Sunday, January 29, 2017

A Knife Dipped in Blood~~The Deadly Peril of Pornography

This post is part of a series of posts on marriage/relationships. I pray that this "mini-series" would be a blessing to you! Please feel free to share any of your own thoughts in the comments; I would love to hear them! 


If you are new to this series, you can find the Introduction HERE, Part 1 HERE , Part 2 HERE, Part 3 HERE, Part 4 HERE., and Part 5 HERE.

Please Note: This post contains adult material that is not suitable for children. 


We use a most unfortunate idiom when we say, of a lustful man prowling the streets, that he “wants a woman.” Strictly speaking, a woman is just what he does not want.
He wants a pleasure for which a woman happens to be the necessary piece of apparatus. How much he cares about the woman as such may be gauged by his attitude to her five minutes after fruition (one does not keep the carton after one has smoked the cigarettes).
Now Eros makes a man really want, not a woman, but one particular woman. In some mysterious but quite indisputable fashion the lover desires the Beloved herself, not the pleasure she can give.
~C.S. Lewis
Lust is a poor, weak, whimpering, whispering thing compared with that richness and energy of desire which will arise when lust has been killed.
~C.S. Lewis

I can still remember a sermon I heard years ago from Dr. Charles Swindoll. I was listening to the local Christian radio station in the car and I had pulled into the driveway. He was talking about the danger of pornography. An image that he used cut into my soul in a way that made me shudder. I don't remember all of the specifics of the sermon, but one description stayed with me. He carefully depicted the way in which (I think that perhaps it was the Eskimos) would dip a knife in blood in order to kill a wolf. They would cover the blade in the scarlet substance, and then place the razor-sharp edge sticking up out of the snow. The wolf, hungry, would smell the blood and begin licking the knife. Eventually, as you can imagine, his own tongue would be cut and he would begin to lick his own blood without realizing it. In this way, he would feed on his own blood, ultimately bleeding to death and perishing in the bitter cold. 

Swindoll then went on to relate this story to the manner in which pornography slowly weakens and then kills the soul. 



Pornography. We think that it will feed us, satisfy us. But instead of nourishing, it actually accomplishes the opposite. It drains us of all that is true and pure and good. 

Sometimes it seems so innocent. A little taste here; a lick there. Until the stream begins to flow and we are strangling on our own blood. 

Pornography destroys. It crushes. We think that it is giving satisfaction, but it is really robbing us of that which is truly life-giving.

We live in a time when it is looked upon so lightly, laughed off, even--Oh, every man struggles with that--

But I believe that in not adopting a more serious attitude toward this sin, we weaken ourselves, we weaken our marriages, we weaken the church as a whole, and we become unfit for ministry in any way. 

We need to take pornography seriously. We need to kill lust in our lives before it kills us, before it kills our families, before it kills our souls and sears our conscience until it is dead. 



Our families are at stake. Our marriages are at stake. Our souls are at stake. 

You have heard that it was said to those of old,‘You shall not commit adultery.’But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. (Matthew 5:27-29 NKJV)

 Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (I Corinthians 6:18-20 NKJV)

We may so weaken the voice of the Spirit in this area that we will be rendered spiritually useless. I believe that this happens in many men's lives (as well as women's) and this is one of the reasons that the Church is so powerless and ineffective today. 


These are three ways that I believe pornography damages and destroys and then ultimately kills the soul--I am sure that there are more--

It damages our marriages

Pornography kills romance. It deadens our own souls against the soul of our spouse. I know that some may disagree with me, but I believe that viewing pornography when one is married is quietly committing adultery against their partner. This is why the Bible exhorts us to "flee immorality." Because it is so grievously damaging. Besides hurting ourselves, it also wounds the ones we claim to love. The late Pastor Adrian Rogers said that once a man breaks trust with his wife in his marriage, it may take years to repair the breach because a woman's emotions are so sensitive. Many men feel that pornography is no big deal and that women just need to get over it. But I believe that it may be difficult even after the woman has genuinely forgiven her husband, to  easily "get over" her husband's actions. The sting of his deception and betrayal may remain for years and make it difficult for her to relate to her husband sexually or in other ways. This is one of the consequences of "soft" adultery. 

