He’s leaning forward with his elbows on his knees and his fingers intertwined, like he’s praying, and he’s looking at me with a pleading look on the one hand and a please don’t answer the question on the other. If I’m able to answer this question in any cogent way at all he knows he’s going to have to say goodbye to a friend that he’s depended on for comfort almost daily or even daily for fifteen years and it’s like pulling a dead puppy away from a little boy whose been crying over the dead puppy just a little too long and instead of growing up the little boy clings to the dead puppy for comfort, knowing that if he doesn’t let go he can’t become a man.
Every boy knows this. You don’t need me to tell you. In fact that would be the first reason to give up porn: you can’t become a man if you don’t. I don’t mean the TV version of a man. A man on TV sitcoms is shallow and selfish and short-tempered and petty. No. I’m talking about a man who has dignity and deserves respect and can hold his head high and can be proud, not arrogantly so that he pushes people away, most of all his loved ones, but proud in the sense that he has nothing to hide.
Nothing to hide. That would be the second reason to give up porn. The power of porn is the secret. Porn tells you you have to hide. You can’t be known. If anybody knew your little secret the facade would come crashing down like the Wizard of Oz: “Ignore the little man behind the curtain.
That’s what you are when you do porn: a little man behind a curtain. The fantasy of porn is you are a big man. Look at these robust images of pleading females just ogling for your flesh. How come that doesn’t happen in real life, man? I mean, little boy? I had one guy tell me point blank (I didn’t even have to bring the subject up.) that porn was easier than having to have a relationship. Yeah, ain’t that the truth: having a relationship.
That’d be a third reason to quit the stuff: It’s NOT a relationship. It’s training you to NOT have a relationship. It’s self-worship. It turns you inward. You become your own idol. The problem is you make too small of a god. You aren’t big enough to worship. You tell me, well, I’m not a Christian. Okay. Fine. Here’s a non-denominational thought for your non-Christian brain: Jesus said, the pure in heart shall see God. So turn that on it’s head and what do you get? The impure in heart will see ________? Tell me what you see if you are impure in heart? You’re not religious, right? But you are impure? You’d dispute that porn isn’t impure? Are you kidding me? Who are you fooling? You actually believe this poison you’ve been worshiping is (can I say this?) pure? Pure?
You know it’s not. And if you tell yourself it’s fine while you drag your mind through the gutter you are a fool. You don’t have to be a Christian to know you are a fool. And impure. And if you are impure of heart you are going to see something, just not God. So go ahead, you non-Christian (or Christian or priest or pastor for that matter. Porn is no respecter of persons) and tell me what you see.
That’s another reason to quit porn. It tells you lies you believe. You don’t really believe them, but then again you do. And you know it’s sucking your very life away. Away. Away. Here’s a true story. I could multiply it a million times if I had the time to hear all the stories.
There once was a man who hated his job. The odd thing was he trained for this job and went to college and spent thousands of hours and thousands of dollars to become good at this job and there was a time when he felt really accomplished at this job because he was good at it, but, alas, it had lost it’s allure.
Simultaneous to learning his career he was also learning to cope with his problems by masturbating to unrealistic images of ungodly women doing contorted unnatural ungodly things. It was like his career had two tracks: One where he learned a respectful, fulfilling, creative career; one where he learned to frit away his time in the gutter. When his job became difficult, as every job does now and then, even if you like it, he’d go to porn for a little buzz, a little pick-me-up, and he’d feel better for a little while, but he couldn’t get back to his work, because he’d trained his mind to want to wander into the gutter along with all the ungodly women doing contorted ungodly things whenever his problems came to bear on his life.
One day his boss caught him looking at ungodly women doing contorted ungodly, unnatural things, right there in the boss’ business on the boss’ time. This particular young man was lucky, because the boss could have fired him on the spot as a lot of companies have a one and done policy. They don’t take kindly to employees coming to work, pretending to work and fritting away their time in la-la land. It’s called stealing. This would be another reason to quit porn. Nevertheless, this particular employee had a gracious boss, who took the young man aside, who was used to coping with his problems by thinking of ungodly women doing contorted ungodly, unnatural things, and said, as much as he liked the young man, he didn’t want to pay the young man to frit away his time living in a fantasy world and if the boss ever caught the young man fritting away his life on company time again he would be immediately fired.
