When Porn is Better than Marriage

The torture of chastity.
As a Christian you are told that the only godly outlet for sexuality is marriage. That means no unmarried sex, no porn… and you probably shouldn’t masturbate either.

As a single person in general, that sounds awful and impossible. But if you can manage not to sleep with your girlfriend, for some reason porn is a completely different animal. Maybe it’s because it doesn’t sound quite as sinful as sex and is consequently more easily justifiable. Or maybe it is just because a computer is easier access than your girlfriend. Whatever the reason, porn can be a real monster. And for a struggling Christian unmarried dude, often feeling hopeless in your sin, marriage seems to be a promising outlet. While you do try to stay holy, when you fail you at least have this glimmer of hope to look forward to. You think to yourself, “I can’t wait to get married and have a real naked girl to enjoy. Then I’ll finally be able to kick this annoying, sinful habit.”

The problem that won’t go away.
Then it comes, your wedding day. Finally. Open up the flood gates, remove the shackles, and dive in deep, you are free for take-off. The one Bible verse no man complains about: “And the man and his wife were naked and were not ashamed” (Genesis 2:25). But very shortly you come to a realization. You’re not over it. Porn is still an issue. For some guys it’s less of an issue: maybe you only look once a week instead of every day. Or maybe you do pretty well most of the time, but when you are stressed, or angry with your wife, or just really turned on when she is really tired, the closet monster comes out to haunt you. You start to wonder if you are normal, if you are really a Christian, if you are ever going to change. You wonder how this is even possible. You have a real woman in the next room. What happened?

Why porn is better than marriage.
No one wants to say it, but so many of us are thinking it: “This isn’t as great as the pictures.” Don’t get me wrong, sex is awesome. I, for one, am a fan. But there is something about the way porn makes you feel that you don’t always get from marriage. And it’s really no wonder why. The pictures don’t gain weight, they don’t get annoyed by your lack of character, they don’t know or care about your short comings, the pictures don’t have bad hair days, they don’t grow leg hair, they don’t get sick and need you to take care of them, they don’t ask you to take out the trash or do the dishes, they are always “ready to go,” they don’t wear their feelings on their sleeves (they don’t wear anything at all), you don’t have to be romantic to get them naked (you just have to type it in the ‘search bar’), they don’t cause you problems, don’t nag you, don’t need anything, and are completely turned on by you no matter how lazy, annoying, selfish, messy, or frustrating you are.

A wife is nothing like that. The Bible is clear about this. Your wife can become annoyed with you (2 Samuel 6:16), she can nag you (1 Samuel 6:20), she can pick fights with you (Proverb 27:15), she knows your shortcomings (1 Samuel 25:25). Furthermore, she becomes your responsibility (Genesis 2:24); you have to provide for her (1 Timothy 5:8), to protect, disciple, cherish, and sacrifice for her (Ephesians 5:25-29), to be patient with her, honor her, and to even try to understand her (1 Peter 3:7). The reason porn can be better than marriage is because marriage is more than just sex. You are not just dealing with a woman’s body; you are dealing with her whole person. If your desire for marriage is simply an outlet for sex, you need to reconsider.

Why marriage is better than porn.
You might be thinking, “It sounds like you are saying that sex is not the point of marriage.” Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. I know, I was bummed when I found out too. Marriage is about a whole person (not just a naked body) becoming “one flesh” with another whole person. You begin to share everything. You share a bed, a bank account, secrets, dreams, your bodies, your entire selves. This makes marriage the most sanctifying relationship you can have with any human. Your wife is given to you, first and foremost, to make you more like Jesus. Certainly sexual pleasure is included, and it rocks, but it is only part of the whole. In porn, sex is the point. In marriage, a relationship is the point, and sex is a part of the relationship.

Porn is for Boys. Marriage is for Men.
1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” Porn is for boys. It’s time to grow up. Stop being selfish, stop being wicked, stop being unfaithful to your wife. We’re men now, it’s time to put away childish ways and take up some godly responsibility. This may sound much harder and much less enjoyable than porn. Sometimes it totally is. But God’s commands are not a burden. He says, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30). He gives us these commands for our joy (John 15:11). And I can promise you two things. First, carrying a man’s responsibility is much harder than playing with a boy’s toy. Second, carrying a man’s responsibility will bring you more joy, more satisfaction and will be more rewarding than playing with a boy’s toy. When you lay your head down at night, after saying no to sin, and saying yes to loving, cherishing, discipling, protecting and providing for your wife and kids, you will be a tired man, and joyful man.

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