Porn and Marriage

QUESTION: Porn and marriage - Does porn have a place in developing marital intimacy?

ANSWER:

In order discuss porn and marriage intimacy, we must first understand marital intimacy. Unfortunately, many couples equate "intimacy" with the act of having sexual intercourse. Sadly, the prevailing culture often uses these terms as if they are interchangeable. When a physician or marital therapist asks a couple, "Have you been intimate recently?" it is almost always understood to mean, "Have you had sex lately?" Yet, when we truly understand what intimacy is all about, we begin to realize that sexual intimacy is only one aspect of experiencing true intimacy.

Man was not made for sex; rather, sex was created by God to be a wonderful expression of a deep commitment between a man and a woman. Sexual intercourse is not only a pleasurable gift that may be shared between a man and a woman, but it is also a physical manifestation of a closeness that should already exist spiritually, mentally, and emotionally between a husband and wife. Sexual intimacy is also symbolic of a mutual desire for the "ultimate" expression of intimacy which is experienced as husband and wife truly become "one flesh."

Does porn have a place in developing marital intimacy? Consider Ben, who struggles with impotency. Adding to his physiological challenge, Ben is developing a growing distaste for his wife's maturing body. He tells himself that she has "let herself go" and that he no longer finds her desirable. However, he has "needs" and so he turns to the external stimulation provided by graphic images of a naked stranger who embodies "the sex goddess" of his dreams. He has no problem achieving arousal when he views these videos. He tells himself that what he is doing is okay because his wife is sitting right there with him, watching the same videos. Besides, he reasons, she gets to enjoy the benefit of being visually aroused, as well. The heartbreaking truth, however, is that when he enters into lovemaking that follows the viewing of such videos, he isn't experiencing intimacy with his wife. He is having sex with a woman who exists only in his imagination, but who satisfies him in a way that he tells himself that his wife can no longer do.

Allison wonders to herself whether porn and marriage can go together. Her marriage has always been characterized by her own struggle with real sexual intimacy. Allison was molested by her father throughout her childhood and has never been able to respond sexually to her husband, Rob. A friend has suggested that she pick up an X-rated flick or two to look at with Rob before having sex. "It will help you relax and just go with the feeling. You just need some great sex! I promise you, it will make a new woman of you." Deep inside of herself, Allison knows that this experience will not bring Rob and her closer, but instead, will invite a stranger into their bedroom. She reasons, "This can't be the way to achieve marital intimacy."

Pornography is the third partner in the bedroom. Pornographic images replace the intimacy that comes from making love to the person with whom there is a mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical bond. Viewing porn is not a solution for marital dysfunction or lack of spousal intimacy. There's an old saying, "garbage in -- garbage out." The Bible tells us that we are not to be conformed to the images of this world, but are to be transformed, by allowing God to renew our minds. The spouse that foolishly believes that pornography is an acceptable tool to achieve marital intimacy is in need of the transforming power that only God can give. The good news is that God is able to break the toughest strongholds in our lives, even those who hold our mind captive with the unhealthy images associated with pornography (2 Corinthians 10:4-5). If porn has become a part of your marriage, we encourage you to consult a pastor or a Christian counselor who specializes in sexual addiction.

Learn More About Porn Addiction.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? - We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

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