Mon, 25 Jul 2022 Feature Article

Ruling Over the Controlling Power of Pornography

Ruling Over the Controlling Power of Pornography

In my childhood days, we didn't have TV in abundance and the internet in our part of Ghana. At best, we all scrambled to watch black and white TV set at a neighbour's house. TV programmes were less harmful for adults and children to sit together and watch. In fact, I observed that the adult contents were reserved for times when children were asleep. Added to that is the fact that the only cinema centre in our town did not admit children when the movies have obvious sexual contents.

Today, the terrain has dramatically changed to the detriment of society in general. Any child or adult can watch anything at any time anywhere on their phone. Technology has revolutionized our behaviour making it easy for people to satisfy their sinful desires.

In this article, we shall look at what pornography is, the effects of porn, and how to overcome it. A continuous drumming home of the need to overcome porn addiction is important to safeguard the future.

What is Pornography?

The word ‘pornography’ comes from Greek (porno meaning “prostitution” or “female captives”). I can simply say then that porn is prostitution with the eyes, heart and mind that will eventually translate into action.

Research carried out by PornMD shows that Pakistan tops the list of countries that watch the most porn. The data was delivered by Google on the basis of the search queries that originated from various countries.

In a research that focused on 21-25 year olds, the findings were as follows:

“Statistics show that the youngsters are the leading consumers (Flood and Hamilton, 2013). It is on records that in every second, nearly thirty thousand persons view pornographic web sites. An average of more than two million pornographic movies is rented in the United States of America alone daily. The global pornography industry generates an estimated one hundred billion US Dollars annually (The Watchtower, 2013: 5; MacKinnon, 2011: 122-123).”

The sin of man has lead to this insatiable craving for sexual satisfaction in wrong ways. It is a very serious matter that could jeopardize the future we are working hard to build.

What Are The Effects Of Pornography?

In my research on Wikipedia, I found out that there are psychological, sexual and relational effects of porn watching. I have added the last pivotal effect which is the spiritual effect of porn watching to make it complete.

#1. Psychological Effect
The first effect of habitual porn watching is mental. It will create images of unrealistic expectations. Whatever people are acting for you to watch is not real. It is how they want to control your mind to keep coming back.

In an article by Taylor Kohut and Aleksandar Štulhofer, they stated,

“...cross-sectional surveys have found that pornography use is related to reports of more negative affect, poor mental health and lower quality of life among adults as well as lower life-satisfaction and self-esteem, and more symptoms of depression among adolescents.”

#2. Sexual Effect
The second effect of porn addiction is obviously sexual. When people watch porn, it affects their love life.

In Youth and Pornography in Ghana: An Ethical Perspective, Anderson George Jnr. and Joseph Oppong stated noted that,

“Pornography from the Christian point of view reduces sex to an animal level, removing love from it. It replaces true love with violence, physical power and dominance.”

Furthermore, Anderson and Joseph stated in their research that,

“All respondents pointed to the fact that pornography promotes early engagement in sexual activities and contributes to the contraction of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).”

#3. Relational Effect
The third effect of porn watching is its impact on relationships. In real life, you cannot do what porn stars do because they take drugs to sustain them at that hyper level. It is abnormal!

On discussing the negative impacts of porn watching in Effects of Pornography, the article stated that,

"Pornography, as a visual (mis)representation of sexuality, distorts an individual’s concept of sexual relations by objectifying them, which, in turn, alters both sexual attitudes and behavior. It is a major threat to marriage, to family, to children, and to individual happiness."

#4. Spiritual Effect
The fourth and foundational effect of porn is that it impacts a Christian’s walk with God. a Christian who engages in porn cannot come boldly to the throne of grace of God to obtain mercy. If you continuously do it without repenting, you will keep withdrawing from God that will aid the enemy to pounce on you.

Nate Danser writes on How Pornography is Affecting More than Just You that,

“When a person sows to his lower nature by watching pornography, he sows a great degree of moral corruption into his spiritual life, and he is bound to reap nasty spiritual consequences.”

From the foregoing discussions, the negative effects of porn are numerous and harmful.

In Galatians 5:19-21, Paul discusses the work of the flesh which obviously lust:

“19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Genesis 4:6-7 says,
“6 So the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is [d]for you, but you should rule over it.””

How Can We Rule Over Pornographic Addiction?

Before I became a Christian, I used to watch all manner of sexually immoral movies (not plain pornography though). In fact, it even affected my spirituality because I was not able to overcome it after I became a Christian. I could deny myself of movies for a whole year and tell myself 'I will never watch such movies again' only to find myself in it again.

Here are four biblical ways you can apply yourself to rule over pornography:

#1. Know And Understand What The Bible Says

Knowing and understanding what the Bible teaches about pornography will help you cure it before it ruines you. The Bible teaches clearly that we cannot look at a woman lustfully without committing sin.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:27-28 that,
“27 “You have heard that it was said [a]to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”

God commands us to have clean thoughts and hearts. Matthew 5:8 says blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God. What is in your heart is what will rule your life. Obey God’s commands and be free.

#2. Worldliness Is Against God
The next thing we must learn is that being worldly is against God. James says in His epistle that friendship with the world is enmity against God (James 4:4).

It is a simple fact that those who are walking in the flesh cannot walk in the Spirit and bear fruit. Pornography consumption is a active demonstration of worldly living. The earlier we disentangle ourselves, the better.

#3. Kill It Before It Kills You
If you are not married, you have no business looking at a woman's nakedness to arouse you unto greater temptations. If we are married, we have no business inviting unwanted competition into our marital home to destroy our relationship.

We must kill it by avoiding magazines, sites, and videos that lure us. Joseph fled from Mrs. Potiphar when she was making advances to him (Genesis 39). Don't wait and be tempted. Flee! You can also kill it by avoiding association that leads you there.

#4. Let The Word Dwell In You Richly
In Ephesians and Colossians Paul told the churches to be filled with the Spirit and he admonished them to let the word dwell in them richly.

When we know, understand and walk in the commands of the word, we will be fine forever. Sincerely, the more I immersed myself in the word, the more I lost taste for any pornographic contents. If you allow the word to control you, you will control sin.

In our old sinful nature, we are very much comfortable with consuming porn contents. When you become a Christian, you feel bad every time you do that. You are cut to the heart. If you truly want to overcome this sin of pornography, we must engage the armour of prayer and the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17-20).

Eric Otchere

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