It has been two years now since I have watched pornography.
Just let that sentence sink in; I am as write it.
I used to not be able to go two months…much less two years.
It is truly a blessing and a grace of God; it is something that I hope continues to give you a small bit of hope if you struggle. Do not take it for granted; we both could easily end up right back in it.
I sometimes feel like the vigilance required to make sure it does not creep back in is too much, for too long. But what I am learning is that the longer you resist it, the further away you want to be from it. However, an equally interesting phenomenon is that the line will get closer and closer to where you are; smaller thoughts start to bother you and you become more sensitive to leading of the Spirit.
But the opposite is also true.
So this is a warning to you.
If you keep pushing the boundary; if you get free and get lax…the next thing you know you will be tempted with worse and worse things. There is a reason we should not live on the edge of our consciences; one wrong step and over we will go.
The thought of it terrifies me. Here recently, I have not been as careful and I have started to slack off. So, the boundary line has been getting closer and closer to where I do not want to be. It truly is the little foxes who ruin the vineyards; I am urging you to kill those foxes and display their hides for others.
I did not think marriage would make this easier, but I had no idea it could make it worse. Now let me be clear, I love my wife and I think she is a gorgeous woman; this really has nothing to do with her. For someone who struggles with craving this kind of stimulation from multiple women, marriage becomes a rehab clinic. It is good thing I did not give up the addiction cold turkey…it would have been an interesting predicament. We married after I celebrated a year of freedom, so I had started to move in the direction of monogamy. Still, as a single person I had a little more leeway with the direction of sexual urges; if I fell, only I was immediately affected (though sin affects everyone around you; do not ever forget).
For guys who struggled with lust in Scripture, polygamy was a sore temptation. It is not that they did not love their wives; from all indications they did. It is that they often did not give their sexuality over to God and it drew their hearts away from God and their spouse. Those of us who struggle with the inclination toward polygamy must turn this ungodly perversion of our sexual desires over to God, or else those desires will ruin us and everything God means to do through us. Yes, there is forgiveness and good will come out of the pain…but the damage cannot be undone, the choice is catastrophic.
So, marriage is a way God uses to get us to realize what is important. He calls us to be faithful to one spouse, because he is faithful to one spouse. Marriage is a symbol of Christ and his bride the Church (do not take the metaphor too far or too individualistic). He has been married to one woman before the foundation of the world. When we go against this calling, we refuse to be image-bearers and reflect his glory. No, God did not condemn polygamy (because it has less consequences than promiscuity or adultery), but that does not mean that he approves or desires it.
If you struggle with lust; it is likely that you struggle with this fallen inclination. Like our homosexual brothers and sisters, we have to be willing to say “no” in order to obey God. This is not at all about sex; this is about inordinate, good desires being corrupted by our old self. To follow Christ, we must embrace one wife for life. (please no corny bumper stickers) We must die to ourselves, so that Christ may live in us. Our wives (and husbands, if there are ladies who are reading…in our age you can be just as addicted as men) deserve fidelity from us, because God wants to faithfully love them through us.
We can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens us. Let us embrace the joy and sorrow of marriage; knowing it will be transformed into glory.