Hi Friends, if you're looking for the final The Best Yes webcast replay, click here.

Monday, October 29

What Women Want To Know About Pornography

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Jake Larson, with XXX church. He asked me if I’d like to guest post on his site. As my team and I read through Jake’s blog and checked out his website, we all felt certain he needed to post on my site. He is having a huge impact helping free people from the devastation of pornography.

I’ll be honest; there was a part of me that thought maybe this is too risky of an issue to tackle in our little blog space on the Internet.

But then I posted about the topic on facebook and realized women were begging to see this addressed. Really addressed.  

So, we’re going there today. What women want to know about pornography.

Your questions.  

Jake’s answers.

I just found out that my husband has an addiction to pornography, where do I go from here? What are my first steps as his wife? What am I supposed to do to help him?
 
This is a great question and I’ll tell you why. You are asking questions that are going to put you in a helper role verses a hinder role.

Although you are angry, hurt, and burdened by this discovery, it is imperative that you do not become another disperser of shame. Most men who are wrapped up in an addiction to pornography feel a level of shame that is paralyzing. They are well aware their behavior is detrimental to their marriage, to their relationship with God, and to their role as a father.

The shame pornography produces is literally killing men from the inside out. More than a lecture on the top ten reasons why he is scum, he needs to know that you are hurt, but you will help. Here are a few necessary steps:
 
Share with a friend
In order to help, you must immediately find a healthy outlet to be heard. Many women are so embarrassed by this discovery that they hide the pain and the secret from those who love them the most.

Immediately after finding out about your husband’s addiction to pornography you must seek out a friend and share your disappointment, pain, and insecurity. You will need the support.
 
“By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.” [ECCLESIASTES 4:12]
 
Require Tangible Steps
If your husband doesn’t take steps that require him to sacrifice time, money, pride, or freedom he will not succeed. It is absolutely imperative that you demand he gets help.

I have never met anyone who has overcome an addiction to pornography alone. It will not happen and it does not happen. Real tangible steps and sacrifices are the key to recovery.

He must meet with another man who will help him develop a plan for success.

He must be accountable for his actions online through filters and accountability software (www.x3watch.com).

He must give you access to his devices that enable him to view pornography.

He must dig deep into his soul and discover why he runs to pornography.
 
Many times men will tell their spouse that they are so sorry and will never do it again. At the time, he really does mean what he is saying. He sees the pain and hates the sin – he doesn’t want to go back to it. However, his statement of abstinence is far short from what is required to overcome the temptation.
 
Stay Engaged in The Relationship
Do not choose this as a time to check out and pull back your love. Your husband needs to know that he can count on your support and encouragement.

There is a big difference between staying engaged and enabling his behavior. This is not supposed to be an easy process with minimal discomfort for your husband.

However, isolation and shame often cause a man to spiral back into his unwanted sexual behavior. He needs your presence, encouragement, and love. This love demands actions, repentance, and responsibility.
 
The Bible says that you are your husband’s helpmate. Where he is weak you will be strong. As you stay engaged you will turn his weaknesses into strengths! He is going to be stronger and better with you in his corner than without you. Walking through this process together can be the beginning of a stronger, healthier, and Godlier marriage.
 
 
What can I do as a wife to help my husband preventatively?
 
In no way is this exhaustive, but here are a few suggestions.

The deepest need for a man is to be respected. Yes, even above sex (barely). He needs to know that you appreciate him and admire all he does for you and the family. This is key to any healthy marriage!

Second, meet his sexual needs. If you don’t make his sexual needs a priority his eyes will wander and he will struggle. Most every man will have a greater struggle with lust leading to pornography usage without a healthy sexual relationship with his wife.

Third, protect him. We can’t handle movies with strong sexual content and we’ll struggle in stimulating environments. However, we’ll experience them with you if you’ll let us and it won’t help our purity. Be an additional set of eyes protecting our purity. 
 
Is pornography wrong if it is something a couple enjoys together?
 
Yes. Many couples seem to fall into this temptation. They want some additional spice in their sex lives and pornography becomes the solution.

Only one problem, pornography is not reality. Pornography gives us unrealistic expectations of our spouse and turns sex into a purely physical act.

Women are damaged from pornography on an emotional, physical, and spiritual level. Watching pornography to spice up your sex life is like going to a marriage enrichment seminar taught by someone who has been divorced 4 times. If you want to learn how to connect with your spouse sexually from a dysfunctional and harmful role model, then pornography may be your method of choice.
 