The young man (boy?) was very repentant, because, even though he hated his job, he liked the money, and fritting away his time with ungodly women doing contorted ungodly, unnatural things wasn’t important enough to the young man to give up his job and eventually live under a bridge so the young man gave up porn cold turkey. He realized that if he was going to quit porn at work he had to quit porn everywhere because he couldn’t very well concentrate at work if he was continually thinking of breasts and butts and other private parts flailing around here and there. He’d found that if he did it at home or on his cell phone at other places that even if he put his phone or computer away the images were still rushing through his brain like an uncontrollable flood and while at times he’d entertain these thoughts just to get through the day, he’d decided, on his own, without his therapist or pastor or anyone else for that matter telling him, that it wouldn’t be fair to his boss to be thinking of these ungodly women doing ungodly contorted unnatural acts instead of concentrating on his work even if he wasn’t looking at those types of things at work anymore. In other words, his conscience kicked into gear. This would be another reason to quit porn.
And an amazing thing happened. Over time, even over a few weeks, he discovered his job again. It’s like he’d been in a desert and didn’t know he was thirsty. How he ever became so discontent he’d no idea. This would be another reason to quit porn. His mind cleaned up. It no longer, or rarely at least, dipped into this fantasy world, and he began to concentrate on his work. He saw he’d made errors on his job. He saw he’d been incomplete. He saw he’d been, basically, incompetent, because his job required him to be meticulous, but he couldn’t be meticulous, when he was thinking of UWDCUUT and various body parts going this way and that. He realized the lion’s share of his discontent with his job had to do with his own failure to perform and be creative in his field and the discontent he felt so strongly was not really about his job at all, but about his own failure of character. He came to this thought on his own without reading any fancy books on porn or talking to his therapist or pastor or anyone else for that matter.
He found that when he discovered these mistakes and oversights that he felt really accomplished for doing a good job and his enthusiasm for his job began to return. He was thinking clearly and seeing there were a lot of things he’d been overlooking. He thought of new ideas to improve things. His creativity came back. His passion for his work came back. In fact, he no longer dreaded coming to work and liked his job again.
This would be another reason to quit porn: it takes your creativity away and replaces it with sloth, unfulfilled desires, discontent, impatience and anger.
Discontent, impatience and anger are the blood brothers of porn. It teaches you to meet your needs now, instantly, whenever you want. Getting what you want when you want it is only a click away. I would submit to you that getting your own way when you want it will turn you into an unbearable prick which would be another reason to quit porn.
And I haven’t even mentioned your wife (or future wife. If you are not married, let’s not forget her. That’d be another reason to quit porn) and how it devastates her and tells her she’s not pretty enough or thin enough or stacked enough or flamboyant enough or contorted enough because she’s very aware somehow these UWDCUUT somehow make you happy or you convey that to her by your judgmental comments now that your brain is steeped on perversion and multiple body parts too numerous to mention. Having just two breasts, for example, wouldn’t really do it for it you, now would it? That’d be reason enough right there to quit the stuff. Really.
In fact, there are lots of reasons to quit porn. We’ve listed a few. Let me summarize:
you can’t become a man if you don’t
you can’t be a genuine person if you don’t
you can’t be open and have honest relationships if you don’t
you can’t be honest with yourself if you don’t
you can’t concentrate on your work or anything else for that matter if you don’t. It literally robs you of your creativity and drive.
you can’t trust your conscience or be conscientious if you don’t
you can’t be productive if you don’t
you can’t be content if you don’t
you can’t not be a prick or control your anger or anything else for that matter if you don’t
you can’t relate to your future wife like you should if you don’t
you won’t be content with your wife and will devastate her or future wife if you don’t
But you didn’t need me or your therapist or your pastor or anyone else for that matter telling you, did you?
