Monday, April 11, 2011

This Is A Problem That Needs to Be Talked About...

I think this will be the most controversial thing I write about. But I also believe it is something that needs to be addressed. For Jesse, pornography wasn’t a struggle during his affair. He struggled with it in the past and then soon went back to it after the affair ended. He says he believes the reason it wasn’t a struggle for him during that time was because pornography is about trying to fulfill your lustful desires and that’s exactly what he was doing - fulfilling those desires. You heard it from the horse’s mouth, folks. He and I both believe that pornography has been a stumbling block from the very beginning of our marriage. We also think it did play a role in where he allowed his imagination to go and how it led him to seek those desires in a different place.

This is a topic I am passionate about! In today’s society pornography is as common as checking your Facebook. What’s even worse is that it’s acknowledged and accepted by many spouses and even excused as being a “natural thing” that “all” men do. For me the hardest thing to handle is the hypocritical people who do struggle with pornography, (not liking the fact that they do it because they know and feel that it’s morally wrong) yet STILL condemn the man that commits adultery on his wife. I personally think this is a load of crock. Come on, are you really telling me that you are completely ok with the fact that your husband is looking at a beautiful naked woman while you are up stairs in your bed alone? Really?!

Oh the irony! Be careful, oh sinner who judges a sinner. Whether it’s you not wanting to see your own demons or the wife protecting her husband, the bottom line is that you too are committing adultery. Who are you to judge one SIN against another? Have you just skipped over Matthew 5:27-28? You have heard that it was said, you shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her (i.e. looks into a computer screen and puts their hands down their pants) has committed adultery with her already in his heart.My husband says that in reality pornography is just like having the woman right there live in front of you naked… there is no difference at all as to what is going on in a man’s heart. So go ahead and excuse what your spouse is doing behind closed doors, but don’t condemn the man that has his sin brought to light and repents. The only person in the end that will be judging the adulterer is God. Are you so sure that God’s not going to judge you in the end for the way you treated your brother in the Lord and placed judgment on his actions?

Let me give you a little perspective. Did you know that 72% of men and 28% of females watch porn regularly in the United States? Did you know that the average age of first time exposure to pornography is 11 years old and 80% of 15-17 year olds have been exposed multiple times to hard-core internet content? Did you know that 23% of men 17% of woman struggle with a porn addiction? In 2004…… there were 420 million websites of porn, up from nearly 1.6 million websites, 17 times greater than it was in 2000. Just think about how much more there must be today! You can go check out many more statistics at  Family Safe Media, Pure Hope, Covenant Eye's, and lastly I would really encourage you to check out XXX Church.  They also have a great accountability program as well!  All sources are great!

Are you seeing a problem yet? Want to know what’s worse? Ok… crazy as it may seem the Christian world is about to be exposed because their statistics are pretty bad too and we all KNOW the truth. It is said that 47% of Christians say that pornography is a major problem in the home (Focus on the Family poll, October 1st, 2003). That 51% of pastors say that cyber-porn is a possible temptation. 37% say it is a current struggle (Christianity today, Leadership survey, 12/2001). About 29% of “born again” Christians in the U.S feel that it is morally ACCEPTABLE to view movies with explicit sexual behavior (The Barna Group). Roger Charman of Focus on the Family Pastoral Ministries reports that approximately 20% of the calls received on their pastoral care line are for help with issues such as pornography and impulsive sexual behavior. At a 1996 Promise Keepers conference 53% of the men revealed that they viewed pornography that week. And that’s just the ones that admitted to it! People... Come on!

I would have to say by far my biggest issues in all these statistics are that there are Christians out there that think this is ok. Are they picking and choosing what they want to take from the Word? Do you not understand that when your spouse is doing this they are committing an affair? Do you know what it’s doing to your self esteem and your marriage? By watching porn, your spouse is putting you second and their need for lust first.

