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The Delicate Mother-In-Law Relationship - Part 2

Guest: Annie Chapman

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March 15, 2023

5 Must-Haves to Porn-Proof Our Marriages

I grew up in an era where the prevailing thought was, "You can look as long as you don't touch." Sadly, this was the "manly motto" that most boys heard as they matured into young men. It was a lie then, and it still is today. The natural outcome of this philosophy has led millions of boys and men into a pattern of porn that has reached pandemic proportions. Beyond despairing is the undeniable fact that, as Christians, our lives aren't much different when it comes to controlling what we put in front of our eyes.

At the core of this issue is the reality that pornography itself is not the root of the problem. In some sense, pornography has been and will always be available. The true dilemma here is that we have placed ourselves before God and our wives. It's a heart issue. As men, we will protect what matters most to us. If we don't take the action needed to defend something, we really don't care too much about it.

My adult daughter shared that she was watching a sporting event on T.V. with a group of twenty-something friends that included several young men. A commercial came on that displayed extremely scantly-dressed female models. Some would say the commercial was a form of "soft porn." As she and other young ladies sat uncomfortably around this group of young men, not one of them had the conviction to get up and turn off the T.V., or at least turn the channel. This scene epitomizes today's man when it comes to the topic of immodesty and pornography. We lack godly resolve that compels us to actively protect what should matter most to us.

As a Christian man that is married, I have two life priorities that need to take the highest precedence: my relationship with God and my relationship with my wife. These relationships define me as a man and compel how I live my life. By God's grace, he has blessed me with children and my role as a father is added to this list. Within each God-defined relationship, I am called to love in a manner that places others before myself. I must relentlessly pursue a course of life that positions God, my wife and my children before me. For every married man, this is your calling.

When it comes to protecting what matters most, I must resolve to have eyes that honor my God, my wife and my children. If this "resolved-eyes" resolution means anything, it necessitates my highest commitment to the protection and provision around these relationships. If I say that Jesus Christ is my everything, my everything must truly be His.

I'm reminded of a young Jew named Daniel who purposed in his heart not to defile God with his life (Daniel 1:8). To have resolved eyes, we must first have a resolved heart. This doesn't mean we'll ever be perfect, but what it does mean is that we will never give up our pursuit to put God and our families before ourselves (Matthew 6:33).

For me, this is a daily pursuit of taking care of what matters most. I am compelled to continually engage the battlefronts around these relationships. If I'm not actively fighting the battle, I'm losing it. Given the unabashed access to immodest and porn-laced web content, the online world in which we all live must be perceived as a huge battlefront of epic proportion. Step one requires that we discern the enemy's tactics and strategize a plan to defeat them.

Here are my "5 Must-Haves" when it comes to this battlefront strategy to "porn-proof" my marriage (and my family). While these principles pertain specifically toward husbands, I believe they apply to wives as well:

1. Keeping God at the center of my life. I must daily take in God's truth and grace through His Word, knowing what I take in on a regular basis will define who I am and how I live. We're called to "renew" our minds, "set our minds on things above" and not on the things of this earth (Colossians 3:2) and to think about things that are "honorable, …just...pure...lovely... commendable...worthy of praise" (Philippians 4:8).

2. Maintain an uncompromising love for God and my wife. Any form of immodesty that could lead toward lust must not be something I willingly put in front of my eyes. As important, I need to actively protect my family from it as well. This certainly means that any form of porn, however loosely-defined, is something that I will not tolerate in my life. I've often shared with my children that if it's wrong before God, it's wrong before us. From a very practical standpoint, this will greatly limit the entertainment in my life and the movies I will watch. It is a small sacrifice to give up for the sake of my walk with God, my wife and my kids. (Check out VidAngel or Clear Play as two filtering systems for movies that will remove all inappropriate scenes and language.)

3. Total Transparency before God and my wife. My online activities are an open book for anyone to see - especially my wife. Filters are also great. Yet, the greatest "filter" needs to be God's Spirit within me. I must embrace the Coram Deo life—one that is lived before the ever-presence of God (my body is His temple - 1 Cor. 6:19-20).

4. Keep the battle in front of us. I talk about this topic on a regular basis with my wife and children (age-appropriate, of course). My teens and young adult children know that the online and entertainment world is a battlefront that requires the full armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). They know that like anything else in life, the battle-readiness starts with God Himself. He is our source of power in this conflict. His grace and truth provide us our greatest offense and defense.

5. Pulling together to fight the good fight. Going beyond my own family, we need to be addressing this issue at a church-wide level. Not only are marriages and families being destroyed, our witness for Christ is being greatly compromised. In Christ, we live in community. I pray that our pastors and men within our churches make this a regular topic of conversation. Resolved eyes must become a priority and a life-mission where we seek to protect what matters most. What are we saying if we don't?

Wives and moms out there, we need you to fight the battle with us. This enemy is real. We need your prayers, encouragement and help. If you're a single-mom, reach out to a male relative, your pastor or another godly man that can assist you in building this life principle into the heart of your son. Every boy and man out there needs to have a mentor to stand alongside them in this battle. We can't go it alone.

There is no doubt we have taken some serious hits and losses when it comes to pornography. However, the battle is not over. Regardless of our past, Christ calls us to walk with Him in the present. Like Daniel, we can resolve in our hearts not to defile ourselves before God. We can choose God, our wives and our children over this world and the lust of the eyes it will offer us. Men, in Christ, we can have resolved eyes.

"But Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself..." Daniel 1:8

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