Has it every occurred to any of you that what is extremely beneficial for your marriage is your desire for self-improvement?
Gentlemen, can your wife come home and feel truly blessed because she knows deep within your heart that you are striving to be the best husband, father, employer/employee, and citizen you can be? Does she see you take on new tasks to better yourself? Has she ever seen you challenge the way you think about an issue because the opposite view might be more rational? Has she ever seen you actual complete a goal you set?
Gentlemen, does she feel like a lady around you or a tramp? Does she feel served and revered by you? Can she truly say it is an honor to be your wife? Can she boast to all her friends about how awesome you are? Can she boast that she came home the other day to a clean and well-ordered house? Can she boast that she never feels like a sexual object but always as a person who is deeply loved? Can she boast that you are always the first to get up in the night when the kids are crying? Can she look you in the eye and say, ‘I am a better person because I married you’?
If not, why? What is holding you back?
Gentlemen, how have you challenged yourself lately? What negative character traits are you trying to rid yourself of? What new character quality/ies are you undertaking? What new talents are you trying to cultivate?
Don’t you realize that your wife longs to see you improve? Don’t you realize your wife longs to boast about you? Don’t you realize that as your personal qualities are perfected the relationships around you improve? Why has this not occurred to you?
Stop complaining and get to work. Stop making excuses. Stop blaming your dad for all your personality blunders. No one likes a whiner—especially your wife.
Improve, Improve, Improve!
This should be your mantra.
Do you think you are a loving man? Find ways to love even more. Do you think you are generous? Find ways to give more. Do you think you are a good lover? Strive to become even more selfless.
Give, Give, Give!
This should be your mentality.
Don’t you realize that your wife grows tired of pandering to all your vices? Don’t you realize that your wife longs to be seen as a rare jewel?
Don’t let the feminist culture deceive you, most women still long to see their men practice chivalry. I don’t imagine the majority of the audience watching Prince William and Miss Catherine getting married at 4 A.M. were men. The dream is still out there: many women still want to be swept of their feet by a prince. Be that prince (I don’t care how cheesy that sounds—its true).
Man up and learn some manors. Open the door for your lady, take her on a date, and buy her that new dress or item she has been eyeing for months. Stop staring at her breast and butt and look her in the face. Stop taking your sexual fantasies out on her by imposing embarrassing requests on her. Make her your fantasy.
Stop being lazy and learn how to clean a bathroom. Stop making your wife do all the house work. Go workout and look fit for your wife. Eat better and stop drinking so much. Life is not that bad. Learn to control yourself.
Put the computer down and go hangout with your kids. They want to be with you. Teach your son how to be a man. Take your daughter on a date and teach her what a true gentlemen is. Be such a good father that she has a difficult time finding a man to marry. Stop putting this off; soon they will be gone and you will have missed your opportunity. No excuses!
Gentlemen, it is time to be a man. It is time you think about whatever is noble, true, and beautiful. Stop letting your mind run in the gutter. Put off moral filth and the lust of the eye. Learn to control your sexual passion so you can truly give yourself to your spouse. There is nothing like sex when your desire is to completely give yourself to her and not to merely get rid of sexual tension. The latter reduces your wife to an object and a stripper; the former elevates her to the most cherished person on the earth. Let your bedroom than be the Prince’s chamber where your wife feels like a Princess and not a mistress.
Gentlemen, it is time to raise your wife’s expectations of what a husband should be. Make sure, that if you died, she would have to marry a saint to feel like she is truly loved.
I don’t really have time to blog today. Got clients coming soon. Gotta say something. Can’t just not say anything. I promised in a previous blog I’d be writing in the near term about the question, Is Perversion in the Marital Bed Okay? Crap. It’s a very depressing subject. I wish all my blogs could be about trips to Boone, Iowa (my last blog post).
But, alas. Evil rears it’s ugly head. I can’t NOT say anything. Clients come to see me because of the evil in their lives. We can’t deal with evil if we don’t name it. You can’t fight an enemy you can’t name. If you don’t name it, it doesn’t exit.
