If you have been on the journey with us over the last month I am sure that you will agree that we have discovered that our world is full of distractions. We are encouraged to do whatever pleases us without ever considering how that lifestyle will effect who we are or who we might become. We have to be intentional about those things that are allowed to enter our sphere of influence. It only takes one lapse in concentration and Satan will find his way in. Men of God we need to be extra diligent. The responsibility of leading our families is great.
1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
Unfortunately, we have not been careful about the things that we allow into our homes. I am speaking specifically about pornography. Pornography has created a problem inside the church that is so destructive that it has the potential to wipe out our effectiveness for the next generation. In 2014 there was a survey of self-identified Christian adult men conducted by the Barna Group. In this survey they looked at different age groups to determine how many looked at pornography on a regular basis. How often they looked at pornography and whether or not they felt that they were addicted to it.
This is a brief look at some of the key points of that study.
The statistics for Christian men between 18-30 years old are particularly striking:
- 77% look at pornography at least monthly;
- 36% view pornography at least daily;
- 32% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 12% think they may be).
The statistics for middle-aged Christian men (ages 31-49) are no less disturbing:
- 77% looked at pornography while at work in the past 3 months;
- 64% view pornography at least monthly; and
- 18% admit being addicted to pornography (and another 8% think they may be).
Even married Christian men are falling prey to pornography and extramarital sexual affairs at alarming rates:
- 55% look at pornography at least monthly; and
- 35% had an extra-marital sexual affair while married.
These numbers are sobering. They tell us that the immorality of this world has grabbed a hold of the men of the church. When men of God allow pornography into their lives they have given Satan a foothold. Satan wants us to believe that it is harmless. He wants us to convince ourselves that it is not destructive. He wants us to believe that it may be ok or even beneficial. One thing that these numbers tells us is that it most certainly is not ok.
1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.
The study that we reference above shows us that 55% of married Christian men are viewing pornography at least monthly and 35% have had an extramarital sexual affair while married. These men in this survey have sacrificed righteousness for sexual pleasure. They have forgotten what it means to be a man of God. They have freely given away something that does not belong to them. When they stood before God and vowed to love one woman for all time they gave all that they had to her. Each time they view and respond to what is being portrayed on screen they give a piece of themselves to the sin they are engaged in. Eventually they have given so much of themselves to their sin that there is nothing left for their wife.
When you engage in sin it creates a deception that you must cover with other sin. The evil that you are viewing will eventually cease to fill that gap in your life. You will have to find more explicit material to get to point where you feel satisfied. At some point the movies will not be enough and your sin will carry you farther and farther away from God. Pornography is Satan’s trap. It will not fill in the empty spaces in your life. Satan gives us promises full of emptiness while God fills up our emptiness with His promises.
2 Timothy 2:22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
There is a way back. You can find redemption if you really want it. The Lord wants to fill the emptiness of your life. He wants to restore you. You just need to take a step towards Him. Jesus already made the first move. He died on the cross so that you can find freedom from and victory over pornography.
If you are struggling with the sin of pornography you need to know that you are not alone. There is hope and His name is Jesus Christ. If you are ready to Stand Out and be a righteous man of God then I invite you to join me in prayer.
I have sinned. I bought into the lies of pornography. I am tired of carrying around this shame I feel. I want to be pure. I want to pursue those things that are righteous and true. Please forgive me. Help me to be a man of God that Stands Out. Help me to be the husband and father that you have called me to be. I love you Jesus. Thank you for what you have done in my life.
If you think you may be addicted to pornography I encourage you to seek help from your pastor or men’s ministry leader. It takes more courage to ask for help. You can find freedom. If you would like to talk to someone you should feel free to reach out to Kevin or myself. Our contact information is listed on the website.
Provenmen. (2014, October 24).2014 Pornography Survey of Christian Men: Shocking new national survey reveals high levels of pornography use and rampant extramarital affairs among Christian men [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.provenmen.org/press-releases/2014-pornography-survey-of-christian-men-shocking-new-national-survey-reveals-high-levels-of-pornography-use-and-rampant-extramarital-affairs-among-christian-men/