Second, God created sex to be enjoyed between a husband and a wife. We are not to defile our marriage bed by inviting others to join us (Hebrews 13:4, Matthew 5:28).
 
“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love.” Proverbs 5:18-19
 
One woman asked, “What’s the big deal if my husband is thinking about a porn star while having sex with me?” I don’t know, only that he is fantasizing and lusting after a woman who is not his wife.

The third person in bed with you is purely fantasy today to become reality tomorrow. Pornography is not satisfied with a casual user. It will take you further down pornography blvd. than you ever expected to go.
 
Jake Larson is a Pastor at XXX church. You can follow him at www.jakelarson.com, www.twitter.com/larsonjake, and www.facebook.com/larson.jake

Discussion

  1. 1
    Lynette D says:

    Great stuff! The only one I disagree with is ‘if you give him enough sex he won’t wander.’ I know many who have had a great sex life and their spouses still had wandering eyes and hearts.

    • 2

      “not” I ment to write “not the wife’s fault”

      • 3

        Some ppeole may be too shy to tell other ppeole about their addiction, but aslong as their hearts are open to Jeasus so he can remove the sin, heal their heart and renew their minds (so that every time they get an impure thought they can simply let it go to Him and He will replace it with strength sometimes bit by bit over time) ..They may also find one person who could discreetly be their special mentor to support them in their conquering of this addiction.

    • 4

      Lynette, that’s the first thing I thought, too. Having gone through this for many years and our marriage has come out a success on the other side, that can make the wife feel that she is responsible for his sin. That is a dangerous place to be. Just like “Michelle” said below, it can turn into emotional suicide. Then a wife cannot help or support her husband. He can only really repent when he recognizes he is solely responsible to his sin.

    • 5

      Im so thankful this is being brought to light. I think it is also important to realize that when a husband is addicted to porn very often their desire for sexual intimacy with there spouse is diminished. This is the case for me and while I know God is working on refining our relationship through this hard time it stings to hear that if I would just be more sexual then he would be less tempted. I have been left alone crying myself to sleep because he has chosen porn over me.

    • 6

      Lynette, I couldn’t agree with you more, I was very disapointed when I read the part that said ‘if you give him enough sex he won’t wander.’ I have always taken very good care of myself appearance wise and been very physically fit and not only did I never turn him down I encouraged it but sexual intimacy with his wife nolonger filled the level of excitement he required. (addictions escalate) He not only still had wandering eyes and hearts but porn was not enough, he used these sites as hook ups to physically meet with other sex addicts. Unfortunately he was very manipulative and deceiving with his excuses that I didn’t find out till many years later.

  2. 7

    Fabulous, thanks for writing and sharing and having the guts…it’s so big and I don’t think people want to address it.

  3. 8

    Lysa,

    Thank you for being brave enough to go there. I know God will use this to benefit lives. Be strong and courageous!

    Jackie

  4. 9

    Thank you for taking on this issue. My ex-husband was an addict and it took away his career, his family, and quite honestly, his life in many ways. He is facing legal repercussions of his actions today. The shame I felt as a wife who wasn’t good enough, attractive enough, sexy enough, etc to keep my husband’s interest was horrible. But I realized through counseling and readings that it’s not about me. I would strongly recommend two books for others facing this battle … Out of the Shadows by Carnes, and Porn Free by Gardner. The last book was written by a man in our fellowship, and he frequently teaches classes on breaking this cycle of addiction through true Christian community & fellowship.

  5. 12

    As a woman and mother that has been destroyed by my husband’s pornography addiction I must say that I hope all of you look at many other sources asI feel that many of the statements in todays post are offensive. I cannot stress enough to the women going through this…get help! If your pastor isn’t responsive, find another! I am part of an online women’s support group for this exact reason! Find others fighting the fight and pray…not just for him but for yourself as your heartache is very very real.

    • 13

      Would you care to share how I can join a support group like you are talking about? Thank you

      • 14

        Jenna, google “Celebrate Recovery”. It is a 12 step course and open meetings. They are free and held at local churches nation wide. I have learned and grown so much at these support groups.

  6. 15

    What about women? Not just for the husbands, but for women addicted? What information is out there?

  7. 16
    Christine Marie says:

    Lysa, I commend you for being brave and making a stand against this issue. I have known many women who have, and are suffering with this alone. The amount of shame and embarrassment they feel is so devastating that they are afraid to speak out and get help. I pray and believe that if light is exposed on the darkness of pornography that many will have the courage to seek help!

