If your life is in danger or you need medical assistance, please call 000   |   For mental health crisis support call Lifeline 13 11 14

Pornography

Pornography. A topic that is surrounded by much guilt and shame. A topic that we would prefer to keep in the shadows.

But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.

Ephesians 5:3

Statistics

A quick look at statistics tells us that we need to move the conversation on this topic into the light. The use of pornography is not limited to young, single men. Women, married men and even children are exposed to and consume porn. 94% of Australian men and 54% of women have viewed porn, alongside an estimated 80% of boys and 60% of girls. For more recent or current use, those numbers are slightly lower.

Pornographic content is everywhere, not only is it readily available via dedicated platforms, it trickles in through advertising, social media, and entertainment. We encounter nudity and soft porn in so many places and the more graphic and explicit content is readily available with a few clicks on our phones, tablets and PCs. Over 88% of the most popular porn is not just sexually explicit but will also involve some sort of violence.

Nothing New Under the Sun

Lustful desire, pleasures of the flesh and sexual fantasy are not new. The Bible warns us against them time and time again.

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 lustful intent had already committed adultery with her in his heart.

– Matthew 5:27-28

Porn, whether it be looking at the near-nude pictures of models in sports articles and magazines, or viewing explicit content on PornHub, is looking at images with lustful intent. It is committing adultery.

Addiction

Viewing porn has a great impact on the human brain. Most drugs are classed as a stimulant or a relaxant. Pornography functions as both a stimulant and a relaxant. Arousal triggers a ‘high’ effect through the release of dopamine, and causing an orgasm brings a ‘release’ effect via opiates.

Pornography is never completely satisfying. It is taking something that has been created good and twisting it so that it becomes something perverted. Sex and sexuality within the structures that God has ordained for them is good, sex between a married couple is beautiful and satisfying because of the release of endorphins.

Porn on the other hand often leaves the viewer unsatisfied and wanting more. For this reason, the viewer is left searching more graphic, obscene and violent images to achieve the same effect. Over time these pathways are cemented into our brains, and we demonstrate behaviours that are characteristic of someone with an addiction.

Relationships

We can believe the lie that our sexual behaviours are only impacting us, but this is far from the truth. Our porn usage filters into our everyday relationships. For some, viewing porn isn’t enough and they will act out sexually or even violently. For most people, the impact is less explicit. We begin to see those of the opposite (or even the same) sex, merely as sexual objects. For those who are married, they place the expectations of the images they view onto their spouse, even demanding they do more explicit or graphic sexual acts. For others they play the pornographic images in their mind during intercourse and others still cannot perform sexually at all.

But I say, walk by the spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

– Galatians 5:16

Pursue Purity

In a sexually saturated world, we have to work hard to pursue purity. Images can be found everywhere and we are inundated with lies from the world about sex and sexuality that are opposed to what we learn from scripture.

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

– Psalm 119:37

Some practical steps that you can take for yourself or someone you care about are:

Use Filtering Software. There are different options available that can be installed on computers and phones that make porn less accessible.

Accountability. Find a friend/mentor/small group that you trust so that you can be truly honest with them about your struggles and the temptations you face.

Prayer. Pray that you can grow in understanding of the horror of your sin before God and the impact that it has on your relationships.

Fight for the truth. Identify the lies in your life about sex and sexuality and fight them with scriptural truths. Memorise the scriptures that speak to these truths.

Grow in your relationship with God and his people. Immerse yourself in God’s gifts of grace.

Remember that you are not alone. You have the Holy Spirit to strengthen and sustain you in this fight for purity.

Recommended Books and Resources

Help! My kids are viewing pornographyTim Challies

Help! He's Struggling with PornographyBrian Croft and Phil Newton

Help! She's Struggling with PornographyRachel Coyle

Pornography: Slaying the Dragon David Powlison

Temptation: Fighting the UrgeTim Lane

It's all about Me: the Problem with MasturbationWinston Smith

Guard Your Heart: Overcoming the Evil of PornographyHank Van Der Woerd, Wybren H. Oord and Dirk Poppe

Pornography: Fighting for PurityDeepak Reju

Making all things New: Restoring Joy to the Sexually BrokenDavid Powlison

Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power ofHeath Lambert

Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys who are Sick of Porn Tim Challies

Closing the Window: Steps to Living Porn FreeTim Chester

Sex isn't the Problem - Lust is Joshua Harris

Restored: A Woman’s Guide to Overcoming PornographyAlice Taylor

Redeem Your Marriage: Hope for Husbands who have Hurt through PornographyC. W. Solomon

Reclaim Your Marriage: Grace for Wives who have been Hurt by PornographyJenny Solomon

*We have a selection of books in the Trellis Library that are available for loan. If you would like to borrow a book, please get in touch with us to find out if we have a copy available. 

Helpful Articles

At the Cross

At the Cross

In our celebrations of Easter, we find our hearts and eyes directed toward the cross of Christ, reflecting on the redemption that he has brought and what this means for our lives today. Crucifixion...

Read More