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