It damages our relationship with God

Pornography immediately places a barrier in terms of our relationship with God. The more that we view it and engage in practices associated with it, the more our hearts are hardened, our consciences are seared, and we deaden the voice of the Holy Spirit. 

It damages the church as a whole

Because we are weakened spiritually when we engage in viewing pornography, the church as a whole suffers. There is sin "in the camp," and so the church cannot go forward spiritually. I truly believe that this is one of the reasons for the weakness of the American church--unconfessed sin that is taken lightly and is causing our souls to rot in the blazing sun. Only true repentance and turning away from sin will bring cleansing and revival. 
~~~

Lust needs to be killed in our lives, not stroked gently, not hidden away and then taken back out, not ignored, but killed. 

Ultimately, feeding on lust shows that we are seeking satisfaction outside of Christ. We are discontent and that discontentment flows into the utter selfishness of taking that which promises to fill our deepest need. 

We are empty and so we seek a temporary fix. We fill our souls with poison and refuse the Great Physician who would heal us if we would only run to Him, run to the Self-Giving One who alone can satisfy us.

I speak mostly to men, but I know that there are also women who struggle in this area. 

I'd like to add a note here--the answer to a man's problem with pornography is not ultimately that his wife needs to fulfill him more sexually. It is true that a woman is biblically constrained  to join together with her husband (I Corinthians 7:3-5). It is also true that this becomes a joy when her husband treats her with gentleness and loves her as Christ loves the church and that it becomes a painful act of obedience when she is not treated that way. 

A man's problem with pornography is not ultimately the failing of his wife, but the failing of his own disobedience and failure to resist evil through the power of the Holy Spirit.



We need to take responsibility for our own actions and stop placing the blame on someone else--stop using someone else's perceived disobedience to give us an excuse to continue sinning. And we do this when we blame our wives (or husbands) for our sin when we feel that they are failing to fulfill us sexually. 

What we need is not an attitude of making excuses and of indulging the flesh, but an attitude of cutting off that which is causing us to sin. 

There is a scene in the movie Fireproof where the main character Caleb, uses a baseball bat to destroy his computer. He is struggling with pornography and realizes that he needs to get rid of that which is causing him to stumble.  His wife is not fulfilling him sexually (which he gives earlier as one of his excuses for looking at pornography). But then Caleb turns to the Lord in repentance and begins to treat his wife in a loving, sincere, and gentle way. It takes time because he has wounded her so deeply, but eventually his wife responds to him and their love is rekindled. 

There are times when we need to "cut off our hand," and nothing is too radical if it is causing our relationship with Jesus Christ to suffer and our soul to wither and die. 

Do you struggle with pornography? Repent, turn to the Lord and He will give you the strength to overcome it. 

I have read articles that talk about how the pornographic images that a man or woman sees may never be erased because of the chemicals that seeing these images triggers. 

I believe that this is true, hence the peril of exposing oneself to these images--but I also believe that the Lord is able to miraculously redeem all things and to remove our sins as far as the east is from the west. 

I believe that the Lord is able to refresh and restore marriages, hearts, and consciences that are seared when we turn to Him and turn away from that which is destroying our souls. He is able to redeem. He will redeem. 

So turn to Him. Turn away from the darkness and deception of self fulfillment and let your fulfillment be found in the Person of Jesus Christ. 

He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think. He can cleanse and purify. And He will--to those who run to Him. 




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This was a helpful article for further reading (clickable link).



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27 comments:

  1. such a raw,emotional post. This is a serious fear in my marriage thst ties my stomach in knots. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Jackie, I understand that! We live in such times where pornography is so easy to find (without even really looking!) and so difficult to resist. Only the grace and mercy of God working in and through our lives and marriages can protect our homes and families and relationships. I pray that He would strengthen His church to resist temptation and to flee from it when it comes.

      The Lord bless you, Jackie!

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  2. Bekki, Thank you for your willingness to write about the difficult subjects exposing the darkness. I agree with you that the prevailing attitude today is that "it's just what men do". I haven't heard that statement in the context of women who struggle with pornography though.

    I believe it is one of the most devastating addictions, especially inside a marriage. Your insight that pornography desensitizes us to the voice of the Holy Spirit was sobering to hear, but definitely true.

    I shudder at all the images that are out there. Michael has told me of random emails he will get or what appears in the sidebar of his email, I would imagine because he is a male and they target males as weaker in the area of pornography consumption. My husband is strong in the Lord to look away, but what about the younger generation, those whose hormones are still raging. They are a constant target and it is frightening.

