I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day. What better day than today to write the next installment of this blog series? I’ve been talking in the past few posts about how believing the gospel and breaking free from porn blesses you. OK, that’s all good, but let’s get our eyes off ourselves for a moment and talk about how porn addiction affects women, especially the ones we love. I’ve seen porn addiction blow up more families and relationships than a monkey with a shotgun in a grenade factory.

I especially want to challenge my bros with one of the great motivators to help you to avoid temptation: your love for your wife.

Some of you young single dudes are checking out right now. “I’m not married, and won’t be any time soon!” you’re reasoning. Chill for a minute and consider the possibility that avoiding the perils of porn is as important to you as it is for the married man. Do you believe you will be married one day? Your bride-to-be is out there somewhere. You may not know her name or what she looks like, but she is being prepared for you by our sovereign Lord. When you choose to look at porn, you are dishonoring your bride-to-be and potentially sowing seeds of destruction in your future relationships. God forgives, to be sure, but if you enter marriage with a porn addiction, you’ve started your marriage off on a seriously bad foot, and may not survive. There’s nothing that destroys a woman’s sense of beauty, worth, and security more than when her man looks at pornography.

I’ve vacationed on the coast of North Carolina more than once. Many of the beachfront houses don’t have foundations like the kind you’d normally see, but are built on huge timbers stuck vertically into the ground, so that you can even drive your car right under the house. It’s these timbers that give the house security and strength. It’s these timbers that keep the house intact when the stormy winds blow. When a husband looks at porn, it destroys the timbers not only of your relationship, but of your wife’s very sense of well-being.

Married men, please learn to hate pornography. Proverbs 8:13 says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil.” This does not mean that you lose your sex drive or hate attractive women. It means that you hate the damage that sin does to you and to those you love. I encourage you to have a “DVD” on your mental shelf of how awful it would be to have to tell your wife that you’re watching other people have sex. Imagine how much that would hurt her and how crushed she would be. Or imagine trying to explain to your children why Mommy is mad at Daddy, or worse, why Mommy asked Daddy to leave. If you have young kids, imagine years from now, looking into the eyes of your grown son, trying to figure out how to answer him when he asks, “Dad, why did you do that to Mom?” Or explaining to your daughters that their father likes to look at young naked women.

Have you ever seen the brokenness of a woman whose husband has chosen porn over her, or rejected her for another woman? How sad.

I’m not trying to condemn anyone, but show us the awfulness of pornography, and its impact on those dear to us. Further, I’m hoping we can see the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Politician John Edwards became America’s villain when he had an affair while his wife was recovering from cancer. Before we take the moral high ground too fast, consider that this is exactly what you do to your wife when you look at porn. Like you, she’s being restored by the Lord, and God has chosen to use you in the process. You undermine that work when you choose to drool over two $5,000 balloons surgically attached to some busty porn star’s chest instead of keeping yourself for your wife alone.

How depraved is our sin nature? Think about it, guys! Our wives’ bodies suffer the trauma of growing a mammal in their bellies, then they push the human out while enduring pain unlike anything Braveheart ever knew, get up in the middle of the night at the demanding cries for milk, all the while trying to keep meals on the table, the house clean, and stay on top of laundry. In the process, they naturally put on a few pounds, and can no longer look like the front cover of a magazine. All this in mind, think about how cruel and selfish it is, after all our wives have been through, birthing babies, making sacrifices for our good, if we just ignore all that and insult them by gawking at sluts and masturbating! Believe me, those sex dolls’ bodies wouldn’t look a whole lot different than our wives if they’d made the same unselfish choices our wives had.

“We just use porn as part of our foreplay,” some idiots insist. (Sorry, I don’t have the gift of mercy.) If that’s you, then you’re a pornographer, and have defiled your marriage bed.

“My wife doesn’t have any problem with me looking at porn,” another says. Oh, all right, then it must be OK. Sorry I ever doubted you. Truth is, neither you nor she have any idea how much you have damaged her. Some women will put up with anything to avoid tension in the home, and they set the bar so low for their loser-husbands that they expect nothing more than a paycheck and a roof over their heads. (By the way, if you go back to my first blog, you’ll learn that we’re all losers without Christ.)

There’s an old proverb that says, “Hell has no fury like a woman scorned.” Strange how a heart that once loved a man so dearly can turn so cold against him when he scorns her by choosing another woman over her. I recently saw a True TV show where a woman caught her husband in bed with another woman, and in her enraged state, she realized she only had one option: to run over him 10 times with a car.

Husbands, God wants us to be the vessels of encouragement, confidence, esteem, dignity, and love for our wives. Looking at porn sows the opposite into them. The ones who were supposed to be heroes become the villains. How tragic!

Single young men, keep yourself for your bride. Make decisions now for the good of your beloved, even though you haven’t met her yet. Are you tempted by pornography? Flee from it. Are you struggling with porn? Revolt against its slavery. Repent and believe the gospel of freedom. Be about your Father’s work. Let the power of the cross work in you, and give you the grace to choose your bride over all others now, so that one day you can look into her eyes and say, “My heart is only yours. You are the fairest among all women! All I need I have in you.”

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