  8. 17

    Lysa – this is a great topic to tackle. However, I believe with the “50 Shades” book and “mommy porn” escalation, we need to also be tackling the subject of women addicted to porn. So many women, even in the church, are justifying this behavior as “all in fun.” Sexual sin is sexual sin. Fantasy is fantasy. Men aren’t the only ones engaging.

    • 18

      Kelly, I totally agree with you! Woman need to understand it is no different.

      • 19

        Great ministry. I was a vitcim of this sin, and it is indeed hell. Only the grace of God is keeping my marriage and family together. I pray you will reach many and offer them a connection to Christ, as He is the only way to be saved. This is a huge problem – we live in a society that is pornographic in nature – it’s everywhere, it’s both tolerated and glamorized, and most people have no idea the relational and eternal consequences that it reaps. I would also recommend Setting Captives Free – it has been a key in overcoming my battle.

    • 20

      Shannon Ethridge – Christian author of Every Woman’s Battle just released The Fantasy Fallacy in response to the 50 Shades trilogy.

  9. 21

    I have to agree with Lynette. This man needs to stop saying “make yourself sexually available”. It isn’t about US. And being “available” to a man who has DEEPLY wounded you is akin to emotional suicide. Just DIE inside. He’s the only one whose important. Really?

    • 22

      I don’t think that Lysa means that we should become ‘available at all times whenever they want it we give it.’ It means that we shouldn’t completly cut them off. It is absolutly biblical and God tells wives to submitt to their husbands and for husbands to love their wives…with that being said, and as a woman who has lived through a husband with the addiction, I have read and researched this topic thoroughly….I also know that if I had not leaned on God and trusted Him to give me courage and strength to forgive my husband, even though I had been hurt, that we wouldn’t be married today and he wouldn’t be set free from this horrible addiction. Yes, it had to be on his part too, and the pain will be there…but we have responsibilites as wives according to God.

  10. 23

    Reading this brought me right back to the place I was almost 10yrs ago and just gives me such a sick feeling inside my tummy. I remember the hurt, pain, feeling cheated on and like “I was not enough” and could never keep up with the bodies he saw. I offered him all the sex he could handle and it was never desired or needed, which created another level of problems for me. I feel for anyone going through this, it was one of the hardest things, even though it was not another human he desired, it still created the same “cheated on” feelings for me.

    He eventually just locked himself out of the internet and sought help through the church. There can be a happy ending, but it will take work, LOTS of forgiveness, patience, tears and most of all help… Be brave and know that you are so loved! God will wrap his arms around you and keep you safe, just trust, just believe!! I am so sorry for anyone going through this.

    • 24

      Thank you SJ. My husband has been struggling for 8 years off and on, but has been faithful since last July (2012.) He hasn’t really been interested in me sexually since we got married (2 years ago) … until recently and it is still very rare that he will just be interested without me asking him to kiss me. It was because of the secret and double life he had to live and the shame, I guess. He has really had to try to renew his mind by God’s Word so that sex is not just about the physical activity but about connecting with me. It is still so hard some days, but I am so glad it is being brought into the light. THANKS so Much Lysa for being brave and sharing this! It helps so very much! I really needed this to remind me to support and respect him even when I am hurting.

    • 25

      I, too appreciate SJ & AA’s words! Thank you for giving me hope. My husband has battled with this addiction our whole marriage. There have been so many ups & downs for over 36 yrs. & if I didn’t have Jesus, we wouldn’t be married today. Is there any way I can get connected to this women & ask how their husband’s finally got victory? I know my husband really wants it. I have & will continue to support my husband in this battle, but I need to “reload” . Thanks to anyone out there who can help advise me!

  11. 26

    While I love your devotions, Lysa, and this was excellent, I was upset to see an ad for Obama with this devotion.

    What is going on here?

  12. 27

    Thank you so much for posting this! This area is something we have experienced and are growing through. I am so thankful my husband is in an accountability relationship and is taking steps to overcome this. Since so many of the resources are for helping the husband (and when my own husband was taking these steps and progressing), my BIG question was, “How am I supposed to work through this myself?!” As a wife I felt like there wasn’t anything out there to help ME as I tried to figure out how to handle this personally. So I really appreciate what Jake had share, specifically about the wife immediately finding a healthy outlet to be heard. This one thing has been a huge encouragement and blessing to me on this journey. I found another Christian gal who has walked this road before and was able to comfort and encourage me and offer words of wisdom.
    Yes, my husband and I are still growing through this, but I feel we are closer as a couple now than we have ever been. Praise Jesus!

