The Temptation of Pornography - Part I
Chris LeggChris Legg is a licensed minister and professional counselor; he is the Campus Pastor for FBC Tyler’s South Campus; he also runs a thriving therapy practice in Tyler, Texas… counseling, speaking and consulting. He is a graduate of Texas A&M and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, with Master’s degrees in Religious Ed. and Marriage and Family Therapy, and has developed the Phalanx discipleship ministry for men. Chris and his lovely wife Ginger have been honeymooning since 1993, and have been blessed with three great kids: Mark, Ellie, and Holland. Chris can be contacted at 903 561 8663 or firstname.lastname@example.org Check out Phalanx, articles, and other resources at his website at www.chrismlegg.com.
- 2012 Sep 04
The Thief comes to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.” Jesus Christ.
For years I have talked to mostly men, and a few women, about issues connected to the temptations particular to pornography. Since the incidents of women engaging in pornography is apparently on the rise, I have decided to go back and add both genders to the conversation here…
“Porno-graphy” is the combination of two Greeks words meaning the graphic representation or the graphic version of sexual immorality.
It isn’t new.
Since people could carve stone, there have been examples of pornography.
And for years, I have wondered at the roots of why it is tempting to us.
When you take out all of the factors that might “explain” the temptation – unhappy life, unchosen celibacy, and even the general drive toward sexuality – and all of these can be removed as variables – there is still an intrigue. Why?
Even if we are happily married to a beautiful person with an active, varied and adventurous sex life… and we aren’t particularly in the mood for engaging sexually at some point we can still find ourselves tempted by pornography!
Now, before I go on, I want to clarify that I believe that viewing, reading, or participating with pornography is sin. The fact that it is a temptation generally common to all people doesn’t make it less destructuve.
All sexual immorality is condemned as sin in the Bible.
See passages like 1 Cor 5:1, 1 Cor 6:18, 2 Cor 12:21, Col 3:5, and 1 Th 4:3. It is sin, and as such, is toxic to human life.
God desires something better for us – a more full, meaningful and life-giving way of living…
But Pornography is incredibly destructive to relationships and famously addictive… worse, it isn’t like alcohol or drugs. As lethal as these are, they are external of the person. Technically (though it is incredibly hard), a person can just leave drugs or alcohol somewhere and stay
away from that place. Sexual addictions, like pornography (once it is inside your head) is like food. You can stop doing meth…
But you can’t stop eating and you can’t stop being a sexual person. It can make the addiction that much more lethal.
The endorphins that make the experience so addictive come from inside our own body, and they are some of the strongest feelings we
have. The linkages can be very strong.
So, as we begin to look at some of the aspects of temptation posed by pornography, I don’t want it to be taken as treating sin with kid
gloves. Far from it. I think it can be healing and empowering to understand things.
Truth sets us free.
When sin is brought into the light, it loses a lot of its strength. Additionally, for those NOT tempted by pornography, it may be valuable to hear and understand more. So, let’s get to it:
Why is pornography tempting?
* I believe that it is a “normal”, healthy thing that men are attracted to the female form (or in the case of a female, the male form).
* I believe that it is also so that men are typically specifically intrigued with the parts of the female form that are special and different from the male form (and vice versa).
* I believe that it is also healthy for men and women to be intrigued with sexuality.
I believe that these are generally God given desires and interests. Certainly most women and wives would feel like something was wrong if the men and husbands in their lives did not have these interests!
Again, I think these are God given healthy desires that anyone might want to find in their husband, son, etc.
Note: I am not making any comment about homosexuality or any other specific individual attractions. I can do that in another article ometime… and attraction is a very complex science that would requires more than I am willing to take here. I am speaking in general terms at this point.
God has offered an amazing provision for the experience and expression of these desires and interests… a place that is meant to be safe,
free and full of grace (http://chrismlegg.com/2011/03/07/facets-of-sexuality-part-2-intimate/)…
… called marriage.
Marriage is particularly crafted to offer this place of safety for handling something as powerful as sexuality.
Marriage is like a secure castle wall in which the power of sexuality can be safely engaged with and enjoyed…
Does anyone doubt its power?
Like a fire, in the proper setting, sex is life-giving and enchanting; out of the proper setting, it creates a constant risk of death and destruction.
I didn’t anyone doubted it… we all know how powerful it is.
Those listed above are God-given and healthy interests.
But there is a rule about that here on planet earth…
If there is a God given yearnings and God given provision, then there are also going to be alternatives…
Believe it. Satan offers us many alternative ways to fill the God-given desires. I don’t think he can create true desires. He can only offer substitute provisions for the desires that God created.
So he does. He has provisions too.
Pornography is one of them.