Pornogaphy: Why Are So Many Christian Men Giving In?

(Note before you read: If you’re thinking it’s horrible that any man would struggle with this temptation, especially a Christian, please read this whole post. I believe pornography/sexual temptation is the single largest way the devil traps men in our culture, and we women need to help fight that battle rather than beating up our warriors.

Have you ever met someone who hates chocolate? They would not be the person you want to be around when you’ve committed to a diet and feel like you’re just dying for a teeny tiny piece, right? They would probably react with indifference to your struggle, or worse yet, with contempt. How much more so would it be hard for a man to admit his struggle if his wife refuses to get anywhere close to understanding why it is so hard? That’s what this post is for: understanding, the first step to helping.)

We hear of pastors stepping down from the pulpit, of marriages falling apart, or wives devastated, confused and hurt. Sometimes it makes national news, sometimes it is secretly endured, a quiet torture hidden behind a veneer of godliness.

Pornography is destructive. Watching just 5 hours of porn has been proven to significantly change people’s sexual beliefs and attitudes.* It rewires the brain, addicts it just like drugs do, and is highly connected to human trafficking and other forms of abuse and exploitation.*

porn-is-addictive*

Pornography is not just a problem among men, but that’s the side we’ll focus on for today.

For men, sexual sin seems to have a pull that other sins do not. The Bible talks about them having dire, far-reaching consequences (see Proverbs 6 about a man destroying his own soul).

Proven Men Ministries (www.ProvenMen.org) conducted a nationally representative sample of 388 self-identified Christian adult men. Here are the stats for those who identify themselves as born-again Christians.*

  • 95% admit that they have viewed pornography;
  • 54% look at pornography at least once a month;
  • 44% viewed pornography at work in the last 90 days;
  • 31% had a sexual affair while married;
  • 25% erase Internet browsing history to conceal pornography use; and
  • 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 9% think they may be).

Joel Hesch, sponsor of the survey, said, “These statistics knock the wind right out of you. They also confirm what we already know; that there definitely is a problem with pornography and affairs among Christians men and that they are starving for the church to step forward with solutions.” He added, “It’s abundantly clear that pornography is one of the biggest unaddressed problems in the church.”

pornography-sin-reduces-man

One man was sure it couldn’t be as bad as people were saying, so he did his own test. You can read his experience here: How Many Porn Addicts are in Your Church?

CTA_ybop

(For a free PDF of the book, “Your Brain on Porn -5 proven ways pornography warps your mind and 5 biblical ways to renew it” go to Covenant Eyes Book.)

There are many wonderful sites out that explain the destructive nature of porn. But many of us women don’t need those sites. We know. But knowing the problem doesn’t help us understand any more than reading statistics about cocaine addiction can help us understand how a person would be willing to give up anything for their next fix.

Why is the visual stuff so very powerful? What is the big pull? And, as we might like to think, why can’t men just have a little self-control?

I find the best thing that helps me understand is to find something on my side of the spectrum that matches up somewhat, and go from there. Here’s my correlating pull that helps me understand how pornography can be such an everyday, all-day-long temptation to men:

web-search-engine-button-10060735

 

We women also were created with a built-in stimulus response, only ours tends to be with touch, or emotionally-charged words rather than photoshopped women in lingerie or real-life women in tight or revealing clothes . Thinking of that, and thinking of all the opportunities there are for men to look and look again, I want you to walk through an average day with me, only let’s make their struggle ours:

You get dressed and head for work. You check your phone for messages and see a pop up that says you’re beautiful and desirable. You stop to pick up a biscuit and the man behind you plays with your hair while you’re in line. You get to work and your co-worker drops over to say hi, and as he’s telling you about his wife and kids, he’s rubbing the soft skin above your knee. You go to lunch, and the man across from you says your eyes are beautiful, while the man beside you keeps his arm around your shoulder, rubbing your arm as you talk. You drive back to work, passing billboards that say you deserve a man who will romance you and never expect anything in return. You leave work and stop at Wal-Mart, and as you stand in line, the man in front of you turns and touches yourspap cheek and tells you you’re everything he’s ever wanted.

Once you get home, you turn on the computer, and there are three pop ups on your email of men asking to take you to dinner by candlelight, their treat. (I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted at this point already.) You shut down the computer and turn on the TV, but every commercial is full of more statements about your beauty, your worth, your desirability. You get ready for bed and your husband says, “You know, you looked nice today,” and you want to cry, because you want to tell him how hard it was to avoid all those opportunities today, not because you didn’t love him, but simply because they were offering things you wanted and they made it so easy and so available. You ask your husband to play with your hair for awhile and he tells you what a rough day he had and how tired he is. You understand, but still… You get in bed and try to sleep, try to keep your mind pure and focused, praying for help because you know tomorrow will be a repeat of the same…

Perhaps I’ve exaggerated. Perhaps not. A good test would be to have the man you love read this and let you know if this is really what it’s like. Ask him what it’s like and listen (without freaking out) to what he says. I know it’s hard to hear about this struggle at all. It feels so very, very, very personal. But the problem is, if the men we love know they can never talk with us about this, it becomes a secret they have to keep, and secrets can grow to destroy marriages.

I’m not saying that if a man is giving in to the temptation of pornography, we should just be understanding and let it go. Not at all. It’s a huge, huge problem. It destroys marriages and dishonors God and needs to be dealt with. This post is for the women who don’t want to think about it or talk about it because they don’t want it to exist, or who think any man who struggles with it deserves our condemnation.

If you read my post last week about the donuts, you know that I am regularly faced with the temptation of something very appealing that I must refuse to keep from sinning. I guess that’s why I long to understand what our brothers go through, and help if I can.

The best way to help? Well, I’ve gone too long already, so we’ll hit that next week…

 

 

*http://www.provenmen.org/press-releases/2014-pornography-survey-of-christian-men-shocking-new-national-survey-reveals-high-levels-of-pornography-use-and-rampant-extramarital-affairs-among-christian-men/

*http://www.covenanteyes.com/2013/02/19/pornography-statistics/

Next Week: Ted Bundy’s Chilling Words on Pornography Right Before His Execution (If you have kids or cable TV, please watch this)

 

Image Sin That Reduces from: http://www.glorybooks.org/pornography-the-sin-that-reduces-a-man/

Image Brain on Porn from: http://www.europeanguardian.com/contact/82-uncategorised/science/225-stanford-psychologist-destructive-effects-of-pornography-and-video-games-addiction-leading-to-masculinity-crisis

Image search engine courtesy of  Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image massage courtesy of  imagerymajestic, at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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