Just tuning in? Please start at post 1 of this Series “Surviving Infidelity”: Shattered Hearts, Broken Promises.
It’s Dale, back again. This time to talk to you about pornography, the “taboo” subject in the Christian realm.
I was exposed to my first porn at age 9, in the form of magazines my older brothers had around. I looked on and off through high school, even though I knew it was displeasing to God. I don’t think I really “got it”:
If you sin in your eyes or heart, it’s just as bad as the act itself. Matthew 5:28 “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
I married the love of my life and assumed the porn would stop, as I had every desire fulfilled. It didn’t, and twice, early on in our marriage, Tonya caught me on the computer looking at or about to click on porn sites. It was a total of 3 times I looked or tried to look, and I was actually thankful she was open enough to the Holy Spirit to feel the nudge to check on me each & EVERY time. I agreed to do whatever it took to break this sin cycle in my life, and walked in freedom from it for 5 years.
Fast forward to 5 years later, and you will see I made one of two of the biggest mistakes of my life:
I came into a position of management and had my own office. I used my time alone in the morning, 2 days a week, to look at porn. Click after click I went, being sucked deeper into the porn world without even knowing it. My pride keeping me from telling Tonya I was failing, my stubbornness kept me from knowing I was falling. I kept telling myself, “I am not addicted, I could quit any time I want.” But then, the next week, I’d click and click again, disgusted at myself, yet unable to leave the screen until others came in to the office for the day.
4 short months after I began to look at porn again, I acted on the images I had seen, and betrayed my wife of nearly 10 years for a woman I was not even attracted to. It was not premeditated, it was simply an opportunity that arose after a day of inappropriate talk in the car while running appointments with her.
The words Stupid, Selfish and Foolish come to mind. My blood boils with rage as I think of my own stupidity, my own BLINDESS to what was occurring! I was happy in my marriage, more than content in my marriage bed, but I had an ugly lust that needed fed, and it was fed that day as I betrayed my wife for a single act. Here is the crazy part, my actions that day had NOTHING to do with needing sex, or being attracted to this other woman, it was literally to feed the lust that grew inside me daily; the need to be needed, the excitement of being needed by someone other than my wife.
In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul says, “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.”
I was disgusted with myself, yet I didn’t walk away. I chose that day to feed the lust and lose everything I had with Tonya. This is the sentence that makes me shake my head, I am so angry at myself, what a stupid mistake! Why would I do this to my family? My wife? My God? Satan had me blind, he set a trap for me that day and like an idiot, I walked right into it. I weighed the cost that day and lust won.
I hurt my Heavenly Father, I hurt my wife, I hurt my family, because I was full of sin and the need to please “self”. I was self-seeking that day in every way. Tonya has gone through many a tearful counseling sessions trying to find a place to lay blame in her own life…..
GUESS WHAT?! It had nothing to do with her. Nothing.
There was nothing lacking in our marriage. Tonya is my best friend, my soul mate, my number one cheerleader. Yet, that day I betrayed her and everything she had so lovingly given me…..all of her. A precious gift, and I broke it! Cast it aside for a few moments of lust. The Dale that looked at porn had an ugly need to fulfill because porn is DEADLY. It’s a trap from Lucifer himself.
Run from porn. FLEE. It has no place in your life. Don’t even dip your toe in the water, for you will be at the bottom drowning before you know it.
Tonya warned me, when I looked at porn early in our marriage: Lust of the Eyes leads to Lust of the Heart leads to Lust of the Flesh .
I had no idea just how true that statement was. I never once thought my first click would lead to an actual sexual act, EVER, or I wouldn’t have looked. The cost is too great. If you had told me I’d one day cheat on Tonya, I would’ve laughed at you…..Cheat on Tonya? Why? She is everything to me! Porn seemed harmless in that sense, because why would I seek sex when I was being fulfilled at home? It was just something to look at…….How bad could it be to just look?
