Porn—And the Real Problem

Editors’ note: 

The ultimate prize goal in all our lives is not sex but a relationship from the living God

Edwin Andrade Woman Despair Unsplash

This week we’ve heard the news of the founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner passing away. I still remember to this day, sadly, when I saw my first ever porn magazine. It was a glossy Playboy magazine. This was also when I was attending a Christian High School, hanging out with ‘Christian’ friends.  That began a long journey for me in becoming a porn addict. It was relentless.

Growing up in a home where sex was never talked about, I learnt about sex through sex-ed classes, where it was taught that it’s all about the physical aspect and being in a Christian school it came across that you don’t have sex because you don’t want to catch an STD’s or get the girl pregnant. Also don’t go there because God said so.  This is what I knew sex as then I got further informed as I watched, searched out and looked at anything that was porn related. 

This then began a journey for me where being with a girl had nothing to do with me pursuing a relationship based on love or respect but at the heart—it was to see how best I could fulfil MY fantasies.  I found an idol I wanted to worship and become a slave to. 

I know, looking back, that this was a big contributor to my relationship with God feeling non-existent. Yet, after I had chased-after everything but God, in relation to sex, God in his grace saved me through revealing his relentless love through his Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

Stubborn Lusts

Guess what though? Becoming a Christian didn’t change my desire to check out girls, look at porn or watch movies with sex scenes. I felt stuck. Hopeless.

I did what all Christian men in such situations try to do. I tried…

  • Accountability partners;
  • Reading books that taught me about bouncing eyes and memorising scripture etc.;
  • Loading-up software onto my computer and laptop that could stop me from looking at ‘those sites’;
  • Exercising;
  • Reading blogs;
  • Listening to sermons;

None of them was the answer. They were helpful tools (and I will suggest some of them later in this post) but, they didn’t really get to where the real change had to happen. My heart.

Jesus’ and the Law

While Jesus was here on this earth he preached one of the most famous sermons ever. You find it in Matthew 5-7.  It’s known as the Sermon on the Mount. It’s pretty full on. He says in Matthew 5:27-28

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

So, in the Bible in the Old Testament, it says Don’t Commit adultery, in other words, don’t sleep around with a married man or woman. But Jesus takes it further. EVERYONE who looks at a woman with LUSTFUL INTENT has already slept with her in his heart!!!

It’s the heart that is the real problem. Even more than porn. My heart—our hearts—are infected with Sin. The reason why we find it hard to fight porn or find it hard not to lust is because we have corrupted what God intended sex to be about and how he intended for us to view the opposite sex. They are both Gifts from God. We are in deep need of Heart Surgery.

The Heart Surgeon.

Yet Jesus is the one who can do that surgery. He’s one who helps us to fight and repent when we fail. He can change our hearts to see sex as God intended. He enables and empowers us. As we confess to the fact that we can’t do it on our own, he starts to change things in our heart.

When I first read the sermon on the Mount I read it as a to-do list. Now, I know I can’t possibly do it; those commands are like a huge wall that I can’t go around, or climb over. Only Jesus did it—and the only way I can learn to live, love and serve is if he does it in me too. 

New Perspectives

I think that the way he begins that work is with a right view of women, relationships and sex. First he teaches us to see women as they really are:

  • Made in the Image of God.
  • Daughters of the most-high God.
  • Sisters and Friends.

Then he shows us the truth about sex and relationships. For Christians dealing with porn, sex often becomes a bad thing—something you can’t touch or talk about. But the Bible shows us that sex is good—created to be enjoyed between a husband and wife within the context of marriage. Read the Song of Songs—hot stuff.

For those of who maybe reading this and thinking, “well great, Shebu, I’m not married and may never be, now what?” Here is the reality. It is tough. Whether if you are a single male or  female, sexual temptation is real. If you are someone who is single know this, God created those hormones, those desires, yes even those sexual desires for good. Sin and our flesh turn it into becoming a idol. Rest in knowing that you have a Saviour who does understand being tempted so when you are run to Him with your frustration and desires and He can and will provide a way out. But if you slip, still run to him because His grace is sufficient. 

Some things I found helpful in my singleness is that when I focused my prayers on asking the Lord to retrain my heart to understand what His design for sex was (rather than on what I viewed) it help me move from just being about wanting to get married to have sex to learning a right view of sex and sexuality.  Another simple thing that changed my desires was to start praying for those who are caught up in the pornographic industry: this helped my heart to see them, as image–bearers of the Living God, though fallen and marred. 

Remember Sex was created by God. Yet the ultimate goal of sex was not to be something that should replace our love for Him. This actually gives you the power to see sex in a positive way not as something that is either for the chosen few only or as the ultimate prize in life. The ultimate prize goal in all our lives is not sex but a relationship from the living God who created sex as a gift, not a curse. 

So Christian Friend take heart, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6).”

So if you are someone who is struggling with Porn or Lust. God is at work. He will finish it. Keep falling at his feet of Grace.

Advice To Parents.

  • Share your own struggles. 
  • Be Honest 
  • Make Jesus the Hero not you. 
  • Don’t leave it to you Youth Pastor.

Advice to Pastors

  • Become informed. Look at some of the stats that are around, the effects they have on people. Also inform your people about the people who make pornographic films. They are people too.  Porn industry is filled with broken stories of men and woman who are in desperate need of a saving saviour. This is a great resource to check out:
    http://fightthenewdrug.org/
  • As I said earlier, when discipling people through this; often they do not view those they are looking at as people. Encourage those you are counselling to reflect on the humanity, dignity and needs of those they have been regarding with lust. 
  • Remind them about the power of the Gospel—Romans 1:16
  • Remind them about the reality of Sin—James 1: 13-15
  • Remind them about the Grace of God and How God will use this to change them—James 1
  • Remind them of the Hope in Jesus-Share stories, as appropriate of others, often those struggling feel like they are the only ones.-Help them work through their heart—This takes time it’s you walking them through God’s view of   women, sex, marriage and relationships. –
  • Equip parents to journey with their kids—Don’t leave it to the Youth Pastor
Bringing in a Team

This where things such as—Gospel centred accountability partners are good—This means preaching the Gospel to each other as you stay accountable not law based accountability.

Computer Programs:

http://www.x3watch.com/

Books :

http://www.amazon.com/Finally-…

http://www.amazon.com/Every-Ma…

http://www.amazon.com/Every-Wo…

https://www.cepstore.com.au/birds-and-bees-by-the-book


 Photos: Ian Espinosa (head), Edwin Andrade (body); unsplash.com

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