My wife doesn’t like that I need to write about these horrid topics. I used to write a column for a denominational magazine. It was positive, up beat. Like the thought I just had of the drier going off and it was my wife who turned it on before heading into work a half an hour ago. She’s not here, but she leaves trail of blessing to me and ours.
I’d rather write about that. Our trail of blessing. That’d be sweet. Encouraging even. But then I see this. Somebody has to say something. Somebody has to name it. Somebody has to say there’s an enemy we’re fighting.
I’m flipping channels. I used to do that more. Aimless. Flip. Flip. Flip. I try not to do that much. But this night, last night, I’m home after hearing stories of hurt and shame. I’m looking for something light. A little levity. A snatch of joy. Relax a bit.
But no. I happen on ABC and a story of a couple who’s broke and is resorting to filming their bedroom encounters online to make a living for their unseemly website. I see this for about 10 seconds. 15? before I switch the channel. Enough to catch them disrobing and the announcer making it sound like this is a walk in the park. A couple’s gotta do what a couple’s gotta do. Nothing immoral here at all. Maybe even admiration at their inventiveness.
There’s supposed to be a lock on the bedroom door. The marital bed is undefiled. The marriage bed is a holy temple. We don’t allow any other gods in this temple. No porn. No objects of worship like ropes and chains. No S & M. No bondage. No fantasies of somebody else. No fantasies that your wife or husband is somebody else. No fantasies that you want to dominate or hurt or be dominated or hurt. Sexuality between a husband and wife is to be holy, a bringing together, a reminder of their oneness.
Sexuality in marriage is supposed to be very tender. Very sacred. Holy, even. IF. IF. If it is protected by marriage. That’s your job: to protect your spouse, protect you, protect your marriage and your marital bed from the evil in your own heart. Your sexual times are holy times. Just you two. No one else. You become one in the process. God smiles. You feel blessed. Close. Renewed. Together.
But if instead you think perverted thoughts of others or of your wife or husband as your slave or you all tied up or your spouse standing over you in domination? Or you fantasizing about someone else? Or you make it simply an object of observation by others? A performance at the circus? A video camera and thousands (millions?) of other lost souls lusting after imaginary pixels on a screen. You’d sell your soul to the devil for this?
This stuff comes from the gates of Hell. Purge it from your heart and if you can’t, get on your knees, but don’t bring into your bedroom.
But Dr. Wall…you don’t understand. What if they both WANT to do the video thing? Neither is protesting? It’s their marriage. They can do whatever they want, right? Dr. Wall, you are so judgmental. Lighten up, already. Two consenting adults who are married to each other can do whatever they want.
Is it Okay to murder somebody if he wants you to murder him? Marriage means you have a boundary around the two of you. You are going to be married, but you are not going to respect the boundary of marriage? Whom are you trying to kid? Marriage is supposed to be about protection of each other physically, emotionally and spiritually and you are going to expose your spouse willingly to embarrassment and degradation, not to mention degrading yourself? Or that you are defrauding the very boundary you promised to protect? If your spouse tells you to humiliate him in the act of sex, you’d willingly do that? How is that honoring and protecting?
Can we just be done with the idea that the purpose of sex is pleasure? Could we even count the ways that marriage has been defaced by the god of pleasure? Just because it makes you happy doesn’t mean you should do it. The purpose of sex is the tangible experience of the spiritual oneness of marriage. It’s not a license to do whatever your heart says. If your heart is telling you to break the boundary of protection and exclusivity in your marriage then your heart is pretty dark.
But you say, Dr. Wall, this is who I am. I’ve always been this way. I cannot change.
Just because you have proclivity to gossip does it mean you should? Just because you have a tendency to get mad, does it mean you shouldn’t work on that? Just because you have a devious, deviant desire, does it mean you should just go ahead and do it? There’s no self-control at all? Whatever your heart says, do? And then you say the only value you share is that you both agree? What if you are both wrong? You can ask Bonnie and Clyde about that.
