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The Delicate Mother-In-Law Relationship - Part 2

Guest: Annie Chapman

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March 20, 2023

Pornography's 3 Big Lies

Having been involved in family ministry for over 18 years, I have walked alongside many men struggling with some form of pornography. I can count on one hand the men that I've known that truly are not tempted and don't struggle with the unabashed access we now have to online sex and nudity. In this sense, it is true that most men, and this includes Christian men, are tempted to look at pornography when it is literally one click away. Yet, to say that men need or must pursue porn to function in life is just a flat-out lie.

"I started to write an apology, but I don't have anything to say I'm sorry for...It was long distance, and either your boyfriend is going to look at porn or he's going to look at you." -Jennifer Shrader Lawrence (actress)

By God's grace, Jennifer Lawrence's statement is way off base, and men can say "no" to porn and the lies that surround it.

Pornography's 3 Big Lies:
1. "It doesn't hurt anyone."
2. "God wired me this way. So, it's okay."
3. "It creates intimacy within our marriage."

Here's the Truth:

1. Pornography hurts everyone.

Our sins always impact our relationships, first vertically with God and then horizontally with others. Pornography is no different, and given its intimate nature can cause even greater harm. When a man or a woman chooses porn over his or her spouse, they devalue them and are essentially saying, "You're not good enough, and I need someone else to fulfill me." Can you imagine the hurt this inflicts upon our spouse when we continually choose porn over them? Another sobering thought is that the young woman we are looking at is someone's daughter and very possibly the wife of another man. Even more horrific is the reality that this woman could be the victim of sex trafficking. Not only are we devaluing our spouse, but we're using another human in the most selfish and demeaning manner. Men—we can do better.

2. Yes, God hard-coded sexual desires within both men and women. Yet, He designed the fulfillment of these desires to be bound within the covenantal boundaries of a marital relationship.

The sexual act that is part of the covenant of marriage reflects the reality of this most personal-oneness relationship. The physical act of sexual union also speaks to the passionate bond that a man and woman are designed to share. Within this most sacred God-made covenant, marital intimacy takes on a meaning of pure oneness. In this sense, it is absolutely wonderful for a man to desire his wife and a woman to desire her husband. The book of the Song of Solomon elaborates in great detail the fervent love that a man and woman can share within their marriage. God wants us to desire and fulfill sexual intimacy with our spouses.

The beauty of the marital covenant, like other God-given covenants is this: Within the boundaries of this union, i.e., holding fast to Christ, there is both total provision and complete protection. To go outside of the marriage relationship to seek sexual pleasure, in any form—visually, emotionally and/or physically is inviting the enemy to have his way with us, and this never turns out well.

3. Sexual sins like pornography destroy families.

While some couples may say they experience greater sexual satisfaction when involving pornography within their marriage, it will over time kill their marriage. Porn will devastate true intimacy. There is no shade of grey when it comes to porn. There is a simple truth that is universal in its application: Anything that comes between God and me (the vertical) will cause separation in my marriage (the horizontal). As shared before, we never sin on an island. Sadly, couples that turn to pornography for greater "intimacy" within their marriages are doing just the opposite. It also has ramifications for our children. Beyond sad is the fact that the average age now for a child to view pornography is 11 years old (Center for Parent/Youth Understanding). I've personally met dozens of adult men and women that are still recovering from their father's legacy of porn and/or their exposure to it because of their father.

There are a few verses that should convict all of us in this area:

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Hebrews 13:4

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, "The two will become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:15-19

While porn may give us a temporary sexual "high," it will always damage our most intimate relationships with God, our spouses and our children. Jennifer Lawrence was correct that most men are wired in a way to desire intimacy with women that may lead a man down the path of pornography (a lot of women are as well). However, God also wired man with the ability to choose which path he will take. This God-given yearning for sexual intimacy was designed to exist and thrive within a one-flesh relationship with our wives. When it comes right down to it, our sexual desires as men and women are more about our spouses (putting their needs before our own), creating children, the marriage covenant and the glory of God than they are about us.

If you've experienced some defeats over the years around this issue, don't lose hope. Most men have taken a hit at some point in their lives when it comes to pornography. Yet, we can hold fast to God's promise, that if we repent and seek forgiveness, His grace and mercy awaits us. Men, make the resolution from here on out to only have eyes for your wives. I encourage our wives to make the same resolution toward their husbands. By God's grace, pornography's lies will not be a part of the heritage we leave our children. Rather, our legacy, while imperfect, will be a relentless pursuit to uphold the sacred honor of our marriages.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Ephesians 5:25-30

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