If the national crisis associated with the use of opioids leading to addiction and physical death is considered an epidemic, then the current use of pornography and sex leading to addiction and moral and spiritual death could also be termed a pandemic. It is worldwide and encompasses and exploits all age groups. It is no respecter of persons, genders, religious beliefs, or political views. It is destroying individuals, marriages and families. Yet this pandemic does not make it to the mainstream news. The world is in denial. So too are those who are enslaved and in bondage to its soul-destroying grips because of the shame and guilt associated with such an addiction.
Some Statistics on Pornography Use
Check out these findings from the organization Enough Is Enough. Well, that’s the world’s statistics, you say. Not so for Christians, not for those that are religious or attend church. Right? Wrong.
In a recent Christian Counseling Today magazine (Vol.22 No.1), the entire issue was dedicated to pornography and sexual addiction. The magazine stated that in a survey done by the Barna Group conducted in 2014, the survey found that 64% of self-identified Christian men and 15% of self-identified Christian women view pornography at least once a month. Some 37% of the same men and 7% of the same women view pornography at least several times a week. Mind you, that was in 2014. Do you think the statistics have improved in 2018?
64% of self-identified Christian men and 15% of self-identified Christian women view pornography at least once a month
It gets even more troubling. That same Barna survey found that a staggering 57% of pastors and 64% of youth pastors admitted to struggling with viewing pornography, either in the past or currently. Out of those surveyed, 21% of youth pastors and 14% of pastors admitted they are currently battling with the use or pornography. If that many in the survey were being totally honest, consider what the real number is. We know the shame and fear of their secret sin being exposed can cause even the best of men or women to struggle with adding the deceit and lies necessary to keep that sin hidden in the deepest depths of their personal ocean.
57% of pastors and 64% of youth pastors admitted to struggling with viewing pornography
There is always collateral damage. Sex trafficking and the exploitation of innocent women, men, and most abhorrently children, STD’s on the rise, and even prison time for those that have gone over the cliff with their perversity, add even more pain and fallout to already damaging behavior. Spouses and marriages have been decimated—many on the brink of divorce. Trust is gone. The marriage bed defiled. Children are devastated. This addiction will only get progressively worse.
There is Hope
That same hope for eternal life can bring hope and redemption for today. God with His grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness can redeem what was lost—from the devastated and betrayed spouse to the broken, shame-filled, guilt-ridden addict himself. There is hope, and deliverance, and freedom.
As a counselor dealing with an addict, I seek to separate the sinful choices and behaviors from a remorseful, repentant person. In each session, we dig down to look for the root cause for destructive behavior. Many times, it stems from family of origin coping skills developed as a young child. When we identify the root causes, I develop a treatment plan to address the unhealthy coping and behavior skills and help clients replace them with healthy alternatives.
Healing for Marriages
The family has also been negatively impacted by the addiction, but most importantly, the spouse often has extensive and painful hurts, wounds, and trauma from the betrayal, the lies, the manipulation, and the loss of trust. Those issues must be addressed as intentionally as helping the addict. For a marriage to survive, both partners must be willing, motivated, and surrendered to allow God to come in and heal the individual. Then we ask God to move in healing the marriage. With an issue this big, we need God. Jesus gave us this hope when He stated: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Are you ready to let God do the impossible? If you are in need of Christian counseling for pornography or sexual addiction, and/or are in need of marriage counseling, give me a call.