This stuff defiles you. It defiles your spouse. It defiles your marriage. It causes you to doubt your spouse’s integrity. Lust breeds lust. It’s an unquenchable fire that keeps burning unless you quit feeding it. The more you feed it the less you become, because what it is feeding on is your very life, cannibalizing you one cell at a time until there’s nothing left. Your marriage will self destruct way before that more than likely.
This is why cohabitation without marriage is so insidious. It’s just like marriage, right? It’s just us? We might have a kid or two together? We might even own a house together? Isn’t that enough? Yeah, we’re not married. Why? Oh. Ah. We’re not mature enough to get married(!). We have to save more money. Well, we’re not ready to get married. I have to see.
Have to see.
Have to see.
And when will you have seen enough?
We’re so desperate we can’t wait for anything? Marriage isn’t worth waiting for? If it’s not worth waiting for is the relationship even worth anything? Just feelings? What happens when your impatience wears down your feelings? What then?
Sexuality is so tender, so precious, so delicate, that it needs a holy temple to protect it. The holy temple is marriage. The holy temple is not a child or a mortgage or sharing rent. All that is is roommates. Roommates with no protection. No promises. Nothing certain. Enter insecurity, loss of trust and chaos and unending relationship problems.
Sex without marriage is sheer pleasure for pleasure’s sake. For awhile. Then it becomes a burden and a bore. The quickest way to kill your sex life going forward is to have it outside the temple in the courtyard. No walls. No roof. No protection. No trust. No certainty. No sanctity. No beauty. Just raw selfishness. Married or not. Go ahead. Try it. See how well you do. And then you wonder why you have problems?
You want hot sex? Try ONLY having it in the holy temple for 30 plus years. It just starts to get interesting. Becoming one? Whoa, baby!
You can take your marriage out of the temple. Just put a video camera in front of it. Objectify it. Take the holiness out it altogether. Make your spouse a slave. Nothing about humility here or being a servant or sacrificial love. Nothing special here. Just bodies commingling. Like animals. We’re not people.
In ancient Israel, the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year to make a special sacrifice for the Children of Israel. He had a cord tied around him to pull him out in case he died in there. If he died in there no one else was allowed in the temple. They’d drag him out.
No one else was allowed in the temple.
No one else was allowed in the temple.
Except we two. Just us. No cameras. No videos. No websites. No sexual toys. No strangers. No idols. No ropes. No chains. No blindfolds. We’re not going to be paid to be sexual. We’re not going to prostitute ourselves for someone else’s pleasure. We’re not going to.
We’re not going to.
You can take the holiness of marriage and pervert it if you aren’t careful.
Unfortunately, a lot of us aren’t careful.
There’s no temple. There’s no holiness. We do it whenever, wherever, with whatever and whomever under every green tree.
You do this and then you wonder why you are anxious? Depressed? Unhappy? Suspicious? Insecure? Lost?
It doesn’t look like we humans, mankind and all, have learned much, even after God destroyed with world with a flood. You’d think we’d have taken that as a warning. But, no. We’ve figured out how to take the most wonderful thing in the world, the expression of sexual love between a man and a wife, and totally rob it of anything meaningful, or anything to do with life, or anything to do with mutual connection and tenderness and make it a symbol of punishment and death instead. Ouch.
Recently, I made the mistake of watching Rihanna’s new music video, S&M, on YouTube during a lull between clients (Sorry, no. I’m not going to link you to it.). Her video is a graphic lesson how far we’ve come in taking away all the joy in marital sexuality. Sexuality outside of marriage is what I call the “Sexuality of Death.” Her video is a lesson in death where she and others are depicted in degrading positions (Well, duh, Dr. Wall, it’s S and M.) including asphyxiation, which is where sexuality takes you if you don’t have the boundary of marriage around it to protect it and keep it holy: degradation, humiliation, loneliness, despair, bondage, punishment and death. Curiously, there was a complete lack of smiling faces, that anyone was having fun, and NO ONE was connecting in any conceivable sense of love and tenderness with anyone else. Yes, it was group sex. A group of people. A group of disconnected, self-absorbed, migrating planets of nameless bodies, except for Rihanna, and she’s taped to a wall behind a clear plastic sheet, giving us the impression she was prohibited from breathing, role playing death scenarios. Sexuality for Rihanna, as here depicted, is a form of punishment, used by everyone to separate us from everyone else. I think that is imagery similar to how the Bible describes Hell. She’s spot on.