    I realize there is nothing new under the sun. We certainly have account after account in the Bible of sexual immorality. I pray with you that we as the church will repent of our secret sins so that we can be cleansed of all unrighteousness and a great revival occur once again.

    You are such a sweet blessing. Miss you my friend.

    Sending much love.

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    1. Yes; I agree, Karen! I felt like it was a subject that isn't discussed as much as maybe it should be (understandably so somewhat, because it is such a sensitive topic). . . I believe that many families are really being affected by this, and that it weakens the church as a whole.

      You are such a blessing to me as well, Karen! I miss you so much--

      Much love,
      Bekki

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  3. Such a great post. Thank you for pointing out the true problem is not pointing the finger at our spouse's lack in fulfilling, But our own sin and not resisting evil through the power of the Spirit.

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    1. Kelly; yes--I thought that that was important to mention! So often the "blame" is placed upon the wife, where she is usually the one who is most deeply hurt from the situation and hasn't been treated in a loving way by her husband--I'm glad that the post was encouraging!

      Have a very blessed week, Kelly!

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  4. We recently learned of a family friend that has been suffering with a pornography addiction and just now told his wife. Consequently, they are seeking help from professionals and the church for healing. It was devastating to learn of their struggles. However, I agree with you that marriages can be restored once they repent and turn to our God for restoration and healing. Praise the Lord, I have seen it first hand :) Thank you for sharing this article.

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    1. You're welcome; I'm glad that it was encouraging! I pray that the Lord would restore and heal that family . . .yes; He truly can restore when we turn to Him in humility and repentance.

      The Lord bless you!

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  5. Thanks for linking up with Literacy Musing Mondays and for being so bold to write such a timely post for this generation.

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    1. You're welcome, Brandi! Oh, that is so neat that Adrian Rogers was your Pastor! His ministry has been such a blessing in my life over the past years.

      Have a blessed week!

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  6. Oh, I forgot to mention: Dr. Rogers used to be my pastor when I lived in Tennessee. I met my husband in the college ministry there over 20 years ago. :)

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  7. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you!

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    1. You're welcome, Stacey; blessings to you also!

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  8. Thanks so much Rebekah for sharing on this deadly cancer that is steadily eating up homes and lives. We all need to guard against it as it stealthily creeps up on people without them realizing it. We must pray for those whom we know are already caught up in this act. God help us all!

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  9. Rebekah,

    Thank you for handling such a difficult subject with grace and dignity, and for reminding with the backbone of Scripture how deadly and destructive this burden has become and will be in our lives if it is swept under the rug and ignored.
    Blessings,
    Dawn

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    1. You're welcome, Dawn; I'm glad that it was encouraging!

      Have a blessed week!

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  10. Wow--that imagery is definitely memorable. I'll likely remember it now too! I can picture the wolf and knife in the snow. Thanks for sharing about this difficult subject. May the Lord's grace strengthen everyone in this battle for purity.

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    1. You're welcome, Lisa--yes; that image has stayed in my mind for years!

      Have a very blessed week!

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  11. Yes, pornography is so destructive! I appreciate that you commented that yes, the woman should fulfill her man's need, but you also said that the real problem is not a lack of fulfillment sexually--it's a lack of fulfillment in the LORD.

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    1. Oh, I'm glad that it was encouraging Sarah! Yes; I think that often the woman is almost fully "blamed" where the man should accept responsibility for his sin and seek healing in his marriage through repentance and turning from the sin. Then, as a man loves his wife as Christ loves the church, they can seek restoration together.

      The Lord bless you, Sarah!

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  12. What a riveting image of the wolf licking its own blood. I worked as a counselor for many years and pornography weakens a marriage the way it weakens the wolf. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. You're welcome, Debbie--I'm glad that it was an encouragement!

      The Lord bless you!

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  13. A very profound reminder! It is frightening to see the damage of pornography in the believers life today. Thank you for reminding us all to be fulfilled in Christ!

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    1. You're welcome, Olivia; I'm glad that the article was a blessing!

      Have a wonderful week!

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  14. Wow! That is a horrible image, so full of truth. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com!
    Tina

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    1. You're welcome, Tina; the Lord bless you!

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