One of a woman’s worst fears is another woman, particularly another woman’s unclothed image captivating the eyes of her husband. It’s called pornography, coming from the Greek word porne (prostitute) and graphein (to write).
The statistics are unsettling, appalling. Here are a few from recent studies out of the Barna Group and Covenant Eyes:
- 68 percent of church-going men and over 50 percent of pastors view porn on a regular basis.
- Of young Christian adults 18-24 years old, 76 percent actively search for porn.
- 33 percent of women aged 25-and-under search for porn at least once per month.
- Only 7 percent of pastors say their church has a program to help people struggling with pornography.
Pornography use is epidemic in our society. The horror of what it does to the value of women and the honor of men is probably beyond description. How can we come alongside those who are affected? What’s a woman to do when her relationship or her home is affected or maybe even destroyed by pornography? How can her friends and her church support her? How can she find hope?
First, she must grieve. Even if the marriage can be salvaged, something precious has been lost. It is necessary for her to grieve that.
Second, she should keep hope. Porn addiction is a serious stronghold, but it can be brought down. The power that raised Jesus from the dead can bring a man from spiritual death to spiritual life. And a man whose mind and days are filled with porn is spiritually dead, no matter what he professes.
Porn addiction is a serious stronghold, but it can be brought down.
Third, she can love herself enough to reach out for help. There are many resources available and she must nourish her own soul. She probably should get counseling and surround herself with support, choosing her confidantes carefully but making sure to have some.
Fourth, she can pray. God can redeem any situation or relationship we give to Him. There is no chain He cannot break, no hurt He cannot soothe, no future He cannot change.
Fifth, she must give herself time. Time to heal, time to trust again, time to desire again, time to be renewed. Restoration is a journey, a process – one that cannot be rushed.
Sixth, she can battle her anxieties through intercession. As a wife and mom, she’d like for her men never again to see a seductive image. But that’s not possible. It is highly unlikely that any boy can even grow to manhood without having seen some form of porn or sensual image. It is too prevalent for complete avoidance. And her husband cannot completely escape the barrage of images that assault every man on a daily basis. But she can surround her guys with a prayer hedge, she can pray that the Holy Spirit would empower them in their weak moments.
Seventh, she can refuse to join the “competition.” Often, women are tempted to adopt seductive dress in order to keep their husbands “interested.” But acquiring the condition will never provide the cure. She must keep her priorities and principles intact, realizing that disregarding the sacredness of her own beauty will not fix the twisted perspective of others. (Of course, within the holy boundaries of her own marriage, a woman can delight in unveiling her feminine beauty to captivate her husband’s eyes and thoughts. Proverbs 5:19 tells men to be intoxicated with the sexual beauty of their wives. Marriage is the covenant which safeguards the most fulfilling and passionate kind of sexual celebration. And God calls it good.)
Pornography addiction is a complex issue. Sam Black, in his book The Porn Circuit, talks about the hormones and neurotransmitters affected by regularly viewing porn; it is like a neuro-cocktail to the brain.
. . .your brain ends up “bonding” to a pornographic experience. Your brain remembers where the sexual high was experienced, and each time you desire sexual stimulation, you feel a sharp sense of focus: I’ve got to go back to the porn. (Covenant Eyes)
There is no easy solution. Most of the time counseling from a pastor or professional is helpful. God is the Healer, but He often uses human voices and human personalities to bring that healing. And something as powerful as sexual experience that has changed the brain requires time, discipline, accountability and spiritual action.
Something as powerful as sexual experience that has changed the brain requires time, discipline, accountability and spiritual action.
But there is no stronghold that cannot be torn down by the power of Jesus. No situation is hopeless when you call on the One who snatched the very keys of death and hell from Satan. He holds the keys to every prison known to the human spirit. And pornography cannot triumph over either the viewer or the spouse, if they determine otherwise and radically deal with the problem. He is Lord. And anything you drag into His light can be conquered in His name.
In the Old Testament, there are frequent references to the “high places.” These were places of heathen worship involving sexual sin, sometimes chambers used as brothels, sometimes groves in the trees associated with prostitution and perversion. In Ezekiel 16, God talks to His beloved, Israel, and prophesies how He will deal radically with her sin which He likens to spiritual adultery. He tells her that she will be taken captive by other nations who will judge her for her sin. The places where she has sinned will be destroyed “They shall throw down your shrines and break down your high places.” (Ezekiel 16:39) She will no longer be able to dishonor Him in those places of shame.
And He can do the same for the “high places” of sexual sin today. Isaiah 1:18 promises “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
The old Gospel song written by Joseph Niles says this:
I will make the darkness light before thee,
What is wrong I’ll make it right before thee,
All thy battles I will fight before thee,
And the high place I’ll bring down.
Stand strong, woman of God. Fight for yourself, your husband, your marriage. The God who breaks down “high places” is in the fight with you.