Pornography most common sexual sin of Christian men

by Kirk Giles

Earlier this year, Angus Reid released the results of a poll that give us insight into the morals of men in Canada. According to this poll, 52% of men in Canada believe that watching pornography is always or usually morally acceptable. The report also indicates that 43% of Canadian men age 18-34 believe that buying sex is always or usually morally acceptable.

Kirk Giles is the president of Promise Keepers Canada
Kirk Giles is the president of Promise Keepers Canada

Sex seems to have always had a powerful hold in the lives of men. If we examine the Old Testament, we can read multiple stories of how men used women for their own sexual desires. It seems as though any man can become overwhelmed by their desires – from the common man to the king of Israel.

Today, the age of the internet has made it easier than ever for men to lust after a woman, and keep it a secret. In the work we do at Promise Keepers Canada, pornography is easily the most common form of sexual sin Christian men are participating in. There are men who are convinced it is sin, but they don’t know how (or even if they want) to get out. There are other men who are not as confident that viewing pornography is a sin, because it is private and they don’t feel like they are hurting anyone.

There are practical and biblical ways to address the sexual temptations confronting men when it comes to pornography.

Practically, men need to see that woman as somebody’s daughter or somebody’s sister. Something changes in a man’s thinking when he sees the woman on the screen as a person first. I have never met a man who is thrilled at the idea of other men lusting after their daughter or sister, but that is exactly what men are doing when they view pornography.

I remember a story a friend of mine told me after visiting a restaurant with a group of co-workers. In this particular restaurant, the waitresses wore some very revealing clothing. The men began to make suggestive sexual comments about their waitress. My friend, however, became very quiet. The men asked him why he was so quiet and he commented that the waitress was the same age as his daughter. The whole conversation changed immediately.

As men, we have to be better than viewing a woman as existing to satisfy our sexual ego. We have to view her as a person, made in the image of God; a daughter of our Heavenly Father.

There are many different ways to address pornography from a spiritual perspective.

The most important initial step is to eliminate the secrecy. We need a culture in our churches that allows for James 5:16 to become a reality. Every man needs relationships where he can confess his sin, have another man pray for him, and experience the healing power of God in this area of his life.

Unless there are health issues involved, men will normally actively pursue an expression of their sexual desires. It can become a driving, all-consuming force. As men, and as couples, we need to put this energy into our marriage relationship and pursue the beauty, power, and passion of a man and woman becoming one flesh as God has designed us for. You cannot be one flesh with your wife while lusting after the woman on your computer screen. Viewing pornography is really living like we don’t believe God’s design is best.

There are multiple reasons why men can be so consumed by pornography and other sexual addictions. I recommend a book called Surfing for God by Michael John Cusick as the best book to understand what is going on in a man’s heart and mind and how God wants to bring healing.

If you know someone who is addicted to pornography, or you are yourself, I want to conclude by saying that there is always hope. Jesus took all of our lust on Himself when He died on the cross. We can be forgiven, changed, and set free by His grace. The path may be long and difficult, but Jesus has made the way for men everywhere to walk in the light.

Kirk Giles is President of Promise Keepers Canada – a national ministry whose purpose is to ignite and equip men to have a godly impact. Read Faith Today’s Q&A with Kirk Giles. The EFC’s recent webinar on “The Problem of Pornography” is also available. 

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