Porn Could've Wrecked My Marriage

The dangers of porn don't just go away after your wedding day.

The classroom is empty. There are only two people left: a girl who’s supposed to be a teenager but looks 28 with about $10,000 in plastic surgery, and a guy about her age who’s supposed to be the teacher but looks more like an action movie star.

The audience is supposed to get the impression it’s a real scenario—like you’re getting a sneak peek into schoolboy fantasy. In reality, you’re just watching another cheesy porn clip. You’re drawn in to a false reality. You watch whatever amount of the scene you want to watch, and you move on. Within minutes, sometimes, you’ve almost forgotten you even watched it.

This is the fantasy world, the dangerous lie of pornography.

Like Fish in a Barrel

The temptation is unavoidable. Half-naked people are plastered on Facebook advertisements. Billboards don the supposed “class” of the dancers at the club the next exit over. You can buy romance novels at the local Walmart, which doesn’t seem to risqué. Some is emotional porn, some is much more graphic. It’s all the same in the end.

I bought the lie that sex was going to be what I had seen in the movies I’d watched for years. I assumed sex within marriage one day would step right in and replace my desires. It didn’t.

For people of all genders, ages and demographics, porn addiction is a real struggle. A few years ago, a study reported that 30 percent of all data transferred across the Internet is porn. This stat only accounts for what is classically considered pornography. This doesn’t even include all the temptations that lead us there.

Paul exhorts the Philippians:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things (Philippians 4:8).

Of all the verses about lustful thoughts and worldly passions (Matthew 5:28; 1 Corinthians 6:18; Galatians 5:16; Colossians 3:5), this passage in Philippians has been the most helpful to me. The mind is a powerful thing, as are the memories it keeps.

Married and Marred

At the height of my porn addiction, my mind was perpetually bouncing from one woman to the next. I would look at pornography on my cell phone in the bathroom at work, in my car while driving; you name it, I did it.

I knew all the Bible verses about “youthful desires” and “passions of the flesh,” but I only sought self-gratification. I viewed the girls I dated as no better or more important than the women I watched on my computer screen. It was about me, not them.

Porn makes people sexbots, not humans.

What I did not anticipate was how my porn addiction would affect my marriage. I assumed marriage would fix my desire for porn and erase the memories. I bought the lie that sex was going to be what I had seen in the movies I’d watched for years. I assumed sex within marriage one day would step right in and replace my desires.

It didn’t.

Let me warn and encourage you with my story. Here are two ways that porn almost wrecked my marriage:

Porn Damaged My Ability to Be Confident in Marriage

For me, my pornography-laden past caused a fracture in my assurance as a husband. There are times I feel unworthy of my wife due to my past sins. There are times I feel unsure of my ability to please her—both in the bedroom and outside.

The bedroom consists of two people God has joined together, often imperfectly enjoying a great gift He has given. Pornography does not reflect this truth. Sex was not solely designed for procreation, yet it was never designed to be treated as an extracurricular sport. Porn actors are not to be our sexual heroes. My wife was not interested in being my personal porn star.

Let your spouse or future spouse be your standard of beauty and excitement by not cramming more and more images into your head.

Love your spouse the way he or she wants and needs to be loved—the way God calls you to love—and let that be enough. If you aren’t married, look at others as God’s creations. Look at them like humans.

Porn Placed Unfair Expectations on My Wife

I went into marriage believing that my wife would do whatever I wanted, and that she would be excited about hours of endless sex. I wanted my wife to be a mindless toy like those portrayed in the movies I watched.

Inevitably, if you’re not careful, you will be disappointed by your spouse. You will be frustrated that he or she isn’t doing the things you want, or how you want them done.

In reality, your spouse has insecurities, fears and preferences that are mixed with a foundational desire to be loved and nurtured. Your husband or wife is not the sexbot of pornography fiction. I had to learn that my wife is a person with a soul. I learned to appreciate her uniqueness, that she is a gift from God.

Let your spouse or future spouse be your standard of beauty and excitement by not cramming more and more images into your head.

The Good News

There is tremendously good news for those who have struggled with pornography: Jesus lived a perfect, sinless life and was hung on a cross to wipe away the very sins you commit and will commit. You cannot change your past, but Christ can offer you a new life and a better future. Chase Him. Cling to Him. Let Him be your standard of character, and flee the temptation to fix your eyes on anything other than Him.

Remember Paul’s words: “think on these things.” Keep your mind, your heart, your soul and your strength fixed on God. Bring others in to help you do so.

The more like Jesus you are, the better spouse you will be. If you’ve struggled with lust in various forms, you will be frustrated with yourself and you may have to fight tooth and nail to avoid slipping into old habits. Deal with sin as drastically and seriously as possible. The Holy Spirit will empower you to do so. Jesus is worth it. Your spouse will be worth it.

I am being healed by his grace. But I can’t let up. I can’t do this alone. Let me encourage you: with God’s help and a community to help hold you accountable, you can do this.

Above all, know this: The Gospel is enough. God is redeeming you. He’s redeeming all things. The war has been won, so go into the trenches confidently

Top Comments

Brianna Smith

10

Brianna Smith commented…

Thank you for saying both men and women struggle with this, and for the reminder of the hope that is in Christ.

1 Comment

Brianna Smith

10

Brianna Smith commented…

Thank you for saying both men and women struggle with this, and for the reminder of the hope that is in Christ.

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