Last night I had the pleasure of leading a discussion on sexuality with a group of male students at a Christian University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Many of these men represent the future of our church leadership.  The direction of the discussion was toward an understanding of how our concept of masculinity will impact our relationships.  Ultimately the concept of “Good King vs. Dictator” was presented.  Let me explain…

The dictator is out to get all he can, not caring what it will (or potentially will…) cost his people.  He is only concerned for himself.  In his view HIS PEOPLE SERVE HIM.

The good king cares for those he is responsible for.  He works hard to meet their needs as they arise.  It is his priority to ensure his people are taken care of.  In his view it is his responsibility to serve.  HE SERVES HIS PEOPLE.

So, you may be asking “what does this have to do with our sexuality?”  Well, if we apply the “Good King vs. Dictator” concept, we are to serve the people we are in relationship with.  We are to be concerned about their needs, desires, hurts, concerns, general well-being, etc.  This goes for our children, partner, family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, church family, etc – all the people we are in relationship with.  When applying it to our sexual relationship with our partner – if we are to focus on their needs first, that means we will not be forcing them to do things they may not enjoy/want to do sexually.  We will not be demanding.  We will not be focused on ourselves.  We will not be doing things on our own to satisfy our sexual desires outside of relationship with them.

How does this apply to pornography?  It is impossible to define porn as anything other than an inherently selfish act.  It is destructive in partner relationships.  Coming from that premise, viewing pornography and masturbating is the antithesis of focusing on the needs of the other.  It breeds selfishness.  You are able to meet your own needs without opening yourself to relationship.  It short-circuits intimacy.  Viewing pornography and masturbating takes your focus completely off your partner, squarely placing it on meeting your own needs without their involvement.

If you have a view of masculinity that promotes selfless sacrifice to meet the needs of those close to you, viewing pornography and masturbating goes against the grain.  You will have to go to great (and creative) lengths to justify it.  You will be going against yourself.

I am of the opinion that unless you are able to line up your moral constructs with how you actually live your life, you will not be happy.  You will try lots of different things to feel better about yourself, but unless you can reconcile what/who you think you should be with your actions, you will fall short.  Porn is always hungry – it promises something that will meet your need for relationship, but never delivers.  You will feed it until you die without finding any lasting satisfaction.

If you are in a leadership position the fall out of your thoughts, words, and actions being out of sync will be catastrophic to the community you lead.  If worked through to the point of resolution, you will be able to lead others in a similar process.  The choice is yours, and make no excuse – it is a choice.

We are lead by a truly Good King – if we are to represent him well during our time on earth, it is our responsibility to work as hard as we can to ensure our thoughts, word, and actions line up.  We are called to do so, and when in leadership the call is only greater.

This is not meant to sound heavy-handed.  The grace offered to us by God is more than enough to cover this.  God has placed you in a leadership position because He wants to use you to lead – you do not have to be perfect, just willing.  Take advantage of that grace.  If you are struggling, take steps today to address it…

Andy Lundy

Andy is the owner/operator of Juniper Tree Counselling and Psychotherapy Services (www.junipertree.ca) in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada.  He offers individual and group recovery treatment for men (and their family) struggling with an addiction to pornography.  He can be reached at [email protected]