Sex, Money and Emptiness, Paul Tripp

Article and photo via the Gospel Coalition

In this new video, Tripp sits down with Mark Mellinger to discuss the twin topics of his new book, Sex and Money: Pleasures That Leave You Empty and Grace That Satisfies (Crossway, 2013).

When we seek satisfaction in stuff, we’re asking it to be something it was never meant to be.

Tripp also unpacks what he calls the “individualization of sex”—the assumption that sex exists for my fulfillment, my wants, my needs, my pleasure. But sex, Tripp explains, is designed to connect to the most significant things of life—worship, relationship, and obedience. “If it’s about these things,” he observes, “then it can’t be about just me.” It’s vital, then, for Christ’s people to hold up the beauty of Christ-honoring sexuality along with a loving warning that “disconnected” sex is as dangerous as it is distorted.

The fundamental problem, of course, is not pleasure; it’s idolatry. As Tripp explains, “Creation is not meant to satisfy you. It’s meant to be pleasurable so that you’d run after the ultimate Pleasure who will satisfy your heart—your Creator.”

 

Sex, Money, and Emptiness with Paul Tripp from The Gospel Coalition on Vimeo.

David Platt – The Cross and Christian Sexuality (Part 2 of 2)

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See PART 1 here

You can print out and follow along with the sermon notes here (4 pages) - www.radical.net/files/2650/MN_130630_c.pdf See VIDEO link at the bottom of this post (You will have to click on picture).

Text: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20 - Sexual Immorality

  • The central exhortation in the text is “Flee from sexual immorality.” Don’t reason with sexual immorality, don’t rationalize it, flee from it as fast as you can. Last week we talked about what sexual immorality is.
  • The biblical clarification is- when the Bible says to flee sexual immorality, the Bible is saying to flee any and all sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.
  • The term porneia (used) is any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. That includes any and all fornication, prostitution, pornography, adultery, homosexual activity, any and all sexual thinking, desiring, looking, touching, speaking, acting outside of a marriage between a man and a woman. All of these things are sin, and we are to run from them. Quoting Kevin DeYoung: “The simplest way to understand porneia is to think about things that would make you furious and heartbroken if you found out someone was doing them with your husband or your wife.” So, if you think sexual immorality, think any kind of sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. That’s the key. This is not at all to say that sex is bad. But, that sex is good within the boundaries that God has designed for sex.
  • You had Corinthians then, saying just like Americans today, “Well, it’s 2 consenting adults, what’s the problem? This is what my body was made for. I was created this way. Just because I eat when I’m hungry, I do this because of my biology. And who are you to say this is sin? And what makes it sin? It’s just who I am.” And Paul says, “No, it’s not who you are. Your body is not just about biology. Your body is much more valuable than that. Your body has been created and designed by God for your good, and for His glory. And so it’s wise to listen about what God says about your body.” God says it as clearly as it’s possible to say: Sex is for marriage between a man and a woman, and any sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is sin, it’s sexual immorality and we should flee it. (These are notes from the introduction, first 7 minutes).

In Part 2 – the topics of pornography and masturbation are preached on. Platt gives a list of clear biblical prohibitons in Scripture (17th min).

  1. No sex outside of marriage. OT says it, Jesus says it, NT reiterates it. Having sex with your spouse is the sign that you are in covenant with this person. Having sex outside of marriage makes a mockery out of that covenant.
  2. No sexual worship. Sex is good, but sex is not God. Throughout the history of God’s people, Deuteronomy 23, Exodus 32, 1 Corinthians 10, we see God’s people fall into the trap of worshipping sex. It’s happening today as part of our culture. I’m convinced this is what’s at the root of so much that’s going on in our culture right now. People thinking, “If only I had sexual freedom this way or that way, then I will be happy.” But, this too is a false God, it’s a broken cistern that does not hold water. So, let’s be there when they see that the broken cistern does not hold water, and say, “There is one who satisfies. And satisfaction is not found in this gift (sex), but it’s found in the giver of the gift. Sex is good, but it’s not God.”
  3. No sexual prostitution or violence. Scripture speaks clearly against all forms of violence, including sadism, masochism, any kind of spousal abuse. God has not designed sex to be hurtful. He has designed the marriage relationship to mirror that between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5) which sacrifices for one another’s good.
  4. No homosexual activity. You have deny Scripture altogether to miss this. (Platt speaks on this subject more in the first video- see here) It is impossible to biblically justify homosexual activity.
  5. No sex with animals, relatives, or children.
  6. No sexual lust- having wrong sexual desires for others. Jesus is clear in Matthew 5 “Everyone that looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. It is wrong for you to think about, entertain the thought of, or desire in any way, sex with someone who is not your wife or your husband. That’s lust.
  7. No sexual immodesty – provoking wrong sexual desire in others. This is huge. Men and women across this room, it is wrong for you to provoke sexual desire in someone else who is not your wife or your husband. Romans 14:21 “Don’t cause your brother to stumble.” Specifically speaking to women, 1 Timothy 2:9-10 “Women should adorn themselves with respectable apparel, with modesty and self control, with what is proper for women who profess godliness with good works.” In other words, women dress modestly, not in a way that draws attention to yourself sexually. This is so huge. Let’s just be honest. In our culture, we are extremely loose when it comes to what women wear- skin tight clothes, low necklines, short dresses, short skirts, short shorts, it goes on… it’s the norm among us and it falls dreadfully short of God’s standards for us. And I say this in general, but even when it comes to the gathering of the church, the Bible says to the women of the church, and with all due respect, even to sisters in this room right now: The way some of you are dressing around your brothers are at best, a distraction from honoring God, and at worst, an attempt- whether you realize it or not, to seduce men in this church into sin. The Bible says, “Don’t do it.” For the sake of your brothers, for the sake of your body: Dress modestly. And don’t miss what 1 Timothy is saying there. It’s not saying, “Don’t adorn yourself with anything.” But don’t adorn yourself with physical immodesty that draws attention to you. But adorn yourself with good works that draw attention to God. I urge you church: No sexual immodesty, for your good, for our good, ultimately for God’s glory, to whom we want to point attention. They have lowered the standards in the culture around us and the church thinks: As long as we’re above that we’re okay.” Don’t buy it.
  8. No sexual allurement- including inappropriate emotional attachment outside of marriage. Now the Scriptures that I’ve listed here are particular to a woman alluring a man, but this could go either way, and often goes both ways. Emotional attachment is often the gateway for many people into a sexual affair. You remember those feelings when you were first attracted to someone. You thought about that person all the time. You looked forward to every interaction with that person, even if it was something small, you just wanted to be around them. You were emotionally attached to them. But then, after time goes on, years of marriage, years even and the shine off the romance begins to fade as you watch them brush their teeth on a daily basis. And the reality is that no man, no woman can consistently measure up to that sweaty palms, butterfly feelings that you once got. And so, another man, or another woman can come along, and he or she can start to make you feel like your wife or your husband once made you feel. And so you find yourself thinking about that other person, beginning to look forward to interaction with that other person. And slowly, you start to think about and turn to that other person in the way that you are supposed to think about and turn to your husband or your wife. And you rationalize it, thinking, “This isn’t an emotional attachment, it’s just enjoying time with someone else? What’s so wrong with that?” And maybe it’s the sort of thing your soul is starving for because you’re not getting it in marriage. And so, you think it’s not physical and so it’s not harmful and the reality is that the more you become attached in your thoughts and your emotions, the more you will find yourself wanting to attach to that person physically. You read both Provers 5 and Proverbs 7 and you see an emotional attachment that eventually leads to a physical relationship. I just want you to listen to how the author describes it. In this case, it’s a woman luring a man emotionally: “With much seductive speech she persuades him. With her smooth talk she compels him. All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter. As a stag is caught fast as an arrow pierces its liver. As a bird rushes into a snare. He does not know that it will cost him his life. Oh sons, listen to me and be attentive to the words of my mouth. Let not your heart turn aside to her ways. Do not stray unto her paths, for many a victim has she lain low and all her slain are a mighty throng. Her house is the way to Sheol, going down to the chambers of death.” And this can go both ways (a man can also sexually allure). No sexual allurement. Don’t allow yourself to be sexually allured. This is happening. I know this is happening in people’s hearts and minds all across this room tonight. It’s happening. Don’t do it! You’re like an ox going to the slaughter.
  9. No sexual looking or touching outside of marriage. Job 31 “I made a covenant with my eyes..” Great picture, making a covenant with your eyes not to look at another woman. So, don’t look at someone else sexually who is not your husband or your wife. And this is not just lusting, this can involve taking advantage of another person, when you are able to see something in private that you should not see. That’s exactly what happened with Ham and Noah in Genesis 9. And then it pertains to what you touch. The Bible prohibits touching in any way that you would not normally touch your friend or neighbor, in any way that is sexual in nature.
  10. No entertaining ourselves with or joking around about sex outside of marriage. This is huge. Ephesians 5:3 “Sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” It goes on to say that it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. The reason this is so huge is that in our culture, even as Christians, even for those who say, “Okay, I am not gonna indulge myself sexually in these ways,” so many of us are entertaining ourselves with those who do indulge themselves sexually in these ways. You say, “What do you mean?” Well, you think about the books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we pay to watch, the TV shows we turn on, how many of them make light of or even exalt sexual immorality? Movie after movie, song after song, so many songs we listen to and we sing by heart that are talking about sexual activity outside of marriage. Book after book, bestsellers like the 50 shades of gray, and countless other subtle versions of the same thing, that are filling leisure reading among Christians. We read these things, we listen to these things, we watch these things and it is as if we say to the world, “We’re not gonna do the things you do, but, we’ll gladly pay money to read about, to listen, and watch you doing them in front of us.” Ephesians 5:3 says, “It must not be named among you. It’s shameful to even speak the things they do in secret. Don’t miss this: God’s standard doesn’t just start with us avoiding these sins, but with us not entertaining ourselves with others’ sins. Now, I am not presuming here that just to talk about sexual immorality is sin, that would make this whole sermon a sin. But, the key is we’re not talking about sexual immorality in a way that views it as good, but as something that we are to avoid. And so much of what we’re exposing our eyes and our minds to, and so much of what we’re exposing our kids’ eyes and kids’ minds to  is dulling our spiritual senses to the point where we see sexual immorality  as not that bad- in the end, kind of entertaining to us, when it should not be. We should grieve over it an run from it. God’s word prohibits entertaining ourselves with jokes or books, or movies about sex outside of marriage. (34:00)

