A Man Shares… about Pornography…
Few things capture my attention like a risk-taking, honest-speaking, soul-baring comment from anyone, but this one set the bar pretty high yesterday. It was not my intent to discuss pornography, nor to compare our quest for a discussion on “What is feminine behavior?” and “Have we lost femininity?” with the behavior of porn stars – and I’m so thankful that not one of you misread my intent on yesterday’s blog…
I could have easily been misunderstood on that, and am richly blessed and thankful it didn’t happen.
I will tell you that a woman is NOT responsible for her husband’s sin, and this comment from a man named, Scott, on yesterday’s blog, nails the concept of pornography well – and I admire the living tar out of this man for being so brutally honest with us and himself.
Today I pray for all of us held captive by sin… We don’t like to call it that, but nonetheless, we all struggle with it. May we see God’s leading everywhere – He is ever present, it’s just, “Are we listening?” I guess the Bible is not a relevant document for many people, but for me, as a Christian, it is more than just a “tradition” or “history” of the faith. It’s alive. If you’ve seen Lord of the Rings, or the Chronicles of Narnia, or Star Wars, it’s more than the ring, Aslan, or the force. And I’m either a completely delusional nut job, or I literally have a supernatural experience with the Creator of the Universe – a real relationship with a Being Who is omniscient. We could spend hours debating the Greco-Roman house codes and the legitimacy of the text as it applies today, or we can open our hearts and minds to the possibility that the book is timeless and trust the relationship. It’s bigger and better than any magic could ever possibly be. And those of us that know Him, know the power in His Word – those that don’t want to explain away the parts we don’t like.
I’ve been in both spots.
And I’m thankful to know Him and know that I’m known.
Those of us that know Him (and might I humbly suggest that even the deepest of relationship with Him is but a mere pinprick of comprehension of what is possible?) understand that “respect,” “submission,” “companion,” “helper,” “daughter,” “warrior,” “princess,” “friend,” “child,” “sister,” and “beloved,” are all part of our unique opportunities in marriage, and that we ARE equal, NOT less-than, and thankful to have the opportunity to commune with Him, learn from Him, and be a dwelling place for His Spirit and we share His great love for His people by obeying His teachings.
But I’m getting a lot off topic… but what we believe about the Bible and God impacts our marriage, as we’ve discussed previously.
At any rate, this is the comment that blew me away from Scott yesterday:
My wife was following this thread and asked me last week for my definition of femininity. At that time, being the sarcastic clod that I am, I simply said “of or relating to being a woman”. It was both an attempt at superficial humor and also an attempt to obscure the truth that I really didn’t have a good answer (very scary when I take great pride in always having a good answer for everything).
So I’ve spent some time over the past week actually thinking about “what does it really mean for a woman to be feminine?”, and since the post this morning – “captivating.” That Nina started the post with a quote about porn addiction threw me for a bit of a loop…
I was immediately struck by that quote at the beginning, as it seemed at first that Nina was attempting to find a golden nugget of wisdom and truth in the cesspool of porn addiction (I breathed a sigh of relief as I read the rest of the post and interpreted that not to be the case). But I was more struck by it because I too was addicted to pornography for nearly 30 years and for all of that time would have said the same thing – that pornography was attractive and extremely difficult to give up because the “women were so demure, attractive, and …captivating.” This reasoning of course carries the implicit assumption that “real life women” are the opposite – aggressive, ugly, and uninteresting – hence the preference for pornographic women. However I discovered through the process of Jesus dragging me out of that particular swamp that, like all of Satan’s schemes, it was a LIE. What really makes pornography addictive and difficult to break free from is that it very powerfully feeds a man’s inherent selfishness – a desire to meet a physical need for sexual gratification with no strings attached. To get what you want and not have to give anything back. To have total control over all the parameters of the relationship. It has nothing to do with the “attractiveness” of the women in the magazines and videos – it has everything to do with the selfishness of the man consuming it – and that is exactly what a man does with pornography – he CONSUMES it. He eats it and then goes back for more, with an endless smorgasbord of new options to choose from, and an endless stream of excrement in his wake.
