Pornography raises many questions, but two of the most simple are also the most important. Why fight temptations? And how?
So many resolutions to avoid porn fail with this first question. The how question is the easier one — we can quickly identify steps such as Internet filters or a friend willing to ask us tough questions. It's the why where we get tripped up. We need biblically persuasive reasons to stand firm when the hard questions and justifications come.
And they will come:
- Why bother? It doesn't hurt anyone.
- If my wife were sexually more available or adventurous, I wouldn't need this.
- If I had a wife, I wouldn't need this.
- All men look at porn. It's how we were created. How can God give me the desire and then expect me to fight it?
- This next time will be the last time.
The pursuit of porn has bad consequences. We need no special insight to see it erodes relationships and never satisfies. But bad consequences aren't enough to stop us. We must be ready with persuasive reasons to put up a fight, and then assemble those reasons into a story that has some of the following elements.
Getting the Story Straight
Human beings, like all creation, are designed to live within boundaries. When creation exceeds its appointed boundaries — as in hurricanes, in which the seas encroach on dry ground — bad things happen. It's the same with us. This is one of the points of the creation story, when Adam and Eve were told a certain tree was off-limits. Why was it off-limits? That isn't the important question. What's important is this: God's royal children are tested. Will we be faithful to our Father when temptations arrive and faithfulness suddenly feels inconvenient?