The Trap of Pornography

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. 

Not anymore.

  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…….. 

Trust me.

Dale

Click here for 10 Steps to Freedom from Pornography

{Statistics credit: here & here.}

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21 thoughts on “The Trap of Pornography

  1. It is so good to hear from Dale during this series! Dale-you are one lucky man to have Tonya as your special partner in life. Praying each day that you will be continue to rise up from the ashes into a new, even better relationship!

  2. Dale, Gotta Love ya!! I agree that most men who fall into adultery do not originally set out to do so. But I do not think Porn has a lot to do with it.. Integrity, Trust, faith, and your feelings towards your wife should have kept you from making the decisions you made. If you turn on the TV (even Prime Time) or look at a magazine ( Pretty Girls selling cars , watches,etc), go to the beach (Girls in Bikini’s), go out dancing, or to a bachelor party, there is going to be “sex connotations” all around all of the time. You can’t hide from it. You will be judged on if you act on them. Self control , self respect and respect for your wife is why you shouldn’t. Maybe your wife would like a little spice herself… Why could you not include her in your fantasies? I will not judge you and I have already, like your wife forgiven you, but.. I am having a hard time blaming an outside source of this kind to effect inside your intimate life. Obviously by the facts you’ve included, it is pretty mainstream. I am sure not all men who look at Porn cheat on their wives. Include your wife, if she is open to it. What goes on in your bedroom should be for both of you. Including her in some of this may keep things exciting! Obviously Privately. In my culture, you must always be lamb to the world and a tiger in the bedroom. But only with each other! Bless you!

    • FB, I think porn has a lot to do with it, but I will not blame my choices completely on porn. I understand I was responsible for my actions that day, but pornography desensitized me to the clanging bells of warning. I do not feel porn has a place at all in a Christian marriage! You are right, there is sex everywhere you look, this is why I have to have bouncing eyes, not lingering. I am responsible to look quickly away and think on what is pure, right and noble, just like God asks me to. What I did to Tonya is wrong on many levels, I had hoped todays post would simply shine light on the role porn had in my foolish choice that day.
      Thanks for your thoughts,
      Dale

      • I have to admit, I have considered the stance FB takes on the subject, of including pornography in our marriage. I’m not really as opposed to the idea as I know I should be. However, I can’t help but think that this is just one more of satan’s awful traps. Now he doesn’t just have my husband sucked in, he’d have me too. I believe “allowing” pornography in our home under that disguise of being “good” for our marriage would ultimately tear us apart. I too can be blinded by fantasy and lust, I am not immune. Thank you for this reminder to be on our knees in prayer for our marriages! Satan is not going to give up this fight easily.

    • I don’t know who sent this reply suggesting you include your wife in the “fantasies,” but I have to strongly disagree.

      As a certified Christian lay counselor, I’ve been asked often what is and isn’t acceptable for Christian married couples. The answer is simpler than you might think.

      Sexual pleasure is designed by God to take place only between a man and woman in committed, married love. When we’re trying to figure out what is and isn’t acceptable to keep the marriage bed pure, it boils down to this: is anybody else involved? That can take the form of videos, role playing, fantasies, porn, etc. If someone else is “there,” even virtually–or even in your imagination–it’s no longer just between the two of you. And it can and will eventually lead to major problems. Even if the two of you don’t sense problems at that moment, you will eventually. It will affect your marriage, and it will affect your spiritual growth.

      God’s commandments about not looking on a woman with lust are to protect and bless us, not to hinder us. He knows how He created us, knows what works best for us. He’s the One Who created sex, and it’s beautiful! But committed, married love is the place where true love can grow and sex can be an expression of that relationship. Outside of that safe haven, it becomes selfish and using–or even abusing.

      • I was going to write my own reply, but you said pretty much everything I was going to say, so thank you. Still reading every day, Dale & Tonya and praying and believing God’s total healing for your marriage.

    • “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.” ~ Matthew 16:23

      FB,
      I’m just going to come right out and say it — you are allowing satan to speak through you. Your words are of the devil and bring death, not life. When I read your post, I felt the slither of a snake go up my spine. You are actually telling someone to look at porn, AND invite their spouse to do so also?!?!
      And yes — ALL men who look at porn ARE cheating on their wives — just by looking at the porn!! (Same goes for wives who view porn – they’re cheating on their husbands!)
      Whatever culture you are from, it is NOT God-honoring, to allow and encourage sin.

      “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” ~ 1 Peter 5:8-9

  3. Dale…I really have been intrigued by Tonya’s posts. Being a female I can so identify with her words. But your words are even more intriguing to me. ‘WE’ don’t often hear the male side in words such as yours. I hope that all of the sharing is a great blessing to you in the end. You are to be admired as well as lifted up in prayer for your strength, your boldness ‘in Christ’ and your love for your wife!!

  4. Dale – thanks again for opening yourself up for us to see the ‘yuck’ that was taking over in your life. Bless your sweet heart. It certainly takes real courage to admit these things so openly. I believe your experience…and any sin, not just pornography….bears the truth that I heard many years ago…SIN TAKES YOU FARTHER THAN YOU WANT TO GO…COSTS YOU MORE THAN YOU WANT TO PAY…KEEPS YOU LONGER THAN YOU WANT TO STAY. Praise God for the freedom that comes in TRUTH! I know you know you are very blessed to have amazing Tonya (AKA Super Woman!=) in your life. Because these struggles are behind you…keep looking forward and not back. That’s not the way you’re walking….=) Much love to you both! XOXO

  5. I have to say that I disagree with you FB. Porn is just like pot. It’s a gateway drug or adiction. You start out with it and then next thing you know…BAM…ur doing something “stronger.” And yes our society is driven off of sexual refrences which desenitizes our children, not only men, into thinking that sex or sex related things are ok. Which makes a president that seeing a half naked women, or man, is okay. It’s a problem all over this country. I wont say that my love life hasnt had its problems with my husband. But Dale your a brave man to admit your faults and post it on the web for everyone too read. For that I applaud your strength and courage.

