The short answer….Yes.
Pornography is cheating on your family, cheating on your spouse, and ultimately cheating yourself.
Girls can usually see this issue for what it is. Guys, on the other hand, tend to justify it, make excuses, or are simply too addicted to their lust to admit what porn actually is and does. Pornography is our failure to be faithful—faithful as husbands to our wives(and vice versa), faithful in preparing ourselves to be a gift to our future spouse, and faithful to our integrity.
Here are a few common excuses:
“Nobody gets hurt.” Porn is not a victimless crime. Often times the victim is the girl in the video or magazine being viewed who is being forced or threatened into performing those sexual acts. They are essentially sex slaves portrayed as willing participants. We don’t often see the behind the scenes abuse. By viewing these images, you are contributing to and perpetuating the abuse.
“It’s healthy for me.” Guys often make the statement that “””””” I’m not getting anyone pregnant and I’m not spreading STDs so what’s the big deal?” You may not personally be at risk for an STD but Sexually Transmitted Diseases such as HIV, Herpes and HPV are prevalent in the porn industry. Not only is it unhealthy for those performing sexual acts but new scientific studies show that porn harms the viewers brain. Pornography re-wires the pleasure sensors of your brain and has been proven to have the same side effects and be as addictive as heroin. Porn gives unrealistic and unhealthy expectations of women. Porn trains guys to think that girls are things to be used for recreation. Guys who watch porn train their brain to see women through the narrow lens of lust where they think women are to be constantly sexually available, physically flawless, and when you get bored lusting after her, you move on to the next fantasy because you’re judging a woman by how much LUST she generates in you.
“She isn’t a real person.” Yes, she is. She is someone’s sister, someone’s daughter, someone’s mother. She is a person of value who deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Not as a sex toy. It’s not that pornography shows too much of a person, but that it truly shows too little. It waters down the value of a person and portrays them as nothing more than a collection of body parts. It is very dehumanizing.
” She’s willing to do it.” Simply because a woman fails to understand her own worth or value her dignity doesn’t mean guys are off the hook. Sadly, millions of guys see the “adult” industry as nothing more than opportunity to take from a woman everything she is willing to offer them. Such men dismisses their duty to love women, hiding their shameful habits behind the excuse: ” She’s willing to do it.” But how does her inability to see her own dignity exempt a man from his responsibility to acknowledge it? In fact, at the very moment a woman loses sight of her value, what she needs most is someone who loves her enough to remind her of it.
There are many of articles and lots of information online regarding the harmful effects of pornography and how to overcome its snares, but here are three main tips to help overcome the temptation of porn.
1). Get over yourself.
The temptation to view pornography usually finds us in moments of inactivity, boredom, or indulgence, and it breeds a cycle of self-centeredness and self-pity that just leads to further viewing of porn. Breaking the cycle usually means getting over yourself and pursuing a life of service. Serve those in need around you. Be generous towards your family, friends, co-workers or strangers. It’s not enough to say “no” to pornography—we have to focus that energy towards something positive, and eventually, when moments of temptation stir up again, we can recognize the destructive force that pornography is and can make a more life-giving choice.
2). Seek Accountability.
There are ways to monitor our online activity through an accountability website (www.covenanteyes.com). Basically, a friend or mentor gets a report every week of what you view online. Just having someone you trust to whom you can say, “Hey man, I’m really struggling this week,” and knowing he won’t judge but will support you can make all the difference. We know that looking at porn is shameful, but by bringing it into the light we cancel so much of its power over us. And if we need a stronger remedy, we have to humble ourselves enough to seek professional help.
3). Spend Time In Prayer.
Asking God for help should be our first step in conquering any addiction. We can’t “muscle” through temptation with our own strength—not for long, anyway. Pray for the healing of those involved in the porn industry, especially for those addicted to drugs, alcohol, and whatever else may be numbing their minds or effecting their hearts. Turning our thoughts of porn towards prayer will not only shift our immediate focus but will change our hearts. It’s hard to think selfishly when you’re praying for the welfare of others.
It’s vital that we understand that we have been created for authentic love and for true greatness. We were designed for both sacrifice and responsibility. We are meant to be EPIC.
Let’s stop cheating ourselves.