Written by Evi Idoghor
Pornography is mostly seen as a “men thing,” you know that secret addiction, habit, and sin; they deal with that no-one knows about. They keep it from their close friends, girlfriends, and spouses because somehow a relationship with porn has a shameful connotation attached to it. For this sole reason they go years on end with this grave habit, unable to break free, leading them to eventually carry it into their life-long committed relationships such as marriage.
Men, however, are not the only human species that have a thriving connection with pornography. According to covenanteyes.com, “about 1 in 5 women (18%) use the internet for sexual purposes habitually—every week.” Another study conducted in a country in Europe revealed that 17% of women considered themselves addicted to pornography. Because the porn industry has tried so hard to normalize its services, most people fail to see the damaging effects pornography has on its consumer, whoever they are in a relationship with, their family, and even their career.
Marriage is such a sacrosanct covenant because it involves two people making a commitment to God, each other, their families, and the society, noting that they are in said union for the long haul. As such, both parties are expected to protect their union against anything that has set out to wreak havoc, such as adultery, external parties, demanding jobs, misuse of finances…and pornography!
Pornography is one of the overlooked third parties in relationships and marriages, so much so that sometimes couples use it together to spice up their sex lives. However, pornography is slowly destroying most marriages without the parties involved knowing it. Pornography can be likened to carbon monoxide, which is also known as the silent killer.
Carbon monoxide when inhaled inhibits hemoglobin (because of its higher affinity for it) which functions to release oxygen to the tissues in the body. The body no longer has the amount of oxygen it requires to function healthily when exposed to high doses of carbon monoxide, which can lead to suffocation if not attended to immediately.
Pornography, in the same vein, replaces the intimacy of sex in marriages with lustful desires and fantasies that no one person can fulfill, and if not immediately dealt with, can destroy a marriage.
Below are three reasons why pornography is ruining your marriage:
1) Pornography is (sexual) sin: let’s call a spade a spade. Pornography isn’t a tool to increase intimacy or enjoyment in your sex lives as married couples, rather it is sinful. With the advent of the internet and social media, porn has become increasingly accessible to even those who are underaged. We now live in an over-sexualized culture which causes some people to see porn as a rite of passage, or something adults do occasionally, like a social drug.
Hence, many people fall prey to its antics. Even regular movies, series, or music videos these days and loaded with nude women, and sex scenes that are “soft” porn like in nature. And once there is exposure to such, the flesh craves for more, except you recognize it for what it is, and make a conscious effort to steer clear from entertainment endowed with nudity and sex.
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?”
—1 Corinthians 6:18-19 (NKJV)
From this scripture, we can tell that as Christ-followers, we should have no business indulging in pornography, because it is designed to incite pleasure in an individual, which then triggers them to want to have sex or pleasure themselves if no one is available to satisfy that urge. Some of those urges can lead to violent sex crimes such as rape or depraving abominable acts like bestiality. Sex was designed by God for married couples—married couples are the only ones who are supposed to incite such desires in their spouses and explore them in whatever healthy manner they choose (within the boundaries of the Bible.)
2) It places unrealistic sexual expectations on your partner: Sex, just like marriage is also a sacred thing. Pornography moves sex from being sacred, holy, and of God, to being something that is dirty and performance-based. Whoever the addicted party is, expects their partner to sometimes engage in demeaning acts just to satisfy their wildest fantasies. Sex changes from an expression of love, to an act that is dark and berating.
As such, when the other party has had enough, they stop engaging (as they should) and the other one steps outside their marriage to satisfy their insatiable thirst for lust, rather than taking a step back, listening to their partner and seeking the very much needed help they are in dire need of.
3) It is addictive: there is no such thing as viewing porn once. If you tell yourself—this is going to happen just once, you only kid yourself. This is because the flesh is never satisfied. I’ve shared in previous articles on how I was addicted to pornography for more than 10 years. However, I have been porn-free for about six years and one of the reasons I haven’t gone back to it is because I understand that once I return to viewing porn, it will quickly become a vicious cycle difficult to break free from, together with the reason that it is displeasing to God.
There were countless times when I “quit porn,” only to return moments later. Especially on days when you are bored or feel lonely, those thoughts come into your mind, and if you don’t fight them off, it will be very easy for you to keep indulging in this sexual sin.
How did I overcome this addiction? You might ask; it was through the power of Christ. I read a book on Christian dating and relationships, where the author tackled the issue of porn in a book series. I also stumbled on videos about women who were trafficked into the porn industry and remained against their wishes.
They explained the fact that the more people purchased and watched porn, the more they created a market for it, and the more people were scouted for the job— most of them, young women in their late teens. Also, drugs, alcohol, and murders (that is women who killed their pimps and vice versa) were co-partners in this multi-billion dollar industry, and as such, I absolutely wanted no part in adding to women’s pain; even some men who are trapped in the industry. God used such information to free me from an addiction that began around the age of 12.
There is nothing beautiful about pornography— it is abusive, deceptive, and goes directly against God’s design for sex and marriage. Because of pornography, many have stumbled into same-sex relationships, many suffer from an identity crisis, many have committed murders, many have molested children, and many have dabbled into bestiality. The media wouldn’t highlight these troubling connections to the porn industry—they only want to feed you with the dark narrative that it will “improve your sex life.”
So, if you are struggling to break free from this problem, there are countless resources online which are designed to help free people addicted to pornography. Find the one that is right suited for you, better still, if you are part of a church community, open up to trusted people; you just might be shocked at the number of those who were once where you are. Above all, cry out to God, and He will lead you to the right place and people, for you to begin your healing process.
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