What are the most harmful consequences when a "married man" struggles with pornography?

Although the sexual sin of pornography has grave consequences for everyone, the consequences become increasingly ominous as one’s role of spiritual accountability for others increases.  No doubt, this is true for a married man.  There are multiply layers of ramifications when a Christian married man struggles in any way with pornography, but here are the two I would argue are most obvious and most devastating.

The most obvious and harmful consequence for the married man who views pornography is the devastating betrayal of his wife and the covenant of marriage he has made to his wife before God.  It needs to be recognized that viewing pornography and committing the physical act of adultery are not the same thing.  In a married man’s mind, they are not even in the same category.  For the wife, the betrayal is stunningly similar.  The harmful effects on the wife and on the marriage relationship are likely to be similar as well.  The wife doubts her husband’s physical attraction to her.  The marriage bed is perceived as polluted.  Trust on all levels is broken.  If a married man keeps his pornography struggle a secret from his wife (which most try and are able to do for a while), these same consequences escalate to an even greater level once the struggle is exposed.

 As destructive as this previous consequence is, it does not match the destructive consequence of how the gospel is perverted when a married man engages with pornography.  The Apostle Paul writes that a Christian husband’s love for his wife is to be a display of Christ’s love for his church in the way he gave his own life for her (Eph. 5:25).  When a man seeks satisfaction in pornography, he betrays and hurts his wife in such a way that displays Christ as a selfish, unloving adulterer.  The enemy wins an especially harmful victory when he targets married men and seduces them through the venue of sexual sin because this perversion so distorts the gospel to a watching world.

For more practical help on the matter, look at these two previous posts:

For Hurting Wives…

For Recovering Husbands…

The most harmful consequences for the single man will be considered for a future post..

Posted in Battling Sin
6 comments on “What are the most harmful consequences when a "married man" struggles with pornography?
  1. Ryan says:

    Thank you for this Brother. I praise God for you and your faithful pastoral care. Now stop blogging on your vacation!!!

    Love ya Brother.
    Ryan

    • Brian Croft says:

      Are you kidding? I think clearer about this blog stuff while gone than when I am home and have to write about other things! Thanks for your encouragement! It is a joy to attempted to pursue faithfulness, by God’s grace, when called to care for folks like you and your wife.

  2. dr.j says:

    step#5 in “for recovering husbands” blog you said husbands should reaffirm their attraction to their wife. what does a guy do who has no or very little attraction?

    • Brian Croft says:

      Great question and a common one. I hesitate to say too much without a greater knowledge of the situation. It is safe to say that every husband had a great attraction to his wife, otherwise he wouldn’t have married her. The first place to ask questions to that husband is what has changed from your wedding day to now that has stolen the attraction. A number of responses could be given by that husband, and depending on the answer, start digging from there.

      Regardless the reason a husband will give, a Christian husband is to flee the adulteress woman and delight solely in his wife (Proverbs 5), which is ultimately connected to loving his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5). The new heart given through the transformation of the gospel is enough for any husband to renew that physical attraction to his wife if it has been lost as he submits to Christ by faith. God will be faithful to give that attraction as a husband faithfully prays for it and pursues obedience to Christ.

      May the Lord give you wisdom as you counsel and care for any brother you find in this position.

  3. momofsons says:

    Thanks for speaking about this subject. I would like to know why you say the marriage bed is “perceived as polluted” when the husband is absolutely polluting it. I believe the church minimizes this sin.

    • Brian Croft says:

      I am referring to the perceived differences (with men and women) when pornography is viewed and the act of adultery is actually committed. Yes, the marriage bed is being polluted in both cases, but in different ways between the two, I trust you agree.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "What are the most harmful consequences when a "married man" struggles with pornography?"
  1. […] 19, 2010 by Brian Croft On a previous post I gave what I thought were the two most obvious and devastating consequences when a married man […]

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