It is truly crazy how the mind of man works. Especially, with the addiction to pornography or sex addiction. Hedonism, immorality, debauchery, adultery, rape, pedophilia, sexual slavery, etc. Just a short list of some of the things that come to mind after such addictions plus what has been noted in the news. Though many may not wish to hear this, I’ll say it anyway. It is within the confines of marriage where sex with your “spouse” is permitted, biblically. The primary purpose of marriage is to grow and build up society (Genesis 1:28) with it’s secondary purpose being companionship (Genesis 2:18) .
However, to get back to this post, and purpose at hand, pornography is a diversion from the natural cultivation of one’s sexuality. Pornography is a destroyer of lives, minds, sexual drives, and perceptions. The neuro-intoxication of hope, expectation, promise, misguided love, etc. will drive a person madly insane. Such an intoxication to the human psyche creates a false yearning for something that isn’t there for them. But men lurch forward towards it, regardless. At a young age, it steals the innocence that will be shattered forever – never to be regained. This innocence (or the natural cultivation of one’s sexuality or sexual experience(s)) destroys any hope of a normal sexual experience. Which will, of course, be the potential harm – in-that – they will desire the woman of their fantasy (porn world), but will always be forced to settle for someone far lower than these false standards they’ve set-up in their fantasy mind.
Pornography instills a hope, a dream, a fantasy of what to expect during a sexual encounter, and will typically play out that scenario. Unfortunately, that expectation will almost never be met in reality. When it comes to such things, people find little room for God on His moral standards. But God has a certain way that things should be done, or played out – normal and natural. According to Genesis 8:21, “…every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood...” and, therefore, man through his free will power to choose, chose to do things following a moral path or an immoral path. Kids, being kids, who are very inquisitive about the human body almost and invariably always will go along with peer pressure of friends to look, touch, etc. The great problem with this, is that kids will give in to excess if it feels good, and thus anything, such as pornography, that they give in to will be exciting and will be tougher to quit. Tougher than quitting smoking, or some drugs of choice, these days.
Jesus reminded, stated emphatically, in truth, that not just the physical act of adultery, but entertaining the thought of actively thinking about a woman lustfully, makes us guilty of adultery.
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” ~Matthew 5:28
Pornography, in the heart and eyes of man, is a disaster waiting for a time and place to happen! Why? You ask…at least I surmise you did…
- Misleads us from who we truly need to be
- Each time we look at another picture, we cheat on our spouse
- We are lead on a path, which potentially has even greater consequences:
- separation from God
- separation from spouse
- divorce from spouse
- loss of friends
- loss of money
- loss of time
- loss of children
- Addictive behavior toward pornography tends to require more and more pornography
- without actual enjoyment of the act of sexual behavior
- requiring more intensified pornography as time continues
- …and the list can go on and on…
We have also been told by Jesus:
“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” ~Matt 12:33-37
A strong case can be made that we will give account on not just what we have done or spoken, but what we thought and what we intended, as well. All that is stored in our hearts will eventually come out of our mouths…in anger, in jest, in love, in hate… We have a great problem of letting our thoughts be made known when, in fact, we should keep our mouths shut! We are just built and trained up like that. With an addiction to pornography, generally speaking, love is not in our hearts; but rather a lust, a longing, and a yearning for more of the same. However, at some point in time, that which you are viewing is, or becomes, too tame and so something far more intense is needed to attain that heightened sense of quasi-sexual gratification that shocks the mind just enough and which appeals to the eye.
Quite literally, pornography is one of the most addictive drugs out there due to the chemical cocktail which is set off in our brains. There are several chemicals set off in the brain during the viewing of pornography, which include: Testosterone, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Endogenous Opiates. Because, in my humble opinion, it tantalizes the mind, appeals to the eye, titillates the senses, and taps into the arousal of the human sexuality, and once your motor gets running it is hard to stop.
“Viewing pornography for sexual arousal and using it to produce the release and euphoria of orgasm provides a merely transient fix to any number of psychological problems.” ~William Struthers, PhD
I was reading an article on the Sexually Incompetent Men: The Neutering Effect of Pornography which was highlighting the “Playboy Philosophy.” The article’s release had mentioned the commemoration of the 60th anniversary (in 2013) of the publication of Playboy Magazine. However, the “Playboy Philosophy” was noted as the fact that women are objects which men can use pictorially for their auto-erotica behaviors. In essence, in this philosophy sex is simply a release mechanism while allowing for the permissible lusting after the perfect woman; unfortunately, when the man, in question, meets up with the woman and the sexual encounter crops up — they use the woman as the release mechanism for their lusting and their sexual tension, as opposed to the woman to be loved as God intended. This is not touching on the damage done to a married couple within this scenario. Married, or not, the man has become incompetent with respect to fusing love and intimacy and the act of having sex. Unfortunately, when his incompetency is brought into the limelight, he eventually becomes a sexual anorexic partner, problems with erectile dysfunction, lack of libido, etc., thereby holding off sex, or stopping altogether. There are no, nor have there ever been any quick fixes to this problem of addiction. It matters not if it is “soft-core” or “hard-core” pornography, the eventual increase of intensity and fetish is inevitable. In it’s basic mantra porn, in effect, becomes “sex by yourself, for yourself.”
