What’s So Wrong About Porn?

  Photo by Francisco Gonzalez

Photo by Francisco Gonzalez

Ben’s struggle with porn began when he was 10 years old and a young friend introduced him to dirty magazines. 

As he grew into adolescence, Ben became more entranced with girls and often kept pornographic material under his bed. Then he discovered the internet, where he found a feast for his sexual appetites. Although he tried to break the cycle of addiction in his life, he was never quite successful—until he discovered how to battle the emotional issues behind his addiction. 

What’s the Problem with Porn?

According to a report by the Barna Group, most young adults don’t believe that viewing porn is a problem. Specifically, “only one in 20 young adults and one in 10 teens say their friends think viewing pornography is a bad thing.” 

The same report reveals that “most Americans believe porn is ‘bad for society,’ but those attitudes are shifting toward neutrality or ‘good for society’ among younger generations.” In fact, “teens & young adults view ‘not recycling’ as more immoral than viewing porn.”

When I read statistics like these, my heart grieves. Porn is like a virus. Once the addiction settles into your system, it’s really hard to get rid of. It isn’t just a “personal problem,” but it affects the people around you, too. 

How does it affect other people? According to Life Counseling Solutions, pornography “distorts a person’s concept of the nature of sexual relations which in turn can alter his/her sexual attitudes and behavior.” They write that porn doesn’t affect just the individual, but it also affects that person’s family and marriage. 

Here are a few things that can happen when a person, specifically a man, is addicted to porn: 

Married men (this can also apply to women) who regularly engage in pornography are more likely to be dissatisfied with their wives and can become detached emotionally from them. Wives may not be aware that their husband is viewing Pornography but they do notice a difference in his attitude toward her. His change can be due to the fact that Pornography viewing makes you numb to “normal” sexual relations. The more you are exposed to, the more you want it. It’s like a never ending vicious cycle. It may not just be the wife that’s suffering; if children are present they will be affected by their father’s pornography viewing as well. A consequence of pornography viewing can be a loss of interest in family relations. That also means less time spent with children. All the addict can think of is how to satisfy his cravings. Another problem can arise if a child becomes exposed to the pornographic material or accidentally finds his/her father engaging in Pornography. This can very much distort the child’s perception of his/her father and the child’s image of healthy sexuality in general.

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The Root of the Problem

A porn addiction often finds an open door through the “hole” in a person’s heart—the area that needs healing. As human beings, all of us have been hurt in one way or another, and we all are in need of healing. When we are desperate to be loved and accepted, when our self-esteem is shot, when we are hurting, we can find ourselves trying to escape into a world that isn’t real. We long to sneak into a fantasy realm where we can, just for a little while, feel admired, accepted, wanted, and seen.

What we really need is Jesus. He is the only One who can give us the kind of love and acceptance we crave.

A Fresh Start: Finding Freedom from a Porn Addiction

For my friend Ben, breakthrough came when he admitted he was powerless to control his desire to sin. He understood after years of anguish that his life was out of control and the only force that could help him break free from sin was a relationship with the Lord. Ben recommitted his life to Christ, confessed his faults, and reached out to an accountability partner. 

Through regular group meetings, he began to identify areas of his life that were lacking. Relationships, for instance, were hard for Ben because he saw himself as unlovable. He made a commitment to resist porn on a daily basis and to affirm that the Lord had a wonderful plan for his life. 

Although he still faces daily temptations, Ben remembers that temptations are not sin. He understands how to avoid porn by relying on the Holy Spirit for guidance and by reaching out to his accountability partner.

“When it comes to my addiction with pornography, I live one day at a time,” he told me. “When I reach out and find quality relationships, I tend to feel more positive about myself and I’m less likely to use pornography to medicate. I pray that God will take away the desire to view porn. I pray to the Lord to help me resist the devil, but I know that I’m the only one that can flee from evil. Besides having regular conversations with the Lord, I find that having a mentor to talk to about my struggles has made a big difference with this addiction.”

Ben is still on the journey of finding complete healing, but this he knows: His identity comes from feeling loved by Jesus and knowing he belongs to Him. The desire to be totally loved, cherished, and accepted can be fulfilled by God alone.  

  

For more information on sex, marriage, and finding the person who is right for you, get a copy of Becoming the One by Salomé Roat. Click here to learn more.

You can also order the book in SpanishClick here.

 

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