The following are quotes on pornography and cybersex given by various “experts” explaining how it interferes with marriage. We pray they will help to enhance your marital sexual relationship.
Quotes on Pornography and Cybersex:
• Some people have the mistaken notion that God is anti-sex. In fact, He’s outspokenly pro-sex! He invented it. What an incredible thought! Passionate sex was God’s idea. He isn’t embarrassed by it. Song of Songs is an entire book in the Bible dedicated to celebrating pure sex in marriage. Part of the challenge Christians face in a lust-filled world is remembering that neither sex nor sexuality is our enemy. Sex is not the problem. Lust is the problem. It’s the enemy and has hijacked sexuality. We need to keep reminding ourselves that our goal is to rescue our sexuality from lust so we can experience it the way God intended. (Joshua Harris, Sex is Not the Problem)
• Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. (Hebrews 13:4)
• You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife. (Steve Arterburn)
• Guys, there’s nothing wrong with appreciating another woman’s beauty. But we all know in an instant when we’ve reached that point where we’re no longer simply noticing her but have begun enjoying her and letting our minds become a playground of lustful thoughts. That’s when Fred Stoeker, coauthor of Every Man’s Battle, says we must heed the covenant of Job 31:1. With the same impulsive quickness that makes us pull our hands back from a hot stove, we must discipline ourselves to “bounce” our eyes away from her. Yes, it’s every man’s battle, all right. But it’s a battle we can win. “I have made a covenant with my eyes. How then could I gaze at a virgin?“ (Job 31:1). (Excerpted from Moments With You by Dennis and Barbara Rainey)
Quotes on Pornography
• When you turn to the definition of “unfaithful” Webster states “not faithful: not adhering to vows, allegiance, or duty.” Nowhere does it state that unfaithfulness or infidelity is tied to a physical act. It’s my belief that if you’re using your emotional reserves on someone not your spouse at the expense of your spouse, then it’s infidelity. For those who are calling it another name, I can only respond “a rose by any other name…” (Dena B. Cashatt, MFT)
• Making unwanted sexual advances virtually is called “cyber-flirting,” but in the real world, it is sexual harassment. Being sexually active with multiple partners on the Internet is called “virtual sex'” but in the real world, it’s engaging in high-risk and irresponsible behavior. Sending lewd pictures of your private parts online is called “sexting,” but in the real world, it is a crime called indecent exposure. What happens in the virtual world affects the real world. Don’t buy the lie that you can have dual citizenship in both worlds, breaking the rules in one without consequence in the other. (K Jason Krafsky, in New York Times article, “A Double Standard”)
• Professors Dolf Zillman of Indiana University and Jennings Bryant of the University of Houston have found that repeated exposure to pornography results in a decreased satisfaction with one’s sexual partner, with the partner’s sexuality, with the partner’s sexual curiosity, a decrease in the valuation of faithfulness and a major increase in the importance of sex without attachment.
All of us, men and women alike, are affected by what we let our minds dwell on. If our mental representation of who is having “great sex” stems from romance novels, movies, or soap operas, we’ll by handicapped by a warped view. If we allow our minds to dwell on jokes, magazine surveys, or water-cooler conversations that deal with sex as an impersonal physical experience, we’ll never seek the oneness nor experience the freedom that sexual intimacy was designed to provide. And if we use our brainpower to form a critical picture of our spouses, our marriages, or our mating practices, we are, in fact, violating the sanctity of our God-created oneness. We are robbing our mates and ourselves of the grace of holy sex. (Tim Alan Gardner, “Sacred Sex”)
More Quotes on Pornography and Cybersex
• Men seem to be wired in such a way that pornography hijacks the proper functioning of their brains. It also has a long-lasting effect on their thoughts and lives. Why men rather than women? As [psychologist] William M. Struthers explains, the male and female brains are wired differently. “A man’s brain is a sexual mosaic influenced by hormone levels in the womb and in puberty and molded by his psychological experience.” Over time, exposure to pornography takes a man or boy deeper along “a one-way neurological superhighway where a man’s mental life is over-sexualized and narrowed. This superhighway has countless on-ramps but very few off-ramps.
Pornography is “visually magnetic” to the male brain. …Enough is never enough. “If I take the same dose of a drug over and over and my body begins to tolerate it, I will need to take a higher dose of the drug in order for it to have the same effect that it did with a lower dose the first time,” Struthers reminds us. So, the experience of viewing pornography and acting out on it creates a demand in the brain for more and more, just to achieve the same level of pleasure in the brain.
