Pornography is one of the most common forms of betrayal in marriages today. And while it may seem to be far less damaging than a full blown affair, the devastation left in it’s wake should never be minimized. Wrestling through this form of betrayal is a process that takes significant time and commitment from both spouses.
Search Results For "pornography"
Dan Allender discusses how the goal of pornography is not simply arousal but degradation. The seriousness of pornography is often overlooked. As Allender states, “Pornography is a commitment to kill.” Listen as the topics of power and beauty are highlighted in this all-too- present issue.
When a man looks at pornography it doesn’t affect him alone. The act of comparison and judgment becomes natural when you familiarize yourself to a standard. Dan Allender discusses what harm the use of pornography has upon spouses.
It is not simply men who struggle with pornography. How does a woman begin to deal with the issues she may have in this area? Dan Allender shares encouragement and advice on how to begin that journey of healing and freedom.
As a follow up to my post last week about the PSU sexual abuse scandal, I’ve been painfully reminded of how often we refuse to talk about things that really matter, things shrouded in secrecy that are just too uncomfortable for us to discuss without stepping on toes or seeming to be insensitive. Frankly, these are not topics of polite conversation.
But when we don’t talk about them, when we don’t bring them into the light, they continue to fester and breed like an untreated cancer in the clandestine shadows of secrecy. And people get hurt. Children get hurt. And none of us should ever be okay with that.
So we’re uncomfortable.
My first thought is: “I’m uncomfortable with it.” I take no joy in writing about this in a blog. I’d much rather be talking about last weeks Penn State football game with Ohio State than the sexual abuse scandal that still engulfs that campus.
My second thought is: “Too bad.” It’s about time we learn to deal with our discomfort and engage in the real battles for the hearts and souls of people who are at risk and being exploited. And if we’re honest, that means both the abused and the abusers.
And that makes me feel really uncomfortable. But that’s where people of faith are most needed to stand up and be counted as “salt and light” (Matt. 5:13-16) in a very dark and unsavory place.
Sexual abuse is just one of those banned topics in church.
Several recent blogs highlight the trouble we’ve had in being honest with ourselves and dealing with our discomfort in speaking openly about tough issues. Dan Allender’s blog, JoePa and Sermon Selection, frankly brings to light how uncomfortable pastors have been and still are when it comes to addressing the issue of sexual abuse in church.
Thom Rainer, in his blog to Church leaders, Sex Scandals, Penn State, and Protecting Our Children, writes about sexual abuse and doing everything we can as a faith community to prevent it from happening on our watch as well as dealing quickly and decisively when it is exposed.
But sexual abuse is only one strain of the world wide epidemic of exploited sexuality.
Sexuality has been hijacked by the enemy of our souls. Satan, as part of his cunning strategy for defacing the image of God in men and woman alike, demeaning and defrauding sexuality in a myriad of ways. Remember, Jesus identified Satan’s lethal agenda as to “steal, kill, and destroy” (John 10:10). Why would we not think that includes our sexuality?
Sexual exploitation, in all it’s forms–from advertising, media programing, the ever-widening spectrum of pornographic images, the vulgar and demeaning language that has become common place in music, social media, and on middle school campuses, sexual abuse, and the plague of human sexual trafficking–are a coordinated attack on the beauty of God Himself that He breathed into our sexuality.
I would contend that we have problems with sexual abuse because of the sexual tsunami that has reeked havoc on the world of gender, both male and female, in a post-Fall world. And this is nothing new.
The Bible records story after story of sexual exploitation (just to name a few: Gen. 19:4-13, 30-38; 38:11-26; Judges 19:22-30; 2 Sam. 11:1-27; 13:1-34; Luke 7:36-50; John 4:7-30; 8:4-11). These disruptive stories have all too often been ignored for the more palatable passages of scripture that are–shall we say–less disturbing.
But just stop for a moment and think about it.
Why would God intentionally record these stories of sexual exploitation in sacred text?
I can think of a few reasons why He’s not silent on this topic, and I’m sure there are more:
- Because He doesn’t want us to be silent on the topic.
- Because of His great love for victims of sexual exploitation.
- Because His intention is to bring healing and hope to victims of sexual exploitation.
If this it true, then people of faith can no longer remain silent on these topics. We must be at the forefront of addressing them. Instead of reserving that discussion for a counselor’s office or a courtroom, we must speak more openly and honestly about the destructive forces at work regarding the exploitation of both male and female sexuality on all fronts in our culture.
That’s my take on it all. How about you? Let me hear your voices. Speak up and let others know that it’s time to break the conspiracy of silence. Let’s join our voices together.