You do not have to agree with me and what I’m saying. I’m just showing you the statistics and what scripturally the Word says about all of this. You have to see that our world is getting more and more desensitized to something the Lord intended to be holy between two people in a convenant under God. Yet it is plastered everywhere so that even our young children can see. I believe this is an epidemic that is only getting worse and could even be a gateway into actually going through with someone’s lustful desires. I’m not saying that just because your other half has an issue with pornography, that they are going to go out and have an affair, but it does leave the door wide open for them to gawk at other women naked without repercussions. I’m not here to judge you, but I ask that you prayerfully consider all the facts and then ask yourself, should this really be ok in my home?

:: Jesse's Thoughts ::

Pornography is like a drug. You can take it for all kinds of different reasons. You take it because you’re angry. You take it because you’re sad or lonely. You take it because you’re happy. You take it because you’re tired. There are a lot of excuses we give as to why we deserve to take it. It can also affect us in ways similar to drugs. It causes us to view members of the opposite sex differently. It causes us to become less sensitive to the needs of our spouses. It causes us to view sex and sexuality in a completely false light.

Many people would have understood if Lyryn would have left me after the affair came out. It’s a socially acceptable reason. Not quite so many people would have agreed with her leaving over my viewing habits related to pornography. However, can we honestly and objectively say that my watching other people engage in sexual acts and projecting myself into those situations is that much better? I realize that actually engaging in the act with another person does change the rules a bit, but it doesn’t change the game.

Most men struggle with lust regularly. It is something that they may never be able to completely expel. This does not excuse them from doing everything in their power to curtail it’s influence over them and their marriage. Allowing ourselves to view pornography opens up our hearts and eyes to a world outside of our marriage that we shouldn’t be entangled in. Shielding your eyes during a strong sexual scene may in our society seem childish or silly, but I guarantee that a wife will be impressed and very gracious for your self control. Staring at the pretty girl at the office and allowing your mind to wander may seem like a victimless crime, but really you’re the victim. You’re sabotaging your complete faithfulness to your wife and you’re under-valuing the commitment you’ve made. We need to adjust our mindsets to one of complete UNADULTERATED commitment to ONLY our spouses. And for many that begins with pornography.

Sexual intimacy is one of the greatest gifts God gave to us. Pornography is Satan’s biggest manipulation of that gift.

Lose My Soul

(Let me stress, that in no way am I saying that we have this all "figured out,"  because the truth of the matter is that we don't.  We have been fighting an ongoing battle with pornography since we were married and still are very much waging war against the enemy now with it.  I apologize if I came off too harsh or offended anyone by writing this. My heart was strictly to put the information out there and to be able to freely speak my opinion about this subject.  I am aware that there are some very emotional statements written that came directly from a place of hurt judgments from the past and that I still need more healing.  I'm simply being raw in this post and I apologize if I offended anyone.)


LeAnna said...

This is one of the best articles I've ever read regarding pornography! I'm so glad you brought up the fact that women struggle with it, too. It is an epidemic in our churches today, friends. It has saturated entertainment and the media. You can't even watch a commercial for razors or body wash anymore without a hint of it. And yes, it is the same thing as adultery. We can also bring up the scripture James 4:17 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

The most chivalrous thing my husband does is not to open my door for me, or pull out my chair- it is when he looks away on his own accord. And I am so thankful he does.

Guess I could have just said "Amen!" ;)

Erin said...

Wow, those stats are frightening! It truly is a fight for Christians to keep marriage pure and raise godly children in our society - thanks for your honesty!

Abby said...

Well spoken!! Amen....You did a great job, I know it is tough for some to hear....I'm praying that many women receive this truth and learn to value themselves again!

Laura said...

This is a great entry. It is so sad and scary what are children are facing in this day and age...which can lead into their adulthood. I do volunteer work with our jr high kids at our church. I have gone on fall retreat with them for the past two years. In September of 2009 our theme was "Losers", what we had to lose for Christ to be fully in our hearts. On the last morning we have an open mic time. I realized what that my eyes needed to be opened and truly made aware of what our children are facing in todays world. Two boys and one girl at the ages of 15, 15, and 14, stood up in front of their peers and told them they needed to lose porn for Christ. It breaks my heart how easily accessible this junk is to our kids. And you throw in all the smart phones, and it just travels with them everywhere.

