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

On a previous post I gave what I thought were the two most obvious and devastating consequences when a married man struggles with pornography.  For this post, I want us to consider the two most obvious and devastating ramifications for a Christian single man.

One of the most obvious consequences is how pornography perverts a single man’s understanding of God’s good purpose for sex in marriage.  God said that it was not good for man to be alone (Gen. 2:18).  Man has a God-given desire to have a helper, companion, and lover in a wife, and this desire is good.  Specifically, sexual desires from this one flesh union (Gen. 2:24) are to be fulfilled and enjoyed solely and completely in a wife (Prov. 5:19).  This is affirmed in many places in the Bible, including an entire book (Song of Solomon) dedicated to the enjoyment and pleasure that is to be experienced between a husband and wife within the confines of marital intimacy.  

Yet, if someone continually fills their mind and heart with a perversion of God’s truth like viewing pornography does, he will eventually believe and apply that perversion.  Pornography causes men to see women simply as objects for their own pleasure and not beautiful human beings who are to be cherished, honored, and respected.  The longer a man exposes himself to an evil, selfish perversion of God’s design for sex, the more likely that man will bring that understanding into bed with his wife and not experience what God has intended for a husband and wife.  This misunderstanding also inevitably leads to the naivety of most men to think that this struggle suddenly vanishes once married.

Another harmful consequence to a single man’s struggle is the deep frustration and discontentment that ultimately accompanies any attempt to allow sin to replace that which only God can satisfy.  C.S. Lewis affirmed this truth in saying:

All that we call human history–money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery–[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

If a single man seeks satisfaction in pornography and masturbation instead of Christ, he will be in bondage to sin’s empty promises and never experience the joy that only comes from walking with the Savior and treasuring him most.  May the Lord give every single brother in Christ the confidence and self-control to believe God’s promises for him as he awaits that wife who will captive him by her love (Proverbs 5:15-20).

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

    thank you for these posts.

    one question: you seem to have thrown the topic of masturbation into the same category as porn? would you be able to expand on this? ought we counsel that masturbation is sinful?


    • Brian Croft says:

      Thanks for your question. In regard to masturbation, yes, I feel it is always sinful when connected with pornography. Yet, I feel too much focus is given to the act when the heart needs to be the greater issue.

      This is certainly a complicated issue that I feel unable to deal within a comment reply, but maybe something to deal with on a future post. A resource that I feel deals with this particular issue well (though I don’t agree with everything in it) is Mark Driscoll’s online resource, “Porn-again Christians.”

  2. bobw says:

    ok thanks. if you do consider the topic for a future post, I would especially be interested in discussion on masturbation that is NOT connected with pornography. meanwhile, thanks for pointing me to the Driscoll resource.

  3. Nathan says:

    I think that this a great post and so I feel like I might be picking at something minor as it relates to this post, but is not necessarily minor when this incorrect generalization is made to support other conclusions.

    God did *not* say that is not good for man to be alone, in Genesis 2:18.

    Gen 2:18 says that it is not good for THE man, Adam, to be alone. You may infer that since God is speaking of Adam, He must be speaking of a general truth of all men, but I think that idea fails because Jesus did not demonstrate it and Paul talks about remaining single as a good thing.

    I thought I would mention it because people use this generalization (single men are not in a good situation) to look down on single men in different ways.

    • Brian Croft says:

      A good question. You are right in your scripture reference. I also believe singleness is a specific calling for some and is not to be looked down upon. However, we may agree to disagree here, but Adam and Eve do represent the entire human race (as our parents) in many different ways throughout scripture, as well as those through whom God chose to institute marriage between one man and one woman as an ordinance of creation. On that basis, I am comfortable applying that God’s design for marriage for us comes from this one flesh union.

      No worries on inquiring on a minor note. A good thing to wrestle with. Thanks for writing.

      • Nathan says:

        I don’t see a disagreement between us about marriage. God certainly reveals to us His design for marriage in Adam and Eve. God has shown us in Genesis a pattern of life that He created, but that pattern cannot be mandatory because Jesus Himself did not follow the pattern physically. He did not leave and cleave unto a wife. He did not fruitfully multiply by begetting physical children.

        If you look for conclusions based on the idea that it is not good for man to be alone, you will find them all over the place. Marry young because it is not good for man to be alone. Single men are considered to be necessarily immature and cannot have a certain level of maturity that only marriage bestows. Some single men are not content with their life because they think that it is not good for man to be alone. Many around the single man are unsettled by his singleness because it is not good for man to be alone.

        A reason I bring this up is because I’ve heard it said that singleness is a gift, but I have never seen it treated that way. How should we (single and married people) treat singleness as a gift?

        • Brian Croft says:

          I think singleness is a gift in the way that Paul referred to as one’s affections not being divided and can be given solely to the Lord’s work. However, the similarity of both Jesus and Paul is a disposition to not be in bondage to sexual sin, which marriage acts as a safeguard from (1 Cor. 7:5). I think you would agree, singleness is not a gift if it ensnares them to constant struggles with sexual sin. This is why I generally encourage single men to desire and pursue marriage as God’s design. However, for those called to singleness and those single brothers looking for a wife, but haven’t found one yet (many of whom I pastor), then that gift of singleness comes from our sovereign God who has not brought them to that place of life yet in His plan. The gift of singleness then, is all the things they are able to do to serve the Lord that cannot be done when married with children. I have watched many singles in our church use their freedom and flexiblity to serve others in the church and that is certainly a gift also.

  4. Derrick says:

    That’s just it. Maybe I am justifying sin maybe not, but the point is that not everyone is destine to meet there companion, especially in these days. I have experience and seen great disappointment over the years and both men and women are failing their roles as human beings. I’m 27 and already I grow tired of this society because it is not transforming for the better but for the worst it’s boring( its like a rerun of drama) . Women adore the bad boys and therefore they want to be used purposely. They drink there wine many years to find that the taste is bitter in the end. Then you have a large majority of men trying to put on different personalities to impress a girl. The divorce rate is high, unwanted pregnancies is high, high percentage of single mothers provided by the bad boy, disease rate is high, and so I delight in my wickedness until we go back to the days of the law. Be that as it May, but my solitude as prevented wasting money time and energy on what could never be in the first place. Not to take anything away from anyone, but I go by what I see. My problem is that some people are fortunate to have a wife, kids, husband, but they deny others the right to enjoy things their own way, that’s selfish. I learned that no one want a man that is on the come up, people want those who already have status and that is sad.
    I am open to discussions on this matter

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  1. […] 19, 2010 in Ben Terry with 0 Comments A great post from Brian Croft on this subject: “One of the most obvious consequences is how pornography perverts a single […]

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