Pornographic fantasy women are “captivating” in this way precisely because they are not real. They allowed (even enabled and empowered) me to continue to be selfish and become more selfish still. They didn’t tell me how hard it was to deal with the kids that day while I was safe at the office. They didn’t gripe if I wanted to watch endless hours of TV instead of helping with the laundry. I didn’t have to pay for their food and clothes. I didn’t have to take care of them when they were sick. They didn’t care if I got bored with them and went looking for a new thrill elsewhere. They let me get my physical jollies and then left me alone until I wanted them again. I was able to consume them and move on to the next one, just like a key lime pie (another issue of mine for another day)… But another thing I learned from Jesus on the way out of the swamp was that even what I thought was so fulfilling about my pornographic women was also a lie. Someone else was consuming ME – very cleverly using a false fulfillment to lead me to the place of ultimate unfulfillment, suffering, and death.
I also learned on the way out of the swamp that the first place to go when looking for the Truth was the Bible – and if the answer can be found there, I need not look elsewhere. Much has been written about “Biblical Womanhood”, “Biblical Femininity”, or whatever term you wish to call it – I will boil it down to this, which can be gleaned from the first two chapters of the very first book – “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.'” (Genesis 2:18). There are two parts to God’s reasoning for creating woman – man needs a companion because it is not good to be alone, and man needs a helper (for usually obvious reasons) – so a truly feminine, attractive, and captivating woman is the one who purposes at being a companion and helper. It is also often useful to examine what something IS in terms of what it is NOT – in this case the opposite of companion and helper can best be described as “antagonist” and/or “competitor”. Other passages give some examples of ways that women can be helpful companions, and examples of ways how not to be competitive antagonists, but there is nothing in the text to indicate that these lists are exhaustive or exclusive. There can be much latitude here, and each relationship is likely to be unique.
This ended up way longer than originally intended, so I’ll wrap it up with this observation from my own marriage…
In the (now much rarer) occasions where I see my wife as an antagonist or competitor, my natural response is to be more selfish – to “fight” for my own way, to defend my own sinful behavior, or to just withdraw and pursue something else as a distraction.
In the (now much more frequent) occasions where I see my wife as a companion and helper, my supernatural response (a la Holy Spirit) is to be less selfish – to put her needs above mine, to give of myself in ways I didn’t before, can I even dare to say – be more Christlike?
Porn women aren’t (and can never be) captivating – they’re “captive making”.
My wife encourages and motivates me to be more Christlike… now THAT is captivating femininity!
Many thanks to Scott for his comment.
So what do you think about what he said? Are you encouraged by what God has done in his life? How does femininity play into this? What about the “roles” of men and women in marriage? How are you doing in the “companion” and “helper” department? Is there a difference between “enabling” and “helping?”
Know we are praying for those held captive and consumed by porn or other bondages. Glad YOU are here as part of the dialogue today! Can’t wait to hear your thoughts.
Love to you,
A truly feminine, attractive, and captivating woman is the one who purposes at being a companion and helper.
–> I have never heard a better or more accurate description of a truly feminine, attractive, and captivating woman.
Porn women aren’t (and can never be) captivating – they’re “captive making”.
–> Absolutely true. Men get ensnared in this, and it is extremely difficult for those who want to be free to get free from it. One of the ways that it grabs a man and won’t let him go is that it gives him some temporary relief from the anxieties of life. It’s an easy, “quick fix”. Unfortunately, it’s also a leash around his neck.
Thank you! I understood how damaging pornography addiction is, but I never heard it shared like this. “Selfishness!” That explains it all. The enemy feed on that! Thank you again for sharing… so I can learn more about what a few men in my life are dealing with!
This makes me happy and sad at the same time. It’s refreshing to know that Scott survived his captivity. My ex-husband did not. He was totally engrossed in his selfish lifestyle, frequented prostitutes and ended up leaving me for someone more “understanding”. I’ve always considered myself a companion and helper. It was a very painful journey but I am now re-married to a man who has the same understanding of femininity. We put God first in our marriage and spend time in the Word daily. Blessings to all of those on this journey and to those who have survived it.
