How do I help my boyfriend with a pornography addiction? (Updated)

Your boyfriend isn’t alone in this. It is a large problem for men in general, and even many Christian men. Unlike in the old days, you don’t have to go to an “adult book store” or strip club to be tempted in this area. It comes in your inbox…in fact I got 4 porn “ads” in my inbox over the weekend. If I were at a weak place, or feeling emotionally distant, it might be a temptation for me. This is a very common problem and hard to avoid if you use the internet. This does not serve as a rationalization for sin, but just know that many guys struggle with this. I know very few men who have never seen pornography.

Regarding feeling betrayed, I can understand why you would. Betrayal certainly destroys intimacy. Both of you probably need to give yourself some time to heal. Focus more on emotional connection rather than physical contact. I’d encourage both of you to explore what is motivating this sexual sin habit in him. His lust is carrying him away to sin, and is unrelated to your beauty, or any perceived lack in you. It’s just his sin and not related to you or your looks. Just so you know, the girls in the porn pictures don’t even look like that. I have a friend who used to be a stripper & pose for porn photos. Their photos are airbrushed, touched up, enhanced, and changed….they are not real either. What your boyfriend’s soul craves is real intimacy, real relationships….and he’s trying to satisfy that genuine desire with false “relationships” in porn.

It can be very hurtful to be a woman in a serious relationship with a man who is using pornography. But you need to understand this isn’t really about you or you “satisfying” him. Sex, as you pointed out, is for marriage. The fact that you are not “satisfying” him physically before marriage is a good thing…you should not, because that is sin for both of you. Satisfaction in that way is only for marriage. If he has been pressuring you for more, or crossing agreed upon boundaries, they are symptoms of the same problem he has with porn…lust and lack of self-control. But even married men sometimes struggle with porn. It isn’t about a lack of sex. S o don’t beat yourself up about this….you couldn’t do anything to prevent this, nor can you stop it. He has to desire change, and allow God to work in his heart to change him.

What do men need? Well not all men are the same, but all men need a few things. One, if you plan to stay in this relationship, he needs to experience God’s grace and get help controlling his lust. He needs to discuss this with at least one other spiritual man who can help him. Breaking the secrecy has begun (with you) but He needs to involve other men. You can’t be the primary help here. It’s just too embarrassing and too hurtful for you. He needs men in his life who will help him learn to not give in to temptation and be honest with him. You can help by encouraging that process, and not doing anything to arouse his sexual appetite inappropriately.

If your physical relationship now arouses passion in both of you, but stops short of sexual intercourse, that may contribute to frustration that makes it harder to resist porn. What is often called “petting” before marriage is called “foreplay” in marriage and is designed to prepare the body and mind for sexual intimacy. Repeatedly “revving the engines” erodes barriers and increases the physical and emotional tension in both of you. This isn’t an excuse for his pornography use, but it might make you think hard about your current standards and if your physical intimacy is contributing to lowering his resistance to temptation.

His porn use in some ways is a very real betrayal of your trust and a perversion of your emotional intimacy. This can be overcome, but you have to decide if you can do it this time, and if you are committed enough to him to give him the time he needs to deal with this and mature enough that it no longer masters him.

I can’t predict if you will get over it, but God can heal your heart. The question is will your boyfriend get over it so he doesn’t break your heart again? What I can do is point you to some information and resources that will help him overcome the power of pornography and break the cycle.

A few websites that can help are:

www.pureintimacy.org an excellent place to get articles, ideas, and resources and has a section for those who love someone who struggles with pornography.

There is a great article on pornography at the following website:

www.everystudent.com/wires/toxic.html written by Gene McConnell, who runs the “Authentic Relationships” site. He gives causes, discusses real needs, and practical steps to end the problem. I highly recommend him and his material.

You might want to suggest he get a filtering software system until he has beaten the habit. One good one is www.covenanteyes.com or you can use the ones they have at www.crosswalk.com as well.

You didn’t ask this, but for your sake, I want to tell you one more thing. It would be wise to delay marrying until you both are sure he has overcome this and isn’t going to be continuing in this. He may be tempted to pretend he is over it to keep the wedding plans on track, or he may deny the ongoing struggles to rebuild your trust even when it is not yet warranted. If you both are not sure that he has gotten over this, you may find the same thing happening 2-3 years into your marriage. Unless dealt with, this addiction tends to escalate rather than diminish, and that can be very dangerous in a marriage. This doesn’t get solved by marriage, nor does it just go away. He has to break the bonds and get strong enough and be in enough authentic relationships with other men that he knows it won’t master him anymore.

