“I love a good steak.”
I’ve probably said that dozens of times in my life. And while I do enjoy a good steak—in all honesty, I do not “love” a steak. In fact, my plan for that piece of meat is not to cherish it, but to devour it. In my mind that steak is something that will bring me pleasure as it is eaten—it is something I plan to act upon.
When I look at the biblical definition of love that Paul wrote about to the Christians in Corinth, it certainly does not represent my feelings toward a steak. Paul wrote, “Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).
These words do not represent my relationship with a steak. Do I “love” a steak the same way I love God, my wife, my children, and my friends? Of course not—there’s a BIG difference between my feelings for my wife and my feelings for a steak. And scientifically, my brain actually corresponds to this difference. When my wife or children walk into the room, a portion of my brain lights up that corresponds with caring and endearment. When I view a steak, a totally different portion of my brain lights up—the part that commonly lights up when I think about tools and using them. Simply put, I view the steak as an object.
And sadly, this is how I fear many young Christians view their spouses. I am seeing it happen more and more—and I pray it is not becoming a trend: young couples whose marriages are ruined by pornography.
I suspect many of these young people are getting addicted to pornography in college. They don’t realize the damage it will do to future relationships. They don’t comprehend that neurons that fire together usually wire together—meaning they are rewiring their brains.
Here’s my fear—these young men (I say men because pornography is primarily used by men—although it is increasing in women too) lose the ability to view women as humans with souls and as a result they don’t know how to truly love. All they know how to do is view their spouse as an object—a piece of meat. This is not the relationship God intended between a husband and wife.
A recent study presented at the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago clearly revealed that when men see photos of scantily clad women their brain registers the women as objects to be acted on.
Here’s what Nicholson wrote: “Princeton psychologist Susan Fiske presented findings from a new study this past Sunday, at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Chicago, where she and her colleagues compared, ‘…heterosexual men’s perceptions of scantily clad women, scantily clad men, and fully clothed men and women.'”
And what they found is the 21 male subjects had the best memory for photos of sexy bikini-clad women. No surprise.Then they had the men look at the photos while their brains were scanned and what she found was that, “…this memory correlated with activation in part of the brain that is a pre-motor, having intentions to act on something, so it was as if they immediately thought about how they might act on these bodies.”
Fiske explained that the areas, the premotor cortex and posterior middle temporal gyrus, typically light up when one anticipates using tools, like a screwdriver. “I’m not saying that they literally think these photographs of women are photographs of tools per se, or photographs of non-humans, but what the brain imaging data allow us to do is to look at it as scientific metaphor. That is, they are reacting to these photographs as people react to objects.”
Paul wrote: “ For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-5).
Young men need to be taught by parents and the church how to possess their own vessel in sanctification and honor! How many more marriages are we going to watch dissolve, all because some guy got hooked on porn in college, has no self-control, and has lost the ability to really love his spouse?
There are three things I want you to think about:
1) Viewing your spouse as a piece of meat is not a reflection of Christ and His bride; 2) Pornography is causing erectile dysfunction (ED) in young men (under 40) at alarming rates, causing many to turn to prescription drugs; and 3) While drug addicts need more drugs to get that same high, porn addicts don’t need more…they need something different (or more intense).
And far too often, this means doing things to a spouse that cause pain and discomfort, or seeking pleasure outside the marriage bed.Young men, stop viewing porn and stop viewing your wife as a piece of meat. She is a daughter of the King. Cherish and adore her. Learn (and practice) self-control! Stop destroying your marriage because of your selfish desires for porn. You are a Christian. Act like one!
“Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:18-20).