Something we don’t like to talk about

“I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” – Psalm 101:2-3

Many, many years ago, I was involved in a small Bible study group with two other men. I was about thirty-five-years-old at the time, Scott was around twenty-nine, and young Chris was maybe nineteen or twenty. At one of our sessions, Chris shared that he was struggling with addiction to pornography and asked that Scott and I pray for him. I thought that was very brave of him. Most Christian men won’t open up and share something so personal. We prayed for Chris, but there wasn’t any follow up. Our small group ended shortly after that. This memory is from twenty-seven years ago, but the temptations have increased exponentially in our culture since then with extremely easy access to porn via cable television, tablets, and smart phones.

I mentioned a few weeks back (see here) that surveys show many Christian men struggle with pornography and undoubtedly feel defeated by this sin.

Understand that engaging in impurity isn’t harmless. Impurity is like an addictive drug. The neurons of your brain are conditioned/mapped by the behavior and capacitate future behavior. The more you keep plowing the same field, the deeper the furrows become. It will damage your relationship with your spouse, perhaps severely, and leave you with a guilty, defeated conscience before the Lord.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:27-28

I don’t believe a Christian can declare outright victory over sin this side of glory, but I do have a few suggestions that may prove helpful if you’re fighting this temptation or addiction:

  • Pray to the Lord for His help.
  • Plant God’s thoughts about purity in your heart, including the verses above and other verses listed here. Memorize them. Make them your armor and shield when temptation comes.
  • Ask yourself if you could ever engage in sexual sin in front of your mother? No? Obviously, you would NEVER do such a thing in front of your Mom, so then why do you behave in such a way before the Lord, who lives inside of you and sees all? How real is the Lord to you? Is He as real to you as your mother? Deepen you relationship with the Lord. Seek intimacy with Him. Allow Him to be as palpable in your life as the next breath you take. Offer up to Him dominion over every fiber of your being. The deeper your relationship with the Lord, the less you will cave to these kinds of temptations.
  • Some brothers need an accountability partner in this battle. Talk to your pastor, a church elder, or a trusted Christian friend.
  • Run, don’t walk from temptation. Remove temptation from your house, if possible. Sin usually starts out small. A little compromising usually leads to bigger things.
  • Ask the Lord to help you see these “productions” as He sees them. Not visible on the computer or television screen, but constantly present, are the crew and technical people helping to bring these “fantasies” to life. The entire cast and crew are slaves of an exploitative, sin-promoting industry that claims to gross $14 billion annually worldwide.
  • If you fall to temptation, go to the Lord for forgiveness. He is a good Lord and He will help you break the chains of addiction if you are truly seeking His will for your life.

There are several good books available to help you in this struggle. See here for one example.

Postscript: I referred to sexual impurity from a man’s perspective in this post, but I realize many women also struggle with this sin. Reading a graphic “romance” novel is no less sinful than watching a porn movie.

Why is sexual purity so important?

13 thoughts on “Something we don’t like to talk about

  1. First and foremost, dear brother, God bless you for addressing this matter! You’re right, no one wants to talk about it. Secondly, thank you for adding the last bit about women and those types of books. I have a dear sister in Christ who was deeply disturbed to find her ‘women’s group’ from church all going to Fifty Shades of Grey together. When she confronted them, their excuse was that all their husbands watched whatever they wanted to so why shouldn’t they?
    Lastly, brother, I have a close family member who is about to file for divorce over this very thing. It’s very tragic!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks so much, sister! The Lord put this on my heart even though I would have preferred to avoid it. Do you ever feel convicted to write something that you would just as soon not? Surveys show impurity is a real problem in the church, but we are very uncomfortable acknowledging the situation. It’s ironic that you mention Fifty Shades of Grey because as I was writing this post I was thinking of a Christian woman I know who attended all three films in the series with her office mates. There are many books sold at our church’s bookstore that deal with practical helps for godly living, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen one on impurity. Probably, most men would be embarrassed to buy such a book at church.
      I’m very sorry to hear of your family member who has been affected by this. Porn addiction can be as injurious to a marriage as an ongoing adulterous relationship – it’s the same sin, same betrayal. I prayed for your family member, that they ultimately seek the Lord’s will in their life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Actually it’s really encouraging to hear you say that, brother, about feeling convicted to write certain subjects. I did not want to have a blog like mine, I actually started out wanting to write about frivolous house wife things. When I thought about wasting time on anything but Christ crucified I felt that conviction. It’s usually the very thing or brothers and sisters will be the most encouraged and edifies by, though, that I struggle the most in. I think as I click ‘publish’ I’m going to have a lot of pushback here. Instead the feedback is the most positive.
        This issue you’ve addressed though is so important, and like you’ve said there’s not a lot of books on it. I have a friend whose husband was dealing with this addiction and because of that she fell into temptation also. She was very close to suicide on many occasions. They were both false converts, but God used that struggle to bring them both to salvation. Praise God for His loving kindness! Thank you for praying! I covet those prayers. It’s such an encouragement to me that I have brothers and sisters, the body of Christ, to bring these issues to!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Praise God that your friend and her husband came to Christ and He freed them from such heavy burdens! Thanks for sharing about your blogging ministry. I have some thoughts about blogging here at WordPress and hopefully I can put together a post next week. I’m suddenly inundated with several post ideas, which is very unusual for me. Yes, what a blessing it is to share the Gospel with unbelievers and to encourage and lift up our brothers and sisters and be encouraged!!!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! May the chains of bondage fall to the ground for Inhereford’s family member and anyone else that may come across this lovingly written post In Jesus Mighty Name I pray-Amen and Amen
    ❤ ❤ ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have also noticed that its easier for me to fall into temptation when I am tired because that is when my defenses are down, and I become more vulnerable. When I am tired I need to follow the Lord’s prompting and just go to bed so that I can regain my strength. When I am aware of my vulnerabilities, I can choose to respond differently, and stay rooted and grounded in Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, David. Good advice that would be helpful for most. Yes, I know I’m more prone to all kinds of sin when I’m tired or feeling stressed.


  4. Tom thank you for this post; as a pastor I see this is a problem from many men both in and outside my church and men outside of churches too. This is a good post; practical pointers towards the end is wonderful. I pray God uses this.

    Liked by 1 person

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