The Lust of the Eyes: How Pornography Affects Relationships
- Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Editor's Note: Pastor Roger Barrier's "Ask Roger" column regularly appears at Preach It, Teach It. Every week at Crosswalk, Dr. Barrier puts nearly 40 years of experience in the pastorate to work answering questions of doctrine or practice for laypeople, or giving advice on church leadership issues. Email him your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My boyfriend would rather go to porn sites than have sex with me. What is wrong here? What do I need to do?
You ask, "What is wrong here?" Porn is what's wrong. In my opinion, your boyfriend is either addicted or far along the road to addiction.
You ask, "What do I need to do?" Think carefully about how you want to handle this. Start by bringing the issue out into the open with earnest and frank discussions with your boyfriend.
Also, let me address an important side note before we continue; as a Christian, you must stop having sex outside of marriage. We'll talk a little bit more about how that relates to your question later on.
Now, there is little doubt that most all men look at porn at one time or another. After all, porn lurks just a keyboard click away. Unfortunately, surveys indicate that 92 percent of males in America are exposed to porn by the age of 11. I believe that finding a husband in our culture who has never seen port is nigh unto impossible.
I've read statistics that report that male adolescents think about sex at least once every 15 minutes. I don't know how true that is; but, remembering back to my adolescent years, that number can't be too far off.
I suppose that most adult males don't think about sex quite that much -- their rate is probably more like 20 or 25 minutes per sexual thought. Thinking about sex is not unusual. God has woven sex into the heart of man. The operative words here are "procreation" and "intimacy."
Well-adjusted men often glance and then look away. After a while, they glance again. I don't suppose any man looks just once and never looks again. Over all, a glance or glances seem to have little adverse effect on the long-term success and fulfillment of marriages and relationships.
Nevertheless, this does not mean that looking casually at porn is OK by any means. It has serious consequences.
Job knew the dangers of pornography to personal and spiritual well-being when he declared, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman" (Job 31:1). Covenant made. Boundaries in place. Not easily kept, in that ancient culture or in our own ... but it is the biblical model.
Others, however, don't fare so well. When porn moves into the realm of need, and a person can't stop at any time, then he or she is traveling down the road of sexual addiction. Something is drastically wrong, mentally, morally, emotionally and spiritually with the person who actively seeks out porn. Sexual or pornography addiction is a hard task master.
Pornography hinders a person's ability to see or hear from God. Jesus said in Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God." My heart grieves when someone gives up an opportunity to see God for a fleeting glimpse of Miss October.
All pornography is based on a big lie. Luscious Cheryl, breasts flashing, seems "oh so close" and available. The truth is that if your boyfriend sat down on the airplane next to Cheryl, she wouldn't give him the time of day.
Less than five days after I performed a wedding, the new bride and groom sat in my office needing counseling. It seems that on their wedding night he expected her to perform like the porn stars he'd watched on the internet. He had no idea why she wasn't measuring up to his expectations. Their whole sex life was based on the lie of pornography. Their marriage didn't last long.
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