When you look back at all these prohibitions it’s because God forbids sexual activity outside of marriage. God has designed sexual activity for marriage. Sex is not bad, sex is good within the boundaries that God designed it for.  It is at this point that people start talking about gray areas, and there’s tons we can dive into, but there are 3 common practical questions here I want to delve into when we talk about sexual immorality. Questions like:

How far is too far between a single man and a single woman? 

And it’s questions like these when we start looking for specific Bible verses and when we don’t find one, we conclude: I guess I’m just gonna have to figure this one out on my own. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with this question in the church, in a way I’m convinced has been disastrous for teenagers and men and women all across the church. I would even go so far as to say that a lack of an objective biblical answer to this question has been disastrous in my life. So I wanna be completely honest with you in this question. Before I got married, particularly in high school and college, I had I don’t know how many conversations with friends and church leaders about this question.  And I cannot ever remember hearing a well reasoned objective biblical answer to this question. Instead, what I heard over and over again to something like this, people would say: Clearly no sex outside of marriage, the Bible prohibits that, but after that the Bible doesn’t give specifics. So you need to pray and set some boundaries, basically build your own list of sexual standards that you’re gonna live by. So I and my christian buddies would sit around and talk about what those standards should be. We all came up with different answers, some guys said kissing was okay, some guys said- as long as clothes stay on it’s okay, in reality, the guy with the lowest standards would usually win out in the discussion. You put together a bunch of guys who are sexual sinners, what else are you going to expect? And so, this is an area where I struggled. I struggled to set boundaries, and I struggled to keep boundaries, and I  found myself in this dangerous gray area that led to all sorts of confusion and guilt and failure. By God’s grace, Heather and I have never had sex with each other or with anyone else before we got married, but that did not mean that we glorified God with our bodies. And I share all that, to say that I remember well what this struggle was like. And I want to say tonight, what I wish somebody had said to me, or maybe they said and I just wasn’t listening. I want to show you what is a biblical objective answer to this question. And I am going to warn you that many of you will think that it’s extreme, restrictive and many of you will be likely to say, “Well, that’s easy for you to say since you’re married now. But, I’m saying it from out of a heart of hurt from past sin, out of a desire for our good, and ultimately out of a desire for what Scripture teaches.

I am indebted here to a good book on this issue ‘Sex, Dating, and Relationship’, by Pastors Gerald Hiestand and Jay Thomas. They observed 42% of single evangelicals- so single evangelicals, Bible believing Christians between the ages of 18 and 29 are currently in a sexual relationship. 22% have had sex in the past year, and an additional 10% have had sex at least once.  Assuming the accuracy of that data, that means only 20% of young Bible believing christians have remained abstinent. They continue on saying the pastoral community must shoulder much of the blame here. Simply put, we pastors are not quite  certain how to counsel single and teens on appropriate sexual boundaries. We either offer subjective biblical standards, like the Bible says, “Be pure,” which can be massaged around like a waxed nose. Or, objective opinion: Keep it above the neck- which lacks any real authority. Singles need an objective Biblical standard of premarital sexual ethics and we pastors are the ones responsible for providing it. So I want to provide it.

The Bible gives us 3 God ordained categories for relationships between men and women. When you look at relationships in the Bible, there are only 3. And all 3 categories have God given standards for sexual activity in them.

  1. First you have the neighbor relationship: sexual activity prohibited.We are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves and in that relationship that we see all over Scripture, sexual relationship is prohibited. The Bible says: If you have a strong sexual desire, then get married. The Bible doesn’t say experiment with your neighbor and then decide whether or not you’re gonna get married.
  2. Then there’s the family relationship; sexual activity prohibited.
  3. The third God ordained category is the marriage relationship between a man and a woman, and there sexual activity is commanded. The Bible commands a man and a woman to be together because that is sexual union, as a sign of the covenant relationship that they have before God. So it’s commanded there.

Now, you put all that together and you realize: God, in His word, has no category for 2 people who aren’t married, but kinda, sorta, in some ways act like they are, particularly sexually. That is not a God ordained category of relationship. There is not one place in this entire book (Bible) where we are ever encouraged to engage in any sexual activity outside of the marriage relationship. Instead, we are discouraged. Remember porneia- meaning sexual immorality, sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman. I would be furious if anyone hugged, or touched my wife in a sexual way, yet many guys don’t have a problem doing any or all of those things with a woman who is not their wife. Which leads me to ask the question: Would it be acceptable for me, as a married man to kiss a woman who is not my wife, to do these things to a woman who is not my wife? And you say, “Of course not.” But, the reality is guys, any single woman that you’re talking with, statistically is going to be somebody’s wife. So, why should you be doing these things with somebody else’s wife? You say, “Well, she might be my wife, she’s gonna be my wife…” and the Bible says: Well, then make her your wife and then kiss her all you want. But aside from that, 1 Corinthians 7 “It is not good for man to have sexual activity with a woman. She is your neighbor and sexual activity is prohibited with your neighbor.

