WARNING This article contains information targeting married couples and mature teenagers. You should read it first and then decide if you want your children to read it. Be prepared to answer their questions.
My husband and I have been married for 14 years. During those years my husband has back-sliden several times. During those times he was involved in pornography. For the last nine months he has been praying and reading the Word, fellowshipping, leading devotionals with the family, and serving where he was needed at church. We were growing closer together everyday as a couple and as a family.
However, two weeks ago, my husband started watching the sports. He had to go to the house of his employer to watch it because we had thrown out our TV. He knew it was dangerous for him to be around it, but his boss gave him an old one so he could watch sports. I argued with him saying that we agreed not to have a TV. I did not feel safe with it in the house, especially since he put the TV out in his shop where no one else is allowed without his permission. I also told him that I could not join myself to him because I didn't know if he was joining himself to the pornography. He says he is not watching pornography, but he spends all his time out there in his shop, and sometimes even sleeps there by himself at night.
My question is, am I wrong? Am I as a wife out of line? Is pornography adultery, as I believe it is? My husband says it is not. He says it is nothing personal. It has nothing to do with me. I could go on and go about the pain it causes me, but I will not. Any type of counseling is out for him because he says I am the one with the problem.
If you could, please help me. I know you are busy and would understand if you can't. It just helps to know someone else is there with me. I know, one way or another, the Lord will direct me. He alone is faithful and true.
The grieved wife,
This publication is dedicated to child training and family. It would seem that a dissertation on pornography should be confined to a different format. But we receive many letters from wives concerned about their husband’s pornographic indulgence. The letters we receive are from homeschooling, no birth control, go to church, ‘put on a good front’ families. Wives want to know how they can train up their children to follow the Lord when their husbands are secretly following porn queens. At one large meeting of several thousand "Christian" men, over 50% of those present confessed to having "used pornography" in the previous seven days. Most ministers avoid ever mentioning this shameful subject. Of those that do, the majority treat it as a "weakness" that Christians should "overcome with counseling." I disagree. We too have avoided addressing the subject because of its sensitiveness. Some of you who live in isolation (thank God that you do) may be offended at my frankness. But you must understand that the life of many families and the souls of their children are at stake.
I would want my children to read this article. The degree to which they understand the words would be a general guide as to how much they are ready to consider. I would then discuss it with them, according to their maturity. But you may not. It’s your choice. Just be apprised of the fact that most kids are exposed to some form of pornography by the time they are ten years old.
Now I am speaking to you, fathers. If you isolate yourself in a room and indulge in pornography, you are not sick; you are evil. You are having intercourse with a computer, or with the pages of a publication. In effect you are having an erotic experience with the editor—probably another man. While you are fanaticizing with that commercially produced image, know that there are thousands of others engaged in eroticism with the same image, at the same time as you. You are part of a disgusting group of perverts, all piled onto the same image together. And somewhere there is a sexually dysfunctional editor enjoying the extent of his erotic powers.
You are not oversexed. You are not even sexed. You are alone. At best you are copulating with yourself. Don’t tell me that you are getting yourself primed for a conclusion with your wife. It is the priming that draws you back again and again, not the conclusion. You are a pervert. A real man is bigger than his member. He is big enough to say no to his passions. A man whose passions are stimulated to the point of being all consuming is not a man of greater prowess. He is a man whose soul has shrunk until his little member is the strongest thing left. God created us with sexual drive, but he also gave us a steering wheel and a brake to direct and control our drives. If you can’t control yours, it is not a statement of the strength of your drive, but of the weakness of your soul. You are wasting away to the level of an alley cat. Adam fell, but you are falling even further. You are plunging your soul into eternal destruction, moving as far away from God as you can get. You are lost and helpless by choice. You do not deserve sympathy or understanding; you deserve condemnation and scorn. You are not a victim; you are a perpetrator. You justify your addiction by pointing to the many who have fallen as you have, but you are condemned by the many who have not fallen, and by the many who were once where you are but have since repented and been restored to normalcy.
While you justify yourself, your own conscience condemns you. You sneak around like a thief as you lie and deceive. Your whole life is dedicated to the dragon. Your body is being consumed as your soul is being digested. You are having communion with the devil – bowing in worship of the flesh. You are a disciple of evil. You have chosen to be part of a group that defiles their own flesh, – "that worships and serves the creature more than the Creator, whose god is their belly, whose glory is their shame." (Romans 1:25; Philippians 3:19).
Very few ever return from the pit into which you are sinking. You have taken the downhill slide into Hell, and there is absolutely nothing to stop you except your willingness to apply the brakes. The problem is that you are more addicted today than you were one year ago, and you will continue to fade into the shadows of debauchery until you are one with the evil on which you feed. You are on the road of no return and every day you are less likely to reverse your course.
The lust you have created is never satisfied. It is an itch with no scratch, only more itch. Pornographic satisfaction is like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow – always just out of reach. The lust of pornography draws a man ever deeper into the dark tunnel of promise until he discovers he has missed life and love. Pornography destroys your ability to "make love," and replaces it with the cunning wit to use and abuse. There comes a point when any attempt at a normal relationship is nothing more than assisted masturbation. Your world grows ever smaller until you are alone with your semen. You stink of self. You do not deserve a woman.
