This past Saturday morning I had the privilege of speaking to a men’s conference at Southeast Christian’s Oldham County campus. Since their theme concerned Spiritual Warfare, I briefly addressed the subject of pornography – one of the most dangerous and pervasive battles men face in today’s world. Stephen Arterburn authored a best-selling book entitled, “Every Man’s Battle” and every man I know struggles with the demon of lust at one level or another.
I suggested that the basic problem with pornography is that it stimulates lust for a woman other than your wife. That’s in direct violation of Jesus command in Matthew 19:28, “…anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
Another obvious problem with pornography is that it’s addictive. There’s a law of increased appetite and diminishing return that takes over. What stimulates you today is passé and boring tomorrow. That’s why men become addicted to increasingly graphic and bizarre images. Like a deer in mating season they lose all sense of reason, lower normal safeguards, and become consumed only with the hunt.
A seldom-mentioned problem with pornography is that it ultimately produces impotence. I have a theory – and some recent studies are confirming this to be true – that the reason why we are inundated with umpteen ads for pills and procedures that correct E.D. (to the point we are embarrassed for our children), is because men have been exposed to so many provocative visual images that normal marital relationships don’t stimulate anymore.
This is not to say there aren’t medical problems or that age doesn’t take its toll. But, as Jesus warned, Satan comes to “kill, steal and destroy.” Our adversary pulls a, “bait and switch” on us. Under the guise of intensifying desire he ultimately kills it and then gloats over his impotent victims.
At the end of the session, a stranger approached me who was visiting from out of town. He told me he was living proof of my theory. With tears in his eyes he asked, “Do you think it’s possible for normal marital desires to be restored?” Although I couldn’t give him antidotal evidence I assured him that, “All things are possible with God” and I was confident that the Lord could resurrect what Satan had destroyed.
Romans 13:14 advises us, “…clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of your sinful nature”. That advice is there for our own benefit. By disciplining our thought life we have a much better chance of enjoying intimacy in marriage for a prolonged period of time.