Struthers explains this with compelling force: Something about pornography pulls and pushes at the male soul. The pull is easy to identify. The naked female form can be hypnotizing. A woman’s willingness to participate in a sexual act or expose her nakedness is alluring to men. The awareness of one’s own sexuality, the longing to know, to experience something as good wells up from deep within. An image begins to pick up steam the longer we look upon it. It gains momentum and can reach a point where it feels like a tractor-trailer rolling downhill with no brakes. (Albert Mohler, from the Crosswalk.com article “Hijacking the Brain — How Pornography Works“)
Additional Quotes on Pornography
• Viewing sexual stimulation re-calibrates your sexual set point. I.e. once your mind forms a picture or has a new sexual experience, this becomes the norm. To get another thrill you need something even more exciting. This is how porn use can destroy your interest and attraction for your mate. Repeated pornography use numbs normal sexual drives and deadens your desire for a real person/partner. In addition, bizarre as it may seem, the more shame you feel about your guilty pleasures—the more you resent your partner! We don’t like people who remind us of our bad behavior. When you violate the lines of your own commitment and values you actually end up looking for faults in your partner to alleviate your guilt. “Well, if he/she were more (fill in the blank) I wouldn’t be doing this.”
And the guiltier you feel the more vulnerable you become to the escape of a sexual high. Millions of people are currently caught in the excitement cycle of porn use or an affair, either online or face to face. And if you think it will stop where it is, research proves you very, very wrong. Relationships which begin in cyberspace eventually meet face to face in some way, shape or form. (Pat Love, from Yourtango.com article, “Is MySpace YourSpace?)
• One of the first things porn does when we engage in it, is it disconnects us from our wives, or any true intimacy for that matter. This happens because of two little words called guilt and shame. The Bible says that to even look at another woman with lust is adultery (Matthew 5:28). I believe this is because the same chemical and psychological processes are at work when we lust as when we actually have sex. One inescapable result of engaging in porn and lust is that a wall is immediately built between our wives and us; whether we feel it, acknowledge it or not. (Stuart Vogelman, from article “Does Porn or a Husband’s Wandering Eyes Hurt a Marriage?“)
• If men are relationally challenged, pornography gives them a touch of sex without all that bothersome conversation. If men desire to control their relationships, that’s easy when the object of their affection is merely an image on a screen. With on-line porn, men can have a new “relationship” every few seconds, if they choose. (This depends on how fast they can download images.) In addition, men’s ability to compartmentalize helps them to wall off this addiction in a secret corner of their otherwise normal lives.
Pornography is candy—sweet, and pleasurable for a moment. But it can make you sick. It can also spoil your appetite. Who would choose broccoli over chocolate? But which is better for you? Truly nourishing relationships are sabotaged when one partner gets enticed by easy access to porn. (Whiteman and Petersen, from book, “Your Marriage and the Internet)
• Pornography is a parasite, because it steals your emotions, your focus, your time, your energy away from your spouse. I mean, it’s really demonic, if you want to get down to it. Pornography is trying to meet a legitimate need in an illegitimate way. When you go down that path, you are not fulfilling each other as God intends for husband and wife and vice-versa, and it starts to degrade your marriage. (Alex Kendrick, co-writer of movie, “Fireproof”)
• Pornography is dangerous because it rewires the brain to believe that what is sexy is anonymous sex, rather than the relationship. It makes sex physical, rather than about emotional intimacy. Soon it loses the ability to cause emotional intimacy, and emotional intimacy loses the ability to cause any sexual feelings. In fact, while he’s making love to you he may even have to fantasize or picture pornography in his mind to become aroused. This will ultimately wreck your sex life. It has been found that men who use internet pornography actually lose their sexual desire for their wives. (Sheila Wray Gregoire, from the article, “Talking About Sex” as posted on Growthtrac.com)
• A man who fills his mind with sexual images and thoughts commonly falls into a trap. Pornography can become a drug that men use to find quick relief from their daily frustrations. The temptation to lust after erotic pictures of models seems easier than taking the time to build a real relationship with a woman. However, when a man looks at pornography, he can form a sexual bond to a woman who is not physically present. As he gazes at her image, he unwittingly tells his heart to seek fulfillment from a woman who does not love him. Initially, the ability to experience pleasure through his fantasies may convince the man that pornography is satisfying. Through this process, though, that man may not realize how the pornography silently destroys his self-esteem.
…Pornography also produces unrealistic expectations about sex in relationships. As a man lusts after pictures of naked models, he wrongly assumes that the best kind of woman is perfectly proportioned and offers constant pleasure. Lust classifies a woman as a sex object who should fulfill a man’s selfish desires, instead of a precious person to be loved sacrificially. (Rob Eagar, from the article, “Fooled by Fantasy” posted on Growthtrac.com)
Even More Quotes on Pornography:
• Pornography grossly distorts a man’s view of the way normal women approach sex and sexuality, turning women into idols who are always sexually ravenous and are perfectly happy engaging in physical sex acts that are completely divorced from any sense of commitment, love, security or relational intimacy. Counselors consistently report that when men indulge such a distorted view of women and their sexuality, they become dissatisfied with their own wives and sex lives, tend to evaluate potential spouses based chiefly on physical attractiveness, or bring impossible expectations for sex into marriage. All of the above lead to sin and heartbreak.