CS Lewis once said, “The process of living seems to consist in coming to realize truths so ancient and simple that, if stated, they sound like barren platitudes.”
At the risk of sounding too simplistic, I often suggest to men (and remind myself) that one of the most powerful weapons against the destructive and enslaving forces of pornography is love. Simply put, love sees people as people, not objects. As Jesus put, to see people as people is to “love your neighbor as you love yourself ” (Matthew 22:39). It to recognize that the needs and desires of others are just as legitimate as our own.
When a man looks at porn, he is not thinking of the women (or the men) on the screen as people. At that moment, they are nothing more than objects to him. In order to look and keep looking, he has to dehumanize them. And when he does, he will lose to porn.
The enslaving forces of porn, however, begin to lose their grip when love enters the picture. With love is on the scene, a man will no longer view a woman on the screen as merely an object to be used and exploited for his own sexual gratification. Instead, love compels him to honor her as a fellow human being who has needs, dreams, and hurts as legitimate as his own. And in seeing her as the person she is, he is freed to turn away and keep away from porn.
Seem too simple? You will have to be judge of that. But if you’re a man addicted to looking porn, I encourage you to start here. When you are broken over seeing women as objects to be used and start to see them as the precious fellow image bearers that they are, porn will start to lose it’s appeal.
Check out this video insight on how looking at porn shapes a man’s view of a women?
Do you remember the “sex talk”? You know, the talk? Some of you do. It was that awkward moment when your father or mother sat down and did the “birds and the bees” thing. Now, for the life of me I never have been able to figure out how birds and bees would ever fit into that conversation, but, nevertheless, you know what I mean. Remember?
I don’t remember the talk. Why? Because it never happened. And I know a bunch of you reading this post are in the same boat as me.
I grew up in a Christian home where sex was never mentioned. Not once. Not ever. So, as I grew up and matured, sex was a very awkward subject. And no body was talking about it, especially Christians, and especially in church.
So, here are some things that I find amazing about sex. Now before you get concerned about reading further, let me reassure you that there will not be explicit of talk about everything that I find amazing about sex. This is a selective list of observations intended to raise a healthy dialog about sexually in an honorable way.
Okay, so here’s my short list:
1. It never ceases to amaze me how sexually saturated our world has become. I mean, sex is everywhere. I can’t turn to any form of media without hearing or seeing a barrage of both explicit and implied sexual images, innuendos, and conversations that drag sex into the public arena for all to witness. And I’m not talking about the pornography industry here. (That’s another whole issue in itself that we’ll have to reserve for a later discussion). I’m talking about what we see, hear, read and are otherwise exposed to through the mainstream media–like radio, TV, magazines, advertisements, and the internet.
2. What’s equally amazing is that–for the most part–the majority of people around me (and that includes many Christians) seem to be completely immune to the impact this assault is having on them sexuality. The message seems to be getting through that there are no significant consequences or enduring fallout for unleashing unbridled sexual expression in any form and any where.
3. What’s also amazing is that for all the sexual indulgence in our culture, Christian couples rarely if ever talk about their sex relationship. I’ve spent the last 23 years working with couples in marital and premarital counseling, and my experience has been that the vast majority of couples never talk about sex. They don’t share their sexual histories prior to marriage. Nor do they talk much about their expectations of sexuality within marriage. Most couples who have been married for any amount of time, 3-5 years, say they feel “awkward” talking about sex and usually avoid it. What’s amazing is that these same couples will watch sexuality portrayed on TV and in movies and don’t think twice about it. In spite of that exposure, there is still minimal meaningful conversation about what is or isn’t going on between them in the bedroom.
4. When I speak at men’s conferences and men’s retreats, it’s amazing how many men admit that they have never had a meaningful conversation about sex with their fathers. Often, it’s only a paltry 1-2% of the men whose fathers took time to share with their sons about this crucial area. And then we wander why men struggle so deeply with their sexuality.
5. What is amazing to me is how we as Christians have allowed the forces of darkness to hijack and exploit the whole beautiful and mysterious gift of our God-designed sexuality. Rarely–in my more than 50 years of church attendance–have I ever heard a positive sermon about sex. Plenty of negative press about what not to do, but rarely a passionate presentation of the celebration that sexual intimacy offers to a married couple. Sex is an exquisite and exclusive celebration in the bedroom of the love that a couple has made outside of the bedroom. Sex isn’t the main event. It’s the delightful dessert that is to be savored after the nourishment of a hearty meal of meaningful relationship.
So, that’s my short list of what I find amazing about sex. How about you? I know it’s awkward, but lets be honest. No graphic or lewd comments, please. Just honest dialog about whether or not you can identify with some of what I’ve shared. Feel free to disagree as well. That makes for a good discussion.