And then you take this a step further, because Scripture takes it further. 1 Timothy 2 Paul tells Timothy to treat older women as mothers and younger women as sisters, in all purity. So follow this, the Bible ties pure treatment of the opposite sex with the picture of the family relationship. So in singleness, single men and women, what does purity looks like with your brother or your sister? There you have it, a standard for purity in your relationship with a single woman in Christ. Absolutely nothing sexual. Why not? Because she’s my sister, and certainly your sister in ChristOr single women, your brother in Christ deserves all the greater purity in Christ than even your own family member does.

So I want to encourage you single men and single women in this room, based on the 3 God ordained relationships in the Bible, I want to encourage you not to do anything sexually with another person who is not your husband or your wife. Looking for a guideline? Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do with your brother or your sister, because any and all sexual activity is for marriage. Regardless whether you are single or married, flee all sexual activity outside of marriage. (46:00) At the 47th minute David Platt talks about masturbation. There are 24 minutes left from this message.

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David Platt – The Cross and Christian Sexuality (Part 1 of 2)

You can print out and follow along with the sermon notes here (4 pages) – www.radical.net/files/2650/MN_130630_c.pdf

1 Corinthians 6:12-20 - Sexual Immorality

12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also.15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”[b] 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.[c]

18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

At the 21st minute Platt talks about God’s design for our bodies, particularly sexually, how God has designed sex. He also recommends a thick book, a theology of sexuality, titled ‘True Sexual Morality’ by Daniel Heimbach. What is God’s design?

  1. Sex is relational- the two become one flesh
  2. Sex is covenantal – something you participate with the wife of your youth. Sex is only celebrated, it’s only advocated in the Bible, in the context of exclusive covenant relationship between a husband and wife. There is no other kind of sex that is ever celebrated in the Bible.
  3. Sex is intimate. It’s obviously physical, yet deeply spiritual. It literally draws a woman and a man so close that nothing comes between them. Nothing divides them, nothing separates them. Sex is a powerful picture of personal intimacy.
  4. Sex is fruitful. Sex is productive.
  5. Sex is what leads men and women to multiply.
  6. Sex is selfless, not self centered. Husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
  7. Sex is complex. It involves the mind, the body and the soul.

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Pornography – What’s at risk when people think they can maintain a life of Christian discipleship while continuing to view pornography?

Dr. Heath Lambert, author of “Finally Free” at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. I’d answer that (question) like this:

The men I’m doing ministry with, who are coming to me and saying, “I have this incredible struggle with pornography, I’ve been stuck for a long time and I don’t know how to get out of it.” By the time I’m having this conversation with someone, I’m actually encouraged. That doesn’t freak me out at all, I’m really encouraged when you’ve got a guy who says, “Let me open up my life and tell you what’s going on.” The people that concern me are the people that I’m not talking to. People that aren’t talking to the pastor, that aren’t talking to somebody else, because those are the people who are destroying their ministry, or their future ministry. They’re destroying their marriage and family, or their future marriage and family.

Because the way sin works, is it destroys. The lie of internet pornography is ‘, I’ll do this little thing over here, and it’s nasty, and it’s ugly, but I get finished with it and I cover it up, and I’ll go back to the rest of my life.” And the problem is that sin doesn’t stay covered up. You think you can control it, and you cannot control it. And it will break out, it will ruin your life.

And the tragedy of that is that the worst consequences are actually the ones that are stored up over a long amount of time. And so, these men who are doing this are sipping on poison that is eventually going to kill their ministry efforts and their efforts at marriage and family. They’re literally destroying their lives and their effectiveness for Christ, and they don’t even understand it. (Photos via Amazon)

See the 2 min video here - https://vimeo.com/73385832

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(2) For those seeking to overcome pornography, 

what practical measures are commonly missing from their strategy?

See the 2 min video here – https://vimeo.com/73385831

See Parts 3 & 4 also which answer the following questions:

Part 3 - How can people identify whether their sorrow over sin is godly sorrow or worldly sorrow?

See the 2 min video here - https://vimeo.com/73385833

That’s a great question, and where so much of the action is. Because you can have 2 people that are both sobbing, that are begging to be different, that are both begging you to help them and they swear they’re gonna change from now on. And you don’t know if either of them, or any of them, if they’re serious about it, if that’s the kind of change that will last. And so, this is why Paul’s language in 2 Corinthian 7 is so helpful, because he makes a distinction between these 2 kinds of sorrow. There’s Godly sorrow that leads to life and peace and there is worldly sorrow that leads to death and despair. And the difference is fundamentally, whether the sorrow is about you and your kingdom, or about Jesus and His kingdom. If you’re sad because you got found out, if you’re sad because of the consequences, that is the kind of sorrow that will kill you. The Bible is very clear on this. But if you’re sad over your sin because God’s law has been broken, because you’ve grieved the Holy Spirit, then that is the kind of sorrow that indicates that you’re turning the corner because it indicates that you’re moving from yourself, in your own lust, which is why you looked at the porn to begin with, towards God and His kingdom. And the markers between those are a number that I mention in the book. But, just a few that I’d mention here that are most significant are:

  1. Do you have the willingness to reach out to others for help? Do you have the willingness to expose yourself and bring the darkness into the light?
  2. Do you have the willingness to accept the consequences? Are you willing to have your wife be upset?
  3. Are you willing to tell your parents and have them cut off your internet privileges?
  4. Are you willing to lose your job at your church because of being sexually immoral?

People who are willing to face the consequences are people who are demonstrating that their sorrow is the Godly kind that leads to life.

Part 4 - How are pastors particularly vulnerable to pornography, and what are the dangers?

See the 2 min video here - https://vimeo.com/73385834

There is a recent statistic out that says that 75% of pastors do nothing to make themselves accountable to anyone with regard to pornography. That’s terrible. I don’t think I wanna make a law here, where the Bible leaves people free, but I think I wanna say that in this pornographic age, it is reckless and irresponsible for a minister of the Gospel to take no measures to insulate themselves from pornography, for this reason: Pornography is looking for you. You don’t even have to think, “Oh, I might struggle with this.” Pornography is looking for you. There’s all this research that the porn industry is engaging in marketing , and in paying all kinds of things to attract people that aren’t currently looking at it. They’re spending millions and billions of dollars to get you in. And pastors that are really concerned to protect themselves and their families, and their flock from this real silent killer, need to be serious about putting some kind of accountability measures in their life, whether it’s just an accountability partner to say, “Hey, here’s where I’m struggling. Here’s some areas where you can pray with me.” Certainly, internet filters and protection on tablet devices and phones. That’s something that everybody can do, but I say that particularly for pastors since that recent statistic is so high.

Crystal Renaud – Women and sex addiction – a story of grace

Crystal, who was exposed to pornography at the age of 10.: It’s interesting how a magazine one day, can take you places you never wanted to go.

Click here for the podcast:

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From http://www.ragamuffinreflections.com

Episode #26 of the Undone Redone podcast features an interview with author and speaker Crystal Renaud who shares her 8 year battle with pornography and sex addiction and the unique shame that women who struggle in this area experience. Crystal is the Founder and Director of Whole Women’s Ministries and the author of Dirty Girls Come Clean, her story of dealing with and overcoming sex addiction as a female. Crystal launched Dirty Girls Ministries in 2009 out of her own journey of becoming whole after an 8-year battle with pornography and sexual addiction.

