0

What Should a Single Girl Know about Guys Struggling with Porn?

What Should a Single Girl Know about Guys Struggling with Porn

Photo: ©svetikd from Getty Images Signature via Canva.com

Pornography is a pervasive sin in the sense that the outward behavior—viewing porn—speaks to a heart idolatry that is not as evident at first glance. Though there is wisdom in cutting off porn behavior (Matthew 5:29-30), the only way to be truly free is by rooting it out at its source, which implies identifying the idol that feeds the porn addiction. There will be many idols operative in a porn person’s heart. You may find the idol of comfort, respect, control, power, or reputation. Though this chapter will not deal with the rooting out of these idols, it’s vital for those caring for the caught individual to understand that there is more happening with the person in porn than what meets the eye.

You may want to read:

Pervasive Porn Problem

Because porn is an external problem, you must look underneath the behavioral sin to see the pervasive nature of it. There is always at least one idol that feeds our behaviors, and it’s not unusual to find the same idol manifesting in different ways. When it come to pornography, you want to be in-tune to how these idols are operational in the person’s life. When his wife learns about his porn problem, she will not connect these dots for obvious reasons: the devastation will be intense, and, typically, her heart sinks as her mind wanders, thinking that his problem has something to do with her.

The untethered mind might say, “I’m not satisfying him physically.” Instead of thinking of his deficient and depraved life, she will begin punishing herself with thoughts about not being what he needs, which is why he chose porn. It seems counterintuitive for her to consider how this problem has nothing to do with her, but once that stronghold takes her mind captive, it’s hard to break, even though the Bible could not be clearer: Nobody can cause another person to sin, no matter what the sin is (James 1:14-15). Sin is a choice. There is no permission for any husband to explain his sin away or dump it on another person, including his wife.

We’re personally accountable to God for our actions. “The devil made me do it” or “my wife made me do it” won’t wash with the Savior. “David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the LORD’” (2 Samuel 12:13), and he was right. He went on to say, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment” (Psalm 51:4). David’s heart must be every man’s starting point if he wants help with his sin. The harsh truth is that the porn guy is not thinking about his wife at all, except for how he is lusting after her. It’s all about his gratification. It’s all about using someone—anyone—to bring sensual pleasure to himself.

Biblical Sex or Porn Sex

Addicts are users, like someone addicted to drugs. There is no way his wife could ever measure up to his sinful cravings; no wife could. For the porn guy, his wife is just another body for him to find lust-filled pleasure. He has no loyalty to anyone but himself, as though being married means nothing more than satisfying his lusts. Part of the wife’s struggle is that she will be thinking about biblical sex rather than porn sex. That is why she has a hard time thinking rightly about the problem. That is why she may succumb to the temptation to believe it has something to do with her. She’s thinking biblical sex while he’s acting out porn sex. Those acts are two different things with two different objectives.

The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

Paul was clear on what biblical sex was supposed to be. Biblical sex is always about the other person. Biblical sex is about the other-centered attitude of the gospel (Mark 10:45). Gospel-centered sex is about giving graciously to the spouse. When the wife understands this truth, she knows it would not matter who she was or what she had because it’s not about her primarily. Yes, it should be about her if her husband understood and applied the gospel to his marriage, but that is not what he is doing. He is sinning, and his sin is self-centered. There is little difference in the porn guy’s mind between his wife, an Internet porn star, or a prostitute. I’m speaking of the hideousness of this sin. It hardly matters who becomes the object of his lust. It’s all about sinful passion. This problem is a real-world travesty that is decimating the Christian community.

Rick's Books on Amazon

It Is About You

With that said, every wife needs to know she has a sexual role in the marriage, which should emulate the gospel. If she is gospel-motivated, she will apply Paul’s teaching because a biblical wife knows her body belongs to her husband (1 Corinthians 7:4). While the spouse may not be the cause of the man’s choice to look at porn, she can tempt him to look at porn. This distinction is critical, and she should understand it. There are things she can do to lure him into looking elsewhere when it comes to sex. Let me share with you three of the more common ways a wife can tempt her husband toward lust.

  • She can disrespect him by complaining, nagging, demeaning, or withholding encouragement. Men are not as strong and unfazed as they may want you to believe. Men can be real babies, including me, when it comes to craving respect. It is part of our identity. We want people to appreciate us, especially for what we do. Our Adamic wiring is from the Lord. Doing stuff and taking care of things is how God made us. A wife who does not understand this and withholds her respect and admiration from her husband can tempt him to desire appreciation from other places and other people.
  • Withholding sex is a big no-no in marriage, too. This warning was from Paul. One of the best ways a wife can show her admiration and love for her husband is by wanting him physically. This desire to want to be wanted is another weak area for guys. They want to be wanted sexually by their wives. A wife who wants to be intimate with her husband is honoring him.
  • Many women do duty sex because of the conflict in their marriages. They reluctantly honor Paul’s request not to withhold, but they don’t engage their mates in the moment of physical intimacy. They hope that he will experience satisfaction soon so that it will be over. Soon. She is sending a clear statement to the husband that she does not desire him, and that can become a source of temptation.

I realize many wives reading this are frustrated women. When I write about how things ought to be, some of them respond in anger. No doubt what I’ve written here will be a source of frustration to many women who feel trapped in marriages that seem to have no hope of changing. To talk about their failing marriage would be beyond the scope of this book. This chapter is for those ladies who want to marry a guy but do not understand the comprehensive complexities of porn. I hope that many soon-to-be-married ladies will read this chapter, and it will help them avoid future pitfalls. If your marriage is already in the pit, you need help in other ways. However, there are truths here that you will have to interact with at some point if you want a changed marriage.