I’d like to suggest that culture attacks women similarly —it is just a bit more subtle. The lies told to women are introduced at the level of women’s emotions (less harmful, right?), in how they dream about men, and in what they long for relationally. Like pornography, chick-flicks take a good gift from God (romance, relational intimacy) that women are created to desire, and distort it by presenting as “normal” an unbiblical and unrealistic picture of men, love and marriage. And just like men who buy into the lies of pornography, women who believe that their husbands and marriages should always be like what they see on the screen will be sinfully dissatisfied with God’s good gift to them of a “normal” husband and marriage. (Beth Spraul from the article “You’ve Got Lies”)
• Consider the genre of sexual sin, pornography. (And, since the advent of Internet porn, we have seen more and more that it is not just a “guy’s problem.” Today, more women than ever are logging on and searching porn sites.) What is wrong with pornography? It’s not just that by using porn, you’re exploiting another person and turning the human in the centerfold into a mere object. If we use pornography, we also wrench sex out of the relational context in which God intended it to take place.
If we use porn, we learn something false: That sex is about immediate gratification. Pornography is destructive because it forms in its clientèle expectations that are simply not connected to reality, to real men and women with real bodies (not to mention real souls, hearts, and minds). (Lauren Winner, from article: “Purity,” appearing on Family.org)
• Who says “Pornography doesn’t hurt anyone?” Porn damages the viewer. Proverbs 6:27 says: “Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?” The implied answer is “No.” Lusting after people with our eyes and thoughts is equivalent to committing the sin with them (Matthew 5:28). Porn trains us to practice lust and live in a fantasy world of evil thoughts. As a result, we burn with insatiable lust that drives us to seek gratification. The memories resulting from our porn activities can last a lifetime and damage our ability to enjoy sex in our marriage.
Pornography also can lead us down the destructive path of perversion. Porn damages the viewer’s family. For example, your children could be tormented by any evil spirits that are tormenting you, or they may simply get hooked on porn when they stumble across your porn stash of computer files or magazines. Your spouse could be devastated if he/she discovers you’ve been committing “mental adultery” through porn. He/she may have difficulty ever trusting you again when they discover your secret life. It could take years for you to re-learn how to love your spouse and eliminate the stranglehold lust has on you. You may have to relearn how to have sex in a loving way, since you have become tuned for lust through porn. (From the web site at Porn-free.org)
• Male brains release feel good chemicals when they see a female form. Let’s take this a step further and contemplate what is happening in the male brain when he views his wife while making love. According to Dr. Douglas Weiss, in his book Sex, God and Men, “Whatever his eyes focus on when he sexually releases –a person, image or object –will become etched in his brain as a photographic attachment toward that person, image or object. I call it ‘Sex Glue.’”
This is probably why pornography is a gazillion dollar industry. Men view and quite possibly release while viewing sexually stimulating material. Unwittingly, they are training their brains with a reward response for viewing pornography. When what should be happening is that they train their brains to reward release only with their wives. Could this also be a factor in the low-libido man? He’s got a very willing wife down the hall in the bedroom, but it’s too hard to deal with a real person. Not only that, but if a male is consistently viewing pornography and releasing, this becomes the most satisfying way to be sexual because of how he’s trained his brain. The good news is the brain can be rehabilitated!!!” (Bonny Logsdon Burns, from the Pearl’s Oysterbed7.com article, “Illuminated Sex”)
• Your eyes are the windows of your soul. What you repeatedly expose yourself to will influence your imagination, your actions, and finally your character. There are three things you need to know about pornography. (1) It’s addictive. Family counselor Gail Hoone said, “Pornography is more addictive than drugs, and thanks to the First Amendment, it’s getting bigger every day.” (2) It’s selfish. It trains you to see people as playthings to be played with, and all for one purpose —self-gratification. Intimacy, responsibility, and commitment are not even in the picture (or frame). (3) It’s shaming. Unlike the lepers in the Bible, pornography doesn’t ring a bell and cry, “Unclean! Unclean!”