    • 28

      I would love to put this out there as I am a wife who has went through this with her husband as well. We both went through http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com There is a course for men and women as well as the spouse going through this as well. The spouse’s course is called “United Front”. I have went through the course as well as the mentoring course and can do nothing but praise this site for helping my husband to overcome his sin! By the Grace of God he has been set free! Both courses have a mentor assigned to each person going through it and they are so much help!

  13. 29

    Wow. How amazing is the Lord. I love this post and that we are actually standing and speaking up on this subject which for many it is a taboo. Honestly, my heart goes out for women like this who are in the battle of their lives over pornography. Not just their husband but themselves. I have struggled with it for a long time and even though I am walking in freedom most of the time, I still entertain those lustful thoughts and imaginations and I battle every day to remain pure and when I fall I confess it and get right back up fighting the good fight of faith! No more condemnation, just conviction and that is freedom! Oh, my heart goes out to so many like me and how I loved your post. Thank you so much for throwing it out there and for opening the door for so many of us to come out of our closets and bringing it to the light so we can deal with it and not be shamed of it any longer. in Jesus name. amen & thank you!

  14. 30

    Amy B, I have to say I know exactly what you went through. I too had my ex -husband that was addicted and ruined his life.

    I found out after our 2nd anniversary. I can still see him looking at me and telling me his dirty little secret. The feeling I felt that day was total confusion. I was so young and I did go to our pastors but honestly they were no help. I ended up ignoring it and just dealing with it. I a couple books from Focus on the Family and that helped me to a point but the shame I felt caused me to gain 30 Ibs and go into a depression. I ended up staying married to this man for another 6 yrs after his addiction was exposed until this addiction caused him to seek another relationship online. Within 3 mths of our separation and living in different places & towns, he was arrested for sexual misconduct with his 14 yr old, cousin that we had guardianship of. My divorce was approx 2 weeks after his arrest. He is a registered sex offender and is very unhappy. His life is forever altered for his addiction.

    But God’s grace and love has changed my life for the better. I am now married to a man of God and have 2 beautiful children with my husband. He is so conscious of my feelings on the subject that any time anything pops up on the computer, our android, laptop, or anywhere he makes a point to sit down and talk to me about it or show me…I have truly been blessed. So if you are a woman that doesn’t think there is a life after pornography there is. Rather you stay with your husband and do what this gentlemen suggest in this blog or walk away THERE IS LIFE AFTER PORNOGRAPHY! GOD is SOO MUCH BIGGER than Pornography.

    During the end of my marriage, a godly counsel told me to pray and seek God on what I should do…Because you are truly at crosswords at this point…You can either stick it out or walk away….Find out what God wants you to do….Seek Him First…

    Lysa, thank you for bringing this subject to light because it is a hidden subject that most woman do feel ashame and embarrassed about this…

  15. 33

    I totally agree with Kelly, I think that as women, we feel entitled to a little excitement, and I think it’s overlooked because it’s called “erotica” not pornography. But it’s just as bad, just as damaging as what our men do.
    I’m proud that my church has partnered with XXX Ministries and Fireproof ministries to go out into the porn industry and try to reach the people involved at the first level. I think what people tend to overlook is that the actors in the movies and models in the photos are real women – real men- they are broken and damaged and lost. Many are looking for a way out but aren’t equipped to help themselves. They are stuck in a world that they had no intention of even entering, let alone living in.

  16. 34

    Thanks Lisa for being willing to post this blog. It can help so many women who are ashamed to admit this is a problem. The sources above our good. I would also like to recommend Setting Captives Free an online Christian help program with mentors. Or there is Celebrate Recovery and COSA. Don’t keep this to yourself, it will physically and emotionally distroy you. Keeping this secret is harming both of your spiritual walk.

  17. 35

    Lysa,

    Thank you for posting this today.

    My husband is a pornography addict. On our wedding night knew that something wasn’t right and I had my suspicions early on in our marriage that it might be pronography but I was a good submissive, Christian girl who didn’t know how to handle it and didn’t think I had the right to say “no” to things when I was uncomfortable. My husband was emotionaly abusive as well, which to be honest, was a lot more difficult to deal with than the porn. I recognize this abuse as a result of the porn because his true character is not that.

    My husband confessed to me when our first born was a little over a year old. I was so disappointed, but I did everything that your guest post said to do and I don’t regret it. I treated him with respect but I was also very honest with him about how his actions affected us, our home, our child, etc. He was very repentent and still remembers that conversation.