You have nothing to be proud of. You are not a bull. You are a dog. There are millions just like you. Most are not as hypocritical as you are. Some of them hang around bars, nightspots, and porno shops; but take note, you feed on the same diet. Your soul is a receptacle of the same putrefaction. You may yet join them, sharing not only the same books and videos, but also the same dirty motel rooms with their indigenous occupants.
"Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell." (Proverbs 9:17-18).
So your wife is frigid? Don’t tell me that pornography is a substitute for a good woman. I was not homeschooled and protected. I am fifty-four years old. I preach in state prisons every week and have done so since I was eighteen. I have ministered in coffeehouses and rescue missions and on the street since I was sixteen. You might convince yourself that you are forced to your actions by an unresponsive wife, but I don’t buy it. I have known of porno-freaks that got married to good women, but found that they liked to be alone better than sharing. We have talked to women who are willing and ready, but their husbands prefer their own company. Pornography and a wife are not alternate ways to fulfill the same drive. The drive for a wife is a natural drive, whereas the drive for pornography is a cultivated, perverted passion that has nothing to do with love and marriage. If a pornographer were to marry a porno queen, he would quickly become dissatisfied with her and crawl back in his little hole, alone with his imaginations and the images created by an industry that makes its money not by satisfying its customers, but by keeping them dissatisfied and hungry for the artificial. Your secret world is revolting to real men who know how to love one woman and dedicate the rest of their energies to creative living.
But the most destructive thing about your sin is the effect in has on your children. We live in a spirit world of both righteous and fallen angels. We are surrounded by evil spirits seeking the moral destruction of every human soul. The children of godly parents are protected from unclean spirits by being under their moral umbrella. But when a father gives his mind over to wicked lusts, he removes the hedge of protection around his family and invites impure devils into his home. Wishing them away will avail nothing. Any prayers you pray for their safety are negated the moment you open the pages of a pornographic book or glare at an electronic image. When you tune in to electronic pornography you have established a two-way link with the spiritual underworld. When you lie in bed at night and conjure up wicked images, the devils won’t stop with your mind; they will gleefully rush into the bedrooms of your children and assault their little souls and bodies. Evil thoughts will come to their minds – thoughts you have been thinking that are telegraphed to them by the devils. Your defenseless children will be taken captive, and you are the one that threw the gate open to the enemy.
If sodomy is sin, pornography is its "significant other." If the Bible be true when it says that those who commit fornication (Greek porniah, the root of our English word pornography) "shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (Galatians 5:19-21), then the future of any and all pornography users is the suffering of eternal damnation. And in Ephesians 5:6, again speaking of fornication (porniah/pornography), he says, "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience." If you think you can indulge in pornography and still be a Christian, you are blindly hoping against the clear statements of Scripture. Disciples of Christ read their Bibles, not the dirty books of Sodomites and lesbians. Every time you retreat into your world of lust, you shut the door in God’s face. You are dangling your soul and the souls of your children over the fires of eternal damnation.
I have not been as hard on you as God will be in the day of judgment. You have only one hope, and that is to repent toward God. I did not tell you to repent of your sin of pornography, because as an unregenerate man you will not find the power to forsake your first love. You must repent toward God. This you can do while still in the slavery of your sin. To repent toward God is to prefer God and his righteousness above everything else. It is to desire his holiness in your life – to hate the sin that binds you. Make no mistake. The man that repents toward God is a desperate man, a man that longs for the holiness God will bring into his life. The man that repents toward God will experience restless nights and skipped meals in his search for God. A man that repents toward God will find no pleasure or peace in anything until he can rest in God alone. It will not do for you to walk down an aisle and pray a sinner’s prayer. It will not be sufficient for you to ask for prayer, or to confess your sins, or go to counseling. You must go directly to God through the Lord Jesus Christ with no hope and no confidence but the mercy and grace of God.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God, but it is a blessed thing to stay there until you are forgiven, and cleansed, and then empowered to walk in holiness. The dragon can be killed by Christ alone. Whom Christ makes free he shall be free indeed. I have seen God save and deliver lesbians, Sodomites, and porno freaks as easily as he saves children. Christ is sufficient.
I have done you a service by increasing your guilt, by bringing the law down on you like it will in the day of judgment. Your conscience will not be satisfied by anything less than your exposure and punishment. The good news is that Jesus Christ took upon himself the shame of your sin. God laid on him your iniquity. God made Jesus to be sin in your place. He was treated as if he was the pornographer, the guilty sinner. He died the death you should die. Your sin has been paid for in the sufferings of Christ. If you repent toward God, God will forget your sin as if it had never happened. He will put away your sin and remember it no more. He will remove the guilt and free you from sin’s power.
It will take years for the temptations to go away. The devils will return every day and night to offer you the opportunity to rehearse the sin you have laid down, but God will deliver you from yielding to the pull of temptation. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. He is able to save to the uttermost those that come unto God by him.
The next move is yours. Are you so far gone that before the week is out you will return to that dirty place, or will you repent toward God and see your perversion come to an end? I wrote this for one reason – to see some children saved when daddy repents toward God. It’s your move. Your children, your wife, and your God are waiting.
