Combating the False Promises of Pornography
- Monday, April 24, 2006
Solomon intimately understood how powerful sexual temptation can be for a young man. It was with him in mind that he wrote the fifth chapter of Proverbs. "My son, give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding .... For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech" (Proverbs 5:1-3).
Those two sentences perfectly describe both the power of sexual temptation and its antidote. The wise king understood that, if a young man is to successfully withstand the charms of the temptress, he must be prepared ahead of time. Time spent in the Word every day builds up a man's immune system against the poison of pornography. The scriptures are simply the thinking and perspectives of the Lord. As a man continually immerses himself in the Bible, he will gradually take on God's mindset toward life, people and, yes, even sexuality. A man who devotes daily time to the Word is given spiritual insight into the power of temptation and how it works.
Notice again what Solomon says about sexual sin. He personifies it as an adulteress whose lips of honey represent promised fulfillment. The temptation seems irresistible because it is laced with deception -- namely, that the act of sin will bring about tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. The tantalizing thought is presented and all thoughts of resistance are forgotten. The act of sexual sin looks absolutely intoxicating and therefore irresistible. The smooth oil represents the craftiness of the enemy .... Fully camouflaged and extremely calculating, he presents the perfect illusion, timing each consecutive attack "to steal, and kill, and destroy God's property."
The wise man, whose heart has been fortified with the Word of God, sees the devil behind that intoxicating temptation. In the Garden, Satan exposed himself as the "crafty" serpent he is. I imagine him being very much like a cobra. Known for the hideous hood it extends when preparing to attack, it actually spits into the eyes of its victim before striking. With its target blinded and helpless, the serpent could easily squirm away into the brush. But this viper is not content with escape; it enjoys killing. With bared fangs, it lunges, injecting its deadly poison into its victim's body.
Injected ... Infected ... and Helpless
This is a fitting picture of the man lured into viewing pornography. The temptation usually begins when he comes across a glimpse of flesh and/or a sexually suggestive hyper-link. It is just enough venom to temporarily blind him to the impending danger. The initial presentation is stimulating, creating a sensual atmosphere which spiritually incapacitates him.
Now the serpent moves in for the kill. That one glimpse of porn unleashes a poison that rockets into the man's soul and instantly spreads throughout his being. Just like a snakebite victim, he enters a catatonic state of mind: a sexual trance where all reason seems to abandon him. Lust rushes through his body; his face flushes with excitement; his palms get sweaty. Solomon described this spiritual stupor this way: "With her many persuasions she entices him. With her flattering lips she seduces him. Suddenly he follows her as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as one in fetters to the discipline of a fool, until an arrow pierces through his liver; as a bird hastens to the snare, so he does not know that it will cost him his life" (Proverbs 7:21-23).
Conversely, the man who "receives with meekness the engrafted word" discerns the source of temptation that comes his way. He understands that, behind the beautiful illusion of pleasure, there is a snake -- coiled and ready to strike. He has been bitten by it before and has learned the hard way the price that is paid for every indulgence. He has the heart-knowledge (much different from head-knowledge) to "be a doer of the Word" and turn away from the temptation.
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