Pornography- more than just images

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Posted on familybliss.nomthiodukoya.org
By Pastor Nomthi Odukoya

“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” – Matthew 5:28 NKJV

“Isn’t it just naked images? What is the harm in looking, replaying it over and over or fantasizing a little? No one knows I am doing it, and I need an outlet for this sexual energy. It is harmless fun without any consequences.”

The above is how the world makes light the issue of pornography despite its contribution to the death of many relationships and marriages. It is the number one cause of masturbation, sexual assault and sexual deviancy – Had David not looked at Bathsheba’s nakedness, he wouldn’t have committed adultery with her or killed her husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11).

Pornography has been around for centuries, but the problem of addiction to pornography has increased dramatically in recent years due to its vast presence on the internet. The internet is littered with varying acts of pornography, some of which pop-up unsolicited while you are using the internet.

Most pornographic acts start innocently out of curiously clicking an ad, email or link or reading a magazine. It then becomes a form of escape from stress, relationship problems etc – to forget everything else.

This escape is a sin that has the capacity to enslave and weaken any individual. There is the perception that the woman/man on the screen can trigger and satisfy sexual desires but pornography only leaves the observer feeling worse and exhausted. The supposed cure then becomes a curse.

Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media, stated that the primary factors contributing to the increase in porn use are the four A’s – Accessibility, Affordability, Anonymity and Addiction. The use of pornography starts by fulfilling its promise of satisfaction, after which the guilt and exhaustion set in.

Pornography focuses on fantasy and there is no way your spouse can match with that level of perfection. At times, pornography is subtly packaged, even in advertisement. For example, you see a half naked woman lying down seductively on a fridge, and you wonder what is being sold – the woman or the fridge?

It is therefore imperative to guard what you allow access to your senses. Most people entangled in the web of pornography find it hard to stop it because of its addictive nature.

Below are some of its effects:

It leads to poor sexual performance.
It destroys trust and intimacy in relationship and can also lead to the end of a marriage.
It creates obstacles to real communication and personal interaction.
It creates with its addict a distorted view of sexuality and can led to criminal sexual acts.
It draws focus away from one’s family and consumes time.
It creates a distorted self image.
Pornography is addictive in that it causes a chemical reaction in the brain close to cocaine usage. But unlike when overcoming cocaine, the pornographic images never truly leave your mind. It is therefore no wonder that pornography is equated to adultery in marriage. The best remedy therefore is ABSTINENCE.

If you are already entangled in a pornographic web, below are some tips to overcoming it:

Identify and understand that it is a sin
Confess your sin and seek counseling (James 5:16)
Don’t dwell in secrecy. Speak out and have someone hold you accountable. Sexuality experts state that no one can successfully walk the path of recovery alone. Seek help from a significant other (s). When a spouse opens up on pornographic problem, this is how the partner should respond:
Look at your spouse through the eyes of love.
Understand that your inadequacies are not the cause of the addiction.
It is not your job to stop the pornography but to support your spouse as you see action oriented change.
Don’t become too intrusive. Don’t become a member of the police department by checking his phone, computer usage etc. Let him come to you at his pace and time. Deep intrusion will only make him secretive.
Pray for your spouse.
Cut off the source: Use a web filter to screen out potential internet websites that contain pornography. You can allow your friend who won’t divulge the password set it. (Matthew 5:30) Stick to reputable sites, and use safe search engines. If a site or link looks questionable, don’t let curiosity get the better side of you.
Use the internet wisely – don’t use the computer in a room where there is no one.
Dispose of that VCD or DVD; don’t feed your lust.
Change routine or environment that leads to pornographic usage. (Job 31:1)
Avoid all form of idleness, engaging in constructive activities, and spend less time alone especially by the computer.
Guard your heart and the five senses through which your heart is fed. (Psalm 119:9-10)
Stay in the word of God. Kirk Franklin stated that his freedom from pornography came after being taught the Truth.
Deal with the guilt that might surface after your victory.
Dr Fitzgibbons, Director of the Institute for Marital Healing near Philadelphia, emphasizes the need for a strong spiritual component if a man is to address and overcome his addiction effectively.

Parents also have a responsibility to instill in their children the right kind of values, beliefs and attitudes that will empower them to say no to these infiltrations and lies. Parents must talk openly to their children (from the age of 9 at the most) about the harmful effect of pornography and be willing to answer all sex related questions in an open and safe manner. Statistics show that “90% of children ages 8 – 16 have viewed pornography online, and children ages 12 – 17 are the single largest group of users of internet porn.” These statistics are not about to drop except the family begins to live up to her responsibility of informing and protecting the children.

Pornography is more than just images and fun; it has the capacity to destroy the human mind, relationship and family. Therefore guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. (Proverbs 4:23)

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