Yet when you fall under its control, you find yourself responding to it in ways that leave you feeling cheapened and unclean. But there’s good news. Every leper who came to Jesus was cleansed; and through His blood you can be cleansed too! Furthermore, you can be empowered by His Spirit to cast down every imagination, and take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5). (From the devotional, Word for You Today)
• As men we must be focused on sexual purity, not allowing any of our sexual energy be wasted on anyone but our wives. After all, the Bible tells us that our sexuality is first of all God’s (Romans 12:1), then our wife’s (1 Corinthians 7:4) and lastly ours. And we must be focused on meeting her needs for intimacy, which are relational. For this is God’s plan (Ecclesiastes 9:9). As we do this, we will find that our sexual desire will redirect to our wives and grow significantly. It may take a month or two but it will happen. Try it. You may be surprised how well this works. (Stuart Vogelman, from article “Does Porn or a Husband’s Wandering Eyes Hurt a Marriage?“)
• It is important to state that not every young man who views pornography will become addicted. Porn can be likened to bacteria. If dropped into and empty Petri dish, the bacteria eventually dry up leaving a small spot on the once clean dish. If however, the bacteria are dropped into a fertile dish filled with elements like poor self-image, abandonment or abuse issues, well then the bacteria flourishes and grows. The longer it is hidden in a dark place the larger it grows and the harder it is to deal with. Guilt and shame keep it in the dark and well fed. This is the reason most men go undiscovered for years. (Meg Wilson, article posted on the web site Hopeafterbetrayal.com)
• What is sex addiction? Sex addiction is a means for people to medicate their feelings or attempt to deal with stress in their life or both. Their sexual behavior becomes the mechanism for coping with stress if their life. They are unable to discontinue the behavior for the most part and the pursuit of their sexual behavior often becomes as important as acting out the behavior. Some people will binge on sexual behavior or fantasy. (From: “Frequently Asked Questions” as posted on Prodigalsonline.com)
• Many who simply stumble upon pornography slowly develop a gradual desire for more, and if not dealt with early on, it can consume the person and change his or her thinking about sexuality and the opposite sex. Everyone that purposely seeks it or even stumbles across pornography accidentally is exposed to a few basic subtle messages about sex. These messages are what many authors and researchers call lies or false messages. These messages include:
• Sex with anyone, under any circumstances, any way it is desired, is beneficial and does not have negative consequences. • Women have one value —to meet the sexual demands of men. • Marriage and children are obstacles to sexual fulfillment. • Everyone is involved in promiscuous sexual activity, infidelity and premarital sex. • Women are less than human. • Women are a ‘sport’. • They are property. • A woman’s value depends on the attractiveness of her body. • Women like rape. These messages are not literally written across pornography, but are communicated through repeated exposure.
Pornography seeps into a person’s life. A good metaphor for this process is smoke filling a room. It starts slowly, filling the room through a crack. Over time, it completely swallows the air. And if there is a big crack, it will fill the room more quickly. The mental images of what is seen will not dissipate. They will remain over time just like smoke damage. Sometimes it takes just one exposure to pornography for it to become an addiction. In other cases, it takes time. The cracks in the room are like the emotional gap in the life of an addict that they are filling with pornography. Pornography is a progressive and deadly problem that is attacking and taking over lives of those in the church and society. (Tim Roberts, from Parsonage.org article: “Understanding Pornography“)
• WHAT ROLE DOES PORNOGRAPHY PLAY IN SEX ADDICTION? Pornography for many sex addicts combined with regular masturbation is the cornerstone for most sex addicts. Many sex addicts have great difficulty getting sober from this combination of behavior. The pornography with fantasy creates an unreal world that the sex addict visits throughout their adolescence and other developmental stages and creates an object relationship that conditions their emotional and sexual self to depend upon these objects and fantasies to meet their emotional and sexual needs hundreds of times before having sex with a real person. (Dr Doug Weiss, from FAQ’s on the Sexaddict.com web site)
• Sexual addiction is simply someone’s using the natural drugs found in his or her brain chemistry to medicate emotional pain. It’s not about sex. Let me say this again, because I know people have a hard time grasping this truth: Sexual addiction is not about sex: it’s about escaping and avoiding pain. Every story I’ve heard begins with how the addiction started when the man was young. On average, the young man’s first sexual exposure occurred when he was between nine and fourteen years of age with the earliest at age five. So most men are deep into the addiction long before any real relationship with the opposite sex begins.
Since boys at these young ages can’t easily buy beer or illegal drugs, many discover a different way to dull their pain or cope. Through sexual arousal, all of their problems seem to disappear. When they look at or read sexually graphic material, endorphins and enkephalins are released in their brains, causing a high. These chemicals give the feeling of euphoria and a false sense of manliness. Addicts in their own minds are kings.
It’s important to understand the basis and nature of this addiction, not as an excuse or justification, but as a point of reference. The facts simply do not support the belief that the wife is at fault; the husband came to her already dependent. Most men assumed it would end once they were married. Their feelings of love for their wives were sincere, so why would they need anything else to satisfy them? The sad truth is that the addiction already had taken control. (Meg Wilson, from the book “Hope After Betrayal”)
• A major reason for infidelity, and a subsequent divorce, is ”people don’t want to give up what they think is the ultimate high, the newness, the excitement phase of marriage,” Vaughan says. (The State of Our Unions – By Rick Hampton and Karen S. Peterson USA TODAY Feb 26, 2004)
• We’ve all heard that the male half of the population thinks about sex a lot. What I didn’t realize was that they aren’t exactly thinking about sex (as in, I wonder if my wife will be in the mood tonight). Rather, they’re picturing it, or picturing a sexual image. And those pictures aren’t necessarily of their wives. They are often images that have been involuntarily burned in their brains just by living in today’s culture—images that can arise without warning.
