What Every Christian Single Needs to Know About Porn

(Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash)

A man's pornography addiction has devastating impacts on himself, his wife and his family. Countless marriages and broken families have been a direct result of men's porn usage.

Unfortunately, porn is equally damaging to a single man. It can keep him single longer or prevent him from having a lasting relationship.

A 2018 Gallup Poll revealed that the percentage of unmarried Americans (both male and female) who find porn morally acceptable increased 15 percentage points since 2017. That's the largest increase among subgroups.

Sam Perry, an assistant professor of sociology and religious studies at the University of Oklahoma, noted,

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"Perhaps it's not being unmarried that makes people more inclined to think porn is OK, but that the more people think pornography is just fine, the less likely they are to get married."

Perry cites two reasons viewing porn may lead single people to delay marriage.

"Pornography could either make marriage seem like an outdated, boring institution. Or pornography (and specifically masturbating to pornography) could remove the 'need' to get married as the source where one can find sexual fulfillment."

Porn Lessens Your Desire for Real Relationships

Of course, there are many reasons why a man may be single. But pornography usage creates unique challenges.

According to Michael Johnson of Covenant Eyes, "When we get our sexual desires 'satisfied' by porn, our sex drive doesn't drive us to marriage. It drives us to more porn. You may want to be married, but porn is just so much easier. The result: you satiate your sexual appetite in a cheap, artificial sort of way, instead of letting your desire drive you to prepare and seek God's calling in marriage."

Mark Regnerus, a University of Austin professor and the author of Cheap Sex, said, "At best, porn will augment—or compete with—sex, and stall marriage. At worst, sexual technology threatens to undermine coupled sex altogether."

Mark Ballenger, a writer at Apply God's Word, noted a significant problem for Christian men.

"Their use of porn lessens their desire for real women. It also causes them shame and makes them feel they are not prepared for a Christian marriage; therefore, they do not pursue a woman like they would if they did not have the shame from their porn use. They feel they are not prepared to be a Christian husband because of their porn addiction, and so they remain single for much longer."

Will My Desire for Porn Go Away When I Get Married?

Many single men mistakenly believe that their porn usage will stop when they get married. But too often, their porn addiction will follow them into their marriage.

Paul Leininger, the executive director at Petra Church in New Holland, Pennsylvania, said,

"I struggled with it for 28 years of my life, even into my marriage. I thought marriage would solve my problem. But, no, it didn't."

Craig Gross, a pastor and speaker, noted that porn addiction does not simply stop when you get married. "Porn is so easy. It's so accessible. It's teaching you so much so to be selfish ... People are saying, 'Hey, I'm not having sex, but I just look at porn.'"

"I think in the Christian world the mindset is 'Ahh, but I'm still a virgin' ... This is cheating made pure ... but in reality, it's like you're not helping anybody. You are probably hurting yourself more by bringing that addiction into your future relationship."

Gross added, "You are setting yourself to want something by watching something that you're not going to be able to get in marriage. Ultimately, it's teaching you to treasure just all about what you want, what you desire. But in reality, you can't approach sex or marriage that way and have a successful marriage."

"The lure of porn is never quenched by marital sex," said Dannah Gresh, the author of What Are You Waiting For?

"Because porn has almost nothing to do with real love and real sex. It's as counterfeit as a counterfeit can be."

Using Porn As a Sexual Release

Some single men justify their porn addiction by saying they need the sexual release they get by using porn and masturbating.

Noah Filipiak, a pastor and the author of Beyond The Battle, said, "In fact, porn can almost feel like an act of righteousness for some singles—their way of making sure they aren't having premarital sex. A Christian single man recently told me he has to look at porn because it's his way of making sure he doesn't have premarital sex."

God has created most of us with an energy designed to drive us closer to Him. That same energy drives us as single men to seek a Christ-focused wife. In pornography, our affections and energy are turned back on ourselves, serving only our selfish desires.

Andy Farmer, a singles' pastor at Covenant Fellowship in Philadelphia, said, "Self-gratification through using pornography is the opposite of what God intended, not a premature enjoyment of what God intended."

Christian author and apologist C.S. Lewis recalled:

For me the real evil of masturbation would be that it takes an appetite which, in lawful use, leads the individual out of himself to complete (and correct) his own personality in that of another (and finally in children and even grandchildren) and turns it back; sends the man back into the prison of himself, there to keep a harem of imaginary brides.

God created sex for the benefit and enjoyment of a couple within the bounds of marriage. Sex in any other form—whether alone or with someone else—is rebellion against God's plans.

Take Advantage of the Opportunity

If you are single and plan to get married, now is a great opportunity for you to begin overcoming your porn addiction. Join a small group that has Christian men who have broken free from pornography and can help support and encourage you.

Also, the development of the brain's prefrontal cortex continues until the age of 25. The prefrontal cortex involves such functions as personality development, proper social behavior, and decision making.

According to Mental Health Daily, "If you are under the age of 25 and your brain is not yet fully developed, you may want to take advantage of this critical period. This means that you can effectively be a co-creator in how your brain decides to mold itself. Engaging in healthy behaviors and giving your brain optimal stimulation will help ensure healthy prefrontal cortex development."

Dealing with your porn usage after you are 25 will be harder. So dealing with it now is a great opportunity.

Remember that once you are married, it will start to affect your wife and family members. Choose to be a man who stands with integrity now. What a great testimony that will be for your wife!

Also, find opportunities to use your energy in ways that will improve your mind, talents and ambitions. Start preparing now to become the man your future wife desires. Train to be a man who will make your wife feel secure and cherished in your love.

And spend time drawing closer to God. Lean into Him as you need His grace and strength today as you battle porn. Develop intimacy with God now, so in time you can make Him the centerpiece of your marriage.

You May Feel Alone, but You Don't Struggle Alone

Abram Johnston of Montpelier, Ohio, wrestled with pornography. He has found something that helped him discover freedom. He wrote,

"In the last two years, God changed my course to search for healing instead of working so hard to gain sobriety. This journey led me last year to the Conquer Series, which helped me to intentionally walk through this healing with other men instead of trying to do it on my own. I can now say that I have been clean longer now than I have been in 20 years."

He is not alone. Over 1 million men are starting their journey to freedom through the Conquer Series. The Conquer Series is a cinematic small group study with strong biblical teaching, scientific information about how porn affects the mind, powerful testimonies and engaging action footage.

Churches in over 80 countries are running the Conquer Series; you can find one near you at ConquerSeries.com. Or talk to your church leaders about bringing the Conquer Series to your church.

Learn more at ConquerSeries.com.

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