I wrote the following blog several years ago. Since then, I have seen more marriages crumble due, in large part, to the cancer of pornography. Seemingly committed family men are continually choosing pornography over the families all over the country. Not to be outdone, women are jumping on board and quickly becoming addicted as well. And, studies indicate that human trafficking is a booming business in the good old U.S. of A., thanks to the depraved desires of “good” people deranged by the power of porn.
There is so much silence on the topic of porn in the Church, and yet I think this addiction is chipping away at the very foundation of the Christian community–our families. Men (and apparently women) are held in bondage to graphic images on their computer screens, leaving their spouses isolated, ashamed and angry at something they cannot fight. Marriages deteriorate. All the while, the children watch in confusion, knowing more than the parents wish they knew, treading water in a tempest that threatens to pull them under. And still, the Church is silent.
Pornography is sinister. It grabs hold and does not willingly let go. It is as powerful as any drug on or off the market, and it is way more accessible. Any fourteen-year-old boy with a laptop or smart phone can begin his own personal battle with pornography in the privacy of his very own bedroom while Mom and Dad sleep down the hall.
I’m tired of it. Honestly. It makes me sick to my stomach and brings anguish to my heart. And yet, I cannot ignore it. So, in the coming days, I am going to share a couple of stories on this topic–stories from my own personal experience and from the experience of others. Pornography is not harmless. It is ruthless. I’ve watched it rip the joy, life and peace out of beautiful, vibrant people. The cost is exorbitant, people. We must do whatever we can to keep it far from our homes.
Now, on to my aforementioned blog…
I spoke to one of my dearest friends today. Over the phone, I could hear the heartbreak in her voice. Her husband is addicted to pornography. For seven years of marriage, they have fought this demon. He does better, then he backslides. He does better, then he backslides. This couple has children, and yet he brought it into their home again. She is considering asking him to leave.
I was probably thirteen when I saw my first porn film with some other children. It was in the home of someone who should have protected our innocence by not leaving that kind of trash around, but I guess they assumed that we wouldn’t discover that it was there–or have the curiosity to watch it. In hindsight, I wish I had never agreed to watch it. I wish I had smashed the tape with a hammer. I was completely disgusted by the explicit images I saw, but I was also strangely drawn to them. I knew it was wrong, but I was also somewhat fascinated by it. I didn’t know that stuff happened. Decades later, some of those images are still in my head.
In the past year, I’ve had two friends leave their husbands because of pornography addictions. One friend eventually divorced her husband, walking away from a twelve-year marriage with their son in tow. I remember when she first discovered his addiction; I think they’d been married about a year. I didn’t know what to say. This beautitul, vibrant, pure young lady blamed herself for not being desirable enough to entice him to go to bed with her each night. She cried herself to sleep, alone, while he sat in front of the computer in some sort of perverse fantasy world. You can’t tell me that he was content with this choice, yet choose it he did. Over and over and over.
Some people claim that pornography is normal–even healthy for people to view. That’s a load of manure. I don’t know of any person who has ever watched filth like that and walked away feeling like a better person. The addicts feel shamed and trapped. The spouses feel shamed and alone. No one wins in this game.
When will we–as a community–stand up against smut like this? When will we stop going to see sex-drenched movies and buying our underwear from lingerie stores with sleazy ad campains? When will enough be enough? Does it have to be personal for all of us? Does it have to be our husbands, our brothers, our sons that are enslaved to pornography before we decide to take a stand against what we already know to be wrong? We need to work together, people. The envelope keeps being pushed further and further out. I want something safer–more pure–for my kids. I don’t want to hear the kind of desperation in their voices that I heard in my precious friend’s voice today. Pornography steals, kills and destroys. Enough is enough.