If you are a believer in Christ and are struggling with an addiction to internet porn, there is hope and help for you!
* The power of the Holy Spirit is available to you (Ephesians 3:16).
* The cleansing of God’s forgiveness is available to you (1 John 1:9).
* The renewing capacity of God’s Word is at your disposal (Romans 12:1-2). Commit your mind and eyes to the Lord (1 John 2:16).
+ Ask God to strengthen you and help you to overcome pornography (Philippians 4:13).
+ Ask God to protect you from further exposure to porn (1 Corinthians 10:13).
+ Ask God to fill your mind with things that are pleasing to Him (Philippians 4:8).
These are all requests that God will honor and answer.

Porn/sex addiction is a prevalent problem in the church, and you’re not alone. Most of the statistics are showing that 50% of men struggle with pornography. Here are a few points for you to consider:

– He who conceals his transgressions will not prosper, But he who confesses and forsakes them will find compassion. – Proverbs 28:13

– Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. – James 5:16

Sexual sin is at it’s strongest when we keep it hidden; I would encourage your boyfriend to find one man or a group where he can be transparent with his struggles on a consistent, ongoing basis. Lust isn’t a sin that we can fight off by willpower; we need the support and encouragement of others.

“You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. “If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell. Matthew 5:27-30

Many Christian men stay on the fence because they haven’t made a firm choice between Christ and the illusion of lust. Jesus left us no false comfort when it came to choosing between Him and sin; all the responsibility lies with us as to which god we will follow. This doesn’t mean that the battle with our flesh ends, but that we’re running from sin with everything we’ve got.

In practical terms this means that if you have cable in your home and it’s causing you to slip, that it should be turned off. If the internet is a problem, install accountability software such as Covenant Eyes or Safeeyes. If you’re having an affair, the relationship should be immediately terminated.

Most men who struggle with lust have 3 issues in common: they’ve lonely and isolated, they didn’t have a close relationship with their earthly father, and they haven’t completely accepted God’s grace in their heart. A disconnected relationship with your earthly father often translates into a struggle with connecting and receiving love from the living God.

The good news is that Jesus came that we might “have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10). There is no sin that the cross doesn’t cover, no man or woman beyond the reach of His grace.

For more information and resources in the area of sexual addiction, I strongly suggest you visit our friends at… www.blazinggrace.org

There are additional numerous tools to help:

http://Just1ClickAway.org – Apologist and author Josh McDowell launched a new website to raise awareness about online pornography

www.exodusinternational.org -very helpful

www.PureOnline.com to combat an addiction to internet pornography

Quality internet filtering programs that will completely block your computer from accessing pornography, such as;

www.BSafeOnline.com

www.X3Watch.com accountability software that tracks your internet browsing and sends a report of any objectionable websites you have visited to an accountability partner of your choosing

http://www.exodusinternational.org
www.settingcaptivesfree.com Porn
Para HomosexualesEmail: info@exoduslatinoamerica.org

http://net-burst.net/christian-help/christian-masturbation.htm
Christian Masturbation Help

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

Sat, May. 26, 2012                  Posted: 10:34 AM EDT


Apologist and author Josh McDowell launched Just1ClickAway.org, a new website to raise awareness about online pornography which he says is a problem big enough to cause the downfall of the church.

“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,” says a video posted on the website, which was launched this week, just in time for summer vacation when students’ media consumption significantly increases.

“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.

The newly produced video on the website shows that pornography aggressively preys on and attacks its victim, virtually in plain view of unsuspecting family members.

It features a boy, who looks below 10 years old and is seated on his bed with a tablet computer in the privacy of his bedroom. “Doing your homework?” asks a young woman, portrayed as a tempter. The boy, seeing her in his imagination, nods to say, “Yes.” “Can I ask you something?” the girl says. “What’s your favorite part about me? Do you wanna see more? I can show you whatever you want.” Just then the mother comes into the room and tells him, “Honey, dinner is almost ready.” Seeing her child’s surprised reaction, she asks, “What’s wrong?” “Nothing,” he replies, pressing his laptop against his chest. “Finish up what you’re doing and come on downstairs,” his mother says.

The video goes on to feature a husband as well as a teenage girl as consumers of pornography and whose family members are also unaware of the dangerous viewing.

The video, which has a warning label for its mature content, later portrays each consumer being tortured by their addiction to pornography.

Offering hope and help, McDowell has made available resources to both spread awareness about the pervasiveness of pornography viewing and offer solutions. The Bare Facts, McDowell’s “biblically based, medically sound and culturally relevant campaign” provides youth and those who influence them with an understanding of love, sexuality and relationships.

