Readers above a certain age will remember the comedian Bob Newhart. Now 92 years-old, the actor known for his deadpan delivery once played a psychologist dispensing advice to a cast of eclectic characters. Encountering a woman who feared and thought continuously about being buried in a box, the doctor famously relayed a two-word solution:
Naturally, breaking a bad and destructive habit is easier said than done. But the first step is realizing the harm that is done by consuming pornography.
Though many in the world minimize or even consider pornography just another harmless form of sexual expression, the truth is otherwise.
While it is a raging modern-day epidemic, historians date the existence of pornography back thousands of years – adding validity to the old adage that “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”
Of course, the proliferation and access of this perversion of God’s good design for sexuality has changed over the years. What once had to be sought out with some effort is now available with the mere click of a button on a phone or computer.
Justice Potter Stewart of the Supreme Court famously defined pornography as “I know it when I see it” – but few would disagree too many see too much of it today – even Christian believers.
As someone who has worked diligently to both protect and educate on this issue, I feel strongly that much of the sexual dysfunction present in the culture today stems from this scourge and distortion of human sexuality.
While nearly 75% of parents believe their children have never seen pornography, one recent survey found that nearly 85% of boys and 57% of girls between the ages of 14 and 18 have – a startling and frightening trend.
Sadly, though, pornography is not just an epidemic of hormonally charged youth. At Focus we hear from people every day whose spouse is addicted – or they, themselves are struggling. While both men and women consume it, males are disproportionately represented.
The ravages of sexual addictions were on the mind of the apostle Paul when he warned Christian believers to “Flee from sexual immorality” (1 Cor. 6:18) and “control your body” (1 Thes. 4:4).
Pornography exploits its subjects and destroys healthy marital sex. It cheapens intimacy and devastates marriages.
If you’re a man who is dabbling with it – or a woman going along with it – Bob Newhart’s two-word solution is my best advice to you:
But I might add two more words, especially for those for whom it’s not so simple:
Pornography is a dangerous snare that is not easy to escape.
For that reason our ministry has created a number of resources to help those who want to overcome this temptation. You can start by checking out https://www.focusonthefamily.com/shows/no-porn-marriage/. Or ask to speak with one of our licensed or pastoral counselors by calling 1-855-771-HELP (4357)weekdays 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Mountain Time).