Pretty scary. At least when Madonna went down this path 20 years ago she had a smirk, like she was pulling the wool over our eyes. No smirk here, folks. Just raw disconnect, hopelessness, wretchedness, gloom and dejection. With lyrics like “the pain is my pleasure,” “sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me,” “the affliction of the feeling leaves me wanting more” and with an invitation to hurt her even more, she exclaims, “Come on, come on, come on I like it-like it” you’ll need an antidepressant afterwards. Oh, the word “Love” does occur: “sex is in the air, I don’t care, I love the smell of it” and “I love the feeling you bring to me, oh, you turn me on.”
Me. Me. Me.
Welcome to sex twenty-first century style.
“I love the feeling you bring to me.” That about sums up our view of love, too. Sex is about me. Love is about me. I don’t love you…I love the feeling. Great. Try building a marriage and a life on that as a philosophy.
There’s nothing here about love that involves another human soul or tenderness and sharing a life and connection and looking into your spouse’s eyes or maybe having a baby and having a family together. I hope for Rihanna’s sake this is just entertainment and a way to make a buck and that her heart is not really into all this stuff. She’s only 23 and already she’s bored with sex and needs all of this to kick it up? She’ll make a sad case history down the road if this is her lifestyle of choice. This stuff isn’t something you mess around with. Darkness and doom are not your friends.
Whether she believes all of this or not, sadly, some of her many admirers will embrace these morbid views of sexuality and go down these dark tunnels only to discover emptiness, grief, horror and sorrow.
Believe me. I’ve talked to a few who have tried these activities on for size and found them wanting. Self-imposed trauma isn’t exactly the way to bring blessing into your life. This stuff sticks with you a long time. It ain’t all fun and games. Later, when you are married and interested in having children, how are you now, all of a sudden, going to associate sexuality in your marriage with love and tenderness and connection and life, when you’ve spent all this time and energy and lust and thought and desire and uncontrollable urges playacting scenes from Medieval paintings of Hell? What does that have to do with anything meaningful and mutual and life giving?
If you are married and telling your spouse we need to do these punishing activities to shake up our sex life and add some variety to the mix, you are telling her sex is about you, not the two of you. In case you haven’t figure this out, that would mean sex to you is a selfish act for your benefit. It’s important for you to get off, it matters not with whom. If your spouse has half a brain, she’ll figure out it doesn’t even matter if she’s in the room. It only matters if YOU are getting what YOU want. In marriage sexuality is there to infuse life into our love and relationship. It’s supposed to be about connection with each other. Bring in someone else and we’ve got another animal altogether. It’s no longer about life. It’s taking the beauty of marital sexuality and running it through the gutter. Marriage is supposed to be a boundary of protection from perversion and evil. Introduce pain and punishment or someone else into your holy marriage bed and you turn it into the complete opposite. What does a dungeon have to do with the privacy, sanctity, tenderness and the life giving nature of marital sexual love? This behavior turns meaningful, mutual, life-giving, marital sexual love between a husband and a wife and turns it into abuse and punishment and death.
Believe me. I’ve heard the stories of people who have tried these paths and have burned their dignity and seared their consciences and baptized their spouses in a cesspool and now they ask me to help put their marriages back together and do you know what I hear? I hear, you were supposed to protect me as my husband and you threw me to the dogs instead? That doesn’t sound too exciting and fun and invigorating to me.
