Since we have been talking so much about marriage over the past few weeks, I want to call your attention to an article that discusses a very relevant side-topic – pornography. We mentioned the dangers of pornography in Sunday’s sermon, and SOMA actually spent an entire Sunday discussing the deceptions of our sexually-charged culture, and how to stay pure in the midst of it. You must know that sexual sin is a culprit in MANY marriages that fail . . . and in 2011, a great many sexual sins begin with pornography. It is the match that ignites a horrible direction in marriage, and once you latch on to it, there is no telling where it may drag you!
Ed Stetzer wrote an interesting article addressing this issue. You can read the full article at this link. Here is a quote from the article:
Yet, something has shifted in our culture. Porn was once relegated to shady peep shows in the bad part of town. I remember taking the train from Levittown into Times Square as a child. We didn’t stay long, but we saw enough. Times Square put on display just about every sexual practice possible– and that’s what made it so despised and to be avoided by people of good character.
Now, we can find much worse with a few clicks of a mouse. A thousand years ago, you might go your whole life and never see a beautiful woman. You lived your life in a wood hut on the side of a hill in England and told stories of a beautiful princess. Today, beautiful women satisfying every desire are just a web page away.
So, today, pornography serves up beauty and sex to any and all in a way we’ve never seen before. This is uncharted territory for our culture and even an unbelieving world knows this to be true. This series is to help us consider and deal with the implications.
I encourage you to read the article and really consider the dark places that pornography is taking you. And if you are caught in ponography, take these three steps:
1) Flee from Immorality – We have to fight this stuff, and the way to fight this battle is to run away. 2 Timothy 2:22 says to “Flee youthful lusts . . .” That means removing the temptation. Cancelling those objectionable cable channels. Burning those magazines. Even smashing your computer if you have to. Whatever it takes.
2) Build and Destroy Walls – First, build walls to separate yourself from pornography as much as you can. That means buying a strong filter for your internet, and moving your computer out into the open, so that no one can surf in private. It means using the parental controls on your cable or satellite box to keep filth out the house — not just for the kids, but for the adults, too. It means seeing different movies; subscribing to different magazines. Build walls . . . but also knock down walls. Be transparent in everything. Find an accountability partner and allow them to view your internet history and your text history. Husbands and wives, be that for each other. Be that open with each other. Hide nothing. Be completely transparent.
3) Confess . . and Get Help – If you are struggling with the sin of pornography. You are not alone. God has not given up on you. But listen to this – it is time to open up and let the light shine on this problem. It’s time to face up to it; to be honest; to stand in the light of God’s truth and say, “I have sinned. What I have done is wrong. And I need God’s forgiveness; I need His Grace; and I need His strength to defeat this foe.
Cindy Caliguire wrote, “You will never experience wholeness beyond your willingness to face the truth about yourself and expose it.” I know that’s scary, because when we admit these kinds of flaws in ourselves, we feel exposed – exposed for being a fraud; exposed for being way more insecure than we actually appear; exposed for being broken in a world that rewards those who seem to be all together. But when you finally come clean, you find that you’re not alone; that others are going through the same things that you are going through; that no one has it altogether; and most importantly, that God wants to heal you.
There is no way to overstate the negative effect that pornography has on marriage in our culture. It is sheer poison. As Christians, it is time for us to stand up and fight back against this stuff. When we do, we are proteting our families, and our own hearts.