    It has been a very long hard road but I am committed to my husband and he is to me. He has been through the http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com program twice and, though it was very difficult for him, he has stuck to those truths. He had a couple of friends who he shared with as well

    I know that he continues to struggle with temptation from time to time but I continue to pray for him and I check in with him every so often.

    I do want to say that he went to our pastor at the time as well and was offered no support or even encouragment. I think that porn invades our churches far more than any other sin and everyone is afraid to talk about it.

    Following my husband’s confession and our working through the issues I have had the opportunity to support and minister to 6 other women. It’s a privilage but my heart aches for all of those suffering and struggling for years without support like I did. I believe it’s the lonliest of roads. I said many times that I would have sooner had him physically abuse me than what I went through because at least people would care about that and offer to help.

    Thanks you for bringing this to light.

    • 36

      I should add that we have “Safe Eyes” on our computer and on his iPhone. I have the passwords and control of the settings. I also get a weekly update from Safe Eyes on what he’s looking at, though I have had no reason to open these emails to date.

      Once he confessed we brought the computer out of the office and set up a desk in our dining/living area so that there is no “hiding”. I can walk by anytime and see what he’s looking at. This was the best move we could have made, though it’s terrible for making my small home even more cluttered, a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

  18. 37

    Kudos Lysa for discussing a “taboo” but real life subject that affects so many families. The spouses involved must feel very betrayed. Marriage is teamwork, and when one of the members is not working for the relationship, “wanderings” can occur. I think that spouses need to talk to each other about the needs in the relationship whether it’s financial, emotional or sexual. I don’t agree with meet HIS sexual needs. As partners in marriage, this needs to be talked and prayed about. I think that Godly counseling needs to be sought if one partner in the marriage is not being faithful. Let’s pray today for marriages everywhere- that God will put his angels around us and protect us from the devil’s tactics. Let’s stand up to what society says is correct and look at God’s word! Our children are depending on us to model what a Godly marriage is ( not a perfect one, but an honest one).

  19. 38

    I’m glad to see this issue being addressed. I’m not so sure that “Second, meet his sexual needs. If you don’t make his sexual needs a priority his eyes will wander and he will struggle. Most every man will have a greater struggle with lust leading to pornography usage without a healthy sexual relationship with his wife.” was the best way to put this. What if you have a healthy sex life and they still turn to pornagraphy which leads to their expectation of you being like the women in the films? This happens and they blame you for not being like the women in the women in the films? Turns their problem into your fault?

    • 39

      Hi guys,I didn’t see this event, but have been challenged and beessld by lifechurch (Craig’s honesty and openess) and XXX church (to see the work they’re doing in Vegas was great – inspiring as we go out to reach our strip clubs and nightclub generation).In one of Craig’s preach’s on Once upon a marriage he mentioned some software that I’ve recommended to guys in our Young Adults mix, but I can never seem to find the name of it. The software emails your accountability partner(s) with the web address of any website you go on that is questionable . Myself and some of our YA guys (who could use this type of accountability) would love to do this, so if you could let me know the details I would appreciate it!Thank you, and keep up the God work!Bless you all!Stephen Hiller (YA men’s small group co-ordinator, KingsGate Peterborough, UK!):-D

  20. 40

    How I wish that someone would have addressed this 20 years ago! I dealt with my ex-husbands pornography for over 20 years. Those were the most miserable, lonely, depressing years of my life! He constantly lied about what he was doing, blamed me for not being exciting enough but he never took responsibility for his actions. I finally divorced him after he started an online relationship with a 20 year old girl. He wasn’t the only one who was in bondage to his sin, I felt like I was in a prison and always on guard having to watch for the next occurance. I was constantly on edge looking out for my children to make sure nothing ever happened to them.

    While I applaud Pastor Jake for taking a stand against this I will also say that he should look carefully at how he words his statement about wives needing to meet their husbands needs. Men who are addicted to pornography have an insatiable need for sex and humiliating sex acts. I was a healthy woman but there was no way I could keep up with my ex’s need for sex 7-10 times a day. Yes, as wives we should not use sex as a weapon or treat, but strive for a healthy sex life; but, we are not at fault for their wandering and neither do we need to feel the pressure to submit to humiliating acts or an excessive number of times that they “need” it.

  21. 41

    I can totally relate to Liz Reveal’s comment. I too had to deal with this issue in my marriage. I found out the extent of my ex’s addiction after the birth of our second child. I completely disagree with Jake’s suggestion that you need to meet his sexual needs in order to prevent this from happening. My ex and I had an extremely active sex life, he could never once say there was a problem with that aspect of our marriage. It’s also important to inform other wives going through this, that this addiction is NOT ABOUT YOU! It’s not something you’ve done. This is a sickness that has, usually over time, manifested itself because of a deep unhappiness within the man. My ex used to tell me over and over again that it was not about me, and eventually I came to believe it, because it’s true.

