What is the number one problem in our world?
Everyone has an answer, and it depends on where you live, your gender, age, whether you are poor or rich, etc. Your answer also depends on your faith.
Everyone has faith, some just don’t call it that. I have faith in God. Others have faith in science. Few, a lessening number daily it seems, have faith in government. A growing number are putting their faith in humans while still others have faith in occultic practices.
A survey of what people and experts think the number one problem in the world gives different answers. Climate change, poverty, and divisiveness top many lists. I went through several lists and none listed pornography or sex trafficking. Even the Christian sites listed things like science and disbelief.
One of my sayings is that: “Some things you can’t unsee.” Pornography is one of those things. It doesn’t matter how old you are or what gender you are, images of pornography stick in your mind like gum under a table. They infect your soul and allow a spirit of perversion to enter.
The statistics on who watches pornography are surprisingly low and there is the issue of their accuracy. Many people hide their pornography use and will not admit it in surveys, so the numbers may be higher than reported. An article published on February 25, 2021, by The Recovery Village (therecoveryvillage.com) entitled, “Pornography Facts and Statistics” summarizes studies on online pornography use.
According to this article:
- 25% of search engine requests are related to sex.
- 35% of downloads from the internet are pornographic
- 70% of men between 18-24 visit a porn site at least once a month
- The largest consumer group of pornography is men between 35-49
- One third of pornography users are women
- Sunday is the most popular day for viewing pornography
- Thanksgiving is the most popular day of the year for viewing pornography
That Sunday and Thanksgiving are the most popular pornography days is a bit surprising. In many countries, North America included, these days are set aside for God and family. I can’t help but wonder if this is not some reflection of the spiritual problem of pornography.
And in case you are thinking that pornography will spice up your relationship, think again. This same article cites a 2013 Cosmopolitan magazine survey of sex therapists regarding pornography in relationships. The result was 86% felt that pornography hurt their relationships and 90% had seen an increase in relationship trouble due to pornography. A 2012 survey found that pornography use in marriage actually lowered self-esteem in wives while increasing sex expectations in husbands. This created a situation in which women experienced performance anxiety.
This of course creates a perversion of what the marriage bed is supposed to be like. It is intended that intimacy in marriage is to be the highest and most pleasing of all the aspects of the relationship. Men are to honor and please their wives. Wives are also called to honor and please their husbands. When you bring in images of other women or men, you are asking your spouse to share intimacy with others.
And pornography is deceptively progressive. What starts as little excitement or forbidden fruit, slowly becomes voyeurism to see and experience hard forms of pornography. Instead of being pleased with our spouse, we fantasize about the pornographic actors or the acts they perform.
And if you are single, pornography will give you a false set of expectations. If you progress towards an addiction to pornography, you will have a difficult time entering into a healthy relationship. Your views will be perverted and sex becomes the goal over relationship.
That pornography is also spiritual is played out in the impact of memories of pornographic images. In the mind, a place in which spiritual warfare is at its most intense, pornographic images become thoughts and then fantasies. And the more you watch, the more you want. The more you want, the more control of your mind it has. At this point, your only hope is to take every thought captive for Christ as you battle to refocus.
Pornography combines the sins of lust and adultery. Men and women alike have been trapped by these and believe they are of no worth to God. Yet, God is the only way to be set free. Simply ask, do your part and turn off the pornography. In Him, there is freedom from all bondage, even pornography.
The problem of child pornography and sex trafficking will address in a later article.
More in this series:
Andy Becker is a pastor, retired counsellor and former CEO of a Hospice organization. Currently, his wife, Stella and Andy, lead both Lighthouse ministries and Bread of Life ministries in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest neighborhoods. His book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.