The pornography industry is big business. One major pornographic site alone draws 80 million visitors a day which sales around a billion dollars a year. That is about 30 percent of the American population including children of all ages. How are we to fight this? Being a father of two children, I want to fight this sin myself and teach my kids how to think biblically about it. In this post, I’ll offer three things that have helped me fight against pornography over the years.
Now, I don’t want you to miss the point I’m sharing here. This is not about the sales information of the pornographic industry, or the psychological damages pornography does, nor is it about people’s opinion about pornography.
There are times and place to discuss those issues, but this post is about how to fight against the deadly sin of lust. I’ve never met a person who has experienced profound change because they heard how much money was made through the porn industry.
Too often, churches are good at preaching theology that doesn’t seem to reach their methodology. Jesus’ power is extremely practical, and I believe how we deal with sin can be practical as well. I used to look at pornography almost every day for decades. But by the grace of God, I’m finally set free.
As I mentioned to start, being a father of two, I want to fight for this well and teach them well how to think biblically about these issues. However, I realize that that is not always the case as I meet people. Let’s talk about three things that have helped me over the years:
#1 De-normalization of pornography
We need to recognize we are living in a culture saturated with pornography. We live in a pornographic culture. As a result, we are desensitized to pornography. “Well, everyone else in my youth group is watching it. It’s a lost cause. Why even care for it?”
Young men and woman are not bothered by pornography anymore. One day, we are certain there will be a reckoning for the explosion of pornography for its normalization of pornography in our culture. Pornography is evil. It is wrong, it is deadly, it distorts human sexuality, and it is an assault upon human dignity. The moral consequences not just the secular world but even in American Evangelicals is devastating. It should go without saying, but we can’t not say it in today’s culture—make sure pornography isn’t “normal” in your life.
#2 Cut off the supply
First Corinthians 6:9-11 says this,
“Don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit God’s kingdom? Do not be deceived: No sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, or males who have sex with males, no thieves, greedy people, drunkards, verbally abusive people, or swindlers will inherit God’s kingdom. And some of you used to be like this. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Too many people look at pornography with guilt of condemnation. But praise God, Paul doesn’t end with condemnation but with hope. Second Timothy 2:22 says, “Flee from youthful passions, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” Cut off the source. Flee from the sin. Martin Luther said it well, “Temptations, of course, cannot be avoided, but because we cannot prevent the birds from flying over your heads, there is no need that we should let them nest in our hair.”
#3 Be united in Christ
The ultimate need of the Christian fighting pornography is not new or better tips, tricks, or tools—it is Christ. Jesus is our source of help and comfort in time of need (Heb. 4:16). This union is intimately and intensely personal, and profoundly real, (John 6:53-58; Eph. 5:29-32; 1 Cor. 6:15-17) This union is spiritual as it brought about by the Spirit, who is the bond that unites us to Christ. (Romans 8:9-11; John 14:16-20; 1 John 4:13.) Therefore, as believers:
- We are in Christ.
- Christ is in us.
- We are like Christ.
- We are with Christ.
Apart from Him there will be no lasting change as it is the work of the Spirit of God. The power of faith does not reside in itself, but in its object, namely, in Jesus Christ.
Now, if by faith we come into this union with Christ, then it is on the basis of this union that we come to enjoy all Christ’s blessings. Heath Lambert has said, “The tide will begin to turn in your struggle against pornography when you begin to grasp forgiving grace and transforming grace, as you learn to repent.”
It’s not too late.
There is great hope in Christ. Pornography is a plague that has destroyed countless lives and can also destroy you and your family. The good news is, Jesus is greater than pornography. Jesus’ grace to change you is stronger than pornography’s power to destroy you. Biblical fatherhood knows this. Jesus’ grace is stronger than your own desire to watch sex.
However, until God is your chief concern, until sinning against Him is what makes your heart break, you will never turn the corner. There is hope in the Blessed Hope—Jesus Christ. It is not too late for you to fight against this sin. Fathers, you and I are leaving a legacy. We are raging war against this deadly sin. As you war against the sin of the flesh, as you battle against lust of the eyes, as you lead your family with your boys in this fight, there is great hope.
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