by: Cris Corzine-McCloskey
Well known Christian author and speaker, John Bevere, recently went public about his struggles with pornography. Some gasped in horror, while others, myself included, whooped and applauded. Finally, someone was brave enough to be transparent!
As a Christian therapist, I have men and women sneaking to me in private, needing help for their porn addiction. Why do they need to sneak? Because the church has made this topic so taboo that people are ashamed. Yet a recent poll in Charisma magazine said that only 3% of Christian men said they never view porn, and only 25% admitted to viewing it only a few times a year. So, in our average church service, only 3 out of 100 of our men, are NOT viewing pornography. That leaves 97% that are. Don’t blame them, though. Our society sets us up for failure.
Porn permeates our culture. We watch stuff on primetime that would have been R rated a few years back. And our men, susceptible to visual stimulation, are inundated with these images. Everything from billboards to TV commercials are designed to arouse. Most guys are already viewing porn before they hit adolescents. It becomes their norm. Then they get married, thinking its behind them. It usually isn’t.
You are only as sick as your secrets. That’s what makes this addiction so insidious. Most spouses will tolerate a drinking problem, a gambling addiction, even a drug abuse, but if it’s a porn addiction, watch out! We take that personal. Clearly, it must have something to do with us, right? Wrong. Odds are, your spouse was stuck in this cycle long before you came around. It is not because they don’t love you, it’s an addiction.
We all crave honesty in our marriages. But if you crave honesty, you must become a safe person to be honest with. Most Christian men fear they risk divorce when they are honest about porn. Women risk being labled a pervert. And they all risk being treated differently at church if they admit they need help. Men will even gossip about men who have admitted they struggle. What the what?! Let whoever is without sin sling a stone, otherwise, support your brother and shut up! It takes a tremendous amount of courage to come clean about a porn addiction. I think the ones who are brave enough to speak up should be leading support groups, not sat down under church discipline.
Next week we will begin talking about some solutions. This week I wanted to open the dialouge. As you can tell, I get salty about this topic. It hurts my heart to see Christians shoot their wounded. And there is nothing that will get someone in front of a firing squad quicker than admitting to this particular problem. Let’s stop the lunacy and get our folks some help.