By the way, if you are married and your spouse suggests this kind of craziness, you need to put your foot down and insist that marital, sexual love between the two of you is supposed to be about the two of you, not anyone else or anything else, and it is suppose to be about reaching out to each other and connecting, not about hurting. I am not one of these types that believes you should nurture wild sexual fantasies, that fantasies are innocent and fun and add spice to your marriage, and since you are married you can do whatever you want sexually and everything will be fine. I believe you can take a perfectly beautiful and wonderful thing and destroy it without hardly even trying. Anyone can ruin marital sexuality in a moment. It takes real skill to keep marital sexuality meaningful and tender for 50-60 years. You do that by keeping it special and private and just about we-two and keeping the gutter out of the bedroom. Clean sheets would be good. Keep the porn out. Keep the objects out. Keep others out. Keep the perverted fantasies out. If you don’t it’s like drinking out of the toilet after it’s been used and before it’s been flushed. Yes, there’s water in there, but that doesn’t mean it’s a drink you want to take. Refreshing? Ah, no.
Don’t be too self-righteous. You can ruin your later marital sexuality pretty easily before you are married if you are not careful without ever going the S & M route. Sexuality outside of marriage with whatever gender, or, in the case of pornography, your navel, is addictive, compulsive and, as Rihanna has so graphically conveyed, meaningless and hurtful. We’ve got a whole generation and now going on two generations, who believe you can be sexual with anyone regardless of gender and there are no consequences. I’m here to tell you that sexuality outside of a husband and a wife and the sanctity of marriage is a sea of misery and heartache and you can tell yourself there are no consequences all you want, but that doesn’t mean there are no consequences. Self-delusion is a surefire way to ruin your life without even being aware. At least when same-sex behavior and premarital sex was morally wrong people had consciences. I pity you if yours has died. God gave you a conscience to help you make appropriate decisions. Ignore His still small voice and you enter the land of the dead and dying, without even trying.
That’s the problem. Nobody’s trying.
At least Rihanna in honest. She’s right. Sexuality outside the confines of marital sexuality between a husband and a wife is meaningless, hurtful and degrading. She’s taken the romance out of sexuality outside marriage altogether.
Recently, we’ve been looking at communication in the ancient writings of Solomon that have been handed down to us. He wrote a lot more than we see in the book of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, so we’re getting the cream of the crop. We’ve noted that Solomon uses the word “fool” to describe someone who has no internal restraint and let’s their baser self control his life and has no regard for what God has said or demands, and, indeed, could care less. The fool makes up his own law and the law of a fool is whatever he thinks or feels is right. This means that if you have an opinion that would differ from a fool that they will immediately be offended.
Imagine, then, a family where everyone is living according to his or her own internal feelings without any outside moorings and we have a family that will be in chaos and in therapy. I’ve had to tell more than one person over the years, that unless they get a little dose of morality here, there’s not a lot I can do. For example, if someone has convinced himself that his affair is fine, anything I or anyone else will say that would counter that (like maybe, ah, it’s WRONG) will cause the person who is having an affair and thinks it’s fine and dandy to rant and rave and have a little temper tantrum and act all self-righteous and persecuted and storm off in a huff. So much for communication. Now if the person who had the affair believes that it was wrong and that he shouldn’t have had the affair, then we can start communicating positively and maybe even get somewhere.
The proverb at the start of this blog explains how this scenario plays out in people’s lives. God gave us his Word and continually pricks our consciences and if you ignore both, you do so at your peril.God’s Word is not there to take away all your fun.It’s there to protect you and your loved ones from destruction, because sin and selfishness lead to places you wouldn’t want to go were you to think it through.
For example, our society ignores the biblical notion that nakedness outside of the privacy of marital sexuality between a husband and a wife (i.e. a male and a female) is shameful and wrong and idolatrous and a scandal and we’ve made pornography a legal and socially protected right.Here’s a young man exposed to this stuff at a young age and his baser self says wow, that felt great, because God gave to him the gift of pleasure when he looks in the future at his wife in the privacy of their own bedroom.This fire of desire was designed to stay in the fireplace, but as soon as this young man starts looking at the hundreds of naked women and men out there on the internet doing unspeakable acts with whomever and with whatever gender the fire starts to burn down his scruples and his ability to think clearly and make wise choices.Meanwhile, as he’s looking at all these naked people his conscience kicks in, too, because God has left His imprint in our souls and his, too, and this young man has conflictual thoughts.He thinks, wow, this feels good and holy crap, I feel like crap when I do this.