  6. Dale, Just to be clear, I wasn’t defending Porn.. Please let me make that known.. What I was trying to say was exactly What I said. You should be with and only with your wife. It is up to you and Tonya to decide what you do behind closed doors. The bottom line, what ever the choice, it should be just the 2 of you! If My husband would have included me instead of the other women…25 years ago , we may still have been married. That’s all I gotta say about that!! 🙂
    I truly believe in Theosis, which I try to live my life by everyday. Through theoria, the knowledge of God in Jesus Christ, human beings come to know and experience what it means to be fully human. This reconciliation is made actual through the struggle to conform to the image of Christ. Lessons and tribulations. I Live my life not judging others and their choices. Jesus taught me that.
    God bless you both for the transparency, your personal growth and for the Obvious Love for each other.

  7. My husband & I go to a Christian Couples retreat every Valentine’s Day. We have gone every year for the past 18 years, since my oldest was a year old. The place we go to is called America’s Keswick in Whiting, NJ. Keswick’s main purpose is actually for Bible based addiction recovery called the “Colony of Mercy”. Keswick has been there “speaking to hearts & transforming lives” since 1924. More than 18,000 men have passed thru the program, some successfully overcoming their addiction to alcohol, drugs or porn, and some not.

    The men who are in the Colony of Mercy work together, pray together, live together; they cook our meals, serve our food, clean up after us, worship with us. The stories these men share are heartbreaking, but seeing and hearing how God rebuilds their lives and their families is simply amazing. The common thread between them, and your story, is how easily it can happen – to anyone. Satan can get just a slight hold, and worm his way into working trouble into lives, marriages & families.

    What I can never seem to wrap my head around is that these men come from all walks of life – rich, poor, believers, nonbelievers. These are “regular, everyday” men who you would never think were struggling with any addiction by looking at them. Those statistics are scary, and the threat is very real. Thank you, and Tonya for putting your story “out there”. It shows that God is doing amazing work with you & Tonya. In reading responses to the blog, by sharing your story, you are bringing hope to those who are hurting, and you are part of a ministry that is bigger than you may realize. Keep up the fight, both of you!

  8. So impressed with your honesty, humility and repentance! It takes a “real man” to turn things around and be transparent! You have made a bad situation salvageable. With God’s help you will succeed! Inspite of all that has happened, Tonya is so fortunate to have you! Blessings to your family! It’s great to see someone so repentant and willing to restore a marriage. In doing this you are breaking off “the sins of the fathers”. And you are a testimony to your children and to others of what God will do if He is part of the restoration process!

  9. The negative conditioning kicks in at the first paragraph. There are many types of pornography, (or erotica) and not all of it is wrong. Erotica is an art, not the manifestation of a disorder. It is a wonderful introduction to intimacy and sexual expression and should be embraced.

  10. It takes a strong person/persons to reveal their problems (sins) So I thank-you for sharing with us. I’ve been in a similar situation. It’s so hard to work through and still working through it in some ways. (trust) I plan to have my husband read this, but I’m a little concerned with the ads that are between Dale sharing and the comments section. My husband has shared with me how hard it is to not look, like Dale said bouncing eyes. The cheerleaders in the ad I’m talking about.. the camera is angled up the skirts! This is just what my husband tries to avoid. I don’t think you placed it there, ads are usually random but it was a shock to see it there none the less. Praying for grace and power to over come. Thank-you again for all you have done to help so many people.

    • UGH! I hate that!!!! You are right, wordpress selects those, I have no say. As “payment” I suppose for using their free site. Bounce those yes, and know I wish they were gone too!!! 😦

  11. First, Tonya I want to say thanks for listening to Christs calling in sharing your story. It has been such an encouragment. Since I came across your blog. I can hardly stop reading it. I was searching for story’s of marriage reconciliation through Christ when I found this. And second I want to give Dale a thumbs up for being so honest about his life. Dale, I totally agree with the danger of pornography. I grew up in the church but struggled with porn my whole life. Up until 3 yrs ago when I had to separate from my wife because of the effects of porn in my life. I hit rock bottom at this time and rededicated my life to Christ. I had joined a men’s accountability group through my church and went through a course called Pure Drsire by Ted Roberts. I have finished the course and will soon be leading my own group through Pure Desire. I am believing that Christ can make good out of what was meant for evil and He can use me to help other men before they get to where I have been. I’m also standing and believing for the reconciliation of my marriage. Thanks again to you both. You are a blessing!!

    • FANTASTIC!!!! Once we move into light, out of the darkness, satan loses his power. We commend you for your stand against the trap of porn and using your own hurts and wounds, to pour blessing into other men struggling with the same.
      Thank you for this amazing comment, and your encouragement to us! We are so thankful and feel so honored, the Lord doesn’t waste a hurt. It has purpose in the Kingdom! AMEN!

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