As part of a 45-city speaking tour in 15 countries throughout 2012, McDowell is touring Latin America with his Bare Facts campaign. With over 50 years in ministry, he has addressed more than 10 million young people, giving over 24,000 talks in 118 countries. McDowell lives in southern California with his wife Dottie and four children.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/josh-mcdowell-launches-website-to-fight-porn-churchs-no-1-threat-75584/

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Looking at pornography is a direct violation of Jesus’ command against gazing at a woman “with lustful intent” (Matt. 5:28; cf. Job 31:1–2). Pornography attracts a man’s affections and desires away from his marriage and away from his wife. It inevitably brings moral uncleanness in the heart, long-lasting harmful memories, and destructive consequences to one’s marriage relationship (the same is true for the future marriage of those who are single). It ultimately leads in many cases to other sins, such as prostitution, rape, and other kinds of violence against women, because it dehumanizes them and fails to recognize and respect them as persons made in God’s image and valuable in his sight.

“Do not desire her beauty in your heart, and do not let her capture you with her eyelashes.” (Proverbs 6:25)

For many people who are sinking in the sands of sexual addiction, their first introduction to pornography came during childhood. The idyllic picture of innocent children building castles in the sand is too often marred by the quicksand of sexual abuse.

•      Pornography is the depiction of erotic behavior intended to arouse sexual, lustful excitement.

•      The word pornography is from the Greek word porne, which means “harlot.”

•      Pornography debases sexuality and ridicules Christian values in favor of lust and immorality.

•      Pornography is addictive and often leads to the abuse of others.

•      The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children investigated 1,400 cases of child sexual exploitation. Upon arrest, all prosecuted adults were found with various forms of pornography—in most cases child porn.

“I will set before my eyes no vile thing.” (Psalm 101:3)

God created the sexual body for intimacy in marriage and for procreation. Pornography is designed simply to arouse indiscriminate sexual lust.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27–28)

The Power Behind Porn

Pornography exposes more than skin. Jude connects the illicit sex in Sodom and Gomorrah (Jude 7) with demonic powers (Jude 6). The real evil behind porn is not that it is so shameful or unfulfilling, though it is, like “clouds without water” (Jude 12–13). Nor is the evil that the peddling of raw sex and lustful pleasure makes someone else rich, though it does (Jude 11). Jude hints at the real sources of power and profit behind the porn market: demonic evil that traffics in human sex.

The Way Out of the Web

Many who have become addicted to pornography on the Internet promise themselves or others they will stop … only to keep coming back for more. Even finding ways to get around the Internet filters, blockers, and controls on their computers can become an exciting adventure. Realistically, aside from canceling or totally blocking Internet access, there are no 100 % guarantees to keep all addicts from accessing sexually enticing materials. There are, however, creative ways to help you get free or gain control of your addictive behavior. Freedom begins with a commitment to the Lord to do whatever He wants you to do in order to be mentally pure. Based on that decisive commitment, the next step is to strategically plan for success. The following suggestions will help you follow through with your decision.

•      Use a Christian Internet service provider (ISP) that filters the Internet at the server side.

•      Use an Internet filter that has a password that must be entered before you can change the controls. (Allow your wife or trusted friend to keep you accountable by password-protecting the filter!)

•      If you, like many married men, struggle with late night Internet pornography, use a filter that blocks late night access. Several Internet guardian programs allow the password holder to limit access to the Internet to certain times.

•      Be sure to find a guardian filter that is guaranteed to work with your Internet browser. (For example, several Christian Internet filters do not block Internet access if someone uses the AOL browser.)

•      Find an ISP or an Internet filter that allows the password holder to access a protected file that tracks all Internet activity. This serves as a major reminder that all Internet activity will be monitored. This feature also prohibits the user from erasing history trails.

•      Monitoring software provides a helpful alternative to blocking software. Trusted friends are e-mailed all the sites you visit each month with questionable sites flagged, enabling them to hold you accountable for the material you view on the Internet.

•      Since many people receive pornographic e-mails inviting them to simply click on a link in the e-mail to be immediately transferred to a porn site, be sure that you have a filter that either filters out pornographic e-mail or stops the Internet user from being linked to a pornographic site.

•      Place the home computer in a part of the house where there is heavy traffic and where the computer screen can be easily seen. Avoid places where computer use can be secretive or hidden.

•      In many cases, canceling all Internet access for a period of time is necessary to help break the cycle of sexual addiction.

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)

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THE Snare OF Pornography

 

Dear Friend,

Our nation is drowning in a sea of sensuality. About 70% of the time, pornography falls into the hands of children, so when a friend of mine was a teenager and found a stash of his father’s magazines, he began to browse at the pictures. Though he became a Christian in college, the images stayed with him, and so did his habit. He kept his fantasy world intact, making sure that no one found out about his secret pleasure. He both loved pornography and hated it.