So what does he do with those bifurcated thoughts? Society keeps touting it’s fine, it’s fine. Porn keeps yelling come in here, come, my son, and feast on my delights, and his conscience says to him, you are one selfish prick. If he’s wise he’ll listen to his conscience and stop the nonsense and figure out a way to keep the fire of his desire in the fireplace and if he’s a fool he will continue to feed the flames of his desire, which, he quickly discovers, is unquenchable. The fire wants more and more fuel.
So he looks more and more and eventually he gets married and while he’s courting or maybe after his marriage to his young and very beautiful bride, he stops the selfish porn thing for a while, but then his baser self starts calling to him again and saying to him that he’s not getting enough sex from his young and very beautiful bride that he promised to be faithful to till death us do part and pretty soon (about six months after the wedding) he starts doing porn again and he has this renewed battle with his conscience and his baser self: It feels great and I’m a stupid fool and these conflictual, internal messages make him feel angry with himself and surly with everyone else, especially his young and very beautiful and desirable wife, whom he starts to not desire so much because she’s starting to irritate him, mostly because he has no sexual energy left over for her or he’s upset with her she doesn’t do all these insane and often immoral things that are broadcast in his pornified mind, but also because she has some really good ideas on how to make their lives better, because God gave her to him to bless his life, just as he gave him to her to bless her life, but instead of seeing and being a blessing, he sees a curse and becomes a curse, because he’s looking at her through the eyes of the sewer in his brain and when he does that all her longings are laced with demands and so he has these unexplainable blowups and she can’t understand why he’s so self-absorbed and ignores her and now he rarely wants to be sexual with her because unbeknownst to her he’s thinking of, and acting upon on average, a 1000 other naked men and women a week, so his mind is going 1000 miles an hour on all his selfish thoughts and they won’t stop long enough for him to even notice her concerns let alone the flowers or the dishes or the rainbow or the laundry that needs folding, so they start fighting and not having sex and he starts not coming to bed because he’s off taking care of his needs instead and she’s feeling lonely and neglected and getting madder by the day and this all at the hand of his believing the lie that porn is fine and whatever he does in secret is fine and there is no morality and the baser things get, the better, and his conscience gets quieter and quieter and the search for eternal pleasure gets louder and louder and more demanding and then one day he comes home in humility, early from work and she’s surprised to see him home already and she notices his head is hanging and he’s a young man, but he looks somehow old and defeated and his sail unfurled and he sits on the couch with his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands as he weeps and sobs and tells her he was just fired for looking at porn at work.
So much for the notion that porn is fine. Turns out his conscience wasn’t lying after all and that his baser self was the one that was lying and he played the fool and now he’s got folly as a result.
You think you can plant seeds of selfishness in your heart day after day and a bill will never come due?
Of course, this story doesn’t end when his folly is found out. Now his still young and very beautiful and desirable wife has to deal with it, the lies, the deception, the rejection, the anger, the competition from people neither of them will ever know, the constant images in his brain that circle round and round if he will let them, the character flaw, the disappointment, the embarrassment, the financial stress, the heartache, the unrelenting nagging anger and resentment, and the disheveled mess of a husband. He was on a pedestal and she’d bragged about him to her mom and girlfriends and it’s all a ruse and his image in her mind has come crashing down and shattered in a million pieces all over the floor. And how’s he supposed to stop? You’ve been doing this since you were 14? And now you are 24 or 34 and you’ve been doing this on a regular basis for 10 or 20 years and now all of a sudden you‘ve got a conscience and you are going to stop? And I’m supposed to believe you? You think I’m crazy, too, right?
The folly of fools is folly.And chaos reigns.
Or, you could listen to God’s still voice in your heart and stay away from this stuff or if you’ve played the fool, stop it NOW altogether and save yourself a ton of grief.
But that would mean you’d have to start filling our mind with wisdom instead of foolishness.
Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
What is your soul filled with?
For a scary view of how temptation works, take a look at this amazing animation. Temptation looks so inviting and in the end it sucks us in and consumes us.