You might be wondering, What kinds of images? Apparently just about anything: the memory of an intimate time with you (good) or the memory of a Playboy magazine (bad). It could be a recollection of the shapely woman who walked through the parking lot two minutes ago or an online porn site he saw two years ago. These images often arise without warning, even if the guy doesn’t want them. Or specific images can be recalled on purpose. As several men put it, “I have an unending supply of images in my head, stretching back to my teens.” (Shaunti Feldhahn, For Women Only)
• Even happily married, devoted men are instinctively pulled to look at “eye magnet” women, and most men have a mental Rolodex of stored female images that can intrude upon their thoughts without warning. As upsetting as these truths might be to you, remember that temptation is not sin, and your guy is likely trying his best to minimize those involuntary thoughts and win the battle of the mind. The lure doesn’t happen because of you and has nothing to do with his feelings for you; in fact, most men wish they didn’t have it. As woman, we can be supportive of our men’s efforts to keep their thought lives pure, pray for them, champion modesty, and realize God created men to be visual and that His creation is good. (Shaunti Feldhahn, The Discussion Guide For Women Only)
• 37 years of clinical and coaching practice has shown me that gender differences on this issue are not fiction, but based in how people actually feel. My experience working with men (and couples) where the man has been involved with pornography is that the guy’s response is typically “They’re just PICTURES” while his wife is enraged at his “affairs.” And the poor guy just doesn’t get it. I usually end by pointing out that IF he wants a good relationship with his wife again, he has to learn to understand how SHE sees it, since she’s offended by his behavior. This often is greeted by the guy as unfair. To which I reply: “Well, ‘unfair’ or not, that’s the way it works if you want your relationship back.” (George Polley, LICSW)
• If you have lunch with someone you fancy and you don’t tell your partner, that’s an affair. Affairs don’t begin with kisses. They begin with lunch—or something like it. So when you hide the shared meal and the excitement that came with it, you do so for a reason. You don’t want to upset your partner. You want to keep it to yourself. Why? Because maybe some part of your mind is planning ahead and it doesn’t want your partner to know that this lunch gig has started at all because one day, you hope, it won’t just be lunch that you’re hiding. By these standards, my e-mail flirtation was already a full-blown affair. And when I realized that, I stopped it. Most important, I began to think more carefully about sharing intimacies [with anyone other than my spouse]. (From an article titled “The New Infidelity”)
• When you share intimacies with one person, and keep that secret from another, you create distance. It’s inevitable. This kind of emotional mission creep —whether intended or not, is made so much easier by the new technologies of communication. One can lie about lunch with little risk of detection. One can suggest a date with an old friend, and whatever happens, nobody has to know except the two of you—a new two.
The geographic reach of infidelity is now limited only by one’s determination and budget. And if the ex-lover, or new friend, happens to be within driving distance, well then —you can make arrangements from the computer on your desk at work —or on the phone, in the car. And nobody —not your partner, and certainly not your boss —need know about it. The inbox and voice mail —both guarded by those enigmatic, secret passwords —patrol the border between what we say and what we do. (From the article “The New Infidelity – From: Smartmarriages)
• But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person —such a man is an idolater —has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. (Ephesians 5:3-5)
• Sexual sin doesn’t just happen. It almost always is the result of a process of nurturing temptation. When people (with whom we feel a sexual chemistry) are placed in our lives our natural inclination is to run from or nurture temptation. Both tacks will likely lead to sexual sin. (Bill Hybels, Tender Love)
• The turning point for most men is when they get caught either by their wives, their bosses, or by the police. You’d think this would be the moment when the truth would come out and the healing process would start. Unfortunately, this is not the case most of the time. Some men get defensive and are in complete denial. They try to shift the blame and are unwilling to admit the fact that they have a problem. Most try to minimize it by saying it’s no big deal, and their behavior isn’t hurting anyone. Other’s come clean —but only partially.
