2015 | Week of February 9 – #1084
“Without question, the most miraculous sign of God’s favor has been in the ongoing restoration of my relationship with my wife. I will never fully grasp the depth of pain I caused her, the degree to which I betrayed her trust and shredded her self-esteem. Our former pastor described the impact of my addiction on my wife as like that of a Mac truck driving though a beautiful stained-glass window.”
That’s how one man described, in part, his battle with pornography and the impact it has had on his marriage.
According to one report from 2004, half of the divorces in any given year involve one spouse being involved with online pornography. That’s staggering. That means across the country, with about one million divorces each year, we have 500,000 divorces annually where pornography is a major player. In Wisconsin, that means we have over 5,000 such divorces each year.
Put that information with the 2014 national pornography-use survey commissioned by ProvenMen and conducted by Barna Group and the only conclusion you can come to is that pornography is destroying not only individual lives, but also marriages and families.
This 2014 ProvenMen survey showed, tragically, that the number of Christian men involved with pornography mirrors the world. 77% of Christian men between the ages of 18 and 30 say they look at pornography at least monthly. 64% of Christian men between the ages of 31 and 49 say they view pornography at least monthly. 36% of 18-30 year-old Christian men say they view porn at least daily and at least 32% of that age group admit to being addicted. 18% of Christian men ages 31-49 admit to addiction.
This study also indicates that married Christian men involved with pornography are more likely than those not involved with pornography to have extra-marital affairs.
These statistics should be shocking and heartbreaking. If these are accurate, and we have no reason to believe they are not, then we have thousands upon thousands of Christian homes across this country and right here in Wisconsin in serious trouble
Hurting oneself is one thing but bringing calamity to a spouse and children is something altogether different. Pornography is not innocent entertainment; it is not a victimless flirtation with an onscreen image. Real people—real wives and real children—are being hurt deeply as relationships are ravaged and trust broken.
The horrific stories of wives whose husbands have been involved with online pornography are far too easy to find. Sometimes the family unit completely disintegrates. Sometimes with great grace and forgiveness and much Biblical counseling the husband and wife, through God’s grace and mercy, can restore their shattered relationship and keep the family together.
Obviously, pornography is probably one of those sins that should not even be named among us as Christians—but it is. And if it’s in individual believers’ lives and their families, it’s in the local church. So the question becomes what will we as believers do about it?
This is National Marriage Week. Maybe this is the week your church begins tackling this pornography issue with special conferences, seminars, presentations that use the Word of God as the basis for helping people be set free from this vicious trap. Maybe this week the church becomes transparent on this issue and makes sure admitting personal failure in this area is safe—and that help is available—real, Biblical, honest, humble help. Maybe this is the week we do more than talk about accountability; we begin purposefully and practically actually doing accountability.
National Marriage Week ought to be a time we celebrate marriage—and I hope it is. But we dare not ignore those areas that are destroying marriages—and pornography should be right up there at the top of the list. Satan wants marriage and family as God designed it destroyed. Online pornography is obviously a major tool in his arsenal. By God’s grace and for the sake of His institution of marriage and family, let’s admit the problem and begin seeking forgiveness, healing and restoration.
This is Julaine Appling with Wisconsin Family Council reminding you the prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”