3 Ways Christian Leaders Win the Battle Against Pornography
Everyone experiences temptation. You’re tempted to scream at someone during the drive home. That’s a temptation to anger. Or maybe you go for that second plate of food, adding to an already swollen waste line. A temptation to gluttony. Or maybe there’s someone paying special attention to you at the office. Next thing you know your phone lights up. A text inviting you to dinner. Enticing. The problem is, you’re married. A temptation to adultery.
Temptations vary from sex to suicide, from food to fornication. But the biggest one you hear among Christian leaders is porn. I don’t mean you hear it in churches. I mean in small circles where guys speak openly with one another. If they do at all. I speak for the men, though I realize women struggle with this too.
Many leaders admit to struggling with pornography. Either they used to watch it and try not to. Or they watch it from time to time on a weekly or even daily basis. I’ve been friends with upstanding guys who tried with great effort to break free from the chains of addiction in this regard.
For the non-Christian there’s usually no dilemma. Some married couples watch pornography together. Heck, some people are swingers. But for most men, it’s the occasional adult video watched on Youtube. Most unbelieving men don’t give it a second thought. Besides, in a world with Hooters, countless strip clubs, constant nudity in films, what’s the big deal?
Aside from the culture around us, the biggest problem is the computer in front of us. Take a long look at this staggering infographic.
But for the Christian leader, the follower of Christ, pornography is off limits. But why?
The Bible reveals that God did something amazing when He created humanity. He created family. Not a bunch of individuals, isolated in random chaos. But families. Units of people bound together in love. A place where, ideally, you experience healthy relationships, acceptance, encouragement, and care. And for husband and wife, that leads to sex.
God created sex to do two things– enhance unity and joy between a man and woman, and to create children. Sex creates a bond both emotionally and spiritually. Sex enhances a commitment that man and wife make together.
The Bible also reveals that love is a matter of the heart. So is attraction and erotic passion. God created these things to be experienced in a certain context – husband and wife in marriage.
This bond of commitment is called love. Love is like a house with a roof. The roof is God’s design of unity. The walls of this house are formed by choice, desire, sex, and devotion. Without healthy experiences in each area, the roof begins to crumble in.
The problem with pornography is that it tears down the walls of desire, sex, and devotion. Why would any Christian woman want to be intimate with her husband after he watched other women give sexual pleasure to other men?
Jesus said that adultery is a matter of the heart. So when a man lusts after a woman in a video, he’s committing adultery in his heart. He’s turning away from his wife and finding pleasure in another woman – a complete stranger who only offers one form of twisted love.
Usually, men don’t watch porn once. They go to it again and again. The seeds of desire grow into a thorn bush of addiction. Men caught in the thicket have to do one thing to keep feeding their secret sin – lie about it. All addicts lie to protect their secret treasures. And for Christian Leaders, protecting their reputation can lead to their demise. Here’s one Christian leader’s story of porn, failure, and redemption. Get ready to be blown away.
What woman would respect a man who lies by covering up his unfaithfulness? Why should she?
Since becoming a Christian at twenty two years old, I made a choice never to watch porn. I had heard enough of my new Christian friends admit to the struggle. I knew I wanted to preach and teach about the Bible. And I knew that giving in to such a temptation would render me unfit to speak about “self control, resisting temptation, and faithfulness.” By God’s grace it’s been fourteen years and I’ve never viewed porn.
As a leader in my home I can’t. How could I love my wife well and watch porn? She deserves a faithful man. How could I lead my daughter well and be the kind of Dad she can look up to if I gaze upon the naked bodies of other women? I’m glad I can experience healthy sexuality and a strong family unity. To me, it’s the most important thing on earth.
I’ll protect my family against all threats from without and within. That means I form a defense around my heart like a castle. There’s a moat, a draw bridge, archers, and heavy walls to protect me against temptations. But the Devil has insnared many Christian leaders with this one vice. So how do I walk in freedom? Here’s three ways that work for me personally. But everyone needs different tactics depending on their personality, strengths, and weaknesses.
Build A Moat Around Your Castle
The moat around my castle is prayer. The Bible says, “Resist the Devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and he will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8). The strongest resistance I can offer is the power of God. And God gives me His strength in prayer. I may be weak, but Jesus offers more power than I could ever need. If I call upon Him for victory, He answers every time.
Build Walls Around Your Heart
The walls around my castle are my vision of a beautiful life. I love my life (most of the time!). I love my marriage. I’m so thankful for it. My wife tells me that I’m the perfect guy for her. Sure, I’ve got my faults. But to hear her say that means the world to me. And my little girl loves me too. I won’t do anything that would weaken their respect for me. I want us to live a long life of joy and goodness together as a family. I want my daughter to date godly men one day because her daddy gave her an unshakable example (of faithfullness, not perfection). That vision forms a powerful wall around my heart.
Fortify with Friendly Archers
The archers are my friends. I’ve got a few good men I rely on. I can share anything with them. We’ve prayed together, laughed together, and even cried together before. I rely on them and they rely on me. We pray for one another and our families often. We don’t always pray together, but I try to keep them in my weekly prayers. And I ask them to pray for me too. There’s nothing like a prayer guided arrow to overwhelm any schemes of the enemy. “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity” (Prov. 17:17).
Victory feels great. I want to keep it that way. I don’t offer steps. Steps don’t work. You need a specific strategy that works for you. I just want to call Christian men to stand firm. Stand against the over-sexualized culture. For the sake of your own dignity. For the sake of your family. Fifteen minutes of pleasure isn’t worth a family in pain.
Maybe you’ve failed in this area. It’s time to ask for help, ask for forgiveness from those you’ve hurt, and start walking in freedom. Seek and you shall find. Do nothing and…you already know what happens.
Maybe you are in the throws of addiction. Romans chapter six says you become a slave of what you give your heart too. Either God or the vices of this world. Seek wise council. Wage a war. Ask for help. God answers prayer, and you can experience freedom. Don’t believe the lie that you can’t. It’s a lie.
I felt compelled to write this because for some reason no one is talking about it. You don’t read about it in the news. You don’t hear about it in most pulpits. But men and women everywhere are covered in this plague of twisted sexuality.
It’s time to resist the temptation of porn. It’s time to build our castles. It’s time to build a legacy we can look back on with joy.