Adultery begins in the heart, where desires are lurking (James 1:15). Adultery, in its simplest terms, is having sexual relations with someone outside of marriage. God forbids adultery (Exodus 20:14).
Consuming pornography is having emotional sexual relations with someone else outside of marriage. It doesn’t matter that the “someone else” isn’t physically present in the room. In the moment of pornography consumption, that someone else is the object of desire. The object of desire is imagined and used in the consumers’ minds in ways that would make us blush to read on this screen.
The consumer is communing with the object of desire through self-pursued pleasure. In that moment of consumption, without a doubt, the one who is partaking in the illicit acts of the heart and hands greatly desires that the object of desire would be with them present in the room. Would marriage hold the consumer back from physically partaking in the same acts imagined if the one desired suddenly appeared in the room? No, it would be too late. The consumer already committed adultery in the mind and a promise that they’ve already profaned will not keep back the passions that have been stoked and flamed by the consumer.
Consuming pornography has become a socially acceptable form of adultery, but that doesn’t change what it really is. Many who are worldly would argue that it is a natural outlet for sexual desire, and I suppose their opinions are a lost cause. They will always pursue what they greatly desire, no matter the cost to their own souls.
But Christians are rebuked to refrain from doing this. There should never even be sexual immorality named among Christians, and at least we can agree that consuming pornography is sexual immorality (Matthew 5:27-28, Proverbs 5, 1 Corinthians 6:10-20)
Recognizing this as a form of adultery is important because it can be just as disastrous to a marriage as actual physical adultery.
Unrepentant adultery will cause God’s discipline to reign down on a believer’s life, and so will unrepentant use of pornography (Hebrews 12:3-17). Continuing to walk in either of these lifestyles of sin is making the statement that this person is not even actually a believer (1 John 2:15-17). It is mocking God and what He upholds as holy.
Did you know God calls believers to keep the marriage bed undefiled and holy (Hebrews 13:4)? Sex is an awesome part of marriage that should be enjoyed, but biblical, Christ exalting sex leaves no room for pornography.
Looking at pornography pollutes the marriage bed, causing the consumer to want something more than what is available in the marriage bed (the other spouse). The object of desire in pornography is never the other spouse!
God has called the believer to a life of purity and holiness, being able to control one’s passions. Pornography does not aide a believer in doing this but only creates an unnatural ravenous desire for more and more illicit sexual acts.
Pornography causes the other spouse to ask questions like, “Am I not good enough? What’s wrong with how I look? Does my spouse love me?” These questions would not be springing up in the heart of the spouse if the consumer of pornography was acting in love. When someone acts in selfless love, the responses are generally vastly different, like, “Woah, I’m loved!” Pornography doesn’t ever stir up this response.
Is there any situation where pornography might not be the consumer’s fault but actually the other spouse’s fault? No, and to suggest that is absolutely sick. No matter what happens in a marriage, each person is responsible for how they will respond, whether in sin or in grace.
Do not be deceived; God will hold all of us accountable for the works we build while on earth. Do not sow in adultery. It is a black pit of despair to be feared. Run away now. You need help if you are consuming pornography and also claiming to be a Christian. Confess your sins; surround yourself with other believers. They will help you fight.
Scroll down past related posts to comment below.
Subscribe to my fighting sin newsletter here for a monthly digest of blog posts and to hear about how I’m doing in my most vulnerable perspective. You become one of my encouragers this way. Thanks for holding my hand, friend!