What Every Woman Needs to Know About Man’s Battle with Porn

Joel Ryan
What Every Woman Needs to Know About Man’s Battle with Porn

It’s difficult to turn on the television or browse through social media today and not feel discouraged or overwhelmed by the surge of sexuality overwhelming our society. We are living in a culture that, as R. Kent Hughes writes in Disciplines of a Godly Man, “sweats sensuality from its pores.”

So much of what has been written about lust, sexual sin, and pornography is directed towards men, and don’t get me wrong, men have a serious battle to fight when it comes to overcoming sexual sin in their lives.

Lust is their Kryptonite, and as Hughes writes, “sensuality is easily the biggest obstacle to godliness among men today and it is wreaking havoc in the church.”

Satan is using the proliferation of pornography to destroy.

He uses porn to destroy relationships, cheapen sex, perpetuate the objectification of women, and dissolve the sanctity and strength of men in the church. It is also one of his most reliable weapons to drive a wedge between men and God.

We cannot afford to be so hands off, dismissive, or socially accepting of such a practice. The consequences are too dire.

But for every man who is dealing with pornography or the onslaught of lust, I have spoken with just as many women who have felt hurt, betrayed, angry, sad, and even disgusted by the lustful thoughts and addictions of the men in their lives.

Women, I have news for you: you are not wrong to have felt this, and you are not alone.

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How Serious is Pornography?

How Serious is Pornography?
  • A study published in the Huffington Post revealed that porn websites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined!
  • According to NBC News, pornography is a global, estimated $97-100 billion industry with $12-15 billion coming from the United States alone.
  • The world’s largest porn website received about 33.5 billion site visits during 2018 alone, an uptick of about 5 billion more views than 2017.

Do these statistics bother you? They should.

Unfortunately, this is the reality of the war being waged against your husbands, boyfriends, brothers, and sons on a daily basis.

Satan does not discriminate by age either. In fact, the younger he can trap men in the pit of porn addiction, the stronger his foothold becomes in their lives. Psychology Today estimates that most children are exposed to pornographic material by the time they are eight years old.

From explicitly sexual movies and TV shows to unfiltered social media, billboards, and high-speed internet, sensual imagery is everywhere. We cannot hide from it, and it’s becoming harder to protect our boys and teens from it, too.

Satan has sharpened his most effective weapon and brought it to bear with unrelenting force on men in the church, and he’s not letting up.

Whether occasional or frequent, we know that pornography:

  • Ruins intimacy
  • Promotes sexual fantasy over meaningful relationship
  • Fosters emotional detachment
  • Inspires masturbation
  • Encourages a transactional view of sex
  • Supports the objectification of women
  • Increases a tolerance for abnormal sexuality, including rape, aggression, domestic violence, and promiscuity
  • Can lead to depression, anxiety, and addiction

And while pornography is not exclusively a male or female problem, the emotional, mental, and spiritual effect it has on men is destroying their relationship with their spouses, their children, other men, and most importantly, God.

So what can women do to help their men fight this battle and actually win?

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1. Don’t Blame Yourself

1. Don’t Blame Yourself

I know several wives who were devastated when they found out their husbands were addicted to pornography. Over time, some began to blame themselves for not being attractive or interesting enough to keep his attention. If you’re feeling this or have felt this, stop right now!

This is a lie from the devil and exactly what the enemy wants you to feel. If he can destroy your husband and subsequently make you question your beauty or worth in Christ, he has won two battles. Don’t let him.

You are beautiful, you are loved, and you deserve to be in a relationship with someone who will cherish you, respect you, and fully commit to you, both physically and emotionally.

Just because the man in your life struggles with pornography doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love you. He may have quietly battled porn addiction for years and struggled just as hard to find freedom. He may want to give you more but can’t because of the spiritual blocks brought about by the sexual sin in his life.

Working through freedom in Christ will be the first step to restoring your relationship and discovering the intimacy you were meant to have; but be patient. This process takes self-discipline and time.

The men in your life are accountable for their sin. You are not. But with you by his side, his fight is no longer one he has to face on his own.

