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Make Pornography an Open Conversation in Your Marriage

The topic of pornography is taboo. Who wants to talk about pornography? I know I don't, but unfortunately, it has been a part of my life and marriage. Honestly, it is a part of everyone's life. Our culture is inundated with billboards of half-naked women, our commercials are laden with sexual references, and our computers are riddled with opportunities for seeking it out.

The conversation is very broad in terms of pornography in our lives but today, let's discuss how pornography affects marriage specifically.

What Is Marriage?

First, let's start at square one. What is marriage? In Genesis, we read that God created Adam, and after he had named all the animals, God said that man needed a helper.

"So, the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man" (Gen 2:21-22)

"Therefore, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Gen 2:24)

Marriage is God's idea. Man did not create it, and it is intended for holy purposes. Marriage is the symbol of Christ and the church.

Marriage Is Based Upon the Principled Practice of Love, Not Feelings

In Ephesians, we read Paul's words about the committed practice of love in marriage. Marriage is not created to make us happy. We should never get married to fill a void or make up for something we lack in our lives. We are to model Christ's love for His church with our marriage. Our purpose should be to support and encourage our spouse in a walk with the Lord. When each spouse does this, a fulfilling and beautiful marriage is created. When we are in a committed relationship, with God in the center, and when we aim to treat each other with love and respect, no matter what, Christ will be glorified, and your marriage will thrive.

"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, His body, of which He is the savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church without stain or wrinkle." (Ephesians 5: 21-27)

Being one with your spouse does not mean you will lose your identity or personality. It simply means caring for your spouse above yourself and helping them become all they can be.

Unfaithfulness Breaks the Bonds of Trust

upset couple in bed scared of sex

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/Rawpixel

When two people get married and enter the covenant of marriage, anything one spouse does will affect the other, even if it is secret. When there is unfaithfulness, it breaks the bonds of covenant and trust. The spouse that is betrayed is torn apart and left feeling hopelessly damaged. God created marriage to be permanent with a faithful sexual relationship. Venturing out of these boundaries will destroy and break down the marriage, especially if it is done in secret.

"The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife." (Ephesians 7:3-4)

The sexual relationship between a husband and a wife is something to be protected and cherished. Unfaithfulness of any sort is detrimental. Whether it be emotional or physical, seeking love or pleasure outside of the marriage is costly and should be avoided and prevented at all costs.

Commitment in a Marriage Need Not Be Boring

Our world is full of temptation, and if you are not in a loving and committed relationship and are not satisfied, you may tend to look elsewhere for satisfaction. The world will tell you that instant pleasure is what you need to be fulfilled; however, God created marriage to be the exact opposite of what the world says. A God-centered, God-made sexual relationship is more satisfying than anything the world will ever offer.

"Let them be yours alone, never to be shared by strangers. May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer-may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an adulteress? Why embrace the bosom of another man's wife?" (Proverbs 5:17-20)

Pornography Is an Addiction

Currently, pornography is running rampant. Almost no one can escape its effects. The enemy has endless built-in schemes to entice married men and women into the traps of pornography. His lies penetrate their unprotected hearts, convincing them that only empty actions can fill their lustful desires. He wants to destroy anything that glorifies God, and your marriage is his target.

For many people, it is a way of stress relief. It can bring instant gratification that unfortunately doesn't last and leaves the person feeling ashamed and guilty. Escaping to sin is never the answer. Some people can justify pornography as not being considered unfaithfulness because it is not a real person. However, if their heart is seeking attention and satisfaction outside of a marriage, it is absolutely considered unfaithfulness.

"For a man's ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths. The evil deeds of a wicked man ensnare him, the cords of his sin hold him fast. He will die for lack of discipline, led astray by his own great folly." (Proverbs 5:21-23)


Photo credit: © Unsplash/Jordan Bauer

The enemy will go to great lengths to convince us that if our spouses are unaware of our actions, it won't hurt them. I, for one, know the effects of pornography and secrecy in my marriage, and I can attest to the hurt and grief it has caused. Even when I was unaware of my husband's actions, I could sense a disconnect in our relationship when he was unfaithful. This has taken many years to reconcile and spurred countless unpleasant conversations.

Pornography addiction is just that, an addiction. The desire to seek out pornography can be stronger than the most dangerous drug. The endorphins that are released during a lustful sexual encounter can overtake even the strongest desires of commitment for a married man. I have seen it. It is dangerous and should be treated as a disease rather than a fault.

If you know that your spouse is addicted to pornography, as hard as it may be, give them grace. Love them, don't reprimand them. They need a healing that only God can give, and supporting them will guide them to that healing. You may think this is impossible, but with God, anything is possible. I have seen great healing in my husband and his addiction; it has been miraculous.

TALK ABOUT IT

When pornography is openly discussed, despite whether it has affected your marriage or not, the marriage will benefit greatly.

Talk about it. Open the conversion no matter how difficult. Talk about boundaries that need to be in place, such as blocking internet usage on devices or putting passwords in place to block particular television and movies. If you are blessed enough not to have this issue in your marriage, still talk about it. The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy and if we talk about it before it is an issue, it will simply add another layer of protection around your marriage.

If you have the unfortunate difficulty of pornography in your marriage, you are not alone. Seek out help. Find a group of men or women that can support you. Talk to a therapist and seek out the best way to handle the pain and heartache accompanying this betrayal. Bring it up to your spouse and ask the hard questions. They may be trapped in a hidden addiction and are craving it to come to light. If you are unsure how to handle this situation, pray about it. Seek help from a trusted counselor or friend. Reach out to your church for support.

The Lord is fully aware of this detrimental act that has taken over marriages. Don't let the enemy win. Take your marriage back; any healing or reconciliation is possible with the Lord. I realize this is easier said than done but don't lose heart!

Additional Resources:

3 Ways to End Pornography's Control before it Destroys Your Life

Why Do Women Turn to Pornography?

What Every Woman Needs to Know about Man's Battle with Porn

To the Wife Whose Husband Is Addicted to Pornography: There Is Hope

Every Man's Battle: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

XXXChurch, Celebrate Recovery, Good Women Project

Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages

Heidi Vegh is a writer, speaker, and ministry leader living in Gig Harbor, WA. She is a remarried mother of four, navigating the blended family life after the loss of her first husband to cancer in 2013. She longs to use her writing as a way to encourage others who have experienced loss and guide them on the road to healing. She contributes to her blog found at thebreathingmama.com, sharing stories and devotionals of faith stemming from her loss and healing, mothering, and her blended and complex family. She graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a degree in Creative Writing and English and is working on her first book. Heidi is the Women’s Ministry Director at Gig Harbor Foursquare and has a deep heart for sharing Jesus with women and encouraging them in their faith walk. When she is not writing she loves to travel, read, craft, and experiment in the kitchen. Visit her Facebook and Instagram (@breathingmamalife) to learn more.

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