Recently, my wife and I went to stroll the halls of what we call “fancy Wal-mart.” We didn’t need anything at Target, but sometimes we just walk around the store after she gets off of work and we tell each other about our days.
We were postulating on the validity of anyone ever needing earrings as big as hula-hoops, when a group of teen boys ambled in front of us. Since we were all walking the same direction, towards the electronics section, we stayed behind them.
When we neared that flashy part of the store, one of the boys said, “Look,” he pointed at a 50 Shades of Grey, BlueRay, “We could watch that.” He turned to his three other friends and they glanced at the cover of the movie briefly, and then they kept walking.
“That movie was so stupid, man,” one of the other boys said.
“Like literally all they did was talk and then the sex stuff wasn’t even that bad,” another boy chimed in.
“Yeah,” the boy who had spoken first said, instantly changing his mind, “it was so lame.”
My wife stopped in the middle of the aisle with her mouth slightly opened. Because we were holding hands, I stopped too.
“Did you hear that?” she said, turning to me and showing me how large her beautiful brown eyes were, “What?” she said, shaking her head in disbelief, “Not even that bad?”
I wanted to share in her outrage. I wanted to stand tall on my “I didn’t even want to see that movie because I’m so much better than they are!” soap box, but then a check in my spirit made me sit back down.
I sighed heavily, and then looked at her, “Love,” I said, “those boys have probably seen more horrible things online than they’ll ever see in any movie.”
She looked at me, puzzled for a moment, and then it was her turn to sigh. “I don’t want that to be true,” she finally said.
This is The Age of Pornography. We’re living in it. Movies like 50 Shades Darker, which hits theaters today, are symptoms of the problem and not the problem itself.
I spent 16 years addicted to pornography, and at the beginning of that life in the pit, pornography was much harder to get than it is now. Now, to quote Scott Flanders, CEO of Playboy Magazine, “You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free.” It’s true. He used that sentence to explain why the dark company was no longer making magazines.
Can we rejoice that the company that has been used by the enemy of our souls has stopped producing glossy sin packets? I don’t think so. Took another way, the stopping of those magazines reveals that our relationship with pornography has changed. We have been so desensitized, so steeped in a culture of hyper-sexuality, that what would have peaked our interest a few decades ago, doesn’t quite do it for us anymore.
Dear reader, the average age of exposure to pornography is 11 years old. In many cases, it happens much sooner. I was 12 when a friend showed me the pages of a dark magazine. It turned my whole world on its’ head. Suddenly the joys that I had when I played with my toy airplanes or laughed with my siblings was eclipsed entirely by a black knowledge that there was so much more of sin to see. I couldn’t get that same hit of adrenaline from my favorite movies or from reading books that I could from looking at those pictures. At 12 years of age, I was swept away by the allure of this addicting new world and I fell far from any hope of knowing what sex was really meant to be.
Like all the trinkets of the enemy, pornography is shiny, distracting, and it has hidden hooks in it. I bit down hard on the glittery lie that said that the world knew more about sex than God did.
It doesn’t. I’m telling you right now that the world doesn’t know more about sex than God does.
“But God’s word is so limiting! He doesn’t hardly say anything about sex!”
Do you ever wonder why he doesn’t say much about it? That’s on purpose. It’s because the pleasure of being known by him and having a conversational relationship with him is so much greater, and that relationship lasts forever. How long will each of us even be able to physically have sex? Not very long when you compare that amount of time to eternity.
If I said something like, “Have you guys heard about the amazing new technology that is sweeping the world? I want to spend all of my time thinking about it, telling others about it, and learning more about how to copy it. Yeah, I totally just found it, it’s called the chariot. It’s pulled by horses!” You’d have my head examined, yes? Why would I waste my life being completely obsessed by something that doesn’t matter anymore?
In a few short years we will all be dead and in our eternal bodies, and in those bodies, we won’t be concerned at all about sex (Matthew 22:30). God will fulfill is so completely that we will lament, on our faces, every being even slightly concerned with something so small and trivial as sex.
Sex isn’t God. It can be made into a god, an idol that we falsely look to for happiness and satisfaction, but that wasn’t its original intent. Sex something made by God and meant to be enjoyed by a man and a woman who are husband and wife (1 Corinthians 7:1). it is for enjoyment (Proverbs 5:19), and if God wills it, procreation (pretty much the entire Bible). Yes, his plan for sex hasn’t changed since the beginning of time, if it did change then he would admit that his original intention wasn’t perfect. He doesn’t make mistakes. He simply can’t.
We’ve fallen far from the original intent of what God wanted sex to be. I’ve been married for a few months shy of two years and I’ve fought hard every day against the memories and images of pornography as they threaten to pollute the purity of our marriage bed. I live with the scars of not trusting that God knows best when it comes to sex.
I’m not the only one that has scars from this evil monster. I’ve personally known almost a dozen women who have been physically assaulted, molested, or raped. If you think that there is no cause and effect of our sex-obsessed culture and the rise of those horrible things in that same culture, then you’re in luck, because the internet is full of wonderful information and organizations that are yelling their message that the link between pornography and rampant sexual abuse is very real. But, even if those articles, studies, and organizations didn’t exist, you still can’t negate the words of God himself.
My dear reader, listen to the words of Christ,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks as a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” Matthew 5:27-30
Fight against the pornography-obsessed culture that you live in.
Fight against the pornographic images that are stored in your mind.
“How do I do that?!”
Pray, and pray hard. Don’t throw up a popcorn prayer and expect that your life will change… I mean, it might, but, more often than not, God takes us to a place of desperation where only he can deliver us a place where only he gets the glory for our deliverance. Learn to really pray. Fast. Fall on your face and weep and mourn for your sin and the sins of our culture. I can’t tell you what God wants you to do. If he is moving and stirring your heart as you read his words from Matthew, then I trust that he will be faithful to challenge you and chasten you so that you would be more like him. I trust him to work in your heart as he continues to work in mine, and I trust that through our pursuit of him and our mourning of this particular sin, that he will reveal to us what we must do to fight this great evil.
I’ll throw out a few people and organizations that I like and appreciate at the bottom of the page, but in the end, only a closer walk with Christ and a greater desire for holiness will break the monster that is ravaging our culture. It starts in my heart. It starts in yours.
Pray, people. Pray.
Until next time, let’s lose our lives!
People I like:
http://fightthenewdrug.org/ Follow them on twitter @fightthenewdrug (they also have sweet t-shirts [I have two of them :-)])