One man with a similar story said, “I lived like a double agent for the CIA— leading two lives. I was actually pretty good at it and thought I would never get caught. But God had been on my trail all along. Now for the first time in my life I am able to be real with others about the junk in my life—not just the good stuff… I am finally living without the constant threat of others finding out who I really am.” Yes, this addiction like others can only be cured with the truth that sets us free.

There was a time when pornography was confined to adult magazines sold from behind the counter. Today, through the video and DVD, even more powerful pornographic images are brought into the homes of our nation. And then what shall we say about the internet which has brought pornography shops into American homes? Many sit peering at the screen, enjoying virtual images, in some instances translated live to the consumer. Recently a youth pastor in a Chicago suburb had to resign because of the reams of pornography he had downloaded from a website.

The snare of pornography is different from most others. Although we’re all born greedy, we’re not necessarily born with a love for gambling. We are not born with a love for alcohol, but must acquire it by beginning to drink. But because we grow up with persistent sexual appetites, sexual fantasies are never far from our minds. Our sexuality is so much a part of who we are that it is almost impossible (especially for men) to live without battling impure thoughts.

Incredibly, more money is spent on pornography each year than on the NFL, the NBA and Major League Baseball, combined. What is more, there are 4.2 million pornography websites! In any given day, 25% of all search engine requests are for pornography, most occurring between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day on business computers. It is now possible to purchase cell phones that can download pornography from a satellite, at any time of day or night. Even child pornography, although illegal, is a 3 billion dollar a year industry.

As parents and grandparents, we had better wake up to the reality of this tsunami that is crashing like a tidal wave across our land. We have to begin by taking care ourselves, lest we are caught in this plague that has engulfed us. Then we also have to put policies and practices in place that will protect us and our families.

In the question and answer section, I respond to just a few of the questions that might be asked about this subject. May God help us at this critical time in history!

Erwin W. Lutzer

Senior Pastor, The Moody Church

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How Are We To Understand Sexual Addiction?

Q: Is pornography just a harmless pleasure?

A: Pornography is not a ‘victimless crime’ as some would have us believe. Just ask the wives of husbands immersed in pornography. Research indicates that those who use pornography are more likely to go to prostitutes, engage in domestic violence, rape, and incest.

The fact that one out of every four girls born in the United States this year will at some time be molested, is to a great degree the results of pornography, the exploitation of sexual desires.

Every form of perversion is available in pornography and as these desires are acted out, the result is sex crimes of various sorts.

Q: What should a wife do if she discovers that her husband is into pornography?

A: The wife should avoid the impulse to lash out and condemn him. To intensify his shame will not help their relationship, nor will it spur him on to deliverance. Perhaps she could say, “What you have done hurts me, but I love you; I know you have fallen into a snare, but I want to be here to help you. I promise to encourage you and to love you. Let’s face all of this together.”

This approach would have had two benefits. His secret would be out in the open, which is of great help in restoration and healing. At last, the charade is over, the guilt and shame of leading a secret life has come to an end.

Also, if the wife speaks to him with compassion and understanding he is given the assurance the marriage is worth salvaging. My advice to wives: stand alongside of your husband with a spirit of helpfulness, prayer and encouragement. If not, he will be driven back into his world of sexual obsession veiled in an even more secretive shroud. If the addiction continues, consult a pastor or counselor.

Q: What is the path out of the addiction?

A: I agree with those counselors who tell us that it is not possible for an addict to come clean until he has come into the light; that is, until his secret is shared. Satan works undercover; his kingdom is one of darkness and shame.

When the lid is lifted and the light of truth shines into the soul, there is hope and cleansing. Men who cannot share their struggle with their wives, must confide in a friend, a counselor or pastor with whom they can pray and be accountable.

Second, along with this sharing, there must be accountability; like other addictions, those who are caught in the web of pornography will always have a tendency to revert back to their addiction of choice. Most important, we must use the Christian disciplines, especially praying together and experiencing the power of Scripture.

Q: Where does healing begin?

A: The cleansing of the conscience is very important in our battle for purity. Guilt and unresolved issues that lie within the soul will always agitate for expression and resolution. If we do not find our peace in the presence of Jesus, we will seek to find pleasure to divert the pain. In the presence of Jesus there is forgiveness and hope.

Q: What can parents do to protect their children from this scourge?

