17 Nov A Shining Light in This Present Darkness
by Christie Masters
Pornography is one of the greatest enemies of love in our time and its effect on relationships is devastating. The statistics on pornography are astounding, and its availability online has made it like a great darkness that threatens to blanket our nation and world. I recently counseled a young lady who was in a relationship with a young man who had a porn addiction, and her self-image was destroyed. She felt like she wasn’t enough, she felt dirty, she felt like an object, and there was no sexual relationship between them. The devastation she felt was just from their conversations and time spent together and it was enough to threaten her hopes of finding real love. Pornography robbed them both of the joy of discovering one another, and sweetness of falling in love with someone who has eyes only for the other person. Though this young man showed no intention of stopping, there are many people who have, and the love-killing effects of pornography begin to lift when they refuse to view it.
Pornography, especially since it has become increasingly violent and aggressive, becomes a sinister third person in a relationship. Those viewing it regularly become more and more self-centered, focused on personal gratification with no thought of pleasing or wooing another person. The soul becomes a vacuum, taking in, without being able to give. One man wrote that when he was viewing pornography regularly he became very critical of how women looked and acted. He would notice every flaw, which became magnified in contrast to the unrealistic portrayal of women online, and any nuance in personality would grate on him. This man decided to take a 60 day break from pornography and write about how it affected him. His general view of women began to change, and what he had considered flaws before, were more endearing and even attractive. His desire for meaningful conversation and a meaningful relationship began to overtake the empty counterfeit offered by pornography. One could only hope that this man decided to quit his addiction permanently, but the article did show that there was true recovery taking place when he was not actively viewing it.
In a recent article, “Why Being in Love Means Being Anti-Porn Too”, the author shared a letter from a young man who was viewing a girl without “porn-tinted eyes” for the first time, and it was wonderful. He could finally imagine just being with her, doing chores together, having a family, and dreaming of the future. His letter is another example that recovery is possible, and that real love can be rediscovered for those who reject pornography. Recovery is also possible for those who have been in a relationship with someone addicted. Pornography is a cheap, ugly counterfeit to real love, it objectifies and demeans people, but this does not reflect the reality of who a person really is. One’s beauty and worth is not defined by the choices and distorted views of another person. Real love is still something to dream of, hope for and fight for, and pornography cannot be a part of it. Take a stand against this darkness, without compromise, and the healing will begin.