Here are 9 subtle ways pornography is annihilating your life and killing your future.
1. Porn Will Ruin Your Future Because Your Choices Today Affect Who You Become Tomorrow
Who you are today was shaped by the choices you made yesterday. And the person you will be tomorrow will be shaped by the choices you make today. This is one of the reasons lusting after porn is so damaging to our futures.
Certainly as Christians we are what we are because of grace. I can’t will myself to become a new creation in Christ. God must make me a new creation through faith and by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). But in addition to salvation there is also sanctification, which is the process of becoming holier. This is where our choices will directly impact who we are becoming.
When you look at porn today, it plants seeds of lust and idolatry that will keep growing tomorrow. If you want to kill this weed in your life, you have to stop feeding it. It’s not going to instantly die. But if you starve it long enough, it’s stronghold in your life will die.
As Roman 13:13-14 instructs, “Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”
2. Porn Will Ruin Your Enjoyment of the Whole Person By Over Focusing on Just One Part of the Person
Porn takes one part of relationships and puts a huge microscope on it. Is sex an important part of a healthy marriage? Yes, it is. Should you be physically attracted to someone you are dating? Yes, you should. God made physical attraction to be one component to a romantic relationship between a man and woman and we shouldn’t ignore this variable in relationships.
Porn, however, takes sex out of context and embellishes it in unhealthy ways. Great sex in marriage is the result of deep love in marriage. Reenacting a porn scene you saw will not make you have a healthy marriage. Sex is like the celebration after an athlete wins the championship. Any athlete that celebrates like he won before he played the game is a fool. That athlete needs to train hard and put in a lot of work to get to experience those fleeting moments of pleasure.
Likewise, so much hard work needs to happen to create the environment in marriage for healthy sex to occur. First off, you need to get married. Wasting time with porn will keep you single. And if you aren’t maturing in singleness you are not going to be prepared for marriage. Once you get married, things like communication, commitment, working through problems, and so much more need to happen between a wife and husband before healthy sex can occur between them.
Porn, however, causes us to only look at the end result rather than the long process that led to that result. It’s like looking at an athlete celebrating his championship and then expecting to experience that same joy and celebration one day even though you have not put in any work and you aren’t prepared to compete, let alone win (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).
Instead of getting in shape for a relationship and working hard to become a healthy person who can thrive in marriage one day, porn makes you fat, lazy, and entitled. It tempts us to think we can have great sex without putting in the hard work to have a holy marriage first. This is a lie.
As Hebrews 13:4 states, “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.”
3. Porn Will Kill Your Life and Destroy Your Future Because It Will Make You a Slave Through Addiction
God designed our brains to react to certain stimuli. When you see someone you are attracted to, this stimulus causes your brain to release pleasure chemicals and it feels good. This is supposed to be a blessing in marriage. When you are attracted to your spouse and sexually aroused, God wants a husband and wife to feel pleasure together.
But anything good can be used in sinful ways. The sin nature wants to abuse the way God made our brains. Porn can be used just like a drug. When you use drugs, you become dependent on them in order to feel good. Likewise, when you use porn to feel good, you end up becoming dependent on it. Your body starts craving it like food and water. Thus, you become addicted.
Addiction attacks your will. When addicted, you are slave. You lose control of yourself and you become completely overtaken by the desires in your body. It causes you to live in a very carnal, primal way. Like a slave who is treated like an animal, you begin to behave less and less humane as you are ruled by your impulses. As Romans 6:16-18 states:
Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.”
The only way to break free from slavery to sin is to become a slave to God. Break the sin cycle by letting God’s grace interrupt it. You can’t change what you’ve become. All you can do is die and be made new. Let the life of Christ take over and present yourself to God.
4. Porn Will Ruin You If You Don’t Repent Because It Will Always Take You Into Darker and Darker Places
Just like an addiction to a drug, porn use will always get worse and worse as time goes on. When you take a drug, it goes into your body and causes your brain to release certain chemicals that feel good. The problem with this is that your brain is always seeking to maintain balance. Because your brain is releasing lots of pleasure chemicals, it is also trying to regulate those pleasure chemicals, thus producing less and less on it’s own naturally because the drug is stimulating so much. This is why you always need more and more drugs to feel the effects. Your body is gaining a tolerance for the drug.
This same thing happens with all sin, including lust. Your body will get used to the level of porn you are looking at and thus you will want to look at something even crazier so you can get that high you used to feel. You won’t be content to look at what you had been looking at. You will need it to be darker because you’ve built up a tolerance for this sin. As 2 Timothy 3:13 states, “. . . evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse . . .”
