What is pornography?
Meaning of Pornography
Everything related to sexual debauchery; obscenity, licentiousness; Indecency.
Immoral character of publications, prints, paintings, scenes, gestures, language.
Synonyms of Pornography
Pornography is synonymous with: immorality, obscenity
What does the Bible say about pornography?
The Bible says pornography is evil. Matthew 5:28 says that "But I (Jesus) say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart". Pornography is sin and can destroy healthy relationships. But by the grace of Christ a person can be freed from that addiction.
Pornography, like any addiction, is hard to break. But Jesus came to set us free (Luke 4:18) and not to condemn us. To be delivered from this sin you must:
Admit that you have this problem (1 John 1:9);
Acknowledge Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the only one who has dominion over your life (Romans 10:9);
Reject the domination of this sin over your life (James 4:7) – it is good to say it with your mouth, because the devil does not hear our thoughts;
Seek the help of the pastor or leader, to help you continue on the right path.
What harm can Pornography bring to our lives?
Kevin Majeres, a psychiatrist specializing in cognitive-behavioral therapy and a Harvard researcher, wrote about the subject and explained to us how our brain starts to act when we watch pornography frequently.
First, he told about an experiment done with rats. When a mouse is placed in a cage with a receptive female mouse, mating takes place and then the mouse loses interest in the female mouse. Then, when another female mouse is placed in the cage, mating takes place again, followed once more by loss of interest. This is repeated until the mouse comes close to dying – whenever a new “lady” arrives, he copulates with her and then loses interest. According to Majeres, this effect is observed in several animals.
Pornography works in a similar way in men's brains, affecting the region that makes them differentiate reality from what is not. For guys, it is like each video offers a different partner option, so they get used to this 'rotation' pattern.
Majeres explains that dopamine, which is the substance released when we feel pleasure and well-being, makes us run after our goals and increases our concentration, so that we can achieve whatever makes us so happy.
That is why, when people start watching a new pornography movie, their brains end up not understanding that it is not reality, and dopamine is released in large amounts.
"That first exposure to a new woman who is a potential mate was not something that happened to our ancestors a lot, maybe once in their lives, so the brain thinks this is a big thing. It does not know that the game has now changed completely: it does not understand that these women are virtual only, so with each one it causes a new flood of dopamine, every time, click after click", he explains.
For the researcher, this is why pornography can become an addictive activity. The excess of this type of content hyperstimulates people, and the dopamine receptors end up being destroyed – therefore, the person feels that he will only live that intense experience of pleasure and well-being if he consumes more and more pornography.
Over time, not even the most differentiated sites that have pornographic videos will meet the needs of these addicted people, and then they end up having to stimulate other emotions: fear, disgust, shock or surprise. For Majeres, this is where the appreciation for more perverse themes begins.
Is Prostitution better than Pornography?
NO! Both are harmful. Each one has its particularity, but in this case there is no better one.
How to solve the problem of Pornography?
- Do you understand that pornography is sin or do you understand that it is not a sin?
The first thing to do when you want to stop this practice is a self-assessment, is to take an X-ray of yourself. If you do not think pornography is harmful, why would you leave it? Liberation from this evil definitely involves a clear awareness that pornography does NOT please God and it should not be in your life. The Bible is quite clear about the sins of impurity and lust, about how they are not pleasing to God and are not positive for human beings. And even more: usually the very heart of the one who practices pornography falls into sadness and dismay due to such practice, indicating how bad it is for the heart. Decide right now if pornography is a sin for you. In the Bible, it is pointed out as a sin (1 Cor. 6.18; Gal. 5.19) and you need to understand this before proceeding.
- You will only overcome pornography with God's help.
A text which helps, is James 4:7: "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you". This text is one of the keys to overcoming pornography. It explains how to put the tempter and temptations to flight. Note that it is not just resisting the devil. Before that you need to do something: Subject yourself to God. The Greek word used in the text for 'submit yourselves' is 'hupotasso'. That term was "A Greek military term meaning to organize [troop divisions] in a military fashion under the command of a leader." "In non-military usage, it was a voluntary act of giving in, cooperating, taking responsibility, and carrying a burden" (Strong's Lexicon). That is, to submit to God is to obey Him as our greatest leader and be willing to fight, assuming our role in the army before the battle, having God as the commander of our lives and the Word of God as our rule of faith and practice. Only then will we be able to resist the devil. This text clearly harmonizes with Ephesians 6:10-18, which tells us to put on the whole armor of God. But how to submit myself to God, in practice?
