God has continued to prompt me to do something – anything – about pornography. What this next generation – my daughters generation – faces is like nothing we have ever seen before. The advent of smart phones and the endless supply of twisted material available to younger and younger kids can warp a child’s sense of sex and intimacy before they are even old enough to date. Wives are left feeling betrayed, and unable to measure up. Husband struggle to regain control over their lives. Some wives give up and decide to join in. They look to porn to add excitement to their sex life rather than intimately reveal their own desires.
So I keep knocking on the door of my pastors.
What are we going to do?
Do you realize how big this problem is and how big it is going to be?
How can we extend grace and mercy to those in bondage?
How can we support the wives that feel completely alone?
Porn impacts all of us. It affects our daughters, our sons, our grandchildren and our friends. Porn changes the fabric of our society and how we view this awesome gift of sex. It changes how men view and treat women. Porn will not just go away and no one else will fix it. We must all be part of the solution….
What to Do.
1. Church must become a hospital for broken people and broken marriages.
Churches filled with “perfect” people wouldn’t dare let anyone know what is really going on in their life. Marriages fall apart right in front of our eyes while no one has a clue. We continue to put on our mask and when things really get bad, we disappear. Church would be the last place that we share our mess.
A shift in the fabric of the church most easily happen from the top down. If pastors would honestly share their struggles then we would follow. But you cannot change your pastor, you can only change yourself. We all struggle with something – pride, judgement, porn, anger, depression. What if we actually talked about those things in small group rather than pretending like everything is ok? Would it help someone else open up? Do we really believe in the power of prayer and that God can transform us? Can we see each others mess and walk along side each other – praying, encouraging, holding accountable and pointing back to God?
2. Get porn out of the closet
Secrets hold so much power over us. I have vivid memories from second grade. Two boys knocked on my door to take me up into the hills behind my house. We showed each other our body parts and whatever else. There was no penetration, just a little penis pressing against my body. Until I tearfully shared with my husband, this secret of self imposed shame held amazing power over my life. Speaking it out loud and praying over it with my husband brought freedom.
Getting porn out of the closet will weaken the power that it holds. Speaking it out loud, praying about it out loud, will help set people free. Bring it into the light and start talking about it. Statistically at least 50% of people in the church view porn.
3. Educate people about porn
How we react to our loved ones that struggle with porn can either perpetuate the cycle of shame and acting out, or it can start the ball rolling towards freedom and recovery. Most people begin viewing porn at a young age and assume when they get married they will no longer need it. But porn is not about intimacy, it is about coping and escaping. Porn sucks you into an imaginary world with no problems and you as the center of the world. Husbands do not view porn because they don’t love you or think you are beautiful. The devil uses porn to create division and isolation. Have compassion for people in bondage and encourage them that God has more for them.
4. Porn impacts the marriage
I may be an idealist, but if marriage is being fully known to each other, than shouldn’t we understand each others struggles. Could we celebrate triumphs together and help navigate around triggers? Rather than battle against your husband, battle against the enemy together. Reintroduce intimacy that includes a sacred, holy celebration of becoming one?
Ultimately we cannot make our spouse change. What you can do, is be the person that God created you to be. Extend mercy, forgiveness and grace. Challenge your spouse to be the person that God created them to be. Call out the truth even when it feels hard. Figure out God’s design for sex, even while living in a world filled with porn.
Ask God to destroy the enemy.
Pornography is the enemy. It seeks to separate people from relationship with Him and with others, and it cultivates isolation. Pornography divides marriages and pits husband against wife . It twists the most intimate of acts that God intended to represent our relationship with Him. Pornography is the opposite of God’s design. Shouldn’t we combat pornography with God’s design – being fully known?
Be fully known in church and become a place for the broken. With your friends share your struggles with porn or whatever else. Be fully known to your spouse – the good and the bad. Rise up to be the person that God created you to be and extend grace and mercy and forgiveness. Depend on God for all that you need because He is our only hope.