Starting this week, I am writing a 5-part series on pornography, and it’s effect on the person(s) involved, and the hope available to those who want to overcome it. Someone might be thinking, “Why do I need to ‘overcome’ pornography? What’s so bad about it?” You may not see pornography as a bad thing. You might actually view pornography as something that helps you get through your day, especially those stressful days. However, for me, as a follower of Jesus, I do believe pornography is destructive and a sexual sin even. The world might use the term sexual misconduct, and that is fine as well. No matter what we call it, my personal opinion is that pornography contains a destructive power within it, which can cripple our body, mind, soul, and relationships.
Dr. Mary Anne Layden, co-director of the Sexual Trauma and Psychopathology Program at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Cognitive Therapy, writes that "Porn is the most concerning thing to psychological health that I know of existing today. The internet is a perfect drug delivery system because you are anonymous, aroused and have role models for these behaviors. To have drug pumped into your house 24/7, free, and children know how to use it better than grown-ups know how to use it -- it's a perfect delivery system if we want to have a whole generation of young addicts who will never have the drug out of their mind."
Shelley Lubben, Ex-Porn Star and Executive Director of Pink Cross Foundation writes "Most of the people who join the porn industry come from broken homes. Many of the girls are sexually abused. So the porn industry actually lures in these kind of people to exploit them. So basically when someone is watching pornography, what you're really doing is contributing to the demise and destruction of adult survivors of sexual child abuse who are on drugs and have physical disease. That's really what you're watching because I promise you, nobody in that industry is healthy."
Pornography is a problem and it is negatively affecting men and women in our world today. Every year, I get the privilege to mentor many young men and the percentage of those young men who are observing pornography or some other form of sexual addiction is staggering. Every week, it seems that I hear a story about a pastor or someone else that is in the middle of a divorce, due primarily to some form of sexual sin. However, as I am writing this, I feel somewhat guilty for talking about these things, and I hope I am not coming across as "doom and gloom" or “holier than thou.” Sexual sin has not and is not absent from my life. There was a time during my high school and early college years, where I would say that I viewed pornography regularly. By the grace of God, it has been years since my eyes have seen pornography, but that does not mean that I do not struggle with lust at times today. If there was any chance of me being prideful today, I simply remember Jesus words when he told his disciples, “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue simply by staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices—they're also corrupt “(The MSG). On this earth, I don’t believe my mind and heart will ever be fully pure, even though I continue to grow in purity. And if you were to see a movie reel of my mind at times, you would think I am the worst sinner that has ever existed.
So, in this series of blog posts, I am NOT casting stones. I am simply wanting to continue a conversation that so many brave men and women have been having for years. I want to bring awareness and give knowledge. I want to ultimately bring hope - lasting hope. As some that already know me, you know that I believe that anyone can have victory over sexual sin. Personally, I believe in a wholistic approach of healing - one that is physical, behavioral, psychological, emotional, relational, and spiritual. In this post and future posts, I pray that the Lord would bring healing if you are struggling or if you know someone else who is struggling with sexual sin.