Porn always takes you into darker places than you ever wanted to go and it keeps you there longer than you every wanted to stay.
5. Porn Will Annihilate Your Life and Corrupt Your Future Because It Will Cause You to Live a Lie and Prevent Anyone from Really Knowing You
When someone is using porn on a regular basis, they feel a lot of shame. The biblical way to deal with shame is to confess the source of the shame to God and fully receive his forgiveness. We have to accept that God’s grace is always greater than our sin (Romans 5:20). When we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive (1 John 1:9). There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1).
In our flesh, however, we try to deal with our shame by hiding it. We begin to live a lie to the world around us. Porn is so damaging because it makes you wear a mask. As Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote in the Scarlett Letter, “No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself, and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.”
Porn will make you forget who you are and it will make you present a fake smile to the world, thus no one can ever really know you when you are using porn in secret. As Ephesians 5:11-14 states:
Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret. But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, ‘Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’”
6. Porn Will Steal Joy from You Because It Will Hurt Your Sex Life in Marriage
Contrary to popular belief, God wants Christians to really enjoy sex in marriage. Just read through the book of Song of Solomon and it’s impossible to deny this fact.
But when we seek a good thing in a bad way, this is when sin occurs. Not only are we sinning when we lust after porn, we are also decreasing the chances of experiencing pleasurable sex in marriage one day. I’m not saying if you have been addicted to porn you have forever ruined your sex life in marriage. But I am saying that if you don’t repent and you don’t allow God to sanctify your sexuality, porn will then ruin the good sex God wants you to have in marriage one day.
One reason this happens is because happiness needs to be a byproduct of nobler things. When you start pursuing happiness and pleasure themselves, you kill them. To feel happiness and pleasure, you need to accomplish something worth being happy about. As Victor Frankl wrote in his book Man’s Search for Meaning:
But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue. One must have a reason to ‘be happy.’ Once the reason is found, however, one becomes happy automatically. As we see, a human being is not one in pursuit of happiness but rather in search of a reason to become happy . . . The more a patient, instead of forgetting himself through giving himself, directly strives for orgasm, i.e., sexual pleasure, the more his pursuit of sexual pleasure becomes self-defeating.”
Or to put it more simply in the words of Jesus, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” (Acts 20:35). This principle applies to sex in marriage as well. Porn, therefore, will actually steal your joy in marriage because it will make you want sex for selfish reasons rather than letting it flow out of sacrificial love for your spouse.
7. Porn Will Hurt Your Future Because It Will Tempt You to Value Things in People that Are Not that Important and Under Value Things that Are Very Important
When you get hooked on porn, someone could be very beautiful but if they lack one certain body trait you have become addicted to, you will not like them. Porn creates unrealistic expectations about physical attraction. Instead of appreciating the body God gave the person you love, you seek to love the person with the body type you are addicted to.
Additionally, porn will tempt you to not only miss out on mature Christians, it will also tempt you to be in a relationship with unhealthy people who are simply very attractive to you. Either way, porn will often keep you single because it prevents you from being attracted to normal people and it temps you to be attracted to people who look a certain way even though they are not living for Christ.
While Proverbs 31:30 speaks about a woman, the principle applies to both men and women when looking for a spouse, “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
8. Porn Use Is So Dangerous Because It Could Be an Idol that Means You Are Not Saved if You Don’t Repent
I’m not saying that you are a false convert if you are struggling with porn. However, the Bible does say that if we are walking in sin and not repenting of sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us (1 John 1:8-10).
Again, this doesn’t mean that if you look at porn that you can lose your salvation. It doesn’t mean that if you struggle with lust that you are not truly saved. But if you aren’t resisting this sin, if you don’t really care that you sin in this way, and if you are making no effort to fight this sin in your life, again, the Bible does say this is a sign you are not truly a Christian. As 1 John 2:4-6 states:
Whoever says ‘I know him’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
So keep fighting this sin if you are struggling. The evidence of salvation is not perfection but repentance and sanctification (1 Corinthians 6:9-12, 2 Corinthians 7:10-11).
9. Porn Use Will Annihilate Your Life and Kill Your Future Because It Always Hurts Your Relationship with God
In the end, porn is so hurtful to you because it hurts your walk with God. You can’t love porn and love God. You will either love porn and hate God or you will either love God and hate porn.
Choose God. He loves you. And when you embrace this truth that God loves you more than anyone could ever love you, this will cause you to love him and obey him. As 1 John 4:16-19 explains:
So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.”