    And porn is dangerous because after a while, what he watches just does not satisfy, he will have to act it out either with you and/or somebody else. My ex and I separated almost four years ago. I’ve always prayed over the years with regard to this issue, but after he left, I intensified it, praying and fasting so much I became clinically underweight. But he didn’t change because he simply didn’t want to. Our divorce came through in August. It’s been tough accepting that we couldn’t overcome this but I am believing in God and that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. Years ago, I stumbled across some of my ex’s porn and realised he started watching ‘barely legal’ sites. I sat there and looked at the screen and I said to God, “If he turns into a paedophile, will I as a wife have the strength to turn him to the police?” Only God knows what the future holds and why I was ‘released’ from that marriage.

    My advice to any woman going through this now is:

    1. Pray
    2. Trust God
    3. Be prepared for the long road ahead
    4. Support him, but know that you can’t change him. He has to confess and be willing to take the practical steps to quit.

    • 42

      Amen Girl! Totally agree! God truly restores what was lost and sometimes honestly their is no answers to our questions…I still at times question myself about my ex and the situation because that time in my life impacted and changed me…But God was so gracious and restored and showed me his love! God Bless you girl!

  22. 43

    Wow. Powerful!

  23. 44

    Great post, Lysa. A friend of mine is a former pastor with an amazing story of his journey through sexual addiction and his even more amazing recovery; watch his short story at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3KSWYYJqyo… it’ll rock your world. He has also written an extraordinary book “Samson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood” where he offers men a solution.

    Thanks Lysa, for “going there”.

  24. 45

    Lysa,
    But aren’t we as a society addicted to pornography – - female as well as male? Aren’t many of the Blockbuster movies, books, and songs where we watch others engage in sex (or listen about) sex — isn’t that pornography as well? So aren’t we all addicted to pornography in some form and many of us are churgh going, Bible believing Christians? I know what you are referring to when you say pornography but I think we live in a “sexualized” world and responsiblity rests on more shoulders than just the men. We have to make bold choices about what we allow to come into our eye-gates as well as our ear-gates. But thank you for beginning the dialogue…Satan has been a trickster for 2000. He has no new tricks but a lot of new “souls” to tempt off into the wrong direction.

  25. 46
    Linda Hicks says:

    I’m sure Jake’s motive is to help us understand this issue, but I feel some of his statements are hurtful rather than helpful. You can respect your husband more than anyone has ever shown him respect; you can be his sex goddess and love on him more than any man could ever dream; and you can support him and protect his purity as Jake suggests. But none of that is going to be enough to prevent porn from its destructive bondage. And this is equally affecting women so it’s not just a man’s issue. I don’t believe for a second that it’s even a sexual issue. I think it goes much deeper than that. Porn is a tool satan uses very effectively to “kill, steal, and destroy” marriages and human lives.

    Marcella mentioned Setting Captives Free. It’s a Christ centered internet mentoring program that not only helps the one addicted to porn (and sexual impurity) but also provides amazing support and help to the spouse. It’s called United Front and a mentor who has overcome and found victory on the other side walks through this with you. Can’t say enough good about this organization and how much they helped my late husband and me. He was a captive in bondage but was SET FREE! After a short separation while we were working through this, the Lord revealed to me how repentant he was and told me I needed to reconcile that very day. So I asked him to come back home. With tears in his eyes, he leaped for joy and later that night after we expressed our love to one another, the Lord took him home.

    There are consequences to sin but they should not be from the hardness of our own heart. Christ set me FREE from the power of sin. Not just my own sin but the power of the sin of others. If a spouse remains in bondage and refuses to seek help, you can still seek help for yourself. Set yourself free from all the ways you’re blaming yourself. Nothing you did or didn’t do caused this. You are not to blame.

  26. 47
    Lisa Youngs says:

    My question is how to know if someone is addicted? Last year we discovered that my 14-year-old had been looking at porn for several years on a pretty consistent basis. We got him counseling and took away any electronic devices that would give him access to porn. I am afraid to allow him a smart phone because of the lack of parental control. He is going through a rebellious time and claiming not to be a Christian anymore. It is hard to know what is going on in his heart. Help!

