Is watching pornography a sin for married Christians? This was the question one of our followers asked on Twitter.
Quick question for christians on my timeline: Is watching pornography a sin for married christians?
— K. (@KechyWoode) March 1, 2019
Honestly, the high rate at which Christians are involved in pornography is quite alarming- more than we are aware of. It’s easy to assume that all these jolly looking people, smiling with their arms clutched to their Bibles are immune to the trap of pornography. This is not true. I’ll share some interesting statistics about porn and the church – just to add some perspective:
- 70% of Christian youth pastors report that they have had at least one teen come to them for help in dealing with pornography in the past 12 months.
- 68% of church-going men and over 50% of pastors view porn on a regular basis. Of young Christian adults (18-24 years old), 76% actively search for porn.
- Only 13% of self-identified Christian women say they never watch porn—87% of Christian women have watched porn.
- 57% of pastors say porn addiction is the most damaging issue in their congregation. And 69% say porn has adversely impacted the church.
- Only 7% of pastors say their church has a program to help people struggling with pornography.
(Source: Charisma News)
From these stats, we realize that porn is a monster dwelling amongst us – and the church doesn’t seem to be taking any measures to combat it. The high rate of pornography is for a number of reasons- which I will share in subsequent paragraphs.
Firstly, it is due to our denial of its presence and then, subsequent rationalization. You’d hear excuses like: Well, I’m not participating in the sin, I’m just watching.
The second most common cause for the high rate of porn viewers in the church is the “I am married now” excuse. Many people sincerely believe there is nothing wrong in viewing pornography with your spouse.
You are not a different kind of Christian because you are married. You are not just any other spouse because you are a Christian, it is God’s preepts that guides your thoughts and actions, not the society’s. God’s overall desires, the things he frowns at won’t change because you are married, except sex of course, which has to be between you and your spouse. God’s expectation- for us to be holy and to live a life worthy of His calling- is still the same, regardless of our marital status.
From the Bible, we see that your partner ALONE is permitted to be the object of your pleasure. No third party is involved- even if it is through a screen. There are many excuses as to why married people view porn. Some say it’s for enlightenment, education or arousal but REALLY?! There are several other ways this can be achieved.From the Bible, we see that your partner ALONE is permitted to be the object of your pleasure. No third party is involved- even if it is through a screen. Click To Tweet There are many excuses as to why married people view porn. Some say it's for enlightenment, education or arousal but REALLY?! There are several other ways this can be achieved. Click To Tweet
“…Rejoice in the wife of your youth…may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love. Why, my son, be intoxicated with another man’s wife?” Proverbs 5:18-19
If Solomon’s words are not convincing enough, Jesus Christ, in His first public sermon, said these words:
“But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” Matthew 5:28 (Any other woman except his wife).
The fact that you are viewing another woman lustfully- in the presence of your wife or with her permission- doesn’t make it acceptable.
Pornography is a gross misuse of the gift of sexuality. The Bible encourages us to stay away from all form of uncleanliness, especially unclean thoughts. We know how that many unclean scenes are played as porn (homosexuality, bestiality, sex between more than two people, sex with minors and all sorts). What happens is when you continually view these things, you allow for impure thoughts which start to breed iniquity. This is why the Bible says to guard the heart.The fact that you are viewing another woman lustfully- in the presence of your wife or with her permission- doesn’t make it acceptable. Click To Tweet We know how that many unclean scenes are played as porn (homosexuality, bestiality, sex between more than two people, sex with minors...) and the Bible encourages us to stay away from all form of uncleanliness. Click To Tweet
The effects of pornography are often underestimated. Interestingly, Pornography increases marital infidelity by more than 300 percent. How is it then that what is supposed to ‘educate, enlighten and strengthen your bond’ causes enormous problems? It is simply because pornography is a lie sugarcoated to look like truth. Whether you are married or not, pornography is not harmless (as the society makes it seem).Pornography increases marital infidelity by more than 300%. How is it then that what is supposed to ‘educate, enlighten and strengthen your bond’ causes enormous problems? Click To Tweet
Here are few effects of pornography (of which married people are not excluded):
- Pornography leads to a visual distortion of sexuality and a general distortion of the reality of sex.
- It leads to objectifying of the opposite sex and increased appetite for sexual violence
- There is less satisfaction amongst the married ones because they mentally compare their spouse to the many actors they have watched – which is such a high expectation to have of anyone. As you would guess, nobody ever meets up, hence the constant dissatisfaction.
- Pornography is also highly addictive and leads to sexually compulsive behaviours (a decline in one’s capacity to carry out other major tasks in life). This happens because porn actually affects the brain. Studies show that those involved in porn are less connected and less active.
- • For the believer, there is also the constant guilt which oftentimes affects their relationship with God
These are just a few. The list is endless. However, whether married or single, whether as believers or unbelievers, porn is not as harmless as the society makes it seem. For us as children of God, the expectation is even higher for us- but there is grace to resist. If you are not entangled in this trap, remain free in the liberty Christ has called you to. If you already are entangled, do not despair. God’s grace is available to help and deliver. Seek help AS SOON AS YOU CAN.