Crystal’s ministry is hosting an online conference for women called Whole Women’s Conference being held September 7th for North America and September 14th for the International conference. To register, go to www.dirtygirlsministries.com/whole/.  For more information - http://crystalrenaud.com/
Related articles

Is a boyfriend’s porn use a reason to call off a marriage? (How porn destroys)

Some advice and an explanation as to how porn impacts a young man and his future wife when they get married. You can listen to the entire podcast here- https://soundcloud.com/askpastorjohn

Is My Boyfriend’s Porn a Marriage Deal-Breaker? (Episode 122):

computer manPorn is destructive to a man’s capacities to love a woman purely for herself. He is training his body to need increasingly different, strange, erotic situations and bodies, and he is making it harder to be content with the real body of the woman that is going to be offered to him as his wife. And her body, as it is, at its best, is not going to be the airbrushed body of pornographic sites. And when she is 50 it isn’t going to be that either. And if he hasn’t cultivated a kind of pure love for his wife, for herself, as she is, then his eyes are going to be cruising continually beyond what she has to offer him at age 40 and 50 and 60. A woman needs to be able to trust a man. A woman feels profoundly compromised when a man says to her, “No, I really need more than you can offer me.” That is tragic for a man to say that to a woman. So porn is destructive to his capacity to love her for who she is.

And here is the fourth and the last thing I will say about why it is so wrong for a man to do this. Porn is destructive to a man’s soul. His capacity to see God in the purity and the greatness of his glory is shriveled. It is compromised. The soul shrinks to the size and the quality of its pleasures.

Full Transcript

QUESTION: Lindsay writes in to ask: As I considered men who had a desire to marry me, pornography and lust continue to lay strongholds in the lives of my suitors. I am seeking to view men with eyes of grace , but to use wisdom at the same time. I understand that every sin, including lust is the turning away from delight in Jesus to a broken cistern. In light of this, do you believe it is possible for a man to be strong in faith, finding genuine joy in Jesus, and enjoying an overall satisfying relationship with Him, while simultaneously indulging frequently in lust? I believe that every sin could be defeated through the power of the Holy Spirit, but I do not wanna be naive either, since I know this issue is wide and pervasive. I suppose another way to pose my question would be this: Pastor John, should the present presence of pornography  in a man’s life be a marriage deal breaker for a single woman like me?

John Piper:

Wow, I hear at least 2 questions there, and I can’t answer the last one ‘Is it a deal breaker’ until I answer a couple of others. When I hear about this, here are the 4 questions I’m going to have to tackle.

  1. The very question she asked: Can a man get victory over this? Shouldn’t a man be able to live a life of more or less regular triumph, instead of recovering over and over again from pornography?
  2. If he can’t, is it  a deal breaker for her marrying him?
  3. What is pornography? That she didn’t ask. I’ve got to ask it.
  4. And, even more important: Why is it wrong?

So, let me tackle those real quick. Here’s my definition. I’m going to omit homosexual issues. I’m going to omit sex in movies, those are huge issues, but more or less, what men are usually dealing with today is: Involvement with pornography is looking at sexually, or fantasizing about nude women, other than your wife. That’s what I’m talking about. Looking at or fantasizing about nude women. They might be doing all kinds of stuff, or just standing there- (but they are) other than your wife. That’s my definition.

Now, here’s why I think it’s wrong. And, I have to say this: Until the guy feels these things that I’m gonna say right now, about why it’s wrong, it won’t make any sense to him why she would say, “I can’t marry you.” These are so big, I’m gonna wind up saying, “Woman, you are so right! Don’t lower your standards!”
So, here’s why I think it’s wrong:

1. Porn is unloving

It’s unloving to the women involved because it endorses their behaviors and their desires, which are going to destroy them if they don’t repent. It’s unloving to their future husbands. And, when they are confirming in these women a lifestyle of nudity, that is gonna be destructive to those future relationships those women are going to try and have some day. It’s unloving to the parents of those women. I would just ask men: Put yourself in the position of the dad, or the mom. That’s your daughter, how do you feel about that? And here’s this Christian guy, who is endorsing, approving, helping that happen, and confirming that as if he doesn’t give a rip about those parents and their broken heart. Their hearts are broken because of this girl’s behavior, and this guy doesn’t give a rip about whether their hearts are broken. He’s enjoying her breaking their hearts.

2. Porn is adulterous

In other words, it cultivates and pursues mental and physical pleasures that are made by God to flourish in marriage. But they are pursued through women other than our wives. So Jesus has had very strong words to say about that.

3. Porn is destructive to man’s capacity to love a woman purely for herself

He’s training himself. When he does pornography, he’s training his body to need increasingly different, strange erotic situations and bodies. And he’s making it, therefore, harder to be content with the real body  of this woman who is going to be offered to him as his wife. And her body, at its best is not going to be the airbrushed body of these pornographic sites. And when she’s 50, it isn’t going to be that either. And if he hasn’t cultivated a kind of pure love for his wife, for herself as she is, then his eyes are going to be cruising continuously beyond what she has to offer him at 40 and 50 and 60. And a woman needs to be able to trust a man that ‘I am what you have, I have what you need. Don’t have eyes for another woman.’ A woman feels profoundly compromised when a man says to her, “No, I really need more than you can offer me.That’s tragic, for a man to say that to a woman. Porn is destructive to his capacities to love her for who she is. 

4. Porn is destructive to a man’s soul

His capacity to see God in the purity and the greatness of His glory is shriveled, is compromised. The soul tends to shrink to the size and the quality of its pleasures.   If a man constantly says to his soul, “Adapt yourself now to this low, brief, unclean, selfish pleasure. Adapt yourself to this, soul. Get yourself around this, soul. Form yourself around this, soul. It will become that small, and a soul that shrinks like that won’t be able to make much of God, won’t be able to see God, won’t be able to delight in God anywhere near how God should be delighted in, in the glorious pleasures that He offers us in His world and in His word.

So, those are my reasons, I would say, to this woman, and to all the men who may be listening, why it is so wrong for him to pursue pornography. Now, back to her question. She wanted to know: Isn’t it possible for a man to be strong enough in faith, and to have enough joy in Jesus, and have an overall satisfying relationship  to Him, that he could conquer this? Isn’t his indulging frequently in lust an undermining?

My answer is: She’s right. An overall satisfying relationship with Jesus means that Jesus is precious enough, so that we value Him above those 4 reasons. Those 4 reasons that I gave, that porn is wrong become compelling because Jesus is our treasure, not just a doctrine, but is Lord and friend, and Savior and Supreme treasure of our lives, the way He should be

Then, we won’t be continually hating women with our choices to demean them and confirm their destruction. We won’t be continually committing adultery in our heart with those women. We won’t be continually defiling our capacity to love our present and future wives. We won’t be continually shrinking our souls, our ability to save for the glories of God. We won’t, because Jesus is utterly different than that.

A man who continually says, “I embrace all that destruction, I embrace all that evil, I embrace all that uncleanness, I embrace all that idolatry, and that hatred for women is saying something that a woman who is about to marry him better hear loud and clear. So, my answer to her last question ‘Should it be a deal breaker?’ If this man can’t get victory over this, if he is regularly tuning in , I would say, “Yeah, that’s a deal breaker.” Now, I am not a woman, I can’t make this call for myself. I would just say, if I were her I would say, “You strike me as a woman of remarkable grace , not legalism, you strike me as a woman who is striving for a biblical standard, that is not artificial, nor realistic or perfectionistic  standards. I hear grace in your question, I don’t hear brittleness and I would say, “Don’t lower the bar.” I think we’ve lowered the bar too much. We’ve treated men like dogs in heat , rather than men who are created in the image of God, who have the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love, joy, and self control. And that last one, self control, is usually used in relationship to sexuality. Men are not victims. And these women have a right to expect more from us. And, I would say to her and to the other women: Don’t lower your standards. God is in the process, I believe right now,  in purifying a man’s soul and a man’s body for you.

