Question:

Hi! My boyfriend is addicted to porn and sex web sites. It hurts me so. I want to help him, but I don't know how. Can you please help me? And would you please pray for him everyday? He needs God's help urgently!


Answer:

You are correct that your boyfriend needs help. Few people who are into pornography realize how dangerous they are to their view of the world and their view of women.

I was reading A Return to Modesty by Wendy Shalit this morning I happened across a interesting quote from Mademoiselle magazine where Jennifer Silver expresses why she was uncomfortable with her boyfriend's use of pornography.

"The real reason I hated Playboy was that the models established a standard I could never attain without the help of implants, a personal trainer, soft lighting, a squad of makeup artists and hairdressers, and airbrushing. It's a standard that equates sexuality with youth and beauty. I didn't want my boyfriend buying into Playboy's definition of sexuality. I was planning a future with this man, and I wanted to feel secure in the knowledge that, even after two kids and 20 years, he would still find me sexy."

I think she squarely hit on one of pornography's problems. It is imaginary and fake. Thus it sets up expectations which never can be achieved and leaves the porn user always dissatisfied.

Biblically it is the sin of lusting after other women. "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). And the use of porn is directly condemned. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God" (I Thessalonians 4:3-5).

The real problem for you, however, is that until your boyfriend admits he has a problem, he won't change. In I Corinthians, Paul scolds the Christians in Corinth about all sort of sins they had allowed themselves to get wrapped up in doing. But in his next letter, Paul had this explanation, "For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:8-11). The start of a complete change in life starts by being sincerely sorry that you had done wrong. It is that sorrow that gives the motivation to make radical changes in your behavior.

So, let's look at this situation. I sincerely hope you do not want as a husband a man who looks at women as objects and drools over their bodies. It would cheapen your own self-image and it would constantly undermine your relationship. If you firmly believe this, then tell him: "I'm not marrying a porn user, so as long as you keep looking at that trash, you're wasting your time seeing me." And then stick to your guns. Understand that he must prove himself worthy of your love and at the moment he's coming up short.

I think you will be surprised at the power you have over a man to cause him to desire to change. If he isn't willing to dump the pornography (the fake) for you (the real), then it is a good thing you found out about it now and not 20 years into a marriage with two kids. But I would say the odds are greatly in your favor that he values you more than pictures on the Internet.

That doesn't mean he won't have a struggle fighting this temptation, but if he knows what is at stake and he is willing to hold on to his girlfriend, he will have the motivation to change.