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2. Grace is More Powerful Than Condemnation

2. Grace is More Powerful Than Condemnation

When it comes to pornography, many men are desperate to be free but don’t know how to pull themselves out of the pit they’re in. They need help.

There are many entry points for porn addiction to take root in someone’s life. Stress, depression, trauma, and loneliness can all weaken a man’s resolve and make him more susceptible to temptation.

Satan is the master of temptation, but as soon as we succumb, he shifts to the shame and blame game. Many men are convicted of their sexual sin but hate themselves for their porn habits because of the enemy’s second wave of attack.

Imagine having others look at you with disgust on top of the feeling of guilt and shame you are already feel. This is a very real fear for many men and the reason why so many fail to open up about their addictions, lustful thoughts, and sexual sin.

They know they are guilty and feel the weight of their sin but are terrified that others, particularly the women in the lives, will abandon them if they find out.

I’m not saying that you should ignore his sin or be silent. You don’t need to make excuses for him either. You must guard your heart, communicate your hurts, and speak the truth in love. You may feel hurt, frustrated, or even betrayed. This is natural.

Remember, though, that God knows what it’s like to be cheated on too. He can relate to your pain and knows your heartbreak. In all of His hurt, however, God consistently showed grace and forgave us for our many betrayals. He stands by us in our brokenness and helps pull us from the muck we put ourselves in. What does He expect then from us?

Through prayer, you will discover the extent of grace and forgiveness that needs to be shown to the men in your life. Remember that forgiveness and grace are far more powerful than condemnation. The men in your life may just need the hope of someone standing by them to find the courage to pursue change and seek help.

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3. Accountability Saves

3. Accountability Saves

As I mentioned before, you cannot afford to be silent about sin. Whether young or old, sons, brothers, friends, or husbands, you are not helping the men in your life by ignoring the presence of pornography in their lives.

However, don’t feel that it is solely your responsibility to save or fix him. Freedom comes through Christ and healing in His name. You are not alone. You may need help and support as well.

The healing process is just that, a process. It takes time and the help of others to overcome sexual sin and spiritual bondage. But this is no longer a one-man or one-woman fight. You are in this together and can become even stronger with the spiritual strength of trusted friends, mentors, and godly advisors in your life.

It’s also healthy for him to share his heart with other men who will understand his affliction and temptation. Healthy relationships with godly men are essential for men to grow spiritually and even more important for spiritual deliverance. This will also establish accountability for the future.

Satan will not easily give up a stronghold, and he will fight just as hard to take it back later. This is why men need godly men to keep them accountable and check in with them to make sure they aren’t falling back into old sin.

The bottom line is, seek help together.

If you or someone in your life need counseling or just prayer, talk to your pastoral staff and look for a couples counselor. There are great resources available to both men and women on the topic of sexual purity and deliverance, the greatest of which are accountability and prayer. 

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4. Our War is in the Spirit

4. Our War is in the Spirit

Ultimately, the most effective weapon we have at our disposal to fight back against the attacks of the enemy is prayer. Never underestimate the power of persistent prayer, the effectiveness of God’s word, and the presence of the Holy Spirit to break chains and deliver the men in your lives from sexual sin and porn addiction (Ephesians 6:8).

Now, more than ever, men need women who are willing to fight for them and battle with them against the strongholds and attacks of the enemy. Remember that our battle is not against flesh and blood (Ephesians 6:12).

The fight against lust and pornography is one of the greatest spiritual battles facing our men today, but it’s one they can win with help and support.

If pornography has become an issue in your life or the life of someone you love, take hope. You are not powerless to overcome its pitfalls, and you are not alone. Through Christ, the promises of His word, spiritual accountability, self-discipline, and the power of prayer, men battling pornography can know victory. And one day, you can celebrate with them.

Joel Ryan is an LA-based children’s and young adult author who teaches writing at Life Pacific University. He has a heart for young adults and is passionate about engaging youth through writing and art. His blog, Perspectives Off the Page, discusses the spiritual and creative life through the lens of storytelling and narrative.

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