***Porn*** (pt 4)

[This post contains explicit descriptions and is not suitable for all audiences]
Sex in Marriage and Porn

Good marriages and good sex are good for individuals and society.[i] I am not against good sex and God is certainly not against good sex either (see e.g. Prov. 5:18-19 and Song of Solomon). It’s just that God knows how sex can be most free and beautiful, and it is within a loving marital relationship.[ii] Sex flourishes within the protective “garden” of marriage (see Song of Solomon). And sex within marriage helps families and thus societies flourish.

God is the one who designed sex. God said sex is good, even “very good.” And God, as the designer, knows how sex functions best; namely, within the covenant of marriage. Sex within marriage protects both partners and allows them to more easily be naked and not ashamed. Sex within marriage promotes long-term intimacy, enjoyment, practice, confidence, and happiness.

“Marriage is the relationship in which the richest, fullest expression of sex is possible. The benefits of a shared history, a deeper trust, an improved understanding of oneself and one’s spouse, an ability to forgive, and unselfishness all enhance sexual expression.”[iii]

Marriage promotes meaningful relationship and partnership. It also provides a context for family. Sex within marriage is a beautiful thing and should to be celebrated and enjoyed. So, “When sex is experienced as God intended it, it is one of his greatest gifts to humanity.”[iv] When sex is experienced the way porn intends, it is, as we saw above, a plague for individuals and society.

The Purpose of our Existence and Porn

Society tells us what to think about sex and “the message is clear: Sex doesn’t just sell—it is the motivation for living.”[v] That seems to be what society says but is that true? No. No, it’s not true for a lot of reasons. Sex doesn’t last very long and an orgasm is shorter still, but life is filled with all sorts of beauty and meaning. Society sells us short when it communicates that life is all about sex.

Sex is good, even very good (Gen. 1:31), but it’s not ultimate. “Pleasure was never intended to fill our deepest desires and needs, but to point us towards the One who can.”[vi] We can be supremely joyous with or without sex. Sex is great but it’s not everything. Jesus, the most satisfied person ever, was celibate.

Jesus could be joyous, even in the midst of unbelievable difficulties, because of the surpassing joy that was set before Him (Heb. 12:2). The LORD God, as the fount of living water, alone can truly satisfy our parched and searching souls. As John Piper has rightly said: “one of the reasons the world and the church are awash in lust and pornography… is that our lives are intellectually and emotionally disconnected from the infinite, soul-staggering grandeur for which we were made.”[vii]

To quote Augustine, someone who knew what it was like to seek for fulfillment in pleasure: Our hearts are restless until they rest in Him. It is before the LORD God that there is fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore (Ps. 16:9). God made sex as a pointer to Himself and His own glory. Of course, He is better than something He made up.

Conclusion

Sex is good and when practiced according to God’s design it is a beautiful gift to individuals and good for society. Sex as expressed through porn, however, is not good but leads to all sorts of problems for individuals and society. When we follow God’s plan for sex it leads to thriving but when we follow the lies of porn it leads to desecration.

______________________

[i] Here’s a very small example: “A good marriage with regular, mutually enjoyable sex will tend to have a positive impact on your health. It lowers stress, lowers blood pressure, may improve sleep, and so on” (J. Alasdair Groves, “Exposing the Lies of Pornography and Counseling the Men Who Believe Them” in JBC 27:1 (2013), 10).

[ii] “Freedom is not so much the absence of restrictions as finding the right ones, those that fit the realities of our own nature and those of the world.

So the commandments of God in the Bible are a means of liberation, because through them God calls us to be what he built us to be. Cars work well when you follow the owner’s manual and honor the design of the car. If you fail to change the oil, no one will fine you or take you to jail; your car will simply break down because you violated its nature. You suffer a natural consequence. In the same way, human life works properly only when it is conducted in line with the “owner’s manual,” the commandments of God. If you disobey the commands, not only do you grieve and dishonor God, you are actually acting against your own nature as God designed you” (Timothy Keller, Every Good Endeavor, 39).

[iii] https://www.nae.net/theology-of-sex/.

[iv] Ibid.

[v] Struthers, Wired for Intimacy, 21.

[vi] Dan B. Allender and Tremper Longman III, Breaking the Idols of Your Heart, 101.

[vii] Quoted in Andrew David Naselli, “Seven Reasons You Should Not Indulge in Pornography” in Themelios 41.3, 478.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 9 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: