Pornography (Porn)…yup, I just said it! A word that is packed with so much emotion, experience, desire, curiosity and shame. A word that is so commonly typed into Google that 28,258 people are watching it on the internet every second. A word that describes a form of media that is becoming so mainstream in our culture today. And a word that, unfortunately, I am all too familiar with myself.
I saw my first pornographic image in six grade, and from that moment on I was hooked. What started as just an occasional glance or search on the internet grew into a full blown addiction really quick. It became part of my daily routine and consumed much of my free time. It wasn’t until after my freshman year of college (when I found Christ) that I began the journey to get freedom in this area of my life. Over the following few years, with God’s help, I am where I am today, porn free.
So, why is porn such an issue in our world today? Why do more and more people fall into its trap everyday? Why is porn so destructive and harmful to both individuals and relationships? Answer: PORN IS A LIAR! It is deceptive, sneaky, and very tempting in our sex saturated culture. It over promises and under delivers, yet leaves the viewer thinking they need more. Porn takes what is true, pure, and lovely, and twists and perverts it, and then markets it as reality. Sounds like a bait and switch to me.
My heart is to shine a light on pornography and illuminate the truth about this subject. When we know the lies that porn tries to trick us with, we can all be wiser to stay away from the traps that are set for us. So, here are seven lies that pornography wants you to believe:
1. It’s not that big of a deal
That’s what it wants you to think. But the truth is that pornography is a really big deal in our generation. According to a recent survey, about 79% of men and 34% of women age 18-30 say they view pornography at least once a month. Globally, porn is a $97 billion industry (that’s more than Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Netfilx, and Spotify’s revenues in 2014 combined). I just read somewhere that over half of marriages that end in divorce will do so because of one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” And just think, porn is accessible within just a few clicks on practically every mobile device that comes out. I’d say it’s becoming a huge problem that we must wake up too.
2. This is what good sex is really like
Porn is such a counterfeit. Such a fake. It’s a scene; it’s not real sex. It might be sex on the physical level, but not on the emotional or spiritual. Porn is the act of sex without the intimacy. It creates unrealistic expectations, desensitizes the viewer to real pleasure, objectifies women, and hyper-sensitizes viewers to lust. Good sex is God sex, and that only happens within the context of a committed marriage; not between two perfect strangers on the other side of a camera. You don’t need to watch porn to know how to have good sex on your wedding night. God is the creator of sex and is fully capable of helping you have a blessed sex life in marriage.
3. It isn’t hurting anyone
The truth is, porn is hurting tons of people everyday, and many don’t even know it. Porn is like a drug, and has the same addictive nature that cocaine does. It hurts its viewers minds, by releasing dopamine and over repeated use, rewiring the brain to always want more. Often the guilt and shame after watching porn severely affects one’s relationship with God. When a girlfriend/boyfriend or spouse finds out about a secret porn addiction, do you think that helps or hurts the relationship? How about the actors involved in the porn industry; many who are on drugs, physically and emotionally abused, and a part of sex trafficking circles? The hurt is definitely real and must be stopped.
4. It’s really fulfilling
The allure and fantasy of porn make it look real appealing and fulfilling to so many, but it really isn’t. The Bible says that sin is pleasurable for a season (Hebrews 11:25), but seasons don’t last. Porn addicts can never get enough, because they are always left unfulfilled and wanting more. Frequent porn users often battle anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Research is finding that the more pornography a person consumes the harder it becomes for them to be aroused by a real person or real relationship. So many relationships and marriages are struggling due to one member being caught up in porn. God created us to have relationships with actual people. Images on a computer, tablet or phone screen can never fulfill you the way God originally intended.
5. It’s just a guy issue
The common stereotype is that porn is just a guy issue, right? Wrong! Now guys do tend to be more visually stimulated whereas girls are more emotionally stimulated, but that doesn’t mean girls never struggle with porn. According to a recent study, about half of young adult women agree that viewing pornography is acceptable and 1/3 of young women reported using porn. Women have desires, sex drives, and the same access to pornographic content that men do, so the temptation is just as strong for them. Porn isn’t just a guy problem, it’s a culture problem. There is a huge segment of women who live in shame and secrecy and aren’t able to get the help they need to overcome porn, simply because of a stereotype. It’s time for us to tear down the wall and open up our eyes and encourage women to get victory in this area as well.
6. At least your not having sex with your girlfriend/boyfriend
If you are not married, and either single or dating (and desiring to stay pure), the lie is that watching porn is less worse than actually having sex with your girlfriend/boyfriend or someone else. I remember when I was caught up in pornography, I would always justify it by saying, “At least I’m not having sex!” That is a very weak and shallow response, because both are very harmful to you and not God’s best. Jesus got real with the whole “it’s ok to look, just don’t touch” mentality when he said that looking at someone with lust is the same as if you actually had sex with them (Matthew 5:27)…BOOM! Don’t sell out to the lie. I encourage you to tap into God’s strength and allow Him to help you stay sexually pure before the alter.
7. Keep it a secret, no one needs to know
Even if you want to stop looking at porn, the enemy will do all that he can to get you to keep it a secret.
If you keep pornography in the dark, it will keep its scary control on your life.
Only when you bring it into the light can it begin to lose its grip on you. That is why if you are struggling with porn, the first step on the road to victory is to tell someone about it. Confess it. Get it out in the open. Talk to someone about it. Then, once it is no longer a secret, come up with a game plan and some accountability to fight it head on. There are tons of resources out there to help you break free from porn, but some of my favorites I encourage you to check out are Fight the New Drug, XXXChurch, and Covenant Eyes.
Lies, lies and more lies. Porn is an epidemic that is built on smoke and mirrors. The negative effects of porn are horrifying. It’s time for us to wake up and open our eyes to what is really going on. It’s time that we rise up and take a stand against porn. Choosing to not believe the lies it tries to sell us is a great place start!
For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light. Mark 4:22 NLT