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Pornography: A Common Temptation for Christian Men

Christian people holding each others elbow bowing head in a room for group therapy session

Everyone faces temptation. Desiring money, fame, sex, or being jealous of what others have are common temptations for Christian men. Just the act of being tempted is common, especially in a world filled with social media and images of beauty and success. 

The struggle to resist temptation is something everyone experiences. Christians working to resist temptation, including the pull of pornography, are challenged with added feelings of shame and guilt. When you stray from your faith and your desires become too strong, seeking outside help may be necessary.

The Bible teaches that the strength of your faith can give you the means to pull back from the lure of temptation. 

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. 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 endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV)

Finding a way out of temptation is vital to avoiding it. But sometimes, you fail to avoid temptation, and it leads to an addiction. Support and Christian guidance through programs like Boulder Recovery’s 14-Day Christian Intensive can help you heal from pornography addiction and renew your faith.

What Does the Bible Say About Temptation?

The Bible references temptation, and many verses remind you to stay strong and avoid temptation. As you pray the Lord’s Prayer, it also reminds you to shun temptation and stay strong in your faith: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13, KJV).

Lustful thoughts and desires outside marriage are temptations that lead to sexual sin. With the many available images on social media, television, and many other places, it is challenging to avoid images that can lead to lust and pornography. In the Bible, Luke talks about seeking to avoid temptation through prayer (Luke 22:40), reminding you to stay strong in your faith.

Denying yourself the many temptations that you encounter is not easy, but faith can help. Ephesians 6:11 reminds you to “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes” (NIV). 

God offers his protection and understands that men, like his son, Jesus Christ, must fight against temptation. God also knows your relationship with your faith needs to be strong so you can turn to God and confess the sin of temptation, just as Jesus instructed.

Common Temptations for Christian Men

Each of these common temptations for Christian men may not be inherently wrong. But when the need or overwhelming desire to have something or be something else controls your life, you are seeking to serve your desires and are likely to give into temptation. 

Common temptations may include: 

  • Pride/Entitlement. Pride and feeling that you are better than others or deserve things because of who you are can be a strong temptation. Satan suffered the sin of pride and was forced out of Heaven because of it. Whether you think you are better than someone else or you falsely make yourself look bigger or stronger than others, this entitlement is part of prideful behavior.
  • Money. On its own, money is not bad, but coveting money over your spouse, family, and relationship with God leads you to temptation and sin.
  • Envy. More than healthy competition, jealousy is similar to pride. Harboring negative feelings and envy about someone because you want what they have is self-destructive and sinful. 
  • Sex/Lust. These temptations may be the most difficult to avoid. Biologically, a human’s body can desire, even when the spirit does not. “For everything in the world — the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — comes not from the Father but from the world” (1 John 2:16, NIV).

The Temptation of Pornography

Pornography viewing is a common temptation for men, including many Christians. Pornography is so tempting because it’s easily available, and the ability to indulge anonymously and without actual physical contact may lead some Christians astray

It may be easy to think of pornography as being “victimless” because you think that viewing it doesn’t hurt anyone else, but viewing pornography can be harmful to yourself and others, and viewing it is a sin.

T. C. Ryan, author of Ashamed No More: A Pastor’s Journey Through Sex Addiction and Pastoral Sex Addiction Specialist at Boulder Recovery, says pornography is a tool for facilitating lust.

“Pornography takes something very real, very human — something everyone can relate to — and distorts it,” he writes. “Our sexuality is meant to be lived and expressed in the context of a healthy, integrative life, and pornography is never an expression of good health or integrative living. Pornography is disintegrating.”

Pornography distorts people’s humanity, even if no one wants to admit it, T. C. writes.

“Porn magnifies human sexuality, distorts it, makes it larger than reality, and isolates it for trade,” he says. “At the same time, it makes the magnificence of being a creature made in the image of God something as insignificant as ink on paper or pixels on a screen. It’s a most malicious smearing of the divine images of all of us. Simply put, porn is uncompromising, progressive, destructive evil.”

The Bible warns about lust, and lusting after someone else is sinful, just the same as adultery. Viewing pornography is nothing more than lusting after images of someone else. Not only is the fulfillment of lust using pornography sinful, but porn watching can lead to porn addiction. 

Whatever the initial effect of watching porn, T. C. says it will only get worse.

“Pornography has a progressive effect,” he writes. “We start in one place, or with one passing notion, and find ourselves moving into areas where we never dreamed we’d find ourselves.”

Strategies to Overcome Temptation

Fighting temptation can be challenging, even in the best circumstances. When you feel the pull toward the tempting behavior, you can lean on your Christian faith and relationship with God. Meditation and prayer, as Jesus did when facing temptation, can help you stay resolute. 

When your faith alone is not enough to keep you from the tempting behavior, removing yourself from the situation can help. As Genesis 39 teaches in the story of Joseph, who stayed away from another man’s wife when she expressed her desire for Joseph, avoiding the temptation of sexual immorality is best and can help you stand strongly in your faith.

Seeking help and strength from others may also be necessary. Men with pornography addiction don’t mean to become addicted. What starts as something seemingly innocent becomes a behavior they can’t stop, even when they try. When you can’t avoid the triggers and situations where temptation can pull you in, seeking support is the next step. Boulder Recovery’s Christian Men’s Intensive focuses on helping men of faith recover from sex addiction, pornography addiction, and intimacy disorders. 

Help for Pornography Addiction

Christian men are not immune to pornography or addiction. Boulder Recovery understands the temptations faced by Christian men and their difficulty in dealing with negative behaviors once they begin. 

Boulder Recovery uses trauma-informed therapy to determine the root cause of the addiction and help you heal from it. 

Contact us today to see how our faith-based treatment program for Christian men can help you avoid temptation, heal from addiction, and rebuild your faith, life, and relationships.

  • Category: Christian Therapy
  • By Begin Again Institute
  • April 12, 2024

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