Thank you Carrie for sharing your story! I am going through a divorce with a man like this. He is very selfish! But hearing about your wonderful remarriage gives me hope for my future! 🙂
I was so impressed with Scott’s honesty and transparency but I also want each of you who share and comment here to know how much I appreciate and have grown to love you, your honesty and transparency. Nina, you never fail to make me think and examine aspects in my life that relate to your posts. It is so encouraging to me to see women in all age groups with a heart for God. In each of our struggles, remember, God has written but we have not yet seen, “the rest of the story.”
Grateful to you all hugs,
That was a phenomenal way to explain “captivating”!!! Well written and informative along with descriptive that helped me to see what goes through a mans head or why he may be so drawn to pornography! So thankful that you shared.
Wow. What a great response Scott had. Captive making verses captivating. That really struck me. Bless you Nina for pursuing the comment and putting it here for us.
I pray God truly Blesses Scott and you Nina. Interesting insight from someone who has walked the walk and trusted God to help him climb out of the pit. I appreciate both articles. As a mom, who recently found out my mid elementary age son was exposed to porn by a friend and watched it for weeks without me knowing it, I was devastated. Having seen so many other lives torn apart from pornography and the like, I’m scared for his perspective going forward into teen years. We tried so hard to keep him innocent and protect that with what we watch, who we associate with, things we participate in and it was a good kid he learned it from trying to just find out what the word porn meant. I pray continually that God will take those images from his mind and help us teach him a proper perspective to relationships, sex, marriage, dating, etc. Thank you for sharing what you have and thank you Scott for giving us a gentleman’s perspective and insight.
Thanks for sharing… A nugget of truth that I would emphasize from your comment – reality is that we live in a fallen broken world where God’s original design for sex has been corrupted and perverted into one of Satan’s most effective traps to keep people away from the saving Grace of the Creator.. Sex is powerful, and distorted pornographic depictions of it are EVERYWHERE. It’s just not possible to keep our children “innocent” – especially since they were never innocent to begin with. Our children are sinners too – their innocence was lost along with our own in the Garden of Eden millennia ago. It’s not up to us to keep it. What we can do, however, is prepare them to deal with pornography God’s way when they inevitably get exposed to it.
It is the Truth that sets us free. Pornography is built on a foundation of lies – all people who are addicted to pornography have to some degree or other bought into a number of lies. God’s way of dealing with lies is to obliterate them with Truth.
There were two main lies that I latched onto that kept my addiction going and deceived me into thinking that what I was doing wasn’t wrong:
1. The people in the magazines and videos are consenting adults enjoying each others’ company. If they are willing to record their adventures (making money in the process) and invite me in to enjoy their experience with them, what’s wrong with that? It’s just entertainment.
2. If my wife doesn’t know what I’m watching, she can’t be offended or hurt by it.
Once Jesus removed the scales from my eyes, I was able to see the Truth:
1. I said in my previous post that Porn Women weren’t real – and that’s what makes them enticing. To be more clear – it is the fantasies they spawn that are not real. The women (and men too) in the pictures and videos ARE real – but reality is obscured because they are ACTING. What appears to the observer in the pictures and videos as ecstasy is really more often than not AGONY. What appears to be making love is in reality more likely to be properly defined as rape. Those are real people in those videos who are broken and hurting sinners too, just like you and me. The porn industry CONSUMES them, and then throws them away when their usefulness (ie. profitability) comes to an end. There is no place for a follower of Christ to CONSUME graphic depictions of another soul’s torment and destruction as entertainment.
