But sometimes I feel the need to speak out against a particular practice or warn against a threat to happiness. Today is one of those days.
Recently I was looking at some posts in a forum that I participate in hoping to find someone with whom I could share some advice/suggestions that would bless their life and marriage.
As I searched I came across a post by a man who shared that his wife was addicted to pornography and was having a "virtual affair" via email and video chat with some guy she had met online.
As I read his story and the accompanying advice that had been provided I felt sadness for him and for his wife. The happiness and love that they had once shared was evidently fading rapidly if not gone entirely already. The "advice" that others had shared was completely inappropriate and inadequate.
I also reflected on how this happened to them. I asked myself "what could they have done together to prevent this tragedy from occurring in the first place?"
I came up with six things that they could have done and that we can all do to insulate and protect our marriages and ourselves from the evils of pornography and the devastating effect it has on marriage.
- Go to bed at the same time. For some reason the temptation to view pornography at night is generally greater than at any other time of the day. It may be because the energy we have to resist the temptation is at its lowest because we're tired, but whatever the reason I encourage you to go to bed with your spouse. Doing this not only protects against pornography it builds unity and closeness because you are able to pray together, read a few scriptures together, and talk about your day as you slowly slip into slumber.
- Put the computer/use the laptop in a public place in our home. Having the computer in a public place makes it easier for others to see what you are doing and thereby increases the likelihood that you would "get caught" looking at something you shouldn't. That potential embarrassment is almost always enough to keep anyone from starting to look at pornography. Thankfully I've never chosen to look at pornography but just to be safe at work I actually moved my desk so that anyone who walks into my office can see what's on my monitor.
- Share all of your social media and email passwords with our spouse. You're married, right? You should already trust your spouse completely so this shouldn't be a problem. My wife knows all of my passwords (except for those I use for work as that would be inappropriate for her to have access to that information) to all of my email and social media accounts and I am friends with her on Facebook, we follow each other on Pinterest, etc. We can see everything the other is doing. I have nothing to hide from my wife.
- Talk to each other. If you ever feel tempted tell your spouse about it and counsel with him/her about what to do to remove or avoid the temptation. There have been times when I've told her that I don't think we should watch a certain television show anymore because it has been too racy. She's shared with me concerns about passages of books or gut feelings she has about a movie so that we can avoid any issues. No movie, book, website, or television show is so "good" that we would risk our marriage.
- Mind the small and simple things. I mention this often but the small and simple things are absolutely fundamental and critical to a happy marriage. Hold hands, kiss, cuddle, talk, go on dates regularly, read scriptures together, express your love in word and deed, play and have fun, laugh together, work together, throw pillows at each other.
- Pray together. Ask God for strength to resist, for the wisdom to avoid temptation, and for ever-increasing love for your spouse. And do this together. Even get on your knees. If you are already struggling with pornography implore God for help. He will help you. I know of no better way to gain the strength and resilience needed to combat and resist pornography's evil and destructive influence.
Pornography is a horrible evil and one that we need to be wary of and willing to not only resist but actively fight against. Be satisfied with your marriage and run from the temptation. The six suggestions above, when practiced, will help insulate and protect your marriage from the corrosive, demeaning, and evil influences of pornography.
What are your thoughts and reactions? Share them with me by leaving a comment.