Thank you, Lyryn, for bringing such a touchy subject to light. God bless you and your husband on your continued journey of redemption and reaching others.

My parents went through this when I was in my early teens. They ended up divorcing but remarried about 2 years after the divorce. They have now been remarried for longer than they were married the first time. Forgiveness and redemptions are possible.


The Booth Family said...

You are amazing for letting into such a private part of you lives that no one ever likes to share. Thanks for being so open and honest, I am sure you are helping so many people by sharing what you've shared. and I totally agree with your views on this post! Good stuff Thanks!

Hailey @ Me and My Boys said...

I'm with LeAnna. One of the sweetest things my husband does for me is shield his eyes during certain movie scenes. What's funny is most of the time, he tells me, "Don't look", as if what I'm looking at, I don't see in the mirror everyday. lol.
But I love that he's so guarded. He guards not only his eyes, but his heart. I love that he only has eyes for me and that he does all he can to keep it that way.

Amen, sista. This was fabulous.

Rachel said...

Been there too :) and you're right it IS something that needs to be talked about!

Brittany Ann said...

Amen amen amen! I couldn't agree more. And every time I hear of Christian families that don't take this stance on it, I flinch. Because for so many reasons, pornography is immoral and downright evil. And, yet, like so many things, we've seemed to slip it into acceptable simply because it's easier for us to handle that way.

Anonymous said...

This post says it all. I know many woman who just sit by and accept that their husbands do this. They say things like, "I dont' care if he is looking at it, he's coming home to me." That is the worst line I have ever heard. Any husband who sits and does this is being so disrespectful to God and their wife. I am so lucky to have a husband who respects me completely!! God truly blessed me with him! Thank you for being so open and honest. God Bless you and your husband on your journey.

More Than Words said...

I totally agree with you, 100%!! I have a friend who's husband struggles with this, so I know how important it is to not let that door open in my home. I have three sons, and I know that men are "visual," so I take this very seriously. I don't even allow them to look at videos on YouTube because of the sidebar content. You just never know, and the enemy is ready to steal, kill, and destroy. I'm so glad you posted this, because even our Pastor talks about how many Christian men are addicted to porn. Good job, Lyr!!!!

Anonymous said...

I had a talk with a girlfriend a few months ago and she confided in me that she and her husband have come to an "understanding" regarding pornography. In simple terms, she's okay with it as long as he's honest with her. I kept my mouth closed but then she asked my thoughts and I said no way would I even CONSIDER allowing it. She was shocked and I felt sort of "judged" I was being a harsh wife or something. I believe our society has become desensitized to this epidemic and it's RUINING our families! I'm just amazed at how many wives allow it. It's not how God intended things at all.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for writing this. How sad that this struggle is the norm in so many families. I have worked hard in my marriage to support and hold my husband accountable in a loving way, and there are definitely times that it gets exhausting and I want to just give up (and I know he does, too). The lie that the enemy tells us all the time is that NO ONE ELSE goes through this, that we're the only ones trying and wouldn't it just be EASIER to just let go and give up?

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for being so transparent. You are holding up a tool that is sharpening us all and it is TRUTH.

Chicago Mom (Heather) said...

I'm so lucky that my husband HATES porn!! Wow - I had no idea it was such a problem for so many people. Thank you for this eye opener!

Trina said...

Thank you so much for writing about this topic! We struggled with this very early in our marriage and since then I've taken precautions to prevent it from happening again, with Jonathan's agreement {he came to me and admitted his struggle which I was thankful for}. We have the XXX Church program installed and I get an email every week. It's usually clean, but if I ever get an email with links listed its usually something I've looked at on Victoria's Secret or something. {the links are time stamped, love that because then I know who would have been on the computer.} But now that we don't have Charter Internet anymore, the only way to get on the internet from our home computer is to have the HotSpot turned on on my cell. So basically, I have to be at home...

Thanks again for writing this!