The Harm in Pornography

                This post might be coming a little out of left field, but it is something I have been meaning to write on for a while since I and many other men (Christian and not) are either currently struggling or have struggled with pornography at some point. Now that I am thinking about it, the 50 Shades of Grey movie has been recently released so maybe the timing of this post will help people looking into this topic.
                So many people just accept the fact that others, especially guys, will look at pornography, but have they considered what that is doing to the viewers of porn? People will look at porn for various reasons, but fundamentally they are viewing something that was intended to be the private union between husband and wife for their sexual satisfaction. Repeated viewing of porn can lead to desensitization to the material, which can influence the sexual behavior of the viewing party and has been proposed to influence behaviors toward sexually violent acts. Studies have been performed that show that pornography addiction changes certain brain pathways in a manner similar to substance abuse patients. I will pause here to say that while I have found preliminary data suggesting what I have stated above, there are other studies that have been inconclusive and require further investigation. I think if more time is invested I hypothesize that these trends will be seen, but they do involve the human element so complexity in the studies is always expected.
 Pornography can also harm your relationship with your significant other on both sides, meaning both parties suffer. The viewer can start to have unrealistic expectations of the relationship if they allow pornography to color their perceptions on how relationships with the opposite or even the same sex work. The other party could start to feel inadequate because their partner is turning to other means for satisfaction. I think while these are real issues, basing your value in relationships solely on physical satisfaction is a method that will lead to inevitable disappointment. Not to say that you shouldn’t be physically attracted to your partner, but using them for sex alone isn’t what I think God intended for us in our relationships.
So at this point, you might be thinking, “You are a Christian writer, so where is the Christianity in this?” Well here it is, Jesus says that if we look at a woman with lust, we have already committed adultery in our hearts with her (Matt. 5:28) Now I wouldn’t dare to put words in the mouth of Christ, but I am sure the same applies to women. In fact Christ says to the Samaritan woman at the well that she has had five husbands, so for her to say that she has no husband is true. To expound on this, I am only aware of a few methods of ordained methods of divorce, either one spouse passing away or one spouse commits adultery. If both spouses divorce outside of these means, they are not to remarry. If they do they are guilty of adultery (Matt. 19:9).

So maybe the last part strayed from the point a bit, but I just wanted to emphasize them because God cares about our sexual purity, and society is trying to tell us that we are prudes if we try to follow this. I have friends who are incredulous that I am still a virgin. While I have had my issues with pornography, I am doing my best to avoid it and relying on God when I need him to help my resolve to stay away from it. If you are struggling with these issues of sexual purity, let me pray for you that God will help you in beating this sin. May God bless you and have a good rest of your week.

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