2. I was good at hiding my addiction from my wife. I didn’t spend money on it (there’s plenty available online for free) so there was no paper trail in the bank and credit card statements for her to find. I erased the traces of it from the computer after I was done so she and/or the kids wouldn’t stumble across it. Everybody knows John 3:16 as one of the greatest passages of God’s love. You don’t often hear what comes after it though… Jesus continues his conversation with Nicodemus with this torpedo of Truth:
“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. ***For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.*** But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.” (John 3:18-21)
This Word is POWERFUL. It is safe to assume that if you feel you have to hide something, that’s God Himself telling you that you shouldn’t be doing it. My wife was God’s daughter before she was my wife. She will continue to be His daughter long after our marriage ends at death and we are taken home. My wife WAS hurt by my addiction, even if she didn’t know about it – because it affected how I interacted (or didn’t) with her. I was having my intimacy with the fantasies in pornland instead of intimacy with her, leaving her lonely. I was selfish and angry – leaving her afraid. The list goes on and on. I was dissing God’s daughter – and He was not pleased.
I wrote all that to say this – you cannot keep porn away from your kids. If they don’t go looking for it themselves it will find them eventually. What you can do is teach your children the Truth about pornography early and often, so they are prepared to fight it instead of being consumed by it. I took my first step into the swamp when I was in the fifth grade. At some point in High School my dad found some of my material. We had a 20 minute conversation about it, prayed about it, burned the magazines, and never spoke of it again. I don’t blame my parents for my sin, but sometimes I do wonder what might have been different if there had been more discussion and discipleship than awkward silence. When Jesus finally rescued me and I began my journey back out of the swamp, I was almost 37 years old, with 4 kids and a 10 year old marriage that wasn’t going to make it to 11.
That was 7 years ago. I am pleased that God has given me this opportunity to share what He has done and that these words have been a blessing to others. The glory is His. The joy is mine.
Blessings to you all…
Thank you Scott. My son is beginning 4th grade. I talked with him about the reality of it and how Satan uses something God intends to be good between a husband and wife and twists it and makes it something it’s not and uses that to try to take your mind off of God and pull you away from God. We discussed addictions and how Satan tries to get our mind to keep thinking about those things and using our curiosity to keep going back and how when we notice that, we have to change our thoughts and think on purpose about Jesus and godly things. He would rather discuss it with my husband “man to man” than with me, mostly out of embarrassment I think. My husband works long hours and is gone a lot, so it’s been mostly me who is there day in and day out with my now 9 year old. I’m not sure if my husband feels about this as seriously as I do. When I sent him word of what I had discovered, I got the “99.9% of boys will experience this. We will just approach it and explain that this is something Satan uses to pull us away from God and get us off track”. We have since moved to where my husband’s job location is and are now all living in the same house again (my husband has worked away from home for 6 years on projects, only being home on the weekends. For 2 months this summer we didn’t see him, only talked on the phone everyday until we were able to move). I told my husband, I didn’t want this handled “vaguely”. I’m not sure if they have had any discussions yet. My son hasn’t mentioned it, but I don’t want to gloss over this and have him end up with something much longer and far reaching to climb out of later. He’s my only child and I was pretty naïve I guess…well I know. We hadn’t had the “sex talk” or even put parental controls on anything yet. At only 9, I thought it would be 12 or 13 or before we dealt with these types of things. He’s always been a pretty compliant kid and doesn’t watch shows I say are too “teenage” or “inappropriate for his age”. I thought I had a couple of more years. I was wrong. Anyway, thank you for taking the time to talk deeper with me about this and for the scriptures. I have contacted a Christian family counselor that I used to go to church with and she has given me some resources to read. I appreciate your honesty and your boldness in speaking the Truth.
Such transparency is the pathway to healing–both for the brave sharer and the reader/hearer alike. Kudos, Nina, for your obedience to God’s voice in opening up this topic. And kudos, Scott, for your courage and honesty and willingness to put yourself out there for the sake of all of us. Blessings to you both, and blessings to all who receive your words.
Thank you, Scott, for writing so clearly about something so important. This has touched my heart and helped me understand how my femininity can help my husband – to encourage and motivate him to be more like Christ. I love this Biblical explanation. Thank you!
LOVE THIS!!!!! Thank you so much, Nina and Scott! This is powerful stuff. I love how he exposes the truth about porn and then points to Christ and His Word.
Scott gave us a good and thoughtful wo
rd. I appreciate his sharing as I daily and diligently strive to be as feminine in the GOD way as possible.
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