To the Wives of Porno-Freaks
I recognize that some wives whose husband’s are porno-addicts will read the above article and feel extremely frustrated, helpless, and perhaps angry. You may be well aware of your duties as a wife, but you are so disgusted with your husband for his despicable behavior that you find it extremely difficult to honor him. How do you reverence someone who is risking the souls of your children? How do you joyfully participate in your nuptial duties when you know that you are simply a receptacle for the eroticism stirred up by his vice? I have to admit that it stretches the limits of my faith to tell you that your duty remains the same. You must honor the office, even when it is commandeered by a wicked man.
Understand that you are part of a chain of command. God is at the top, then Jesus, after that the husband, then the wife, and finally the children. Children are not given the option of deciding if their parents are worthy of their honor. When a child obeys his parents, he is obeying God. Likewise, when a wife obeys and honors her husband, she is obeying and honoring God. If your husband misuses his office, God is the one responsible to discipline him. You can honor God by honoring the scoundrel God has permitted to be your head.
The Bible is clear: If you are married to an unbeliever, you are not to leave him and you are not to turn down his intimate advances. If circumstances are so intolerable, say in the case of violence toward you or the children, or sexual abuse toward your children, if you must leave your husband, you are commanded to remain unmarried as long as he lives, or be reconciled to him.
1 Corinthians 7:3-5, 10-14
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
[You cannot say no to his advances, except in the case of attempted Sodomy or some other deviant and degrading perversion.]
5 Defraud ye not one the other, [don’t hold out on him] except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
10 And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, Let not the wife depart from her husband:
11 But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.
12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away.
13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him.
14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. [The presence of one saved parent is sufficient to set the children apart unto salvation.]
If your situation is intolerable, commit it to God. I am talking a miracle. Appoint a time to get alone with God and formally turn the situation over to him. Take your hands off of it and allow God full latitude to take charge. You must be willing to endure humiliation and to remain patient indefinitely. You must be willing for God to terminate your husband’s job and destroy him financially. You must be willing for him to go to jail. You must be willing to see him – the whole family – suffer humiliation. You must be willing to see your husband come down with a terrible disease. Finally, you must be willing for God to kill your husband if he will not repent. I am not suggesting that God will do any of the above, but when you place it in his hands, you must trust his decisions. God loves to be trusted. He will come to your aid if you will take your hands off of the situation. You can wrestle with it for years and never get any relief, but once you learn your lessons in faith and trust, God can work the miracle of deliverance.
If your husband is sexually abusing the children, or if he is bone-breaking violent, take it to the church. If he does not immediately repent and come under discipline, call the law and have him arrested. Whining promises followed by promises and broken promises and more promises is not acceptable. After being confronted for sexually abusing the children, if your husband does not repent in sackcloth and ashes, to never do it again, turn him over to the authorities. Testify against him, and when he gets three to twenty years in the pen, go to visit him and faithfully wait for him to get out.
God can and will work to defend you and the children if you will truly commit it all to him and perform your duties cheerfully. It is fine for you to confront your husband concerning his pornography and let him know that you are praying for his salvation. It would be proper for you to burn any books that you find lying around the house where a child could possibly access them. If the older children are aware of your husband’s pornographic indulgence, make them aware of two things. First, that your heart goes out to your husband, that you love and honor him, and that you are kindly concerned for the salvation of his soul. Second, that you are grieved that he is going to hell for the lack of Christ in his life. Let them know that you pray for his salvation and are ashamed of his sin. Make it clear that his actions are of Satan and will bring damnation. Do this without bitterness or anger.
The great pitfall for a woman is becoming self-righteous and using this situation to dominate the relationship spiritually. Wives are inclined to dominate their husbands in the best of circumstances. Many women love to claim the higher moral ground. They have always been rebels at heart and resent any authority over them. That their husband is unworthy to be a leader is absolutely satisfying to these women. They will resort to nagging and parcel out their intimate favors as a way of controlling his behavior. Sure, they will represent themselves as promoting the interests of God and righteousness, but it is the seat of control that they covet.
Cantankerous wives can provoke their husbands to all kinds of anger and bitterness. Wives that do not enjoy the intimate relationship will leave their husbands open to temptation. But let me be clear, a lousy wife – a lousy sex partner – is not responsible for a husband turning to pornography. You do not have to carry that guilt. Just make sure you are not guilty of pride and bitterness. That combination can damn the children just as surely as pornography. When you have a pornographic husband and a dominant wife, you have a vicious, endless cycle. It will certainly end in divorce. And even worse, the children will magnify the fruit of bitterness. Children will be hurt by a pornographic father, but they will become bitter by a nagging, domineering, condemning mother. Someone must repent and do his or her duty regardless of the spouse.
Finally, there is hope. Put it in God’s hands and wait patiently. Others have seen the victory. You can too. And when you have responded to your wicked husband in kindness and love, when you have made yourself available, when you have honored the dishonorable, and your husband repents to God and gets saved and delivered, and you end up with a wonderful marriage and children faithful to God, you will be my hero.