Also read/view

9 things you should know about pornography and the brain

computer manAn important article which you can read in its entirety at theGospelCoalition.org

Here are just the first 3 devastating facts out of the 9, plus theGospelCoalition.org also posts 2 videos for you to watch at the bottom of their article:

1. Sexually explicit material triggers mirror neurons in the male brain. These neurons, which are involved with the process for how to mimic a behavior, contain a motor system that correlates to the planning out of a behavior. In the case of pornography, this mirror neuron system triggers the arousal, which leads to sexual tension and a need for an outlet. “The unfortunate reality is that when he acts out (often by masturbating), this leads to hormonal and neurological consequences, which are designed to bind him to the object he is focusing on,” says Struthers. “In God’s plan, this would be his wife, but for many men it is an image on a screen. Pornography thus enslaves the viewer to an image, hijacking the biological response intended to bond a man to his wife and therefore inevitably loosening that bond.”

2. In men, there are five primary chemicals involved in sexual arousal and response. The one that likely plays the most significant role in pornography addiction is dopamine. Dopamine plays a major role in the brain system that is responsible for reward-driven learning. Every type of reward that has been studied increases the level of dopamine transmission in the brain, and a variety of addictive drugs, including stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, and methamphetamine, act directly on the dopamine system. Dopamine surges when a person is exposed to novel stimuli, particularly if it is sexual, or when a stimuli is more arousing than anticipated. Because erotic imagery triggers more dopamine than sex with a familiar partner, exposure to pornography leads to “arousal addiction” and teaches the brain to prefer the image and become less satisfied with real-life sexual partners.

3. Why do men seek out a variety of new explicit sexual images rather than being satisfied with the same ones? The reason is attributed to the Coolidge effect, a phenomenon seen in mammalian species whereby males (and to a lesser extent females) exhibit renewed sexual interest if introduced to new receptive sexual partners, even after refusing sex from prior but still available sexual partners. This neurological mechanism is one of the primary reasons for the abundance and addictiveness of Internet pornography.

 Read the article in its entirety here- theGospelCoalition.org

 

Sexual sin in the church

Abandoned Desert Church

Today on Desiring God, they are featuring an article written by Dr. Harry W. Schaumburg, who is a speaker, author, and counselor specializing in the area of sexual sin in the church. He is the director of Stone Gate Resources and the author of False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction (1997) and Undefiled: Redemption From Sexual Sin, Restoration for Broken Relationships (2009). He has been married to his wife Rosemary for 43 years, and they have two adult sons.

Dr. Schaumburg speaks from his decades of experience in counseling sexual sin within churches. Please read the entire article here at Desiring God – http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/sexual-sin-is-a-corporate-affair

Two other great links from Desiring God on this subject here:

Dr. Schaumburg:

When we take the gospel seriously we not only correctly understand the nature of sexual immorality, we must become proactive in taking corporate responsibility for the sexual maturity and sexual problems within our local church.

A well-known church received a stern letter in the spring of A.D. 54 when they failed grievously in this understanding and responsibility. As you know, that same letter sent to the Corinthians is written to us.

Imagine opening your email to find this message from a highly respected church leader: “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality in your church, and a kind of sexual sin that’s not practiced among unbelievers, a man is cohabitating with his father’s wife. And you are proud! Instead, you should be deeply sorrowful.”

Our response to the existence of sexual sin within the church reveals a lot about our own spiritual, relational, and sexual maturity, as well as those with whom we fellowship.

……….

Privatized spirituality is at the root of privatized sexuality. For the past twenty-two years I have focused on the problems of pornography and adultery within the church in America, and I see sexual sin from a unique perspective. Numerous indicators tell us that it is in our midst. I also know for a fact that there is a kind of sexual sin not tolerated by society tolerated in our churches.

No Excuses

Typically, sexual sin doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve seen it hidden for 5, 10, or 20 years, and even longer. Nobody suddenly falls into a one-night stand or starts looking at pornography in adulthood. There is longevity both in the process of falling into sexual sin, and then you can have years in which the sin is kept a secret from everyone. I would suggest that the first assessment needs to be both personal and corporate by asking ourselves the question: “What have we been doing personally and corporately to address sexual sin in the life of our church?”

Ignorance of the problem because it is hidden from view is no excuse.

We need to ask the question again and again. “How could such a thing happen in the first place?” And here’s the caution: don’t limit your understanding to commonly accepted explanations. Don’t just blame the sexual culture or the easy access through digital devices, nor someone’s sexually promiscuous past. Yes, we live in a different world technologically, but Corinth had all three of those explanations. Wanton sexuality was common. There was easy accessibility to prostitutes in the temple. Sexual immorality was a part of their previous non-Christian lifestyle. I would strongly suggest that there is more to understanding the cause of sexual sin among Christians. And it has to do with all of us.

Sexual sin is not just the problem of the sinner, but of the whole church. Whatever it might say of the guilty one’s faith, it says just as much of the church’s faithfulness. Now we may want to blame sexually disinterested wives and then say, “Men are sexually hardwired.” The problem of sexual dissatisfaction in Christian marriages is important, but it is related to the bigger problem of spiritual, relational, and sexual maturity

The Implications

The implications on the life of the church are huge, for we are responsible for one another spiritually and sexually. We correctly teach, and expect, that the marriage bed be “undefiled” (Hebrews 13:4). God designed responsibility has another level that is often neglected. Paul teaches and exhorts couples not to be sexually indifferent. “The husband should give to his wife her sexual rights, and likewise the wife to her husband” (see 1 Corinthians 7:3ff). I would suggest that we must address sexual indifference because it directly relates to being spiritually, relationally, and sexually mature.

While sexual intimacy between a husband and a wife is private, sexual immorality and adultery, while done in secret, is a corporate affair. The arrogance of the Corinthians was a huge factor in the existence of sexual sin in their church. They simply didn’t address the problem. The initial appropriate corporate response to sexual sin is to “mourn,” then take action (verse 5:2). When we think of ourselves first, we are less likely to be proactive in dealing with hidden sexual sin. Once it is exposed, typically we overreact.

Accountable

Here’s one of the most important points I have come to learn. The hiddenness of sexual sin does not absolve us of corporate accountability for the sexual sin in our churches.

I believe we are corporately responsible for one another’s spiritual, relational, and sexual maturity. “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God” (Hebrews 12:15).

We have a responsibility to oversee one another in spiritual matters. “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other” (Colossians 3:12–13).

And we have a responsibility to oversee one another in relational matters. “See to it . . . that no one is sexually immoral” (Hebrews 12:15–16).

That’s the bottom line: we’re in this together. The battle against sexual sin and lust is a battle charge given to the whole church community. The writer of Hebrews and the Apostle Paul will never let us abstract sexual sin in the life of one member from the overall health of the local church. We expose sexual sin for what it is, humbly deal with sexual sin when and where it appears, and together shine the light of God’s truth and expose sexual sin, and rejoice in sexual health and wholeness.