- Insert devotional practices into your life right now! You can only be firmly empowered to resist the devil if you are on God's side. Far from God you are easy prey. This is what the apostle Peter teaches us: "Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour" (1 Peter 5:8). To beat pornography you need to start spending time with God. That means reading the Bible more, praying more, having times of fasting, participating more in God's work. To do so is to submit to God. If you really want to overcome pornography and stay free of it, you must daily be at the Lord's feet. Only then will you be able to be strengthened and coated with the armor of God! Do not think that you will be able to overcome this practice only with your own merits and efforts, because you will not. The Apostle John teaches us that when we are together with God, obedient to His orders, the Evil One has no power to overcome us: "We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him" (1 John 5:18). The path to victory over pornography is in closeness to God.
- To understand the Bible, one start reading from Genesis.
- Study and change your habits. We are beings entirely dependent on our habits. When something becomes a habit, it becomes natural in our lives. Pornography will quickly become a habit in our lives due to its high addictive power. This means that you will create habits in your life that will help you consume pornography. Make an assessment now: When you watch pornography how is the environment? Nobody home? Do you expect a time when everyone leaves? Do you manipulate situations to make everything work out for you? Are you in a room in the house where you have more privacy? Do you have a specific day when everything cooperates for you to consume pornography? Do you wait until it is late at night to access porn sites? Do you lock yourself in the bathroom and take pornographic materials there? Find those habits that make it easy for you to access pornography and break them. For example, if being home alone always leads you to access pornography, avoid it. If everyone leaves the house, leave too. Do not make it easy. Close doors. This is resisting the devil by doing your part. Things will not fall from the sky, you need to act with intelligence and energy. Temptations present themselves cunningly before us. If we are not as astute, they will win.
- Plan your day. There is a very famous saying that is very true: "an empty mind is the devil's workshop". When we are not in control of our day, our activities, there is a great chance that you will let your guard down and access pornography. That is because the situations take you, you start to be commanded by the circumstances and you do not command them. When we do not plan our day, we have a great chance of being "taken" away from God, as our sinful human nature is inclined towards evil. Try to occupy your day in a planned way with healthy activities, always avoiding, as I said in the previous item, the habits that previously led you to pornography. Insert new activities into your day, serve God, occupy your mind with good things. By doing this, you will gain more strength to overcome bad habits. If you have trouble planning your time better. With a well-planned day, where there is room for the practices that bring you closer to God, it will be much more difficult for pornography to find any space to enter.
- Take care of your mind. We are beings that have the great ability to adapt to situations. This means that your desire to have contact with pornography will look for ways to make you access it in some way, adapting to your new life posture. Remember that you have a large image bank stored in your mind, full of pornographic images. It will not be uncommon for you to feel the desire to access pornography, try to resist and this desire starts to provoke you, trying to make you remember pornographic images with the aim of leading you to masturbation and, consequently, to sin. Therefore, it is very important that you take care of your mind. Try following the advice of Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things". Your mind cannot beat you. Take dominion over her and bring her under the obedience of Christ. One very important thing to watch out for with regard to the mind is to beware of the pornographic offerings that the world makes overtly and subtly. For example, be careful how you look at provocatively dressed women on the street, with TV shows that seem to do no harm, with advertisements, etc. If you do not control your mind these things will turn into pornography in your mind and will lead you to sin again.
- Beware of overconfidence. You will start winning by following the tips. We often end up celebrating our victories ahead of time, thinking we are strong, feeling like big winners against this evil. What happens is that when we do this without being alert, we let our guard down. And just when we relax we are surprised. So be prudent, never let your guard down. Always be in a position of humility in the face of this weakness of yours, because only then will you be able to face it with respect and win. In the smallest gap you make, know that the enemy will enter through it and trip you up. Here the advice of Jesus fits like a glove: "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Matthew 26:41)
Some people report at times that they cannot break free from pornography because it is stronger than they are. The Bible, however, teaches us that "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it" (1 Cor. 10:13). That is, the Bible states that under no circumstances is the temptation we face stronger than we can bear. This means that our attitude is weak and temptation takes advantage of this.
Know that some people are so destroyed by this addiction that they feel almost powerless to resist. They are really tired. For these people, be informed that there is an open door for you, which God Himself opened: "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Mt 11:28)
Is Pornography within marriage permitted?
When pornography takes hold, marital love is stifled. If one partner does not stop viewing pornography, there is a strong possibility that the marriage will end in divorce. In testimony to the United States Senate, Dr. Jill Manning reported that "56% of divorce cases involve one spouse having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites". There can be no room for two different lovers in a marriage. Many addicts choose to give up their spouses rather than give up pornography.
Portraits of pornography are false. Subjects are actors. There is no love involved. Pornography creates a false image of intimacy. A spouse fails to achieve this false image, and marital intimacy becomes less fulfilling. Pornography kills the beautiful tenderness of marital affection. It leaves victims lonely, unable to enjoy normal relationships with their spouses.