A: This is the most important question any parent can ask. Since this is such a big topic, we invite you to go to the following websites for more information:

www.pureintimacy.org

www.troubledwith.com

www.family.org

www.nationalcoalition.org

 

Christian Liberty and Sexual Freedom

by John MacArthur

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, “The two will become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:12–20)

Freedom in Christ was a truth Paul never tired of emphasizing. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. … For you were called to freedom, brethren” (Gal. 5:1, 13). He continually rejoiced in “the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Rom. 8:21). Believers “are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). We are not saved by works or kept saved by works. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast” (Eph. 2:8–9; cf. Rom. 3:20). “Now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter” (Rom. 7:6). God’s grace alone saves and God’s grace alone keeps salvation. Christians are justified, counted righteous and holy in God’s sight (Rom. 4:22–25). “Who,” therefore, “will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (Rom. 8:33). A Christian can commit no sin that is not already covered by God’s grace. No sin can forfeit his salvation. No accusation can succeed against the believer. God is the highest court, and He has declared that believers are righteous. There is no higher appeal. That settles the issue. The Corinthian church had been taught this truth many times while Paul was among them, but they were using it as a theological excuse for sin. They ignored the truth, “only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh” (Gal. 5:13), which he surely had also taught them. When Paul spoke of Christian freedom it was always in relation to freedom from works righteousness—that is, earning salvation by good deeds—whether by the Mosaic law, Pharisaic tradition, or any other means. The Corinthians had perverted this truth to justify their sinning. They possibly used the same argument that Paul anticipated when he was explaining grace to the Roman church: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace might increase?” (Rom. 6:1). They pretended to have theological justification for living as they wanted. They may have had a philosophical argument for their sin as well, perhaps implied in 6:13, “Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food.” Much Greek philosophy considered everything physical, including the body, to be basically evil and therefore of no value. What was done with or to the body did not matter. Food was food, the stomach was the stomach, and sex was sex. Sex was just a biological function like eating, to be used just as food was used, to satisfy their appetites. The argument sounds remarkably modern. Like many people today, the Corinthian Christians rationalized their sinful thinking and habits. They were clever at coming up with seemingly good reasons for doing wrong things. They also lived in a society that was notoriously immoral, a society that, in the temple prostitution and other ways, actually glorified promiscuous sex. To have sexual relations with a prostitute was so common in Corinth that the practice came to be called “Corinthianizing.” Many believers had formerly been involved in such immorality, and it was hard for them to break with the old ways and easy to fall back into them. Just as it was hard for them to give up their love of human wisdom, their worldliness, their pride, their divisive spirit, and their love for suing, it was also hard for them to give up their sexual immorality. In 6:12–20 Paul shows three of the evils of sexual sin: it is harmful to everyone involved; it gains control over those who indulge in it; and it perverts God’s purpose for the body.

SEXUAL SIN HARMS

All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. (6:12a)

