I hate porn.
With an all-consuming passion, I have the most intense hatred for pornography.
Trust me, I am very aware that God views all sin on the same level; there is not one sin that is greater than another. I get that, ok? However, in my experiences, I have yet to find a sin that is so morally degrading, damaging, and harmful to a person and their family than a sexual addiction.
The statistics are staggering. I literally felt sick to my stomach as I read these statistics online.
- More than 70% of men from the 18-34 age group visit a pornographic site in a typical month.
- A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event.
- 29% of born again adults in the U.S. feel it is morally acceptable to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group).
- 57% of pastors say that addiction to pornography is the most sexually damaging issue to their congregation (Christians and Sex Leadership Journal Survey, March 2005).
- March 20, 2007: At a men's summit in Oregon before 2,000 men, Shelley Lubben of Shelley Lubben ministries challenged those who were struggling with porn addiction to stand. 30% rose to their feet. She immediately challenged them a second time, with the result that some 70% were standing.
- 60% of all website visits are sexual in nature (MSNBC Survey 2000).
Sad, isn’t it? There are so many other resources and statistics online regarding Christian men and their addiction to pornography, feel free to check them out.
I feel there are two groups of men when it comes to a pornography addiction. There are those that started out with a peek at a lingerie catalog or an explicit movie scene, thinking to themselves it was no big deal. And that moved to a more sexual magazine, which then moved to a movie, which then moved to online stuff. It’s a slippery slope, my friends, until finally those men no longer recognize themselves and are unable to turn away from it. They know it’s wrong, but they can’t seem to stop.
The second group of men really, truly believe there’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing. After all, it’s in a man’s nature to appreciate the female body. (That was said with complete sarcasm, by the way.) Or every man does this, it’s just part of being a man. Even Christian men are known to take this stance, truly not being able to comprehend that viewing naked women is not only damaging to their relationship with God, but its effecting every aspect of their lives, their marriage, their children.
I feel for the men in the first group, aware of the effects their sin is having on their life but unable to stop. I can’t imagine being in the grip of a sin, wanting out but not knowing how. The second group just makes me angry; very, very angry. Regardless of where a man falls, in the first or second group, they need to realize that WE, as women, are usually pretty aware when a man is involved in pornography. One might as well be wearing a neon sign on their forehead saying “I watch porn”. It’s apparent in every way, in the way they treat women, in the way they interact with women. You may think you’re hiding this big, dark secret, but WE know!
I wish I had some meaningful, insightful words here to offer, but I don’t. Just my intense hatred of something that is so prevalent in our society. I hate the way that women become objects, something to lust after, something to own. We no longer are people, we’re an object to adore. Can you imagine the damage that does to a woman’s self-esteem?! Wondering, knowing, that we’re supposed to look a certain way and knowing we can’t possibly become close to that image?! What kind of message is that sending to our daughters? That you have no worth as a human being?! That her value is in how she looks?! No, I won’t settle for that; I won’t settle for that for my daughters!
What is it teaching our sons? As I talked this over with a friend recently, wondering how to shelter my son from this, I loved her response. “God is returning before then; we won’t have to deal with it.” And while her answer was so very funny (and I wish it were true), the reality is that somehow we have to teach our sons to turn from it every time.
And when pornography has taken place in the marital bed, forget intimacy in a marriage. How is a woman supposed to compete with the images that are playing in her husband’s mind? As much as any woman says she doesn’t have a problem with it, sooner or later, she will soon grow uncomfortable as she starts to wonder which woman her husband is thinking of in that moment. Not to mention how clear the bible is on lusting after another woman; I truly believe it is a form of adultery.
I realize that there is temptation around every corner. There’s the movies on TV, the pop-ups on our computers, the magazines at gas stations and grocery stores. There is the woman in the low-cut dress sitting next to us, or the bikini-clad woman a few towels down on the beach. It is right there, tempting men at every turn. Jon and I have had so many conversations lately regarding this very subject, and he’s been so open with me regarding the temptations that face him every single day! It takes a determined effort to turn away every… single… time! He has to choose several times a day that our marriage is too important to jeopardize in any way. And it saddens me that my husband has to place this much willpower on something that wasn’t so readily available to our grandfathers and great-grandfathers. With the internet so available nowadays, even our fathers didn’t have near the temptations that men face today.
I am sad, and I am angry, and I am resolute in my hatred of pornography. Just know, as impossible as it may seem to quit, there are so many resources available. Do it for your wife, or your sons, or daughters, or do it for yourself. And even if none of those reasons seems good enough, do it because that’s what God has called you to do. It won’t be easy, but just think of all you stand to gain!