If there is one thing that some (if not most) high school and college guys struggle with, it is lust and sexual temptation. Fornication is rampant in our “gotta have it now” culture and we are pleasure seeking people. We want pleasure, immediate pleasure, and we want it now. We want it so much that we would sacrifice eternal pleasure for it since only the pure in heart will see God (Matt. 5:8). While I do not want to diminish the reality that a growing number of women struggle with pornography and lust, this is typical guy problem. Pornography is an addiction and it is deadly. Anytime a guy indulges in porn, he is attacking God and his intent for sex. God designed sex, God ordained sex, and God is sovereign over sex. Sex is designed to be kept within the marriage relationship between one man and one woman and an indulgence in pornography utterly distorts this truth. It is also a sin that displays tremendous lack of trust in God. When guys indulge in porn, we say to God, “You are not enough to satisfy me and your way is hogwash!” While pornography may not be an issue or addiction for you, I am sure that lust is. If you are lusting after every woman you pass, then you are in the same boat as a porn addict. Consider how serious Jesus takes lust: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell” (Matt. 5:27-30). Whoa. I am wide-eyed (not bushy-tailed) and stunned by this teaching of Jesus. When you check that woman out walking down the street, you are committing adultery in your heart. When you watch that TV show that you know has sexually suggestive scenes and lust after those actresses, you are committing adultery in your heart. And when you continually click that mouse and type on that keyboard to visit those pornographic sites to lust, you are committing adultery in your heart. Bottom line, Jesus is concerned with your heart. “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person” (Matt. 15:19-20). “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8). “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). And don’t think you can hide your heart from Jesus for he knows your thoughts and your heart (Matt. 9:4). Conclusion: an addiction to pornography is utterly and eternally serious.
But here’s the deal. Guys know that. Most guys, particularly Christian guys, know that this is a tremendously grievous sin before God. The problem isn’t to recognize the problem, however the reason I include it is because it is a vital first step, but the real issue is doing something about it. Guys think: “Dude, I get it. I need to repent of this sin. Porn is bad and I am addicted. How can I tangibly and practically repent of this sin in a way that will be effective?” And this is the key question. How can a guy who is deeply sunk in the dark depth of pornography get out, turn to God, and flee this sin in a way that will be effective and will last?
Countless books have been written. Numerous formulas, steps, and programs have been established in an attempt to answer this question. And while there are many ways that have worked and do work, I have yet to hear of a better method to fight this sin than one that John Piper offers in one of his AskPastorJohn episodes. And it is a unique method to say the least–one I had never heard. John Piper says to read Wayne Grudem’s Systematic Theology from cover to cover in order to fight this sin. He suggests that a heightened knowledge of God will lead to an increase in ammunition to use against sin and Satan. Listen to Piper as he addresses this pressing issue in our culture and I pray that you will be helped greatly by this resource. If you are a porn addict, know that I am praying for you. If you counsel guys who struggle with porn (i.e. pastors, youth leaders, parents, friends, etc.), know that I am praying for you and battling with you to glorify God by exalting his supremacy over sex and pleasure. May we all trust in the satisfaction of God vis-à-vis the temporary pleasure of pornography.