The statement, All things are lawful may have been a common Corinthian saying in that liberated society. Paul borrows it and, playing off it, says, “It is so for me, too. Every sin I as a Christian commit is forgiven in Jesus Christ.” But no sin is ever right or good, and no sin ever produces anything right or good. Sin can never be worthwhile or profitable. Profitable (sumpherō) means “to be to advantage.” In the sense that believers are free and no longer under the penalty of the law in any way, all things are lawful for them. But the price for doing some things is terribly high, terribly unprofitable. Sin never brings profit; it always brings loss. The particular type of sin Paul has in mind here (vv. 13–20) is sexual sin. No sin that a person commits has more built–in pitfalls, problems, and destructiveness than sexual sin. It has broken more marriages, shattered more homes, caused more heartache and disease, and destroyed more lives than alcohol and drugs combined. It causes lying, stealing, cheating, and killing, as well as bitterness, hatred, slander, gossip, and unforgivingness. The dangers and harm of sexual sin are nowhere presented more vividly and forcefully than in Proverbs. “The lips of an adulteress drip honey, and smoother than oil is her speech” (Prov. 5:3). The basic truth applies to a prostitute or to any other woman who tries to seduce a man. It also applies to a man who tries to seduce a woman. The point is that sexual allurement is extremely enticing and powerful. It seems nice, enjoyable, and good. It promises nothing but pleasure and satisfaction. But what it ends up giving “is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two–edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps lay hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it” (vv. 4–6). The first characteristic of sexual sin is deceit. It never delivers what it promises. It offers great satisfaction but gives great disappointment. It claims to be real living but is really the way to death. Illicit sexual relationships are always “unstable.” Nothing binds those involved except the temporary and impersonal gratification of physical impulses. That is poor cement. Another tragedy of sexual sin is that often those involved do “not know it” is unstable, do not realize perhaps for a long time that their relationship cannot be lasting. Thus they fall deeper and deeper into the pit of their doomed relationship, which makes the dissolution all the more devastating and painful. Those who consider all sex to be basically evil, however, are as far from the truth as those who consider all sex to be basically good and permissible. God is not against sex. He created and blessed it. When used exclusively within marriage, as the Lord intends, sex is beautiful, satisfying, and stabilizing. “Let your fountain be blessed,” Scripture says, “and rejoice in the wife of your youth. … Be exhilarated always with her love” (Prov. 5:18–19). The Bible’s advice for avoiding sexual involvement outside marriage is simple: stay as far away as possible from the persons and places likely to get you in trouble.“Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house” (Prov. 5:8). When repeatedly enticed by Potiphar’s wife, Joseph refused not only “to lie beside her” but even to “be with her” (Gen. 39:10). When she tried to force him into adultery and grabbed his coat, “he left his garment in her hand and fled, and went outside” (v. 12). It was not the time for argument or explanation but for flight. When we unavoidably get caught in such a situation, the only sensible thing to do is to get away from it as quickly as we can. Passion is not rational or sensible, and sexually dangerous situations should be avoided or fled, not debated. Involvement in illicit sex leads to loss of health, loss of possessions, and loss of honor and respect. Every person who continues in such sins does not necessarily suffer all of those losses, but those are the types of loss that persistent sexual sin produces. The sex indulger will come to discover that he has lost his “years to the cruel one,” that his “hard–earned goods” have gone “to the house of an alien,” and that he will “groan” in his latter years and find his “flesh and [his] body are consumed” (Prov. 5:9–11). The “stolen water” of sexual relations outside of marriage “is sweet; and bread eaten in secret is pleasant”; but “the dead are there” (Prov. 9:17–18). Sexual sin is a “no win” situation. It is never profitable and always harmful. God looks on sexual immorality with extreme seriousness. Because of this sin in Israel, “twenty–three thousand fell in one day” (1 Cor. 10:8). David was a man after God’s own heart and was greatly used of the Lord in leading Israel and even in writing Scripture. But David was not exempted from the consequences of his sin. He committed adultery with Bathsheba and she became pregnant. He then arranged for her husband to be killed in battle and took her as his own wife. “But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2 Sam. 11:27). Through His prophet Nathan, God told David that because of his sin, “the sword shall never depart from your house. … I will raise up evil against you from your own household,” and “the child also that is born to you shall surely die” (12:10–11, 14). David paid for those sins almost every day of his life. Several of his sons were rebellious, jealous, and vengeful, and his family life was for the most part a tragic shambles. David repented and was forgiven. “The Lord also has taken away your sin” (12:13), but the Lord did not take away the consequences of the sin. After that experience the king wrote Psalm 51, in gratitude but also in deep remorse and agony. He had experienced God’s marvelous and gracious forgiveness, but he had also come to see the awfulness of his sin. “Against Thee, Thee only, I have sinned, and done what is evil in Thy sight” (v. 4). God’s grace is free, but the cost of sin is high.

SEXUAL SIN CONTROLS

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (6:12b)

Paul was free in the grace of Christ to do as he pleased, but he refused to allow himself to be mastered by anything or anyone but Christ. He would not become enslaved to any habit or custom and certainly not to any sin. “For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). No sin is more enslaving than sexual sin. The more it is indulged, the more it controls the indulger. Often it begins with small indiscretions, which lead to greater ones and finally to flagrant vice. The progression of sin is reflected in Psalm 1: “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers” (v. 1). When we willingly associate with sin, we will soon come to tolerate it and then to practice it. Like all other sins that are not resisted, sins of sex will grow, and eventually they will corrupt and destroy not only the persons directly involved but many innocent persons besides. The Corinthians were no strangers to sins of sex, and unfortunately many believers there had gone back to them. In the name of Christian freedom they had become controlled by their own fleshly desires. Paul wrote the Thessalonians, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thess. 4:3—5). The context argues that “vessel” is here a synonym for body rather than for wife, as many interpreters hold. Every believer is to rightly possess, rightly control, his own body. If we are living in the Spirit, we “are putting to death the deeds of the body” (Rom. 8:13). It is not as easy to be in control of ourselves as we sometimes think. Many people are deceived in thinking they are perfectly in control of their thoughts and actions, simply because they always do what they want. The fact, however, is that their desires and passions are telling them what to do, and they are going along. They are not masters of their desires, but are willing slaves. Their flesh is controlling their minds. Paul himself testifies that he had to “buffet [his] body and make it [his] slave, lest possibly, after [he had] preached to others, [he himself] should be disqualified” (1 Cor. 9:27). Buffet (hupōpiazō) means literally, “to give a black eye, or to beat the face black and blue.” To keep his body from enslaving him, he had to enslave his body. Otherwise he could become disqualified, not for salvation but for holy living and useful service to God.

