Laurie begins by sharing a letter from one of her readers. Here are some parts of the letter that resonated with me.
“I’m grieving the loss of my young womanhood and the countless nights I went to bed wounded in heart and frustrated sexually. It’s hard to look at my face in mid-life and wonder how my husband rejected me when I was at my best—I was really pretty.”
“I suffered terrible guilt from the increasing breakdowns I was having due to exhaustion. When I fell apart because I was overly exhausted or confused by lies, I was viewed as “the problem.”
“I constantly wonder what I could have done differently. The question absolutely hounds me! I was living within the context of a lie. I wasn’t responsible for that lie. The false data gave me wrong clues as well as wrong ideas about myself, the Lord and my husband. Looking back, the one thing I should have done is pray more for truth.”
THE TRUTH ABOUT PORNOGRAPHY
Hurting’s letter is only one of many hundreds of letters that poured in after the publication of my book, An Affair of the Mind, which explores the devastating impact pornography has on marriages. I am saddened to discover that so many others have experienced the betrayal that pornography brings to a marriage.
My letter writers and I are not alone. Studies show that 40 percent to 50 percent of Christian men are involved in pornography. Wondering if your husband is one of them is scary.
But, some of you already know. Some of you have friends who are suffering through this. Some of you are wondering what you should tell your teens about why they should avoid X-rated Web sites.
Whatever your situation, the truth will set you free to be a healthy wife, supportive friend and loving mother. So let’s look at some of the truths about pornography.
Pornography is addictive. Dr. Mary Ann Layden, Director for the Center for Cognitive Therapy, says that an addiction to pornography is harder to break than a cocaine addiction and that recovery from it is more likely to result in relapse than any other addiction. Why?
When you view pornography, a powerful mix of hormones is released in the brain. Two hundred times more potent than morphine and more addictive than cocaine—endorphins and enkephalins bring on a “rush.” The brain is just as driven to want this “rush” as a drug addict’s body is driven to want drugs.
Pornography causes sexual dysfunction. Many people believe that pornography, especially “soft-core” erotica, is simply a depiction of normal, healthy heterosexuality. Nothing could be further from the truth. Pornography contains much false, misleading and scientifically inaccurate information about sexuality, especially female sexual nature and response.
For example, pornography portrays an endless round of thrilling sexual escapades with an endless bevy of breathless, hot-blooded babes and stud-muffins. The not-so-subtle message is that these babes and stud-muffins are more breathless and hot-blooded if you’re not married to them. This is more fantasy than fact.
Pornography can cause sexual dysfunction in other ways. Those who use pornography often develop “sexual anorexia.” This means they are unable or unwilling to enter into a sexual relationship with their spouses.
Sometimes this is because shame about the things they have done in secret makes them want to hide from their spouses. Other times it’s because they are angry with their spouses for not agreeing to act out a pornographic fantasy. Either way, sex is infrequent, and the innocent spouse wonders why he or she is no longer desirable.
Finally, pornography usage can lead to sexual dissatisfaction. Being compared to some unrealistic standard is a real turn-off. Women who clean bathrooms, make lunches and kiss boo-boos can’t compete with women, who are pumped up, tucked up and air-brushed.
I really hope you guys were left with something from this powerful post. If you are one of those plagued by this seemingly harmless addiction, you have to understand the ramifications of what you are getting yourself into. God has clearly indicated that it is a sin to look lustfully at a woman (Matt. 4:27-29) and cautions us about visual enticement (Prov. 6:25-27). As children of God, our body is meant to be the temple of the Holy Spirit and this must be holy in the sight of God. This includes our eyes and our desires.
For whatever reason you may have for indulging in this addiction, from early to constant exposure to this, materials at home or at work, sexual abuse in the past, or even curiosity, it is possible to have freedom (Romans 6:18). The first step is to acknowledge that you have a problem. Repent from this sinful practice and replace it with Christian disciplines such as prayer, reading the Bible, fellowship with Christians, and worshiping God. A Godly and mature accountability partner can help you resist temptation. If you truly seek to change, your life can be transformed and you can lead a holy life.
If you are struggling with this and would like prayer, please message me, I would love to pray with you.