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For a large majority of men today, the ubiquity of porn on the Internet, and its ability to provide unlimited access to it (especially via search engines) means that the issue is no longer, “Have you looked at porn?” but rather, “Are you actively looking at porn?”  Many wives may already fear or suspect that their husbands are engaging in pornography.

Looking at porn is not harmless (see the short video of Bob Heywood’s struggle with porn and its impact on his marriage). But the problem is that pornography usage is usually hidden, a closely guarded secret. What if you suspect that porn is impacting your marriage (or your relationship with your boyfriend or fiancé)?  Here are some things you can look for, and steps you can take to bring healing.

Signs that may indicate usage of porn:

  • Unusual decreased sexual activity between you and your husband—and increasing relationship distance physically.
  • Mental distance between the two of you. He’s there, but “not there” when you seek to engage him.
  • Late night computer activity, especially a pattern of needing to use the computer after you have gone to bed.
  • He quickly changes the screen when someone comes into the room, and he is spending more and more time on the computer.
  • Secrecy regarding finances, like not letting you see credit card statements.
  • Any gaps in accountability for time and finances.
  • No history on the web browser after he spends time on the computer (keep in mind that private browser windows are pretty standard today, leaving behind no web history).

What steps can you take?

Viewing pornography is sexual sin and is not just what “men do.”  While painful and devastating for any wife to acknowledge, you must honestly face the reality of sexual sin impacting your marriage.  Now is not the time to be passive. You have a vital role to play in helping your husband break free.

  1. Know that the Lord has comfort for you! He has not abandoned you or your marriage. Feelings of grief, shock, fear, and despair are normal for the wife who’s just discovered her husband’s porn usage. God is your compassionate Father and source of comfort and strength. (read 2 Cor. 1:3-4.)
  1. See this as a real threat to your marriage. Don’t deny it or hope that it will just go away.  Now is the time for you to battle hard for your marriage through prayer, courageous confrontation and humble reliance upon the Lord.
  1. Talk openly with your husband about your concerns. You may need to acknowledge that this is a common problem for men today, even Christian men, so come alongside him rather than take an oppositional role.  Watch for his response to your inquiry—is there defensiveness, anger, deflection?  Check your own heart for self-righteous indignation.
  1. Pray for and seek helpers who can encourage you and pray with you. Seek out godly Christian women or any ministry leader who is a “safe” person for you to talk with (someone who has track record of godly living, is compassionate, and is trustworthy with confidences). Talk with your pastor.
  1. Don’t put yourself in the position of being his “porn police” or primary accountability partner. If he admits he is struggling, tell him to talk to one of his friends or his pastor to set up accountability.  If there is a group of men who meet regularly for these issues, encourage him to attend.
  1. Do not think or accept (if your husband suggests) that his porn issue is your fault. He is responsible for his own behavior.  His behavior comes from within his own heart (Matt. 15: 17-20) and your behavior cannot cause him to look at porn.
  1. Consider marriage counseling with a pastor, counselor or a trusted couple. This may be a perfect time for both of you to seek assistance to talk through ongoing issues or problems. Couples that do not talk openly about their struggles, needs and disappointments (especially sexual problems and disappointments) are wounding their marriage. They need to be willing to look deeply at motivations and past events that affect their relationship with each other. Since sexual sin is so dangerous and powerful, it is something which must be dealt with openly — with the help of other Christians. Your marriage will not survive if this is not dealt with, and if your husband refuses to seek help.
  1. Run to the Lord as your refuge! Psalm 16:1-2 says that God is your strength, hope and safe place as you navigate these painful and scary waters in your marriage. You cannot control your husband’s heart or his response to the Lord, but you can bring your own needs, pain and confusion to him, and you need to!

Christian couples dare not keep sexual sin hidden in the shadows. It will only get worse and its potential to destroy the marriage is real.  The hope of the Gospel is that in Christ we can find restoration, reconciliation, and victory, even over deeply embedded sin patterns. There is hope for deep change and profound healing through the power of Jesus Christ.

We have a great devotional book for wives dealing with this issue in their marriage.  When Your Husband is Addicted to Pornography:  Healing Your Wounded Heart, by Vickie Tiede.  You can get a copy here.

 

Today, the church is facing a major crisis and there are few alarms going off.  It is a silent crisis, one that is spreading in the shadows of secrecy and yet is doing great damage to the lives of those inside her walls.

I’m talking about the normalization of porn within the church.

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By Nicholas Black

The title of this article presupposes two things: first, your children are being exposed to pornography, and second, you are already responding – even if you are doing nothing. Maybe you are tempted to toss aside this article with a shrug, “Well, my kids haven’t been exposed

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Do you know the experience of slavery? Do you want to stop masturbating, looking at porn, having anonymous sex, etc. and find that you can’t? You’ve probably made hundreds of promises to God and others, but your words increasingly ring hollow – even to yourself.


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How Kids Can Get Hooked into Porn, and What Steps Parents Need to Take.

Parents are protective creatures. Healthy parents will guard and protect their children from just about any danger and harm. Kids are strapped into seat belts and constantly told not to run into the street. When they are older, they’ll listen to countless mini lectures on how to drive safely, how to stay away from drugs and to be home by 10:00.