Boy, was I wrong and my mistake almost cost me my family and the love of my life.
Don’t ever go there. Ever. It’s just not worth it.
The draw of the flesh and the devils plans are a lot stronger than we’d like to think. In a moment of weakness, something that is possible for all of us, we can end up doing something we NEVER thought we would. ONLY the power of God, through prayer, can make a difference.
John 8:36 “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” Thank you God, for that promise!
I Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also make a way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Did you catch that? These temptations we endure are common to man, as in all people, but let’s focus on guys for now. Let’s take it as meaning, other men struggle with this, too. We need to speak of it, ask for each others help! This secret sin can be a secret NO LONGER!
Men who struggle with Pornography aren’t drooling, knuckle-dragging cave men, or “dirty old men.” They are the men who sit in the row ahead of you every Sunday, serve on the Board at your church, teach Sunday School or volunteer at Youth Group, lead worship and praise, take up the offering, attend mens’ retreats, preach from your pulpit, and work hard to provide for their families.
We are doing a study in Sunday School that is changing our lives. Have you seen the movie Courageous? You need to. We are doing the follow up books, “The Resolution for Men” and “The Resolution for Women” as a class, dividing up each week to discuss our chapters. Here is an excerpt from the book, it describes what happened to Tonya & I exactly:
Taken from “The Resolution for Men”, page 95.
“Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; He who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get….” Proverbs 6:32.
“Let’s face it. Most men who fall into adultery do not originally set out to do so. They don’t lose their marriages in a day. It starts off innocently, with small compromises that eventually become tolerated over time. A man gets too busy and isn’t spending time with God in His word. He gets worn out at work…..and before he knows it, he has baby stepped his way into an addiction or an adulterous pit, unintentionally devastating his marriage, his spiritual walk and the respect of his kids. He looks up one day to see a fool in the mirror and wonders how he got there.”
It goes on to list 10 Actions to Stay Faithful to Your Wife. You need to go get these books right now, read and study, make sure your armor is strong, because satan is out to destroy marriages. Ours was going so well, that we thought we were safe. Instead, we had a large target on our heads that just screamed to the devil, “Attack & Destroy!!!!”, and he nearly succeeded because I was blinded to the truth.
It goes on in Appendix 8 of the book “The Resolution for Men” to say:
“Pornography…strips sexual fulfillment of all its purposes. It disconnects sexual arousal from its foundation of love, marriage and lifelong commitment, and re-attaches it to lust, vanity, irresponsibility, and the perverted thrills of sin and shock imagery. Instead of sexual enjoyment being a reward from God, it becomes an undeserved, unearned, unholy, illegitimate pleasure with no purpose. It is like sexual cocaine that lures a man into a trap and then rapes his mind and conscience, leaving him addicted, numb and demoralized. He begins caring less about the people he loves. He quits rejoicing over good things and grieving sin. He feels guilty, dark and dirty, spiritually distant from God and emotionally disconnected from his wife. Not only that, but he gives satan a foothold and permission to torment him now with condemnation, lies and accusations. He’s much worse off than when he started.”
This is truth. Believe it. Own it. Get help for it. Seriously, before it destroys you, because it will.
I have some statistics for you before I go…..
- The average age of a child exposed to porn, is 8.
- 87% of young men believe using pornography is acceptable because it’s a “safe” alternative to fornication.
- 3 out of 4 men that share your church pew, have or are struggling with an addiction to porn.
- 72 million visitors go to porn sites each month.
- 47% of families said that pornography is a problem in their home. (These were largely Christian families responding to the poll.)
- 67% of young men and 49% of young women 18-26 years of age consider
viewing pornography as acceptable behavior.
Read more about this here !
I hurt the person I love most because of porn. Before you click to enter that pornography site on your computer, let the images of those you love run through your mind:
How would you like to lose them forever?
Because if you click, you could one day lose everything dear to you……..