According to the Family Research Council, pornography affects the entire family, and in some ways the entire community, and society as a whole. It is not just an individual problem with respect to the larger picture. Pornography is a major threat to the family, familial relationships, marriages, societal interactions, and interpersonal relationships. It is not a private choice without public consequences! Pornography, in essence, erodes and eventually eliminates an affectionate family life. According to one article, the money that has exchanged hands is roughly $16.9 Billion and climbing, and that is annual and just in the US. Considering the same industry was just 40 years ago grossing approximately $5-$10 Million annually. These figures show an exponential growth of 1,000%+. Which is great for any business, but bad for the morals within society.
Cybersex is as devastating to the family as a real life extra-marital affair, which creates a vacuum effect of alienation, loneliness, and division. All of which tends to destroy one’s confidence due to the disaffectionate attitude that is in the air. Man is not an island, people can tell what is going on especially within the household, despite the silence. Sometimes, the silence can be deafening!
The unfortunate truth is commercialism, differing philosophies, pornography, among many other things in life treat and teach that women & men are expendable, replaceable, plug-n-play toys (if you will.) There is no intrinsic value once the honeymoon is over…then it is on to the next toy to conquer. Until one day, you wake up and see that you’ve had 20+ partners and 3-5 spouses and you wonder what was wrong with them?
We ARE known by the fruit we produce, and we (with the help of porn) speak things among our friends that make us just one of the guys, but not very good Christians.We are not meant to be just one of the guys, but God intended us to be leaders and guides for others in our own right. God has a purpose for us to be the light among the darkness that surrounds us, showing them the way to salvation throughout this world.
In the beginning, marriage was perfect because one man was made for one woman. That’s it! Jesus told us: “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.” (Matthew 19:8-9) But to understand truly you must look into the Old Testament:
“If a man marries a woman who becomes displeasing to him because he finds something indecent about her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, and if after she leaves his house she becomes the wife of another man, and her second husband dislikes her and writes her a certificate of divorce, gives it to her and sends her from his house, or if he dies, then her first husband, who divorced her, is not allowed to marry her again after she has been defiled. That would be detestable in the eyes of the Lord. Do not bring sin upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.” ~Deuteronomy 24:1-4 NIV
Notice the defining factor in the Old Testament reference: “he finds something indecent about her” where the husband must find something indecent about her…adultery is what Jesus told us, and that fits. It is not for just any reason. Just because you didn’t like the way she snored, kept house, babied the children, etc. We were made “…one flesh…” (Genesis 2:23-25) for a reason. We were meant to be together until our dying breath and we were not intended to be expendable or replaceable. But we men always find a way to look in another direction, and yet fail to understand that if our relationship with our wife is that bad…there was a reason, but we refuse to see ourselves as part of the problem. Hence, we never actually get to repair the problem causing the bad relationship…ourselves! Consider the Muslim world, today, and their belief of honor killing of wives and daughters because they were raped, in some cases by their own family member. hmmmmmmmmm…
Marriage was never intended to go stale, people just grow apart that way and fail to pay attention to the signs. Instead of heading problems off before they become major problems, we procrastinate and let them fester. Another unfortunate truth is that as people grow older, they grow up in certain ways, their views change, and they fail to communicate; thereby, failing to grow together and in the same direction. Again, also unfortunate, is that both men and women escape on-line, as well as other venues. Some to Facebook, some to WordPress (or other blog sites), some to Instagram, etc. And others move on to porn sites or dating sites for cheaters, or other illicit sites for their fancy. We are each responsible for our own marriages, we who are the two who became one flesh. We owe that obligation to our spouse and to our Creator. Men and women are responsible for the relationship they hold with one another, but the allow themselves to be captivated and begin to fantasize and then their habit goes further into the drain…along with their relationship. Of course the pornographic problem is primarily addicting to men, there are some women who fall into such a trap, as well.
Over the past 30 years, porn has become more accessible and as technology gets stronger, faster, and further reaching…so will the power of pornography and all of it’s raunchiness. Because of our attraction to and addiction to pornography — we have become “…slaves to deviancy, corruption and immorality…” According to Joe Carter, his article ISSUE ANALYSIS: THEE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY ON THE MALE BRAIN:
- Pornography hijacks the normal biological response in men
- The Coolidge Effect: Why Internet pornography is so addictive
- Pornography leads to “arousal addiction”
- Pornography leads to sexual desensitization
- Internet pornography is uniquely harmful
- Pornography use can cause psychological and physiological impairment
- Pornography deforms sexual character
It is within the realm of creating a deeper intimacy where pornography takes the sexuality of two individuals out of it’s intended purpose. We people, men mostly, have become subjects of consumption; it is not only with respect to our dignity, sociological, and our psychological aspects of life that are harmed, but also, and in my opinion more importantly, our spiritual lives.