SEXUAL SIN PERVERTS

Sexual sin not only harms and controls but also perverts. It especially perverts God’s plan and purpose for the bodies of His people. A Christian’s body is for the Lord; it is a member of Christ; and it is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

THE BODY IS FOR THE LORD

Food is for the stomach, and the stomach is for food; but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. (6:13–14)

Food and the stomach were created by God for each other. Their relationship is purely biological. It is likely the Corinthians were using this truth as an analogy to justify sexual immorality. The Greek text says literally, “The foods the belly, the belly the foods.” Perhaps this was popular proverb meant to celebrate the idea that “Sex is no different from eating: the stomach was made for food, and the body was made for sex.” But Paul stops them short. “It is true that food and the stomach were made for each other,” he is saying, “but it is also true that that relationship is purely temporal.” One day, when their purpose has been fulfilled, God will do away with both of them. That biological process has no place in the eternal state. Not so with the body itself. The bodies of believers are designed by God for much more than biological functions. The body is not for immorality, but for the Lord; and the Lord is for the body. Paul had a better proverb in mind with that statement. The body is to be the instrument of the Lord, for His use and glory. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Our bodies are designed not only to serve in this life but in the life to come. They will be changed bodies, resurrected bodies, glorified bodies, heavenly bodies—but they will still be our own bodies. The stomach and food have only a horizontal, temporal relationship. At death the relationship ceases. But our bodies are far more than biological. For believers they also have a spiritual, vertical relationship. They belong to God and they will forever endure with God. That is why Paul says, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory” (Phil. 3:20–21). We need to take serious care of this body because it will rise in glory to be the instrument that carries our eternally glorious and pure spirit throughout eternity.

THE BODY IS A MEMBER OF CHRIST

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, “The two will become one flesh.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. (6:15–18)

The believers’ bodies not only are for the Lord now and in the future, but they are of the Lord, a part of the Lord’s own body, members of Christ. Christ is “head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who fills all in all” (Eph. 1:22–23). “We, who are many, are one body in Christ” (Rom. 12:5). We are, in this age, the living spiritual temple in which Christ lives. We are His body, the incarnation of His person in the church. Paul’s next point follows logically. For a Christian to commit sexual immorality is to make the members of Christ … members of a harlot. It is to use a part of Christ’s own body in an act of fornication or adultery. The idea is incomprehensible to Paul, as it should be to every believer. May it never be! Sexual relations involve a union; the man and woman become one flesh. This indicates that the most essential meaning of the phrase one flesh (see Gen. 2:24; etc.) is sexual union. In his Screwtape Letters C. S. Lewis says that each time a man and a woman enter into a sexual relationship a spiritual bond is established between them which must be eternally enjoyed or eternally endured. God takes sexual sin seriously because it corrupts and shatters spiritual relationships, both human and divine. Christ’s people are one spirit with Him. That statement is filled with profound meaning and wondrous implications. But for his purpose here, Paul uses it to show that a Christian who commits sexual immorality involves his Lord. All sex outside of marriage is sin, but when it is committed by believers it is especially reprehensible, because it profanes Jesus Christ, with whom the believer is one (cf. John 14:18–23; 15:4, 7; 17:20–23). Since we are one with Christ, and the sex sinner is one with his partner, Christ is placed in an unthinkable position in Paul’s reasoning. Christ is not personally tainted with the sin, any more than the sunbeam that shines on a garbage dump is polluted. But His reputation is dirtied because of the association. Paul’s counsel regarding sexual sin is the same as Solomon’s in the book of Proverbs: Flee immorality. The present imperative of the Greek indicates the idea is to flee continually and to keep fleeing until the danger is past. When we are in danger of such immorality, we should not argue or debate or explain, and we certainly should not try to rationalize. We are not to consider it a spiritual challenge to be met but a spiritual trap to be escaped. We should get away as fast as we can. Paul does not elucidate on what he means by Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. I believe he is saying that, although sexual sin is not necessarily the worst sin, it is the most unique in its character. It rises from within the body bent on personal gratification. It drives like no other impulse and when fulfilled affects the body like no other sin. It has a way of internally destroying a person that no other sin has. Because sexual intimacy is the deepest uniting of two persons, its misuse corrupts on the deepest human level. That is not a psychological analysis but a divinely revealed fact. Sexual immorality is far more destructive than alcohol, far more destructive than drugs, far more destructive than crime. Some years ago a sixteen–year–old girl came to my office in complete despair. She had committed so many sex sins that she felt utterly worthless. She had not looked in a mirror for months, because she could not stand to look at herself; and to me she looked nearer 40 than 16. She was on the verge of suicide, not wanting to live another day. I had a special joy in leading her to Jesus Christ and seeing the transformation He made in her life. She said, “For the first time in years I feel clean.” Many of the Corinthians needed that cleaning again.

