Pornography is a real killer of Christian marriages today. Addiction to pornography is a huge problem in many Christian families and the church as a whole. The impacts this evil has had on the church is huge.
I have seen the total devastation that stems from pornography and inappropriate behaviors. I have written several books on sexual addiction and its impact on the spouse and children.
Some have suggested that 50% of men in the church are sexually addicted. When I speak at men's conferences I have them close their eyes and well over 50% will identify with being currently sexually addicted and actively using pornography.
Many Christian women are in absolute denial that this could ever be happening in their marriage. This denial can put your marriage at risk, so I want to address it directly. (This is usually a bigger problem among men, so I will address it as such.)
Ladies, as a way to protect your marriage, I suggest you move from a policy of "don't ask, don't tell" to a policy of "trust but verify." Ladies, you are the ones who are at risk with his infidelity due to his behavior. James 1:15 (NIV) says, "Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
Scripture is clear about the progression of lust, sin and death. You deserve to have this destroyed in your marriage. Ladies, I am strongly suggesting you ask your husband several times a year these tough questions:
- When was the last time you looked at pornography?
- When was the last time you acted out inappropriately?
I could fill a room with the tears of good Christian women who never asked, and are now dealing with a damaged marriage and a family at risk. When I asked these wives if they directly asked their husband, they always say no. I understand they didn't know to ask, but now you know to ask directly.
Men, if you are struggling here, get honest. And the sooner the better. Get accountable and free. Most men and women who struggle with pornography stay sick because they protect the secret.
James 5:16 (MEV) says, "Confess your faults to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much." Scripture says if we confess our sins to one another we can be healed.
Confessing just to Jesus gets you forgiven. First John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." So, confessing to another person gets you healed. You can be forgiven and not healed.
Here are a few other ideas to help protect your marriage from pornography:
—You can also add an accountability feature that emails you reports as to each website visited.
—Block the internet from your spouse's cellphone.
—Block or control any cable television.
—Have a same-sex accountability partner.
—If addicted, join a local or phone "Freedom Group."
—If you're a spouse of an addict, also get helpful materials and get in a partner's group.
—You can also do counseling in-person or by phone. We also offer three- and five-day intensives at Heart to Heart Counseling Center.
Pornography is a real killer of Christian marriages today. There is another side effect to someone who struggles with pornography that can also choke a marriage to death. We call it intimacy anorexia and about one-third of sexually addicted men and their spouses have this relationship pattern. Intimacy anorexia is the active withholding of spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy. Note that this disorder is not limited to physical intimacy.
It is very important that we take up the fight against pornography in our marriages. Again, wives must understand they have a role to play in the fight. Ask the questions and protect your marriage. You are not responsible for your spouse's addiction, but you do have a responsibility to protect your marriage.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books, including Miracle of Marriage. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com, on his Facebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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