Another addiction that is causing damage all over the world is the addiction to pornography. Depending on which set of statistics you look at, between fifty and seventy-five percent of church-attending men regularly view pornography or have some sexual struggle. Over ninety- eight percent of “sight-enabled” (had to clarify that after a gentleman pointed that out) men in the church have willfully viewed some form of pornography in their lifetime. I think the other two percent are lying, but that is just my opinion. This type of addiction has many facets to it, but let’s focus on the idea that the addiction to pornography is a way of not having to engage with a woman or your wife. I’ve spent a lot of time counseling men who struggle in the area of pornography and sexual addictions. Most of them are married and struggling to engage with their wife. Those men that are single and struggling tend to have issues confronting women with the intent of getting to know them or date them.

There are numerous resources out there to help you get free from the pornography and I list many of them on my website for you. There is so much freedom and reward to be had when you get free from pornography.

When we choose to view pornography rather than engaging with our spouses, we are really checking out. It can be an acceptance issue. Pornography doesn’t turn you down unless you have credit card issues, but your wife has likely turned your down for sex or you’ve perceived her as turning you down for sex. Remember, Satan is right there hoping to get you to choose lust and pornography over your wife. If you are feeling emasculated or less of a man because she turned you down, then there is most likely a wound surrounding your sexuality. When we allow a woman to have the authority to define us as a man, we have given her the authority to validate that masculinity. If we’ve given her authority over our masculinity through sexual control, we have also given her authority to invalidate us or emasculate us by perceived or real rejection of sex or the withholding of sex. The only place we should get our validation as a man or in our masculinity is from God.

Rather than allowing her to define you or perceiving her answer to sex, try talking with your wife. By simply talking with her you would be amazed at what you could learn about the reasons why she may not be engaging in intimacy.

Paul struggles with pornography and masturbation as well as the lack of intimacy between them while his wife, Marie, struggles with depression, feelings of being overwhelmed, and a lack of desire to be intimate with her husband. She is aware that he struggles with pornography but doesn’t know the extent of it. She understands that even through her depressive state she shouldn’t withhold sex from her husband. However, she gets frustrated because when she’s intimate with him one night, he pressures her to be intimate again the next. Having spent time counseling both of them individually and together, I had them form a schedule of nights to be intimate. There wasn’t much romance in it, but it was a starting point. The schedule spoke to his fear of not getting any intimacy and to her need to not feel pressured.

After using the schedule of intimacy every two days, Paul complained it wasn’t frequent enough for him and he kept going to the pornography and masturbation. We talked about how he was getting more sex than before and how he needed to step out in the areas where he was feeling the least amount of comfort in his life. He chose the area of spiritual leadership in his family as the place to step out of his comfort zone and into the unknown and uncomfortable. Choosing to engage his wife and family was very intimidating, especially because he felt guilt and shame or condemnation for viewing pornography. The next week, Marie shared about how led the family in a really deep Bible study which wasn’t normal for him. It impressed her so much that he got an extra night of unscheduled sex.