THE BODY IS A TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (6:19–20)

As Christians our bodies are not our own. Paul puts sting into this verse by framing it as a sarcastic question. They are the Lord’s, members of Christ, and temples of the Holy Spirit, who has been given by God to indwell us. So Paul calls for sexual purity not only because of the way sexual sin affects the body, but because the body it affects is not even the believer’s own. Understanding the reality of the phrase the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God should give us as much commitment to purity as any knowledge of divine truth could. To commit sexual sin in a church auditorium, disgusting as that would be, would be no worse than committing the sin anywhere else. Offense is made within God’s sanctuary wherever and whenever sexual immorality is committed by believers. Every act of fornication, every act of adultery by Christians, is committed in God’s sanctuary: their own bodies. “For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Cor. 6:16). The fact that Christians are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit is indicated in passages such as John 7:38–39; 20:22; Acts 1:8; Romans 8:9; and 1 Corinthians 12:3. The fact that God sent the Holy Spirit is clear from John 14:16–17; 15:26; and Acts 2:17, 33, 38. We no longer belong to ourselves because we have been bought with a price. We were not “redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from [our] futile way of life inherited from [our] forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Pet. 1:18–19). Christians’ bodies are God’s temple, and a temple is for worship. Our bodies, therefore, have one supreme purpose: to glorify God. This is a call to live so as to bring honor to the person of God, who alone is worthy of our obedience and adoration. A friend once took a visitor to a large Catholic cathedral in the east. The visitor wanted to pray at the station of his favorite saint. But upon arriving at that station, he was startled to find no candles lit, and a sign saying, “Do not worship here; closed for cleaning.” The Corinthians provided no divine focus, either, no place for seeking souls to worship, since they were unclean. That, Paul said, had to change.

MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1984). 1 Corinthians. MacArthur New Testament Commentary (145–152). Chicago: Moody Press.

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6 thoughts on “How do I help my boyfriend with a pornography addiction? (Updated)

  1. Jody H. Cox

    The only cure to any and all addictions, is to have a daily personal relationship withour Lord and savior. I was addicted to everything, It took almost two years for God to completely clean me up. He took away one addiction at a time, slowly but surely untill i was made into a true dedicated Christian. All my wordly ways have totally disipeared. Its Majic that only GOD himself can perform. There is no other cure, only temporary patches. GOD BLESS YOU AND HAVE A GREAT DAY. { AWESOMEMINISTRYJODYCOX.COM }

    Reply
  2. julie

    Psychology is not going to help people. They don’t need “healing”. What they need is to confess their sins to God. They need to read through psalm 51 and confess it all to the Lord. They need to name the sins, all of them. Do not hold back from God. He already knows. He is the only one Who can really help. It is His forgiveness and His help that is needed and is the only answer. They should be careful about confessing to people. This can be problematic on many fronts. Some Christians are blessed to have good solid friends or church leaders that are trustworthy and biblically mature. Some people do not have this luxury. either way, the Lord is the one to whom we are ultimately accountable. And as I said, He already knows. He knows your heart and He sees everything. Not only that but He knows what is needed and what the answer is. Flee youthful lust, said Paul to Timothy. Jesus said to deal harshly with sin. see it as God sees it and flee from it. Get rid of the source of the problem. Forsake it.

    It is Jesus Christ alone Who can set the sinner free from sin, both its penalty and its power. Those who love Christ should spend time seeking Him in prayer and reading his word. Seek to know him and treasure Him above all else. Focus on Christ. Seek to follow Him and walk as He walked. he also faced temptation and as Great High Priest is able to help those who are tempted. temptation is not sin but giving in to it is sin. Read Proverbs and list out what you learn about sexual sin and the immoral woman. Seek God’s wisdom and His perspective about these things. Do not be deceived brethren:

    Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10

    Reply
  3. julie

    Sometimes people use worldly wisdom in addressing this sin. sometimes we sound more like Oprah than biblical Christians. What if we used the sin of gossip instead….do we need to be healed of gossip? Do we say to the gossip, well most women struggle with this too? (you poor thing!) You know Jesus didn’t sit around coddling people and calling sin a “struggle”. He called people to repent and to forsake it. Christians need to man up!

    Reply
    1. Ariana

      At the same time that i do understand your statement, Julie, you have to remember that sexual sin is something that every person has the opportunity to avoid. Some people are forced into it at a young age and then later on in life have to come to a point where they overcome a forced addiction. Sexual sin is also a sin against yourself and while i feel that all sins are equal in the eyes of God, i do think that some sins have roots that dig differently than others. Theres a lot that goes into sexual sin and there really is healing that comes with sexual sin. In any sin, for that matter, a type of healing is required. For example, gossip. If a person who gossips stops gossiping thats great! But they may have needed to be healed of some things along the way like pride, insecurity or a spirit of comparison. Are we called to repent and forsake? of course. But if we are to really have transformed minds, then sometimes it takes a while.

      Reply
  4. Aj

    Thank you so much for this article! it has provided me with lots to think about and talk about with my boyfriend who has had struggles in the past with porn.

    Reply

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