Many men (and a growing number of women) are ensnared, can’t get free, and deceived into thinking they will stop…eventually…later…
The men and women I have in mind, though, aren’t a statistic. They are real people. They are desperate to break free, yet despondent to once again find themselves in the pit. The statistics don’t tell the battle that they’ve fought, only the defeats they have suffered. The battle is real. It is daily. And most would give just about anything to be set free from it.
Many (most? all?) caught within its grip cannot recognize just how deceitful sin is — that pornography is a promised endless supply of women that will never fully satisfy their flesh. As the Bible says “Death and Destruction are never satisfied, and neither are human eyes” (Proverbs 27:20). They are caught in the grip of just one more, just one more, just one more.
In medical terms, triage is the process of determining the priority of patients’ treatments based on the severity of their condition. That is a situation I often find myself in. As a pastor, I routinely meet with men fighting the allure of pornography. What makes it tough is that the deceitfulness of sin causes us to think we’re doing better than we are.
There are well-worn rationalizations and excuses that I hear often.
- I’ll quit later.
- It’s not out of control. I could stop if I wanted.
- It’s not that big a deal.
- I’m not hurting anyone.
- Why do I need to stop now? I’m not married. How does this have anything to do with a wife I likely haven’t even met yet?
- When I do get married, I’ll be able to have sex with my spouse and this problem will take care of itself.
As I’ve stated before, though, I’m less concerned about what is happening in the statistics of the world out there and more interested in what can be done right here.
How might you counsel the struggling person who is telling themselves, “I’ll quit tomorrow”?
- If they were sitting in a chair opposite you, what would you say to them? What would be your counsel in steps they should be taking?
- Specifically, what could or should be said to the one thinking that this problem will get taken away with marriage?