BCC Staff Note: You’re reading Part Four in a four-part BCC Grace & Truth blog series on grace-based, gospel-centered approaches to overcoming lust and pornography. In addition to today’s post by Julie Ganschow (Ensnared by Lust), you can read you can read Part One by Luke Gilkerson here: 14 Gospel Promises That Trump the Power of Lust, Part Two by Heath Lambert here: Pornography, Radical Measures, and the Gospel, and Part Three by Deepak Reju here: Dumb Down Your Smart Phone.
Bound and Trapped
I grew up hearing that that women do not enjoy looking at naked bodies the way men do. Yet, women are being seduced into the world of pornography. Young and old, Christian and non-Christian, married and single, women are viewing pornography in record numbers. The temptation for involvement in sexual sin is enormous, particularly since women can now view anything from their couch in the living room.
“Patty” is a young woman who describes herself as addicted to erotica. She states she began reading it at the age of 14. She used to have to go to the library, but now accesses it on her tablet. She finds erotica exciting and regularly fantasizes she is the woman in the storyline of the book she is reading. She has tried many times to stop but always finds herself in the online bookstore for another download.
“Doris” is a middle-aged woman who began watching pornography with her husband when he suggested they view it as foreplay. She has participated in activities in which she is deeply ashamed, but cannot wait for the next time she can act out a scene. Doris has been downloading porn on her laptop when her husband is not home. She realized she has a problem and has tried to stop, but has failed repeatedly.
“Bella” is a woman whose marriage has fallen apart. Her husband has left her for another woman. It came as quite a shock to Bella who was quite happy in her marriage. She reads erotica and views on-line pornography as a way to cope with her sexual desires. She knows it is wrong and wants to stop but does not know what to do with her physical desires now that her husband is gone.
Women and Porn
Women like Patty, Doris, and Bella describe their attraction to pornography in surprising ways. They want excitement, stimulation, adventure, and the ability to do things in their imagination they would never dare do in reality. Pornography and erotica provide an escape from everyday life and allows them to experience things without risk. They believe it is pleasure without consequence.
Women keep their pornography use secret from other women because she fears judgment and shame. Many of those who have confided in their pastor’s wife or older women in their life tell me they have found little support and a lot of condemnation. The counsel they have received has amounted to “STOP IT!”
God’s Intention for Sex
In Genesis 2:18-25, we see God designed and “created” sex. Prior to the fall there was no shame between Adam and Eve, they reveled in each other’s bodies and their love was pure, sweet and rapturous. We only need to read a few verses of Song of Solomon to understand that what is detailed is the intimate joining of a husband and wife. That is how God intended it to be.
Our physical union is to reflect the oneness God and man are to have in Christ. The intimacy of the physical relationship between man and wife is to be a visual expression of the love between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:25-33).
The perversion of the sexual relationship is not accidental it is intentional. Our enemy the devil has taken this beautiful picture, this one flesh relationship and warped it in the most grotesque and sinful ways. In our western culture, sex sells everything—hamburgers, tires, beer, and hot wings only to name a few things.
When a woman indulges in sexual immorality and impurity, she participates in destroying the image and picture of what God intends for the intimate act of sex. There is nothing righteous about pornography; it leads to perversions of mind and body. A desire for pornography reveals a heart that is not set upon glorifying God, but is instead set upon feeding the sinful lusts of the flesh, something Scripture commands us to abandon.
“For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry” (1 Peter 4:3).
Debauchery (extreme indulgence in immorality) will be the inevitable result of pornography. While many claim to be able to “moderate” with pornography, statistically people gravitate toward more and more forbidden behaviors as they view it. This is evidence that the flesh grows more corrupt the more it is fed (Ephesians 4:22). Scripture is clear on the obligation to put to death the desires of the flesh.
“Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4).
Breaking free involves making a full and complete confession. She might consider fasting and praying before the Lord for repentance. She should ask Him to cleanse her heart of the images and words she has taken into her mind, and the desire for pornography.
She must learn how to control her own body (1 Thess. 4:3-8) and gain a proper view of godly sexuality in marriage.
Practically speaking, breaking free includes taking every step necessary to cut off access to pornography even if it means no Internet. While computer blocks and strict accountability are necessary for avoiding the near occasion of sin, they will only address the behavior.
While pornography is a problem, it is visible symptom of her self-centered and idolatrous heart. What she truly needs is change of heart, for what guides and motivates her heart is what will change her actions. Heart change is the only real hope for transformation.
Join the Conversation
How would you describe the critical importance of heart-level transformation in the life of a person with a pornography addiction?