Wow, some excellent posts on the question of porn viewing being grounds for divorce. I appreciate very much everyone commenting and sharing their thoughts. I am especially grateful for the personal testimonies of those who have lived through their own, or their spouses addiction – thank you for sharing so deeply!
I was listening to the words of Amazing Grace recently and it caused me to think of how critical fear is to finding freedom from whatever is dragging us down. It’s the following lines from Amazing Grace that really caused me to ponder what it means to both fear and not to fear God:
“T’was Grace that taught…
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear…
the hour I first believed.” (emphasis mine)
Since fear is a major culprit in the battle for sexual purity, it needs to be addressed early in the battle. The irony in my story is that fear kept me in bondage, and fear now keeps me free. What I mean is that the fear described in Genesis, after Adam and Eve sinned, is what kept me in bondage. That, I believe, is a fear that we inherited from our first parents. Genesis 3:9, 10 describes it this way: “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’ He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” This is an unhealthy, ungodly fear that leads us down a path toward hiding and isolation, just like it did with Adam and Eve. It is a shame-based, “fig leaf” fear that will never allow us to fully experience radical transformation through the Holy Spirit. Since the time that fear was introduced in the garden, through sin we’ve been dealing with its chief by-product—shame—ever since.
The second fear is the respect that I have for God. It is what the Bible writer means when he says, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come.” Revelation 14:7 Another way to put it would be honor, reverence, and awe. This fear often comes after we’ve tasted the depths of our own depravity and emerged from it at the hand of Christ. We come to a point of recognizing God’s glory and stand in awe of Him. Even while the process may have been painful, it may be what it takes for us to truly see Him (read Job 42:4-6). This fear is where we all have to get to, regardless of whether or not we’ve squandered our lives in some reckless form of debauchery such as porn. This fear leads to obedience, rather than excuses and dodging.
Here are a couple of quotes from Dallas Willard’s book Renovation of the Heart on fear.
Commenting on Proverbs 9:10 he says, “Although not the end or outcome of wisdom, to be sure, it is the indispensable beginning, I believe, and the principle part. One begins to get smart when he or she fears being crosswise of God: fear of not doing what He wants and not being as he requires.”
Willard continues on Proverbs 9:10…
“Fear is the anticipation of harm. The intelligent person recognizes that his or her well-being lies in being in harmony with God and what God is doing in the “kingdom.” God is not mean, but he is dangerous. It is the same with other great forces he has placed in reality. Electricity and nuclear power, for example, are not mean, but they are dangerous. One who does not, in a certain sense, “worry” about God, simply isn’t smart. And that is the point of the verse.” Also check out the verses around Romans 3:18