READ THE ENTIRE POST HERE - http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/sexual-sin-is-a-corporate-affair

You Forget About God, Family When Addicted to Porn

Please don’t miss the second post, below this one, titled: How Do You Counsel A Husband Who Has Revealed a Struggle with Pornography to His Wife? (Advice for pastors on an increasingly relevant topic)

via http://www.christianpost.com (photo via Facebook)

Pornography is an unspoken word in most congregations, but this powerful addiction is permeating Christian households, and is destroying marriages and parent-child relationships.

To combat the addiction to pornography, Pastor Jay Dennis of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla., created his own program, “One Million Men Porn Free,” because he wasn’t able to find resource materials that he could use to defeat the devastating effects the lure of pornography had on members of his church.

“I led our church initially through this program in March and April of 2010,” said Dennis, who leads a congregation of 9,000 members. “I met with our men for six Wednesday evening sessions, with the last session being the commitment rally. I also met with our women for one session and our parents for one session. The women’s session was called ‘What Men Wish Their Wives Knew About Pornography.’ The parents’ session was titled ‘Protecting Your Child From Sexual Brokenness.’”

Dennis hopes the “Join 1 Million Men” program will ultimately strengthen churches by helping pastors get the subject of pornography out in the open so they can work on rebuilding families and marriages.

“If the pastor is not addressing the issue, either he doesn’t feel it’s enough of a problem, or it’s too shameful to discuss in church,” said Dennis, who cites the biblical scriptures of Job 31:1, Psalm 119:37 and I Timothy 5:2 to illustrate the ways in which men should view and respect women.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/one-million-men-porn-free-pastor-you-forget-about-god-family-when-addicted-to-porn-90771/#cc7OQ2lz48I0RgjW.99

Every pastor already faces this. Unfortunately, I fear the problem will only become more common in the future; that is marriage counseling as a result of a husband’s struggle with pornogrpahy. The work to restore trust and intimacy within a marriage deeply affected by this sinful struggle is only possible through the gospel and applied most effectively within the local church; having said that, consider six practical ways that husband can reestablish trust and intimacy with his hurting wife:

1) Be patient towards your hurting wife.Men are known to deal with something, then move on. A wife, especially one sinned against by pornography will not move on so quickly.

2) Understand the seriousness of your sin against her. Sexual sin hurts a wife more deeply than most other sins against her. A husband needs to realize that the reasons this sin stings so much is that it seems to confirm almost every doubt and insecurity most women already battle within themselves. Understanding the seriousness of this sin and the pain it causes will help cultivate patience and prevent a reoccurrence of it.

3) Look to your wife to play an important role of accountability. It is easy to seek the accountability of another man when it comes to this struggle because, we say, “only another man knows what the battle is like.” Yet, you do not have to sleep next to that man every night. You do not have to look into his eyes knowing the hurt you caused. You do not have to be as patient and gracious with your buddy through this like you must with your wife. It may need to be in the context of regular counseling for a while, but convince him his wife will be a great asset to establish his new patterns and protection from falling again.

4) Consistently and creatively romance your wife. A husband should have already been pursuing his wife romantically as a regular practice. Now, he must understand this pattern must be established to restore his marriage.

5) Affirm your physical attraction to her. It should surprise no man that when he looks at other women in lustful ways, it will communicate a sharp message to his wife that he does not find her attractive. Most men would confess that is not what drove them to pornography, but it is inescapable that this is how a wife feels because of it. Encourage the man verbally to affirm his physical attraction to his wife. Then, he must back it up with his actions.

6) Realize the battle never ends this side of eternity. The gospel is powerful to free men from this bondage and to establish new patterns in their lives, but the fences of accountability must always remain.

Traylor & Melody – Betrayal, Divorce and then Reconciliation

I read the story of Melody & Traylor some years back, and when I started up this blog I tried to find it again in order to post it, but could not remember their names. Tonight, I came across the website again and I am providing the link to it. Traylor was a preacher who became addicted to pornography, and slowly it escalated to secret rendezvous  with women he met on the internet, which sometimes took him across state lines. But, it is no ordinary story, because after divorcing when Melody found out, he started feeling God’s conviction, which eventually led Traylor & Melody back together again, remarried and helping other couples deal with addictions through their ministry.

Please share this story with someone in your life who is struggling with pornogroaphy, and sex addiction, and especially share it with the spouse of the person with the problem, and let them know there is hope for their marriage. Here’s the snippet from the blog, and I recommend watching the 3 videos posted to the page in the link- http://www.ragamuffinreflections.com/story/ 

Melody and I were married for 11 years before my struggle with pornography and sexual addiction ripped our family apart. This tragic upheaval left both of us reeling and disrupted our status quo, to say the least. The appearance of the “perfect” life that we both worked so hard to maintain came crashing down all around us.
After 6 years of divorce, we were remarried.

Watch (or listen to) their testimony here- http://www.ragamuffinreflections.com/story/ 

Pornography – What’s the big deal?

A Veritas lecture at Fresno State University about the presence and effects of pornography today.

Russell Willingham, the first presenter, explores the issue of pornography and sexual brokenness. He examines the spiritual, psychological, social and cultural aspects of these issues from a biblical standpoint. He demonstrates how a biblical worldview on this subject is effective in transforming lives for the better. Russell Willingham is Director of New Creation Ministry in Fresno, California.

Dr. Tamyra Pierce, the second presenter at the 46th minute, shares her research and expertise on the content, some of it pornographic, found on teens’ ‘MySpace’ websites. Dr. Tamyra Pierce is assistant professor and director of the Dept. of Mass Communications and Journalism at Fresno State University. She holds a doctorate in Media Effects from University of Missouri, Columbia.

There is a Question and Answer session with the students at the end.

Seven problems with pornography:

  1. Pornography objectifies sex. It divorces sexuality from any kind of relationship.
  2. Pornography trains the person who engages in it to live in his head, in a narcissistic world of gratification.
  3. Pornography keeps the person stuck in an adolescent selfishness, rendering them incapable of true adult relating or sexual functioning.
  4. People who engage in pornography tend to become isolated.
  5. When it comes to pornography, more and more research has indicated that pornography has a lot in common with substance abuses and other addictive behaviors. There is an actual neurochemical kick involved with pornography.
  6. It often leads the person to act out the pornographic scenarios that they’ve seen.
  7. Physiologically, more and more research is indicating that porn actually stimulates the brain (in males and females) in ways that create an addictive experience, adrenal releases and neurotransmitter releases that actually change, not only brain functioning, but, brain tissue.

Pornography: What’s the Big Deal? from Veritas [2] on Vimeo.

The Social Institution Damages Pornography Causes:

(1) SOCIAL DAMAGE: In the social institution of Marriage- it chips away at it in a number of ways: 

  • If the couple engages in pornography together, they lose their intimacy, which takes years to develop. In time, the man tends to become more attached to the pornography and less attached to the wife.
  • Pornography provides images and scenarios that a spouse (man or woman) can never live up to and it breeds this chronic disappointment.
  • Pornography tends to isolate the user from the spouse, which can lead to solo sex, adultery and even prostitution.
  • It blinds their thought pattern. They stop engaging with spouse and children, or even their job, because they can’t think of anything else.