The shame and guilt portion of the Sexual Addiction cycle is so strong, a man believes if he tells everything, the person will “run screaming into the night.” The problem is compounded when the addict offers only a partial disclosure, because there’s a good chance the SA will progress to even greater depravity. This may happen over a short or long period of time —weeks, months, or even years. Over the course of a couple of years, I was given the opportunity to tell [my wife] Meg everything. But out of fear, I partially disclosed. I shared just enough of the SA past to resolve whatever was the current issue. I can pinpoint these two events on a time line, and they correspond to when my SA progressed to new levels. Unfortunately, each time the level was even lower. (Mark Wilson, from the book, “Hope After Betrayal”)
• Left to our own resources, more times than not, we will sin sexually. The pressures are just too great. That’s why a vital relationship with God is critical. Without it, good sex is simply not possible. Only fully devoted, committed, authentic Christians can feel the inner tug of the Holy Spirit, the voice that tells us “Abhor evil, cling to good.” (Bill Hybels, Tender Love)
• God forbids mate swapping, multiple partners, and orgies. “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral” (Hebrews 13:4). Sex is a bond meant for only the two of you. Because it is just for the two, this means all others, even pictures of others (pornography of any kind), are off limits. (Bill and Pam Farrell, Red Hot Monogamy)
• “Oh, don’t be so hard on yourself, one might say. It’s natural for a male to look. That’s part of our nature.” But what you’re doing is stealing. The impure thought life is the life of a thief. You’re stealing images that aren’t yours. When you had premarital sex, you touched someone who didn’t belong to you. When you looked down the blouse of a woman who isn’t your wife, you were stealing something that isn’t yours to take. It’s just like walking down Main Street behind someone who drops a one-hundred-dollar bill out of his pocket, and you pick it up. That money isn’t yours —even if he didn’t know he lost it. If you choose to keep the money instead of saying, “Hey, Mister,” then you’ve taken something you’re not entitled to.
Similarly, if a woman’s blouse falls open, you can’t say, “Hey, that’s in my sight line, I get to have that.” No, you have to look away. Otherwise you’re a thief. You need to leave that valuable creation in the hands of God and her husband or her future husband. (Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, Every Man’s Battle)
• A new study conducted by a researcher at the University of Florida finds that 83% of spouses who had Internet encounters with the opposite sex didn’t consider it to be cheating. The study’s author, Beatriz Mileham, believes “the Internet will soon become the most common form of infidelity, if it isn’t already.”
Focus on the Family marriage analyst Glenn Stanton tends to agree with her. “When you’ve lived with an individual, you see every part of them. The very deceptive thing about these online affairs is that, like in dating relationships, you’re only seeing the best part of the other person. That is a lie from Satan that really sandbags a lot of marriages,” Stanton says. Stanton urges Christian husbands and wives to steer clear of Internet chat rooms geared specifically for married couples, and to be as intentional about investing and managing their relationships as they might be about their 401-K. (Jim Brown, from the article “Christian Marriage Expert Warns: Beware Internet Infidelity”)
• “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-29).
• “You know the next commandment pretty well, too: ‘Don’t go to bed with another’s spouse.’ But don’t think you’ve preserved your virtue by simply staying out of bed. Your heart can be corrupted by lust even quicker than your body. Those leering looks you think nobody notices —they also corrupt.
“Let’s not pretend this is easier than it really is. If you want to live a morally pure life, here’s what you have to do: You have to blind your right eye the moment you catch it in a lustful leer. You have to choose to live one-eyed or else be dumped on a moral trash pile.” (Matthew 5:27-29, THE MESSAGE).
• When Jesus said to get rid of your hand or your eye, he was speaking figuratively. He didn’t mean literally to go gouge out your eye, because even a blind person can lust. But if that were the only choice, it would be better to go into heaven with one eye or hand than to go to hell with two. We sometimes tolerate sins in our lives that, left unchecked, could eventually destroy us. It is better to experience the pain of removal (getting rid of a bad habit or something we treasure, for instance) than to allow the sin to bring judgment and condemnation. Examine your life for anything that causes you to sin, and take every necessary action to remove it. (Explanation from Life Application Bible, in reference to Matthew 5:29, 30)
• If you want to know if you’re risking infidelity, tell your spouse the whole truth about the other relationship. If you find yourself wanting to “edit” the story, you know yourself that you’re playing with fire, even if you want to say you’re protecting the spouse. I agree that secrecy is a key feature of infidelity, so I’d suggest that either spouse has the right to ask and receive a complete and true answer to any question about anything at any time. (Mark Odell, PhD University of Nevada)
• We have countless churches filled with countless men encumbered by sexual sin, weakened by low-grade fevers —men happy enough to go to Promise Keepers but too sickly to be promise keepers. (Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, Every Man’s Battle)
• “Today’s workplace is the most fertile breeding ground for affairs. The observed increase in women’s infidelity is because more women are in the workplace and more women are in professions that were previously dominated by men.” (Shirley Glass: Expert on Infidelity, Is Dead – The New York Times)
• “Those who assume that only bad people in bad marriages cheat can blind themselves to their own risk,” said Beth Allen, a researcher at the University of Denver who, with colleagues David Atkins, of the Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, and the late Shirley Glass, a Baltimore family psychologist, recently completed an extensive review of infidelity research.” They’re unprepared for the risky times in their own lives, the dangerous situations when, if they aren’t careful, they’ll suddenly be very tempted,” Allen said. (The Roots of Temptation – Los Angeles Times)
• Everything that God has created as good and as a gift, man has perverted.
