A marriage cannot experience intimacy when more than two people exist within the relationship. In many homes, the marriage bed is overcrowded due to how one or both partners have consumed pornography. This voyeuristic pandemic is robbing couples of marital oneness and sexual enjoyment.
Marriage should be honored by all, at the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and the sexually immoral (Heb. 13:4).
To honor your marriage, you must keep the marriage bed pure from anyone else invading it. Sex isn’t the problem. Sexual desires are not the issue. The dilemma is when we attempt to meet a God-given desire in an ungodly way.
Pornography is a cheap, quick, sinful, and pathetic attempt to fulfill a God-given desire.
When the concept of pornography comes up, most people’s minds drift towards content containing a certain level of debauchery. Blatant pornographic material in print, videos, and web content must be addressed, but beware of compartmentalizing pornography. Lustfully gazing at someone who is not your spouse can turn into obsessively consumption of pornographic material. And both of them are sin. Years ago, someone had to work hard to obtain content, now the content comes looking for you.
It’s Not Just a Problem for Men
Since men seem to struggle with sexual sins more, we tend to believe that women just don’t struggle in this arena and that thought is simply untrue. Women are in danger just as much as men are. What is dangerous is that a man’s pornographic tendencies are often blatant and seen as disgusting and vile, but a woman’s identical actions are seen as harmless and fun.
For women, they must be careful because they don’t normally see their lighthearted actions, casual comments, and media consumption as sinful. Be careful that your commitment to the reality show, your following of a favorite actor, or your obsession with that certain singer is not actually sinful.
What Counts as Pornography?
We need consistent standards. Pornography is printed or visual material that is intended to stimulate erotic feelings, and it can invade your marriage in a number of ways. No chiseled body of your spouse can ever compete with the guise of photoshopped celebrities. Any exposure to scripted sexual acts engages your personal activities into an unrealistic comparison trap.
Being quasi-fulfilled sexually through pornography reduces your efforts to pursue your spouse romantically. Satan is using our culture to invade your marriage bed and tell you that your spouse isn’t enough. He is a vile liar (John 8:44) trying to devour you (1 Pet. 5:8) and your marriage.
What Should We Do?
At some level, every marriage has been affected by pornography. You are not alone. Even while the time is different, lustful thoughts were a problem even during the time when the Bible was written.
- Job made a covenant with his eyes about not looking at another woman (Job 31:1).
- Solomon warned his son not to be captured by the beautiful appearance of another woman (Prov. 6:25).
- Paul taught that God’s will for all believers was their sanctification which meant abstaining from sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3).
- He urged that not even a hint of it should be found in our lives (Eph. 5:3).
- Jesus even taught that adultery honestly started in the heart when someone looked lustfully at another (Matt. 5:27-28).
If you want to protect your marriage bed, you have to kick out every fantasy that has invaded it.
Jesus was clear. If your eyes cause you to stumble, tear them out (Matt. 18:9). Get rid of any technological devices that give you sinful opportunities. Put on blocks. Add filters. Get an accountability partner. Do whatever it takes. Your spouse deserves your best and that happens when you still believe he or she is the best.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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