(2) PSYCHOLOGICAL DAMAGE: In the relationship and with the training of children

  • Pornography has such an addictive quality that the person who engages in this (and this applies to all addictions) the addict has the addiction as his/her primary relationship in life. Every other relationship is secondary. In fact, the people in the addicts life are judged in whether they get in the way of their addictions or they encourage it. So, obviously, that’s gonna cause problems for  a father or a mother, who needs to be emotionally available to their children, when they are actually occupied with other pursuits in their mind.
  • Another issue is that addiction tends to rob us of our soul. We become automatons. It definitely impacts how we parent our children. They become truly unable to engage children’s real needs. Children need more than food, clothing, and shelter, a drive to the soccer practice, a movie or hot dog from time to time. They need adults who will engage them soul to soul, and addicts cannot do that effectively, because their soul is engaged elsewhere. Even if they’re not acting up as of this moment, it robs us of our ability to be human.
  • The emotional detachment that the children experience on the part of the parent who’s addicted to porn, feels to them like rejection. And this sets the children up, often times, for lifetime issues of abandonment, that will likely spur addictions in their own lives, down the road, to fill the hole. And the beat goes on.
  • Lastly, the person who engages in pornography, if they do any sex education at all, they will either give their children a warped view of sexuality or because of their own shame and guilt, they won’t talk to their children at all. (22:00)
  • If a person engages in certain types of pornography and allows certain walls to crumble in their own moral system,  they could even abuse their own children sexually. Pornography shapes and warps a person’s perspective not only for sexuality, but, for what people are for and what people are about and how to connect and it can create problems. Pornography has a way of breaking down laws of our own conscience, to the point where we don’t even see a problem anymore and anyone who points out that problem anymore is simply a ‘prude’.

(3) CULTURAL DAMAGE: How pornography affects culture

  • This is not just a private matter. We like to think we are islands, and what we do in private doesn’t affect anybody else. That’s a falsehood. 
  •  (1) First point about that is: There is an entire industry in pornography, that requires the violation of women and children. If you have engaged in online pornography (or videos or printed) you have helped support that industry. You’ve given your donation to them. You’re helping to enslave people. Much of the slave trade, human trafficking is related to pornography or prostitution.
  • (2) Pornography contributes to the cheapening of sex in our culture and the lowering of protection of marriage and children. Pornography contributes to many crimes: Rape, child abduction and molestation. At the national level, Americans spend between 8 and 10 billion dollars annually on pornography.
  • It contributes to the early sexualization of children and teens.
  • There’s been a link to teen sexuality and depression.

(4) SPIRITUAL DAMAGE: There is a damage that we inflict on ourselves when we engage in pornography.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:18 “Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.” When Paul talks about ‘body’, he has a much more hollistic view than we do. He sees it as being – body, soul and spirit, the whole package. And, he is teaching that when we engage in sexually destructive acts, it does a number on our psyche, in a way that nothing else can touch. My sexuality is with me all the time. And, if my behaviors and my choices distort that, I carry that around with me the rest of my life. Thankfully, a person can experience healing from that. But, it is incredibly hard work. That’s one of the reasons the Bible pleads with people not to go down this road. Because whatever impacts the spirit and the soul, will eventually impact the body as well.
  • Sex, like every other desire, can burn out of control and it can cause damage. And, throughout history, every  culture that practiced a biblical sexual ethic, and what I mean by that is monogamy,  saw less violence against women and children, and even greater economic prosperity. If you’re interested in doing research on that, I would recommend a book called “The Gift of the Jews”. And, it’s argued in that book that the Jewish nation gave the world something it never had before: monotheism and monogamy. And every culture that’s been impacted by that has been blessed.
  • In my work, I have worked with some very broken men and women. By the way, the whole pornography issue is becoming a bigger and bigger issue for women now. That’s a first. That’s a whole new phenomena that’s never existed before. I’ve seen very broken people, marriages that had no hope. People who had been engaged in this behavior for 20 or 30 years start to heal. Start to experience not only behavior modification, but intra psychic change. And of course, as a Bible believing Christian, I believe that the Creator has the power to bring that about. It’s not a quick fix. It’s really the hard work of recovery just like AA has said for 100 years, encouraging everybody in their groups to reach up to a higher power. I just tend to be more specific about that power.
  • There is an interesting story in the New testament book of John. It tells the story of Jesus speaking to a female sex addict. And the way He interacts with her us fascinating. He’s talking with her about spiritual things and then He says, “Go and call your husband, I’d like to talk with him”. She says, “Well, I don’t have a hsband”. He says, “You’re right when you say that, you’ve had 5 husbands and the man you’re with now is not your husband. He’s a live in, but, you’re not married”. And she was stunned. She felt like He saw her whole life. But, not once does He bring the book down her head, not once does he tell her she needs to repent, she needs to get her act together. In fact, what He says to her is, “You’re here at this well looking for water, I have living water to give you, if you want it”.  My paraphrase? You’ve been looking for satisfaction and satiation for your soul in the arms of one man after another. You haven’t found it daughter. Only your Creator can give that to you. God is far from being shameful and angry at people who have sexual struggles. He wants to restore them. So, pornography is in fact a problem, but, there is a solution. (46:00)

Women embracing pornography

with thanks to Gabi Bogdan for alerting us to this link.
Here’s an article that describes the new phenomena of not only how women are getting into and addicted to porn, but how they are influencing their daughter’s generation as well. Read the entire article here - http://www.foxnews.com/opinion The article is written by Patrick Wanis, PhD, human behavior and relationship expert. For more visit: www.patrickwanis.com

Dr. Wanis claims that not only is “

porn becoming socially acceptable, but it is becoming an aspirational target for women.”

He also points to the fact that

Using sex for money and fame, women have found a new way to feel powerful and secure without a man or even necessarily a family.”

But the more disturbing trend that Dr. Wanis points out is that mothers are now sexualizing their daughter by dressing them (not allowing, but actually encouraging this) in provocative clothing, including babies and toddlers. (see his examples in the article).

Dr. Wanis makes a statement that I have not heard before, but, which is right on the mark. I remember the feminist movement fighting militantly against pornography on the basis that it degrades and objectifies women. Now, the tables have turned. Porn is seen as a quick way to riches and fame and has become acceptable in the mainstream by most women. Yet, in the end, as Dr. Wanis points out-

The paradox is that women are becoming more educated than men as women surpass men in attendance and graduation rates – for every two men who get a college degree, three women will do also. But, women are failing to realize the dangers of falling for porn or promoting porn as the new fashionable profession and path to fame, riches and glory. This is the antithesis of female empowerment as MTV, Kim Kardashian and Octomom are teaching young girls to gain power over men by using sex. 

Women have now created false empty idols and have lost their real sense of self-worth, value and significance, replacing it with fleeting pseudo-power and artificial values and relationships, leaving them feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

Pornography is equally damaging to adult relationships and social bonds – men are struggling to develop close, intimate relationships with real women with some men now preferring porn to sex with an actual human being.

He concludes:

Bottom line: porn does not promote love or sex but rather cruelty and hatred to women, and so, while women continue to endorse and make porn fashionable or a new ideal, they are foolishly robbing themselves and undermining all of the positive strides and triumphs they have made in their quest for equality.

Please read this article in its entirety at the link below and ponder the impact of our words and actions and ultimately ponder the cost incurred to our children’s generation.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/09/15/how-women-made-porn-fashionable/?intcmp=obnetwork#ixzz2CDPEgTCq

How does a wife feel when a husband looks at porn?