The need for human intimacy is ongoing in our lives. just as we have need for food, water & air — our need for intimacy continues on throughout our lives, as well. Pornography is harmful for the viewer, their partner, as well as, the ones involved that are on display for all to see (the subject of the picture.) Pornography provides a facade for feeding such a need for false sense of intimacy, and is a hollow and vain attempt at it. The porn industry provides objectification & commoditization of all people involved. The end result is isolation, disconnectedness, and depravity.
According to William M. Struthers, PhD, the human body consumes & digests food similarly to the way our brain consumes stimuli & information. The information we take in through the eyes and other senses, is digested and stored as meaning and memories. Pornography being sexually based is inherently powerful due to the stimuli of emotion and it is therefore forced upon the brain and is thus part of the fabric of the mind. Porn, more often than not, affects people on the sexual behaviors, attitudes, reactions, & interactions with others of the opposite sex, and makes them less empathetic for their plight.
In essence, addiction to pornography maintains an ongoing influx of sexual stimuli (thus, placing that stimuli at the forefront of the brain) and the brain integrates what is being fed to it as memories, meaning, and as reference to any similar actions. This is what the brain records. The brain does not differentiate importance, it simply records and assimilates through the aid of senses and emotion. Those memories which are strongest are those which are associated with the most input (all five senses and emotion.) To one with the most sensory input with the addition of emotional input becomes the strongest memory and the most prevalent experience. Such experiences can create memory flashbacks to that time.
While all men’s attention can be caught by their eye, some are strong enough to not look or give it a second thought. Others tend to ogle and others just a glimpse, I was 10-12 years old when I was introduced by such a thing. “…inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood…” (Genesis 8:21) Knowing this, in order to change one must recognize how the mind reacts to and processes such stimuli just to figure out a way in which to stop it. I understand that:
“All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” ~Psalm 14:3
We all possess habits of sin that need to be broken and stopped! Those bonds that tie us and anchor us to be slaves to a corrupt nature of sinfulness. The only way to break those bindings are to submit ourselves, willingly, to God’s moral laws, rules, statutes, and commandments. We must change what we feed our minds. We must occupy our time with something of good, moral, & just. These habits of sin do not change on their own — we must submit our minds to our will, according to God’s word; feeding it consistently & constantly with good things to ponder, meditate on, and be guided by. I have found that addiction, like any other, was fed by inaction and the need to occupy my time with something. Hence, pornography is also fed by just watching normal television, not just the pay channels anymore, due to the high quantity of sexual innuendo and blatant overt sexual connotations, etc.
By changing your shift at work, your personal habits, what you do or don’t do in your down time, can go far and wide to changing your life, as a whole. I chosen to listen to more radio and less television since I read “The Agenda.” For the most part, this habit of listening to the radio is even on hold with respect to the great political debacle that is destined to screw up this fine nation. Believe it, or not, quitting a thirteen year long habit of smoking, upwards to 3 packs a day, was far easier than dealing with porn. After reading the book, The Agenda: The homosexual plan to change America by
“…He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart…” ~1 Corinthians 4:5
There are other passages which infer the same, but I will not clutter up the blog with an over abundance. Because you must know that if God has given us the gift of free will, then we can freely choose to follow His ways or not! The old adage stands true today,
“Love the sinner, hate the sin.”
Which is derived from a letter by Saint Augustine (354-430) possessed the statement, “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum,” which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.” Just a little historical note there. Back to our point…God seeks for us all to be saved, to follow Him, & His word. But we must choose to do so of our own free will. This is part of the nature of man — his ability to follow God’s ways or reject them; thereby, choosing a path of seeking righteousness or choosing a sinful path in life.
Also, according to Struthers another relevant finding with respect to brain research is what is called “mirror neurons.” These neurons make up a matrix in the frontal & parietal lobes and are part of the network which mimic behavior. That is what you learned, or remember, and either mimic that behavior or take what was learned and apply that similar behavior in similar situation. this area of the bran that equates to the planning out of a behavior. the unfortunate truth of all this, when a man acts out (often by masturbation) it leads to both hormonal & neurological consequences ; which are designed to focus his attention to the object (porn instead of his spouse.) God’s original plan was, in-fact, perfect at creation. Upon the creation of woman as man’s companion, all things were perfect because man and woman complimented each other for the perfect purposes that God intended. To be companion and to procreate with one another. Man and woman were the foci of each others sexual needs and urges. This was why,
“That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” ~Genesis 2:24
In conclusion, God loves each and every one of us! If God did not, there is a belief that if God did not think about us or love us that we would no longer exist. God wants us all to enter into His kingdom & be adjudicated “good and faithful servants.” Jesus spoke of such things in His parables to all where many are invited but few are chosen (see Matthew 22:14.) Consider that for a bit…
God Bless & Godspeed!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD
Sexually Incompetent Men: The Neutering Effect of Pornography By Stephen Arterburn THE EFFECTS OF PORNOGRAPHY ON INDIVIDUALS, MARRIAGE, FAMILY AND COMMUNITY by Pat Fagan