If I asked you, “has divorce affected your family?” Chances are most all of you would say “yes“. Divorce is so commonplace in our society today that most all of us can turn and point to a parent, relative, or friend who is or has been divorced. Yet recent statistics suggest that in marriages between people who claim Christianity divorce rates can be as low as 10%.
Imagine the shock then when we read this article and found out that, according to a study done earlier this year, monthly pornography usage among men who claim Christ is at around 55%. Let that number sink in. In other words, there are more men who claim that Christ is their Savior that look at porn than men who claim Christ and do not look at porn. Our response to this epidemic? A resounding nothing.
Our silence only enhances the problem. What are we doing? It’s time we stop pretending that pornography is the world’s problem. That it doesn’t affect Christianity. That it doesn’t have a foothold in the church. That Christians don’t view that kind of stuff. They are, and we have got to do something about it.
Let’s stop ignoring this problem and start dealing with it. Here are some specific ways we can stop:
Parents, let’s be more involved in protecting our children from first exposure. Monitor their browser history, set limits on where they can and can’t go, review the content of the music they are buying before you let them buy it, and be stop watching programs that show off a little bit of “harmless” skin.
Fathers, as the spiritual leader of the home you’ve got to stay on top of teaching your children the Bible…yes even the parts about sexuality. Don’t gloss over the “sexually immoral” passages in the Bible. Sexuality is something God meant for good. The world will teach our children about sexuality and if we don’t instill in them God’s view of sex and sexuality they will grow up with a warped and perverted view of the subject.
Wives, the percentage of men who look at pornography is getting higher and higher. Your husband, or husband-to-be, may be a viewer. It will be uncomfortable and it will hurt, but talk to your significant other about how you can help him overcome this problem. Be open with him about your feelings, and accept nothing less from him. It will take work but pornography doesn’t have to destroy your marriage.
Young men, getting married will not fix your porn problem. Yes, one look is really all it takes to start down a path you don’t want to go. No, not everyone does it. No, those women are not yours to look at even if they chose to flaunt their body that way. Yes, you can live without pornography, but it’s difficult and will require you to be proactive, open, and dedicated. Form an accountability group, talk with your parents (the discomfort is worth it) and avoid the temptation at all costs.
Elders, you have been entrusted with the responsibility of taking care of the flock. If these statistics are true, half of the men in your congregation could be caught up in pornography. It’s almost impossible that there’s not at least one. Encourage your preacher to speak on the subject, utilize various resources (set aside money in your budget to help alleviate the costs of web-blockers; allow the building to be used for accountability group meetings) to help those in your congregation and neighborhood overcome this sin, and let your people know that you can be trusted to advise and encourage them through process.
Church, let’s stop being afraid to talk about this subject. I know it’s uncomfortable, icky and perverted, but like it or not it’s real. It’s a real life struggle for Christians and non-Christians alike and we have the knowledge of the One who can take this icky, perverted sin away. Instead of allowing those lost in pornography to die in their sin, let’s take to them the message of a Savior who is able to conquer all, even pornography addiction.
This is not exhaustive, but it wasn’t meant to be. In future podcast and articles we’ll address these ideas more fully, but for now we pray that this article will 1) help those struggling with pornography addiction and 2) help us realize that we need to speak up about pornography in the church.