    • 48
      Linda Hicks says:

      Lisa – I don’t like to steer others to only one website so I’d suggest you do an Internet search on “addictive nature of pornography” to have a better understanding of how porn hijacks the brain. So whether he’s addicted or not at this point isn’t the question because the very nature of porn is addictive and will draw one back for more. I’ll pray that God reaches down and plucks your 14 year old son out of the enemy’s snare; that your son finds Jesus to be the only One Who can fill the emptiness in his soul, and that this happens sooner rather than later. Thank You for our hope in You, Lord!

    • 49

      Hey Lisa! I’m a 19 year old guy and was “addicted” to porn since well before I was 14 and hope my perspective will be helpful to you.

      I’d agree with Linda that the question of “addiction” isn’t super important (although, ‘several years on a pretty consistent basis’ seems like a good definition of addiction to me). I think the steps you’ve taken are good ones, but I would say that the only thing that will change his heart is an understanding of God’s love for women, sex, and himself that can’t come from anyone but God. You can encourage that process, but I think for your own hearts’ sake, give it up to God. Pray for your son. God loves him more than you do and hears your prayers. I’ve found in my life that this will be more important than anything else, and everything else I say in this comment comes secondary to this truth.

      Another thing I would strongly encourage is not to be overbearing and to be very clear with your intentions. When I was that age, anything my parents took away from me was another reason to resent them. That’s natural, but I think you can help by explaining why you desire to eliminate those sources of porn (by explaining God’s heart for those above things), and I think it is your responsibility as spiritual leaders to implement some restrictions and not “enable” as Jake mentioned in the article. At the same time, Jake’s comment about how shame about porn begets more porn is SO true, so ensuring your son of his worth and your and God’s love for him is vital. You need to give him that alongside all the practical restrictions.

      Finally, I’ve learned a lot of practical things over the years that may help. I’ll repeat here that ONLY GOD will free your son. These restrictions are helpful but there are ways around everything. You CANNOT cut off every source, that’s just a fact. God must work in your son’s life, in my life, if we are to truly desire righteousness and flee from temptation.

      That said, the free x3watch software is excellent, I’ve had that for a few years. That is based on accountability between people though and doesn’t block sites, and may not be the best for your situation. In that case, the x3watch Pro software is tremendous. It costs a little extra, but I invested in it and it is phenomenal. Check their website for specific features http://www.x3watch.com/

      You mentioned the smart phone issue, and there is x3 software for iPhone and Android as well. Also, I know on the iPhone and iPod Touch you can disable the internet application (which I HIGHLY recommend). But honestly, I don’t have a smart phone, my sister doesn’t, my roommate doesn’t, and we’re getting along fine. Even though it seems like everyone has one (especially at that age), he honestly doesn’t need one, and that may be a good choice for more reasons than just avoiding pornography.

      Hope this helps. Prayed for your family.

    • 50

      There is a wonderful course online for your teen through http://www.settingcaptivesfree.com to help him overcome this sin.

  27. 51

    Some will say that straying isn’t truly about lust about unmet needs being met … not necessarily the physical needs, but emotional, psychological, etc. My ex was emotaionally immature and “wounded” from his own upbringing, the fantasy was what he sought after. Not the lust aspect of it. And I couldn’t agree more with the ladies commenting on 50 Shades of Gray. I was heartsick to hear that a fellow sister in Christ from church was reading them, saying she’s after the romance story and how it plays out. Oh, how we deceive ourselves.

  28. 52

    Hi Lysa,
    Thanks for having the courage to speak on this important issue that is more rampant in our Christian churches than one dares think. (I’m also glad you speak often about sex and how a wife has a responsibility to our husbands in that regard. Not that we’re to blame for their sexual mis-conduct but we do have a very important role to play and cannot abdicate that without potentially serious consequences.) My husband has helped (other-wise) great guys with this topic and I have to say Jake is right on target. Thanks for sharing his wisdom with us via your blog. Might be a good topic for a devotional as well which reaches so many globally. When we bring these things that grip us in shame into the light, they have less power over us and we can have victory in Christ.

  29. 53

    Wow… I’m am so very glad you are devoting time and space to addressing this. BUT… Wow.
    As a woman whose marriage was destroyed by pornography, the idea that making myself more available to him could have somehow saved him – even as just a part of the solution – is appalling, boorish, and frankly, dangerous. I was given this advice while in the storm and followed it, resulting in further emotional abuse of my heart and body, and complete neglect of my needs in order to serve his insatiable needs. Healing did not come and it actually made it worse. The answer is NOT shaming women into feeling as though it is their fault, NOT encouraging women to use their own bodies in a tug of war for his loyalty and attention, and NOT to provide an excuse for the behaviors by pointing to what their spouse should do better. No daughter of The King should ever be made to feel as though she needs to compete with pornography for her husband’s devotion. I’m very shocked and disappointed that this stance was taken by this author, on a platform that surely could have been better used to affirm, validate, and heal the many hearts broken by pornography.

