Sometimes we shy away from tough conversations, maybe to be polite or to avoid shame or ignorance in ourselves. But as Christians, we must be willing to talk about uncomfortable subjects and initiate those conversations.
A huge thing we often avoid is the impact of pornography. Let’s explore three main reasons why this is an important thing to talk about:
God takes uncomfortable things like pornography use very seriously, but gives us grace when we fail.
God takes our sexuality and our brokenness very seriously. He reveals to us right boundaries but also grace when we fail. In one of many passages that speak to our broken sexuality, Paul says, “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality” (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
This is a blunt reality: God’s will is for us to be filled with the Holy Spirit and transformed as we become more like Jesus. God sets sexual standards and boundaries for us because he loves us and made us for himself. As we grow in Christlikeness, we are to move away from a manmade sexual morality and toward sexuality within the boundaries God has set. Pornography falls outside these boundaries set by God — the bounds of sexuality between a man and a woman within marriage.
Scripture reminds us that we’re prone to disobey God’s boundaries of sexuality (Matthew 5:28, 1 Corinthians 6:18). While our weakness may seem disheartening, God is also very concerned about the restoration of his people. He gives us his Spirit, and only through his power can we truly flee sexual immorality, repent, and find grace and forgiveness in Christ.
You might not be talking about sex, sexuality, and pornography, especially with our kids, but someone else is — guaranteed.
It is so easy to fall into the traps of what the world tells us about our sexual identity. We are bombarded from every direction, constantly.
Who is guiding the conversation? Is it God, or is it everyone else? Even as Christians, our primary guide in our sexuality and boundaries is very often not God.
The sheer amount of pornography available on the internet and the statistics about our consumption of it defy a Bible-centred perspective of sexuality. Porn is constantly available to anyone who looks for it — and to many who don’t. By age 18, 60% of girls and 90% of boys have been exposed to pornography. Porn cravings and addictions are a very real problem. This topic is much broader and deeper than the scope of this blog post, so I’ll direct you to a couple of helpful resources:
- 9 Things You Should Know About Pornography and the Brain (The Gospel Coalition)
- Covenant Eyes
We can be ambassadors for Christ’s love, light, and reconciliation in a world that dwells in desperate sexual darkness.
In these tough conversations, we must be sure not to focus on the sin and miss out on the grace of the cross. The reality of the gospel shows us that as we are transformed by God, we are called to shine that same gospel light to our dark world.
“Jesus answered them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’” (John 8:35-36)
The Word of God does not shy from rejoicing in our sexuality as it teaches us that it is created by God to honour and glorify him. As Christians we get to affirm, teach, and live out the truth that marriage, between one man and one woman, is the beautiful covenant space for the right expression of our sexuality. In marriage, and in singleness, we can live to glorify God in our sexuality. Single Christians are called to abstain from sexual relations and flee from pornography. This is no easy call — but it is for God’s glory and our good.
We are weak and easily fail in this area, but as we abide in Christ, we can be obedient and joyous. We can find joy and freedom as we express our sexuality in God’s good order. And if we truly believe that God’s intention for his beloved world is better than anything manmade, then we have the sweet obligation to share the light of God’s boundaries.
As our own failures, weakness, and inadequacy abide in the mercy of Christ, we also have the right obligation to constantly apply grace. Instead of judgmental condemnation for those who use pornography, we are called to love them.
As we call ourselves and those around us to flee from sexual immorality like pornography, as we realize our weakness and need for God, we can look to the freedom Jesus offers. Our families and our friends and this world can become truly free of pornography if, and only if, we trust in Jesus. We have the beautiful opportunity to be ambassadors for Christ in a world lost in the darkness of confused sexuality but with the very real hope of his restoration. We have something to offer our broken world—we have Jesus.