 marriages ending in 2016.
According to the testimony of Dr. Jill Manning, a licensed marriage and family therapist, before the United States Senate, research indicated that pornography consumption is associated with:
- Increased marital distress, and risk of separation and divorce.
- Decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction.
- Increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices.
- Devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing.
According to Pastor Jonathan Holmes of Parkside Church in Ohio,
It is easier to type in a web address than it is to pursue intimacy with my wife. It is easier to view pornography for a few fleeting moments than to build a deep and abiding relationship with my wife. It is easier to selfishly fulfill my desires with no expectation of self-giving, self-sacrificing love for my spouse.
In essence, that is why so many marriages are impacted by pornography. When a challenge arises in your relationship, it's easier to medicate with pornography and ignore the problem. This creates a cycle that leads to catastrophic breakdown in the relationship.
Are You Harming Your Children?
If you are bringing pornography into your home through printed material or on the internet, it is very likely that your children will eventually be exposed to it. They may discover it on their own or see you viewing it.
Your porn usage also affects them by decreased time and attention with you, the awareness of marital difficulties between you and their mother, fear and uncertainty of what will happen to them as a result of your marriage problems, and a tendency to isolate themselves to escape the negativity in the home.
As Dr. Weiss would say, your sword is pointing in the wrong direction. You are leaving your family open to enemy attack and not providing the protection and love they need.
But You Can Change Your Legacy
Your wife and children are looking to you to be the leader of the family. You need to accept that responsibility and set a godly example for them—and your future generations—to follow.
Tim Challies, the pastor of Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, said,
"Your first legacy is the gospel. If you leave your children full pockets but empty souls, you have neglected your most important duty. Your second legacy is godliness."
Like the apostle Paul, seek to live a life that is worth imitating:
"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1, NASB).
According to Kym Carter, the president of Legacy Moms, "We must be intentional and make a choice to parent according to God's Word and make it a priority to infuse that into every choice we make. A godly legacy begins when we are intentional parents who create a home that honors God. Children thrive best in an atmosphere of genuine love, supported by reasonable, consistent discipline."
In every situation concerning your wife and children, lean into Christ. Ask Him to transform your attitude, actions and words to reflect His grace, love and mercy. Allow Him to begin to renew your mind. Every choice you make and action you take needs to line up with the Word of God. This is impossible to do alone. Above all, you'll need a biblical process, accountability and to lean into God daily through Scripture.
Even if your father wasn't the godly man you craved or didn't set the example you needed, you can decide that you will be a man that honors God and will leave a positive legacy for your wife and children.
A Movement of Men Bringing Protection to Their Homes
Traditionally there wasn't a lot out there for men who wanted freedom from pornography. Thankfully today, there is a powerful tool that is helping over 1 million men find lasting freedom.
The Conquer Series is a cinematic small group study that gives men a Christ-centered process for renewing their mind. Packed with dramatic action segments, each lesson contains solid Biblical teaching, and powerful testimonies.
Nate from Iowa wrote,
"I have been so encouraged, motivated, challenged, and otherwise uplifted by the Conquer Series. I love the use of science (within the worldview of Scripture) to understand addiction."
Learn more about how you get help or assist other men in finding freedom at ConquerSeries.com.
Listen to the podcast below and discover lasting freedom from pornography's evil grasp.
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