For Family Resources PAGE click here

The Christian Post features 4 wives who tell their story (in short form):

  1. April thought the problem was because of her. Maybe if she was skinnier, or taller, or blonder…
  2. CIndy, upon walking in on her husband viewing porn:  “Immediately my heart sank, and I remember this sick feeling wash over me. The thought that began to plague my mind instantly was, “How will I ever be able to compete with her?”
  3. Laura, upon browsing her husband’s computer history: I clenched my jaw and set my heart in disgust towards my husband: my heart was filled with bitterness toward this man who wasted our time, energy, and resources on lust while I worked so hard to take care of our family.
  4. Nicole, upon discovering her fiancee’s porn addiction 3 days before their wedding: “…I continued to discover porn on our computer. A well of fear and desperation led me to confront Jon about these activities. At first he denied them. He had explanations for everything I found, and I wanted to believe everything he told me. Yet, something didn’t quite add up, and I would push him until he acknowledged that he had in fact visited the porn sites. This led to seeds of distrust from the very beginning of our marriage—not only my distrust of him, but of myself and my instincts”

You can read their complete stories here-

Download the free e-book: Hope After Porn: 4 women share their stories of heartbreak…and how their marriages were saved. In this book April, Cindy, Laura, and Nicole give readers a glimpse of the betrayal and the hurt they felt discovering their husbands’ pornography problem. They also share the choices they made to try and make a difference in their marriages and families.

SOURCE – CHRISTIAN POST - http://blogs.christianpost.com/guest-views/how-does-a-wife-feel-when-her-husband-looks-at-porn-11679/

A great christian website for wives and husbands -  Covenant Eyes

Related articles

America is addicted to pornography; produces 89% of its webpages

Guard your heart with all diligence (Proverbs 4:23). Don’t let the demonic realm influence your thought-life (Ephesians 6:12-20). If you give yourself to sinful fantasies and pursuits, you will become their slave (Romans 6:16).

Statistics:

  • 25 % of internet searches performed daily, which comes to 68 million searches ARE performed daily.
  • The USA produces 89% of the pornographic webpages.
  • 42.7 % of internet users view porn (that’s over 102 million people)
  • More than 50 of those engaged in sexual internet interactions have lost interest in sexual intercourse.
  • Pornography use increases marital infidelity (adultery) by 300%
  • 56% of divorce cases involved one per on having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites

- 40 % of “sex addicts” lose their spouses

- 58 % suffer considerable financial losses

- One-third lose their jobs

Saddest statistic of all – The average age of initial pornography exposure: 11

The downfall of the church will not come from a lack of apologetic teaching; it will come from disintegration of the families in the church

Josh McDowell Launches Website to Fight Porn, ‘Church’s No. 1 Threat’ via The Christian Post

Josh McDowell writes:

“The greatest threat to the cause of Christ is pervasive sexuality and pornography,” McDowell, known as an articulate speaker, said in a statement Thursday. “Today we have, by and large, lost control of the controls because an intrusive immorality is just one click away from our children. With just one keystroke on a smartphone, iPad, or laptop, a child can open up some of the worst pornography and sexually graphic content you can imagine. There’s never been such access in history. “

McDowell, who has written or co-authored 120 books since 1960, backs his claims with stunning statistics about the destructive impact of pornography on the Christian family.

More than 1 billion pornographic websites are one click away, and the average age of first-time viewers of pornography is 9 years old. About 80 percent of 15- to 17-year-olds have been exposed to hardcore porn, and the adult pornography industry reports that 20-30 percent of their traffic comes from children. More shockingly, half of all Christian families report that pornography is a problem, and 30 percent of pastors have viewed pornography in the last 30 days.

Click here to read the entire article The Christian Post

Albert Mohler – Cultural Discernment from a Biblical Worldview

Another “older” video, from  the New Attitude Conference (Joshua Harris)(New name=NEXT Conferences), 2006 in Louisville, Kentucky,  yet still very relevant today.

Intro:

It would be very difficult to find any aspect of human life more powerful than sexuality… more powerful as an incentive, as an interest, an attraction, a fascination… a cauldron of trouble. That is why when you read the Old Testament, you come face to face with the fact that the people around Israel were actually demonstrating a basic pagan temptation and that basic pagan temptation is the worship of sex. That is how powerful sex is. And, that is how false these paganisms turn out to be, because, sex promises so much, but it doesn’t deliver on its promises.

Uploaded by   Get free mp3 download here (http://www.sovereigngracestore.com/)

The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriage by R. Albert Mohler

English: Al Mohler, President of Southern Bapt...

Image via Wikipedia

From the introduction of  The Seduction of Pornography and the Integrity of Christian Marriagemade in an Address by R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of  The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Delivered to the Men of Boyce College March 13, 2004

“I have made a covenant with my eyes; How then could I gaze at a virgin?” Job 31:1

The intersection of pornography and marriage is one of the most problematic issues among many couples today—including Christian couples. The pervasive plague of pornography represents one of the greatest moral challenges faced by the Christian church in the postmodern age. With eroticism woven into the very heart of the culture, celebrated in its entertainment, and advertised as a commodity, it is virtually impossible to escape the pervasive influence of pornography in our culture and in our lives.

At the same time, the problem of human sinfulness is fundamentally unchanged from the time of the Fall until the present. There is no theological basis for assuming that human beings are more lustful, more defenseless before sexual temptation, or more susceptible to the corruption of sexual desire than was the case in any previous generation.

Two distinctions mark the present age from previous eras. First, pornography has been so mainstreamed through advertising, commercial images, entertainment, and everyday life, that what would have been illegal just a few decades ago is now taken as common dress, common entertainment, and unremarkable sensuality. Second, explicit eroticism—complete with pornographic images, narrative, and symbolism—is now celebrated as a cultural good in some sectors of the society.

Growing out of those two developments is a third reality—namely, that increased exposure to erotic stimulation creates the need for ever-increased stimulation in order to demand notice, arouse sexual interest, and retain attention.

The bottom line is that, in our sinfulness, men are drawn toward pornography and a frighteningly large percentage of men develop a dependence upon pornographic images for their own sexual arousal and for their concept of the good life, sexual fulfillment, and even meaning in life.

Mohler concludes:

The deliberate use of pornography is nothing less than the willful invitation of illicit lovers and objectified sex objects and forbidden knowledge into a man’s heart, mind, and soul. The damage to the man’s heart is beyond measure, and the cost in human misery will only be made clear on the Day of Judgment. From the moment a boy reaches puberty until the day he is lowered into the ground, every man will struggle with lust. Let us follow the biblical example and scriptural command that we make a covenant with our eyes lest we sin. In this society, we are called to be nothing less than a corps of the mutually accountable amidst a world that lives as if it will never be called to account.

Read the entire paper here - http://www.sbts.edu/documents/Mohler/EyeCovenant.pdf (It is only 12  pages long and double spaced at that)

Avoid anything that causes you to lust by Clay Jones

portrait of Clay JonesClay Jones is Assistant Professor of Christian Apologetics at Biola University. Learn more about Clay here. He has started a series of posts on his blog on the subject of Sexual Temptation. You can follow him here.

In this particular post Jones gives helpful guidance on how to deal with lust. He states that:

Christians need to alarm about absolutely, positively every little bit of lust.

and gives points on how to take steps in order to control lusts. The first step he gives is:

Avoid anything that causes you to lust. I have found, however, that some people will say that they can watch a certain amount of sensuality, sexuality, or nudity and it doesn’t encourage them to lust. But, the trouble is that the reason these people say it doesn’t stumble them is they see so much extremely lustful material that they hardly realize that these little bits fuel their lack of self-control….

So, then, don’t read, watch, or listen to anything that encourages or causes lust. Nothing. If you can’t keep your eyes off jiggling bikinis, don’t go to the beach! If you lust after an actor in your favorite TV show—don’t watch it! Obviously this will result in a major lifestyle change for many.

Matthew 16:24: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”

Read another really good article by Clay Jones entitled-

“Lust: Are We Willing to Do what It Takes?”

and visit his page of the christian perspective on the topic of Sex here.

Additional articles by Clay Jones- short, biblical and to the point. A must read:

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