Porn paints a picture of the perfect woman who always smiles, is always ready for sex, never complains, and never has menstrual cycles or bad days. She’ll perform any sexual act a man wants her to, when he wants it. This shadow woman is all about satisfying his every want.
Our wives are everything porn is not. They have bad days, menstrual cycles, complain occasionally, and refuse to be treated as playthings. Sex on demand at our every whim? Not happening. And when sex does occur they want to be loved and treated with dignity as a person, not used.
Porn warps a man’s thinking processes and perceptions of reality, not just in marriage but all of life. He expects:
* That porn/sexual sin will satisfy his needs, fulfill him, and comfort him.
* That his wife will be a physically flawless nymph, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
* That he will be able to control his home, church and work life. This comes from the illusion of control that porn gives him (having sex when he wants with who he wants it).
* To have others look up to him for his good deeds, especially those done in the church. Since the porn goddesses worship him, shouldn’t others do the same? One of porn’s most insidious, subtle effects is how it threads pride into every facet of a man’s life.
* That those around him will be what he is not; submissive, humble, pure, loving and giving. He gravitates towards relationship where there’s something in it for him; those who will give to and love him. This is the opposite of Scripture’s exhortation to “bless those who have nothing to pay us back with in return” (Luke 14:12-14). Porn addicts are takers.
The inevitable result is that none of these expectations can be met, which dumps him into depression, discouragement and bitterness – and here’s the dangerous part – he may even start resenting God. A man who’s so ensnared in sin that he’s shaking his fist at the Lord for not getting what he shouldn’t puts him in rebellion against God.
At the core, false expectations are all about pride, exalting the self and what it wants. This is what got the devil kicked out of Heaven, and it has been taking men and women out through the centuries.
If you want to break the iron collar of pride and false expectations from your life, here are the attack points:
* Do whatever it takes to break free from porn, be it support groups, counseling, accountability and/or porn blocking software, shutting off all incoming TV or cable service to the home, etc.
* Ask God and others to help you flush out the illusions and false expectations you’re living under so you can start living in reality again.
* Whenever you see pride coiling around your neck, lance it with humility. Make the needs of others first. Apologize. Admit mistakes quickly. And start looking at good works as “fruitful labor for the kingdom” instead of a way to show everyone how good a Christian you are.
* Soak yourself in 1st Corinthians 13, the definition of love, and start rebuilding your character on it with the help of the Holy Spirit. “The goal of our instruction is love” (1st Timothy 1:5). Seek to love your wife and others in ways that are meaningful to them.
* Make the greatest command, to love God with all your heart, mind and soul, (Matthew 22:37) your purpose in life. If your relationship with Him has been choked, get away to a Christian retreat center sans cell phones, computers, TVs or anything electronic. We can’t give what we have not received; the love of God must be received in the heart. The times in my life that God has revealed His love in the most powerful, life changing ways, have not been in church, in a support group, or in a counselor’s office, but when I was one on one with Him, with just my Bible and a journal. My list of wants and needs were left at the door, and my focus was only on seeking and knowing Him.
You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Mike Genung struggled with sexual addiction for 20 years before God set him free in 1999. He is the founder of Blazing Grace, and the author of The Road to Grace; Finding True Freedom from the Bondage of Sexual Addiction, available at www.roadtograce.net.