Pornography and Marriage

Straight Talk

The Question

I just want to find out if it’s advisable for married Christians to watch pornography or read magazines about sex?

Jacob from Unknown location

The Answer
Part 1: NO!
Part 2: Getting information

NO! (Part 1)

Absolutely NOT! Completely inadvisable! Under NO circumstances! There. I don’t think I’ve ever started off an answer that adamantly before but pornography is an evil epidemic (even in the church) and is running rampant destroying lives…and marriages.

Rather, listen to how wisdom and discretion can guard you: “For the lips of an adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death.” (Proverbs 5:3-5) In the end pornography in all forms and under all circumstances is that adulteress. Keep it far from you because the addiction to it is very strong.

Now let’s go back and start over because I can tell that this is a sincere question. You are genuinely wondering, which means there must be some reason you think there is a legitimate purpose for use of pornography within marriage. What might that be? I’ll guess. Sexually inexperienced partners might like some help to enhance their experience? Since sex is okay in marriage, why can’t pornography be part of it? You are wondering what you might be missing that others know about? It’s private so why not? Your secret attraction to it tries to justify a legitimate reason to embrace it?

If I haven’t covered your root reason for asking, genuinely ask yourself what your true motivation is. That’s a good starting point for you. In the meanwhile, let me tell you why it’s a bad idea no matter what reason you discover.

Let’s start with God’s Word. “Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.” (Hebrews 13:4) Pornography defiles the marriage bed. It adds a third party into a sacred private exchange between husband and wife. Pornography is an industry for profit. Who do you think produces, performs in, directs, films and distributes these materials? When you buy or view pornography you are supporting and expanding a very ungodly industry.

As a practical matter, the “story line” of the pornographic material has little basis in truth. The producer’s goal is to sell sex and make money. He does that by enhancing reality, idealizing sex in a way that is very likely unattainable. Yet it can cause the duped marriage partners into feeling like failures for not matching what they see.

Finally, understand that strong demonic forces stand behind pornography. The devil knows that God created human beings with a powerful sex drive. He’s Johnny on the spot to exploit it in every way possible. The technology revolution has provided an unparalleled opportunity to push his agenda to destroy individual lives and marriages. From the devil’s viewpoint, you would be kidding yourself not to understand that is his goal in attracting you to it.

Getting information (Part 2)

Is there a legitimate way for a Christian couple to get sexual information? Of course! It is desirable that they do so and not simply limp along without knowledge that could bring them into greater intimacy. If everything in that department is not going along like clockwork, seek out help.

First of all, there are Biblically based Christian manuals available which can be enormously useful. You can find them at Christian bookstores or at on-line Christian resources websites. That may be enough for general information, scriptural perspectives on sex, and even for advice to aid any mild sexual incompatibility. If there is serious, long-term sexual dysfunction, seek a professional Christian counselor, preferably one that specializes in marriage/sexual issues.

The Bible itself has a most beautiful book about romantic and physical love called Song of Solomon. It is worth reading because your reverence for the beauty and holiness of sexual love will increase dramatically but you may benefit most by getting some extra help interpreting it. Within the book there are three voices: the Bride, the Bridegroom and the Daughters of Jerusalem. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish who is speaking, creating confusion, but some Bible translations create divisions to handle it.

Don’t forget to pray together as a couple, even for intimacy issues. God is the author of sex and he desires that married couples enjoy its fullness.