  30. 54

    So glad you addressed this topic, Lysa. It’s so important! I’ve noticed in the comments that some are feeling offended by the suggestion that Pastor Jake gives about meeting our husband’s sexual needs. A passage that speaks directly to this is 1 Corinthians 7:1-6. I pray that those who are suffering from the hurt of their husbands pornography addiction experience true and restorative healing in the mighty name of Jesus!

    Blessings,
    Teske

  31. 55

    This is very important in the church!

  32. 56

    Meeting his sexual fantasies is ok unless it brakes the boundaries of your own or women feels uncomfortable with that. I had couple with that problem. He was unhappy because she didn’t want to practice it, then what?

  33. 57

    As a youth pastor, I shared this content with parents and leaders. Wouldn’t it be awesome if teen guys experienced victory before the consequences and the foothold are so BIG?

    • 58

      yes it would. My husband has told me time and time again that if someone would have just reached out to him at the young age of 14 when he stumbled upon porn, then he would have been a lot better off now.

  34. 59

    Just want to clarify something. I am a recovering alcoholic. For someone who is an addict…we can justify our behavior with anything!!! I (use porn, drink, etc) because its sunny, its raining, he/she doesn’t meet my needs, I am happy, I am sad…No one is to blame for my addiction but me. And for those who have an addiction to porn, lust, sex…the more, the better. It has nothing to do with how much the non addicted spouse wants to have sex.

    • 60

      Boy, do I agree with your comments! I chose to get rid of my TV about 10 years ago. Now, if I am at someone else’s house and they have their TV on, I am stunned by the porographic influence I see. Innuendo, dirty comments, body language, outright actions. It’s been a slow slide into increasing sexuality in media…. so slow that people hardly notice it. And that is just in 10-12 years since giving up Tv in 2000. Even then, there was plenty of it in TV shows. Besides that… now it can be viewed on ipods, tablets, etc. etc. and has invaded the mainstream publishing world.
      Satan is at work.

      • 61

        Sorry… my comment somehow posted on the wrong comment stream and makes no sense to the comment above. Don’t know how that happened.

  35. 62

    Lysa I am so excited to meet you in Bowling Green Ky in Nov. I have read all of your books and your studies. Love Love Love you. Pam

  36. 63

    It has been great to read so many of your comments. I just wanted to clarify on the one statement I wrote that seems to be causing a bit of a stir! The question, What can I do as a wife to help my husband preventatively? As I answered this question I did so from a perspective of healthy practices for married couples that will help a man keeps his eyes and thoughts focused on his wife and glorifying to God. I was not saying if you would have been better at meeting his sexual needs that he would not have turned to porn. As you will read in my next blog post, it is not the women’s fault he turned to porn and it is usually connected to a different issue in his life not related at all to his wife.

    You did not cause him to turn to porn – that was his choice. I was simply laying out some ways you can engage with your husband to help him.

  37. 64

    I am so glad that we are talking about this topic! I found out about my husband’s pornography addiction after we had been married for five years. It was such a lonely, depressing, confusing time for me.

    But God has helped us walk through my husband’s addiction and we’re in a much better place than I ever thought possible when he confessed! Healing is possible with God.

    You can read more about my story on my blog, http://www.healingforyourheart.com, where I actually have a giveaway going on! I’d love to hear from all of you!

  38. 65

    So….how do I help my son?

  39. 66

    Yes, yes, yes! My husband struggled 10 years ago and has overcome it with LOTS of support, GOD and all the above suggestions. He is still accountable to a group and I am still his support/extra eyes…but there is HOPE, HELP and HEALING in Jesus Name!!

  40. 67
    Erin Perry says:

    I have been reading unglued for both personal reasons and as a counseling resource. I have really enjoyed and my counseling client has been getting alot from it as well. I was wondering if you were going to write a version for young women or teens. This would be a great resource to help them learn about their emotions.

  41. 68

    Great blog! Do you have any suggestions for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out there that I’m totally confused .. Any tips? Thanks a lot!

  42. 69

    Just wanted to share this free (at least for now) ebook resource on this subject:

    http://vesselproject.com/free-kindle-ebook-resurrection-by-ashley-weis-george-weis/

    It’s written by a husband-wife team I know who have walked through porn addiction.