The Epidemic We Like to Ignore

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Every second 28,000 people are viewing porn on the internet. Every second over $3,000 is being made on internet porn. 40 million Americans regularly visit a pornographic website. (Source) I worry that we’re not asking ourselves what this epidemic is doing to our lives, culture, or our relationships. Do we realize that pornography use increases marital infidelity by 300%? Do we even care about what pornography is teaching young boys and girls about sex?

Before I come off as judgmental or holier than thou, I’ll confess that pornography ensnared me. My later years in high school and early years of college were consumed with the thoughts of porn. There were times when I’d get done with class, and all I’d want to do is relax and watch porn. At the time of being 18 and 19 years old I thought there was no harm in it. Never did the thought cross my mind that this was damaging my sense of sexuality or my outlook on relationships in general. I watched myself go through college bouncing from relationship to relationship looking for a satisfaction that could not be given to me. Porn was destroying any healthy image I had of women. There are so many stories of good men and women caught up in this epidemic.

Testimony From a Pastor in Montana 

Pornography is a struggle as well as an addiction that I have carried with me for most of my life.  From the age of six I can still recall the images that I first encountered from the pages of an adult magazine.  At the time I didn’t know what I was seeing with my own eyes, but somehow I knew what I was witnessing was not right, yet it was so intriguing that I kept digging for more.  Years went by and the fascination turned more into a want, followed by turning into a need as I couldn’t focus on anything else but the desire to look at more.  I had no idea at the time the effect and damage it was causing to my relationships, as well as my own body and mind.  

Years of struggle went by and I tried satisfying the itch by involving myself with girls.  Throughout all of my youth, I could hardly speak to girls as I couldn’t look at them in a healthy way with all of the porn I had watched.  I did eventually involve myself with some girls and even got married to a woman thinking that in part it would cure the desire to look at more porn.  However, once I realized that actual intimacy with my wife was nothing like on the screen, I returned to it like a dog to its vomit.  Several years went by as I watched my wife’s self worth and confidence crumble before me as I continuously found satisfaction through my own selfish desires.  It led to her eventually leaving me for another man, one who promised her he would not treat her the way I did.  I have gone two years of being clean since that time and the struggle is still very real to this day.  The images still linger in my mind and the damaged relationships are sill recovering, but it is through Christ alone that my hope has been found and that I am being healed from my years of addiction to pornography. 

It’s Time to Take Action

We have to do something to correct this path of sexual destruction that we’re on. Let me be bold and also speak to you that pornography usage does not help your marriage. If it takes pornographic material to get you arroused, I will tell you that you have an addiction and help is needed for you and the relationship you may be in. Please don’t take this too lightly; I know there is a certain amount of shame that comes with this. The only one that can correct this issue facing our culture is you. Take a breath and summon up the courage to do something about it.

Paul uses this urgency when describing the danger: 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 6:18-20

We’ve been playing fire for too long. It’s been destroying our marriages, hurting on relationships, and pushing us away from God. It’s time we stand up to this epidemic and say no more. Even our culture is starting to realize it’s dangers (source). God isn’t a cosmic killjoy; he is looking out for our best interests. It’s time we step up to the call and stand up for what God has called us to.

Other great resources:

XXXChurch

Fight the New Drug

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