• It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)
• If we don’t kill every hint of immorality, we’ll be captured by our tendency as males to draw sexual gratification and chemical highs through our eyes. (Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, Every Man’s Battle)
• It’s important to understand how God views sex so that it’s not misused. There is right worship and there is wrong worship. Wrong worship brought death to Aaron’s sons when they offered the wrong fire and incense before God. To look at this literally, you can say that sex outside of marriage brings about death to our spirits, as well as to our sense of well-being or esteem. In some cases, it brings death to our bodies through sexually transmitted diseases, abortions, and the fatal attractions that are a result of soul ties from the sexual union. (Michelle McKinney Hammond, The Power of Femininity)
• Safe-guard your marriage. If you take care of how things look, you’ll end up taking care of how things are. (Jerry Jenkins)
• An unaccountable man is an accident waiting to happen. If you don’t have someone asking you after you go on a business trip, “how did you do?” you’re an accident waiting to happen. (Kevin Butcher)
• Make a pact with a friend of the same sex regarding purity and sexual fidelity to your spouse. Agree to share and ask questions regarding the details of relationships with members of the opposite sex apart from your spouse. Memorize a verse to recall in times of challenge. Recommendation: 1 Corinthians 10:13. “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (Alistair Begg, Lasting Love: How to Avoid Marital Failure)
• Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)
• We can take a lesson on the way affairs happen by looking at King David. He put himself in the way of temptation when: (1) He chose to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. (2) He chose to be unaccountable. (3) He got proud and minimized the power of his flesh. (2 Samuel 5:10 and Deuteronomy 17:17) (4) He minimized the power of the enemy. (5) He stopped nurturing his marriage to Michel. (6) He wasn’t nurturing his own heart. (Kevin Butcher – from the sermon: The Anatomy of an Affair)
• One man said he’s currently involved in several virtual affairs with married women. He said he simply fills “an emotional deficit in women’s marriages.” Their husbands have no idea he exists. Big-name Internet companies don’t care whether it’s cheating or not, because the more people looking for love means more eyeballs for online advertisers. But spouses who discover a loved one engaged in such behavior are nowhere near as ambivalent. If it’s found out, people tend to feel very betrayed —even if the contact is restricted to the computer only. That’s because you’re channeling sexual and emotional energy. You’re flirting and creating a little bit of an emotional bond that people (feel) is reserved for them. (CYBERSEX: Is It Really Cheating? MSNBC.com)
• “Never before has the dating world been so handy for married men and women looking for a fling,” said Beatriz Avila Mileham, who conducted the research for her doctoral dissertation in counselor education at UF. “With cybersex, there’s no longer any need for secret trips to obscure motels. An online liaison may even take place in the same room with one’s spouse.” In the words of one 41-year-old man in the study, “All I have to do is turn on my computer. There, I have thousands of women to choose from. (It) can’t get any easier than that.”
Counseling organizations report chat rooms are the fastest-rising cause of relationship breakdowns, and the problem only stands to get worse as today’s population of Internet users, estimated at 649 million worldwide, continues to grow, Mileham said. “The Internet will soon become the most common form of infidelity, if it isn’t already,” she said. (From: Smartmarriages Subject: Online Dating Irresistible to some married Folks)
• 60% of all Web site visits are to pornographic sites. The tragic reality is that statistics link pornography to an increase of unrealistic expectations, decreased sexual desire, decreased sexual desire, decreased sexual performance, weakened or destroyed marriage relationships, aggression toward women, and violent crime. 70% of all pornographic magazines end up in the hands of minors. It seems to start innocently enough but what happens is that enough is never, ever enough.
Recently one man told us, “The more I got into it, the more I felt that the material had to be stronger, more explicit. I started getting videos. I even called some of those dial-a-porn lines.” Feeding the preoccupation leads to ritualization, then to compulsive sexual behavior, and eventually to a sexual addiction. Patrick Carne’s describes sexual addiction as “the athlete’s foot of the mind.” It never goes away. It always is asking to be scratched, promising relief. (From the magazine, “Marriage Partnership”)
• Pornography is different on the computer networks. You can obtain it in the privacy of your home —without having to walk into a seedy bookstore or movie house. You can download only those things that turn you on, rather than buy an entire magazine or video. Additionally, you can explore different aspects of your sexuality without exposing yourself to communicable diseases or public ridicule. (Philip Elmer-Dewitt, “On A Screen Near You,” Time Magazine)
• Whenever God is knocked out—sin is minimized.
