Some would say, “It is impossible these days to keep your eyes pure, because there is so much pornography out there; we see it practically everywhere we go.” But I want to tell you that with God’s help, and with practice, it is a battle that can be won!
In this post we will talk about how people get trapped into viewing pornography, then about its results, and last, about how to fight against it.
How People Get Trapped Into Viewing Pornography
The reason why people (both men and women) get trapped into viewing pornography is because they have not been warned against it, and they are unprepared to face it. Satan comes against them as an angel of light to deceive them and trap them, and as a roaring lion to devour them. And the reason why they continue in it is because they find that it provides for them an erotic fantasy, which stimulates their erotic drives and supports certain sexual habits. The main one I suppose is the habit of masturbation, which is a cruel, demonic enslavement by one’s own desires. It is cruel because it grips and controls you and will not set you free. It is demonic because it seeks to keep you away from God. And it is enslaving because it is never satisfied; it goes on and on, and pornography is its food. As long as the food is consumed the deadly habit will continue. And of course there are other sexual habits (or ways of acting out sexually), which we will not take time to discuss here.
The Results of Pornography
There are so many bad results of pornography. I will list just four of them:
1. Prayer is hindered. Since the viewing of pornography is a sin (Matt. 5:28, Ex. 20:26), when we give into it, we in effect remove ourselves from God’s presence (1 Jn. 2:15), and thus, prayer is made impossible (Ps. 66:18, Jn. 9:31).
2. Sexual disease is increased. When pornography is viewed, either by a man or a woman, it tends to make them more sexually active and also more open to sexual advances. Then, as a further result, sexual disease will increase.
3. Crime is increased. J. Edgar Hoover once said, “We do know that sex crime is associated with pornography. It is creating criminals faster then jails can be built.” If that was true back then, it is certainly true now. Pornography is much worse now, and so is crime.
4. Self-pleasure becomes the primary focus. Pornography promotes the attitude that sex is meaningless other than for self-pleasure, that it is just a masturbatory activity. Hence, pornography attempts to reduce life to nothing but physical pleasure and immediate gratification. Therefore, with this attitude that pornography has created, the ability to truly love another is shattered, thus making good friendships and a healthy marriage impossible.
How to Fight Against Pornography
Here are six things you can do to fight against pornography in order to keep your eyes pure:
1. Commit yourself to purity. Purpose that you will not view pornography or look lustfully on a woman (or a man). Have the commitment of Job, who said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman” (Job 31:1)? But your commitment will be nearly impossible if you do not seek the help of others. I suggest that you get yourself into an accountability group of the same sex (men with men and women with women). Find a group that will help you with your specific problem. There are a few very good purity groups out there.
2. Get rid of all forms of pornography. If you have any form of porn in your home, you are inviting Satan in to destroy your life. If you haven’t already, get rid of any books, magazines, or videos that are the least bit pornographic—anything that is lustful and sexual. Also, if you have cable TV and Internet access, and if either or both of those have become a temptation for you to view pornography, put a block on it; but if that doesn’t work, get rid of it—cancel it. It is not worth the risk.
Some would say, “But there is so much good on the Internet; I think it’s worth the risk.” Well, I strongly disagree. Never sacrifice your holiness for a few good things you may gain, because in the end Satan will use it to destroy you.
3. Practice bouncing your eyes away from what may cause you to lust. If you really want to be holy you must make this a practice. When you happen to see someone that you think you may begin to lust after, immediately turn your eyes away. Proverbs 4:25 says, “Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.”
4. Remind yourself constantly that “Charm is deceptive, and beauty fleeting; but a woman [or a man] who fears the Lord is to be praised” (Prov. 31:30). This constant reminder will help you to realize how Satan works in the world to trap you and deceive you. Hence, when you realize that outward beauty is only skin deep, and lasts for only a few years, you will be more aware of all those things that are truly praiseworthy and have an inner beauty.
5. Know that God is always present and watching. Everyone who has ever been tempted to view pornography, and to lust and fantasize, has always tried to convince themselves that God isn’t watching or that He doesn’t care about whether we sin or not. That is the nature of temptation. But God does care about you, and He sees everything you do. Proverbs 15:3 says, “The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good.” In Psalms 90:8 the Psalmist prays, “You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your presence.” Also in Jeremiah 23:24, God asked the question: “Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him…do not I fill heaven and earth?”
I think it would be good to commit these verses to memory. The thought that God cares (1 Peter 5:7) and that He sees everything you do will give you strength to resist the next time you are tempted.
6. Give yourself some accountability. Employ some reliable friends to ask questions periodically about what you are doing and what you are looking at. For the internet I recommend Covenant Eyes. It is an excellent accountability program, where your accountability partners will be able to monitor everything you view; that is, they will get daily or weekly reports on what sites you are going to and what kinds of things you are looking at. I think it’s very effective. I use it myself.
7. Live by the Spirit. Galatians 5:16 says, “…Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Well, you say, that’s easy to say, but how do you really do that? My answer is simply to keep reading the Word and praying, and to keep trusting God and obeying Him as best you can. And when you find yourself in a difficult situation, that is, when your thoughts are tempting you to sin, use the Word and prayer to cast those thoughts down (2 Cor. 10:5). Hence, live by constant prayer, and dependence on the Holy Spirit and the true Word of God.