Fighting Pornography

Why is Pornography such a distraction?  Why shouldn’t we look at it?  What’s the difference between porn and erotica?  When do we know that we’re addicted?  What are some of its consequences?  How can we break addiction to porn? …………….?

Pornography is said to be an epidemic in our western society, accruing a financial income of over 7 billion in 2007; affecting people of all ages, races, status and genders; tearing apart the fundamental value of family and marriage, and ultimately attacking the primary principle that all life ‘IS SACRED’, and precious.

In Isaiah 61, we are told that God gives us ‘beauty for ashes’, and addictions are the ashes of our passions being expressed incorrectly.  God’s desire is for all of us to receive His Beauty in these broken areas of our lives.  We all have deep human longings that are real; need to be filled, satisfied and enjoyed, BUT in a healthy way.  So, coming to terms with these longings, and finding God’s way to express them is the ultimate key to becoming free from any addiction – including pornographic addiction.  So in order to help people get free from pornographic addiction we need to: understand the longings of the human heart; educate healthy sexuality; protect ourselves and our family from exposure to it; pray and heal people from the spiritual oppression it can create; and provide support and accountability.

This is why I will be speaking on this vast topic this weekend – if you’re in the area, we’d love to see you.

Intimacy – ‘where are you?’

‘Where are you (Adam)?’

This was God’s question to Adam when walking in the garden, once he and Eve had given in to temptation, sinned and covered up their nakedness (Genesis 3:9) We have to ask the questions: ‘Did God not know where Adam was?’ or, ‘Was God actually asking Adam to find out where ‘he was’? – physically, emotionally, and possibly, spiritually.  I would dare to choose the latter as an answer.  This appears to be the first time that Adam has been lost, and God the Father, is wanting Adam to take stock of his being, emotions, thoughts, feelings and spirit, in the light of the sad event with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

The fact is that we live in a broken world, but just as Adam needed to be asked where he was, we all live an existence that is often ‘self-unaware’, in which we hide our real self in fear of others finding out who we ‘really are’.  God yearns for us, like he did Adam, to be aware of who we really are, so that others can understand us.  This positions us to be loved and to love.  God yearns to be intimate with us all.

Intimacy is defined as making known the innermost parts of the self (Talmadge 1986). Intimacy from Latin intimate means: to put, bring, drive, announce, make known; and intimus: the superlative of intus, which means: within. So, it is:  to bring, announce, drive home, make known that which is within.

To do this, we need to ask the question, ‘Where are you?’, maybe daily, hourly, or monthly, because to be known means that we have to know, and this is a key to becoming intimate with those we love.  This will result in vulnerability with strength, as we identify who we are and daringly and specifically share this with someone we love.

So, ‘where are you’ in your physical being, your emotions, mind, will and spirit?  Stop right now and be honest with yourself and let it sink in for a while.  Who can you choose to share this with responsibly (not asking them to take responsibility for whatever it is), so that they can know you and your relationship can go to another level.  In this moment, we allow our neocortex (rational mind) to develop, and we start to reflect our superiority as the human race.  It’s good to ‘know where we are’.  We might feel uncomfortable sometimes, but its worth it as we become solid and wholesome.

Intimacy – getting to know

‘I really thought you understood that I don’t like that!’

‘You’re so focused on your own ways, will you ever understand mine?’

If your marriage or close relationships have sometimes included these statements of frustration, you need to know that you are not alone, but actually, you are on a good trajectory of becoming more intimate with each other.

So often we confuse intimacy with sexual intimacy only, but, while it can include this, it is so much more that just sexual closeness.  We all need to be intimate at every stage of our lives, it is lifelong, and it fulfills the deepest part of our beings.  In his letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote: ‘For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.’ (1 Cor 13:12) It’s as if we exist to be noticed, and to notice: to know, and to be known.  This is intimacy – knowing someone, and being known by someone.  While it seems simple, its lack can have some dire consequences – like addictive cycles; a need for pornography and a deep longing for connection that can so easily be perverted, just to name a few.

Said in another way: intimacy is when partners can map their own minds in front of each other, while letting their partner map their own mind as well (Schnarch 2009: 150).  Mind-mapping involves being able to read our own mind, and someone else’s, and being willing to engage this ‘mapping’ meaningfully.  It involves vulnerability, kindness and acceptance if it is to be constructive, but if one partner becomes critical and judgmental, it provides the fuse for major explosions!

So, how can you improve your intimacy with your partner?  Maybe try this: ask your partner to share something about you, that he/she thinks you do not know.  Then you can tell him/her something you think he/she doesn’t know about him/herself.  Enjoy the ‘getting to know’ each other.  Be careful to show kindness and respect and it should be a wonderful time.