• Pornography and lust really starts with ungratefulness for what God’s given us. We begin to set our hearts on something that is forbidden. We then try to take pleasure and delight in something the Lord never intended for us to have. It sets up dissatisfaction that causes us to put unrealistic expectations on our spouse. Pornography ultimately is also going to lead to anger in the home. It is like James 4 said, “Why is there fighting and wars and quarrels among you? It’s because of the lust that’s within you.” Anger over pornography helps to destroy that marriage. (Stephen Kendrick as quoted in Family Life Today radio interview)
• When we do wrong, we set in motion a cycle of complications. (Dr Charles Swindoll)
• “In cleaning out files on our computer, I’ve found pornography. It’s just my husband and I who use the computer. It has to be his. How should I handle this?” Answer given: “Your suspicions are most likely correct. I would trust your intuition. If you ignore the issue, it won’t go away and will only get worse. Confront your husband now. But before you do, be sure to have a plan. Think through what you are going to say. Even write it down and read it to him if you need to. If you have a counselor, trusted pastor or friend that understands sexual addiction, you may want to go over your confrontation with them. Some women find it helpful to have a counselor with them when they confront their husband.
“When you formulate your plan, consider what you will do if he admits to a problem but refuses to seek recovery. The hardest part of all of this is following through with your plan. If he refuses to enter a recovery program, the worse thing you can do is nothing. Refuse to accept his denial. Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to recovery. Learn everything that you can about the issues of sex addiction and co-addiction. Seek help for yourself even if he doesn’t at this point. Again, it is important for you to have a plan and follow through with it.” (From: “Frequently Asked Questions” as posted on Prodigalsonline.com)
• Some women whose husbands struggle with sexual sin falsely believe that they are to blame. They reason that if they were more accessible to their mates, if they were a better lover, or if they had sex more often, their husbands wouldn’t look elsewhere. The truth is, these reasons have nothing to do with why men involve themselves in sexual immorality.
Men addicted to pornography often have great difficulty experiencing intimacy with anyone —including their mates. This is generally the result of unresolved issues from childhood where God-given needs such as love, significance, and security were not met. Some men learned early on that people are undependable. Therefore, they avoid becoming intimate with a real person. Instead they initiate a relationship of passion with an image that can’t reject or threaten them. In other words, an object or image requires no vulnerability.
Another fallacy that women believe is that they should be able to hold their husbands accountable for this area of their lives. Wives, this is a touchy area. While you may ask your mate how you can pray for him, it is best if a godly man that your husband knows asks him the hard questions and holds him accountable. Overall, this frees you up emotionally so that you can work through your own pain. Pray for your husband and your marriage. Learn to trust in God where your husband has failed you. And then work toward true forgiveness. (Leslie Armstrong, from the Growthtrac.com article, “Pornography: An Assault on Marriage“)
• Betrayed women who have children often debate over how much to tell them about the state of the household—and when. Every situation is unique. Let God lead the way. This means fear and shame no longer get a voice. Honesty is never a mistake. I guarantee your kids know something is wrong no matter what their ages. You might say simply, “Mommy and Daddy are having trouble in their marriage. But we’re committed to working it out. Pray for us.”
Then let their questions dictate any more to be said. The older the child, the more questions he or she will have. If you aren’t sure about the answers, tell that child, “I’m not sure.” You don’t have to have all the answers. Trust God to guide the timing and the telling. Then point your children ever back to their perfect parent —Jesus Christ. (Meg Wilson, from the book “Hope After Betrayal”)
• We aren’t victims of some vast conspiracy to ensnare us sexually. We’ve simply chosen to mix in our own standards of sexual conduct with God’s standard. Since we found God’s standard too difficult, we created a mixture —something new, something comfortable, something mediocre.
What do we mean by “mixture”? Perhaps a good example is the muddled definition of “Sexual Relations” that surfaced in the sex scandal involving President Bill Clinton. After the president stated under oath that he didn’t have sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, he later explained that he didn’t view oral sex as being in that category. So by that definition, he hadn’t committed adultery. That represents quite a contrast to the standard Christ taught: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28). (Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, “Every Man’s Battle”)
• Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the ever lasting way (Psalm 139:23-24).
• Truth is the medicine that treats lies. Stay in the arena of truth. Some truth, however, is harder to accept at first. I remember when it dawned on me that, even though my husband was getting help and working on his issues, he could still fall. I saw the men who tried and failed—over and over. These men are forever one poor choice away from slipping right back into their addiction. This truth created a wall of fear that closed in on me whenever my husband traveled. Then God gently showed me that the potential for betrayal is a reality in every relationship and ever person. Even if I divorced my husband and remarried, I’d get another person with baggage. My faith had to be placed in God and no one else. (Meg Wilson, from the book “Hope After Betrayal”)