But some dangers keep lurking along the edges of life.

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Don says to Dave, “What’s you major?”  “Business Administration,” replies Dave.

“What’s yours?” asks Dave, and Don says, “English Lit.”

Predictably, Don says, “So, what’s your minor?”

And Dave says, “Porn is my minor.”

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Why didn’t God bring up masturbation in the bible?  I came to Christ in 1971.  I came to Christ as a teen as I was struggling with a constant habit of masturbating.  Nobody knew that, because nobody would talk about it in those days, so I kept it to myself.

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Ever seen one of those Twilight Zone re-runs where at first the protagonist is living in what he thinks is his business-as-usual life?  But then he come to realize he is living a sham and that his life is not his own but rather he’s a pawn in some powerful beings game or experiment. This type of twist in the plot is what drives the Neo character in The Matrix. Neo is shocked and horrified to find his freedom and normal life is anything but normal and he’s in fact a slave.

In the Rod Sterling Twilight Zone I am thinking of, when the man discovers he’s living is what amounts of a doll’s house, and that he is the audience to be seen by outsiders, the man frantically grabs the items in what he thought was his house to find in a sickening horror they are mere props.  He pulls kitchen drawer handle, but the drawer does not open. The drawer handle pulls off in his hand, then he gazes up into the stage lights above him, helpless.  There Sterling leaves him and the TV audience, ever wondering what that man can do about his plight.  That’s good spooky ending for a 30 minute show but would not make much of a movie.

On the other hand, Neo’s reaction to his shocking discovery that his life was slavery and deception not reality and freedom is not a helpless reaction but ruthless.  As he progressively get’s into the reality beneath this façade he’d been a pawn in, Neo seeks the truth with relentlessness abandonment.  His knowing the truth meant he had to make a choice to make – to fight or to slip back into forgetfulness of reality into the pawn and slavery ‘virtual reality game’ of his old life.  What made the Matrix a movie to watch and remember is that Neo became more and more ruthless. 

I think what drove Neo’s ruthlessness as a fighter was not just anger, revenge, but loyalty to truth and to the real people with whom and for whom he fought.  I think manly love looks like loyalty.  And loyalty is what sparks and fires a holy ruthlessness.

So … 

1.  What is ‘winning’ for the enemy?

2.  What are the key realities beneath sexual fantasies, porn, masturbation, or acting out with another person?

3.  Are you as ruthless with your enemies as they are with you?

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act {fight} like men, be strong! Let all that you do be done in love {manly loyalty}!  1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (ESV)

 

 

 

This weekend close to 2000 folks are gathering in Philly for the annual conference sponsored by the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation. (www.ccef.org) The theme this year is “The Addict in Us All”.  There will be lots seminars addressing the many facets of addiction. Substances, behaviors, thoughts…relationships.

How do YOU define addiction? A life controlling ‘thing’? Something that has seized you? One way the bible addresses addiction is in Hebrews 12:1,2 where followers of Jesus are called to “throw off everything that hinders and the sin which so easily entangles.”  Habitual sin…activities, behaviors, thoughts, relationships, emotions that entangle us, encumber us consistently from a Christ-centered life.

I’ve never been addicted to alcohol, drugs, porn or even sex…but I HAVE been what we might call a “people addict”.  Or like I said in my first post, an emotional connection junkie. Ed Welch, of CCEF, says that people are our favorite idol…or addiction. We worship people and our relationships when we let them make or break our day, when they rise to the highest place in our thoughts, affections, energies.

Are you a people or relationship addict?  How do people “rule” you and what has been helpful to you in your relational and spiritual journey to be free of the entanglement of this? What has helped you learn how to love and not “use” people? Share your thoughts and I’ll be back next week to share mine! 🙂

Mr. JONES and Mr. SMITH were hanging out.

JONES says: “Listen to this quote, ‘my heart is restless until it rests in you.'” 

SMITH laughs and retorts: “Must have been written by a girl.” 

JONES, quiet for a while, says: “Well, sometimes I am restless. In fact, last night, I spent 3 hours looking at porn.” 

SMITH : “Was it good stuff?!” “I find that the free porn is ok, but you have to put out the bucks for something satisfying.”  “Three hours, eh.  Must have been some HOT stuff.”

JONES : “Naw . . . it was basically . . . re-runs.”

SMITH : “So now you are taking up reading Bible-ly looking books?”

JONES : Holding the leather bound book, says, “It’s St. Augustine’s Confessions.” Then after a pause: “From the 5th Century AD.”

SMITH : “What the..  Huh?  Who the…  what are you talking about?”

Feeling dejected and a bit scorned by SMITH, JONES leaves to take a walk with uncomfortable questions poking his conscience.

 “What do I really want?”

“Can a be satisfied with a woman made of pixels?  A pixelated woman?”

“Wonder why she did that photo shoot?”

“What does she really want?”

“I wonder if she is as desperate as I am?”

 JONES stops at a park bench.  He takes up the book, finding his book mark, and reads the whole quote.

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

________________

  • Are you like JONES?  Where does your restless heart wander?
  • And are you satisfied where your wandering heart takes you?
  • What, Who can satisfy your restless heart?

 Tolle Lege  — “Take up and read”


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