Salvation Is Not Enough

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires (Ephesians 4:22).

Some people believe that all you need is salvation to overcome a porn addiction. I wish that were the case, but it’s not. The issue is more complex, and Paul provides us with a clue when he talks about our former manner of life. For example, the majority of people who get into porn get into porn before God regenerates them (Galatians 6:1-2). Though God saved them at a young age, they were not fortified or equipped to understand and resist porn. Maybe it was imposed upon them by a knucklehead friend. Perhaps they stumbled upon it. A typical statement that I hear from older guys after they come out of porn is they were not honest with their future wives about it. They also were not transparent with others. Porn is a secret sin.

These single guys may tell their soon-to-be wives they looked at porn, which most guys have to admit because of the ubiquitous reality of it, but they withhold some of the facts, especially if it’s still a struggle. The girlfriend is satisfied with his humble acknowledgment, and they move on with their relationship. Ten to fifteen years later, she catches him in porn. What I have just described is the most common scenario for porn in marriage. It would behoove any young lady to be more inquisitive, though I think many of them do not want to know, especially after the engagement and just before the imminent wedding. Here are a few probing questions any young couple should be willing to work through as it relates to pornography. These questions are explicit and only intended for the couple on the verge of marriage, not for any random dating couple who is not serious about or strategically planning on marrying each other.

  1. Have you ever looked at porn?
  2. How much porn have you viewed?
  3. How often did you look at porn?
  4. What were some of the ways you enjoyed porn?
  5. Why did you do it?
  6. Who knew about it?
  7. Who did you seek to help you?
  8. When was the last time you masturbated?
  9. Why did you masturbate?
  10. How often have you masturbated this past year? The past five years?
  11. What accountability measures do you have in your life to help you work through pornography and masturbation?

Questions #6, #7, and #11 will reveal to you how honest he is because it is rare for a person to defeat porn alone. It would be questionable if he said he overcame porn temptations without anyone knowing about it. If he humbly sought help from a spiritual mentor, you can know he has been thinking rightly about the problem and what it takes to overcome it. If you talked to the person who helped him, that would be instructive and reassuring to you. People will always seek to put their best foot forward. When it comes to porn, you do not want to take a guy’s word alone. There is too much at stake. If you can talk to another person and get their insight, that would be wise. If your boyfriend is humble, he would be more than willing to tell you all you want to know. The humble person has nothing to protect and nothing to hide. Your questions and his answers will tell you quickly who you are dealing with and where he stands with God and you. If he becomes angry, defensive, or evasive, it’s “on you” if you marry him.

Leaders Over Coffee Web Banner

A Former Manner of Life

Everyone has a former manner of life. We’re born in sin, and because of adverse shaping influences and poor personal choices, sin gloms onto our lives before we encounter the Savior. There are no exceptions, making it vital that we do not self-righteously condemn another fellow sinner, especially when their sin is not as socially acceptable as ours. In one sense, all sin is the same in that any transgression, no matter how big or small, will put Christ on Adam’s tree. “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10). The murderer and the gossiper are the same in that they both have sinned. Note how Paul does not make a distinction between a murderer and a person who sins with her tongue. There is one category: we’re guilty before God.

They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless (Romans 1:29-31).

We know that some sins are weightier and have different consequences. But there is no contradiction here. It is two truths about our sinfulness. In one way, all sin is the same. In another way, they are not; the consequences for some sins can be severe. Regardless, the truth is that we all have our sins, and hopefully, we are agonizing before God, seeking His help as well as the help of others so we can overcome our sinfulness. It is common for a brother to struggle with porn. It is common for a sister to wrestle with beauty insecurities. Both of them are the same in that they are mocking Christ by seeking satisfaction outside of His gospel-filled provision. Sinning, as a saint, is more natural than one might think.

Don’t Forget Caught Brothers

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-2).

There is one more dynamic to this conversation that I want to insert, which is the Galatians 6:1-2 factor. Paul is talking about addiction here. It is possible for a young man to be addicted to porn or, to use Paul’s language, to be caught in any transgression. There are millions of Christians caught in sin today. For example, there are women stuck in anxiety, unforgiveness, and bitterness. And sin has captured men in porn and drugs. There are men and women trapped in the bondage of identity issues: the man regarding his work and the woman about her appearance.

We are addictive people, and it’s common to become caught in sin. We should not be surprised by this because that was the purpose of Christ’s coming: to save us from ourselves. Sin is destructive and does not discriminate. Satan has one objective: to kill and devour, and being a Christian does not automatically insulate you from his devices. (See John 10:10; 1 Peter 5:8.) We can be a mess at times, but we do not have to be discouraged. Christ has overcome the world (John 16:33). With a little wisdom, faith, perseverance, and a few insightful questions, you will be well-equipped to move forward into marriage.

Call to Action

  1. How would you help a wife break the stronghold of thinking her husband’s porn problem is because of her?
  2. How would you help her to see that she may have fueled his temptations, even though she is not the cause?
  3. Why is it crucial for a girlfriend to know about a guy’s sin history with porn?
  4. How would you help her resist self-righteousness should she find out her boyfriend or spouse struggles with porn?

Need More Help?

  1. If you want to learn more from us, you may search this site for thousands of resources—articles, podcasts, videos, graphics, and more. Please spend time studying the ones that interest you. They are free.
  2. If you want to talk to us, we have private forums for those who support this ministry financially. Please consider supporting us here if you would like to help us keep our resources free.

Mastermind Program Web Ready Banner

Print Friendly, PDF & Email