There seems to be a rash of young men, (especially preachers), who have gotten addicted to pornography, which ultimately leads them down a path to adultery.
Having personally talked/counseled with several of these young men, it is my prayer that we can break this chain of addiction and focus on rebuilding Christian homes. Congregations need to be addressing this massive elephant in the room!
Success in these marriages often comes down to pride. If the man is willing to humble himself and is truly repentant, then often the marriage can be saved. However, if pride rears its head—as it often does—then things get really ugly. And I mean really ugly.
For many of these men, they choose to place the blame for cheating at the feet at their spouse. Basically, they wield 1 Corinthians 7 like a club, saying their wife is not fulfilling her duties as a spouse (Never mind the fact that many of these individuals were hooked on pornography long before they said “I do”). The number of individuals caught up in this sin has grown to the point that I fully believe there will be a movement/group formed by these individuals, who,—using crazy mental gymnastics—will claim to be the innocent party in the future. Playing the role of victim, these individuals claim their spouse did not perform their marital duties, and thus, drove them into the bed of someone else.
If we lived in normal times, where men used reason and logic, I would not worry about Christians buying into such rubbish. But sadly, we do not live in normal times. We live in an era where emotions and feelings drive everything—while reason and logic are thrown out the window. Here’s the irony of this entire situation: Research reveals that in the sexually immoral city of Corinth there was a group of men practicing ascetic religion in which they believed abstinence made you more spiritual. Paul was actually rebuking the men for not having sexual relations with their wives!
And yet, today this passage has been twisted to mean something totally different. The passage was actually about forced celibacy, not sex-on-demand. 1 Corinthians 7 is often used by Christian husbands to bludgeon their wives for not being sexually receptive as often as they prefer/demand. Somehow Ephesians 5:25-33—loving your wife like Christ loved the church—gets forgotten as porn addicted men make outrageous demands from their wives—and then play the victim if their wife does not live up to be the porn star the husband is used to seeing on a screen.
Here’s a couple of points we need to consider:
Point #1: Marital intimacy is about more than just the sexual act. It’s about more than coercion or manipulation just to receive self-gratifying pleasure.
Point #2: A sex-starved marriage does not make pornography right. Period.
Point #3: A sex-starved marriage may be the result of YOU not cherishing your spouse outside the bedroom.
Point #4: A sex-starved marriage does not give one party the right to dishonor the marriage bed through adultery. You are still charged to keep the marriage bed pure (Hebrews 13:4).
Point #5: A sex-starved marriage is not grounds for divorce and remarriage.
Point #6: 1 Corinthians 7 is not all the Bible has to say about sex and marriage. Spend some time looking at what Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 13, and Song of Solomon say.
Point #7: Every person is responsible for their own sin. It is not your spouse’s fault if you choose to sin simply because your husband/wife does not fulfill you in the way you think they should.
Point #8: One way to fix the perceived “problem” is to stop focusing on yourself so much and consider the wants, needs, desires, of your spouse.
Point #9: Sex in a marriage should not ever be used as leverage or withheld as punishment.
Point #10: Your spouse is also not responsible for how you deal with temptation.
Are there cases where a spouse is not living up to his/her duties as a spouse? I’m 100% sure this occurs. These situations need to be discussed calmly and rationally, and counseling may even need to take place to address the root causes of this issue. But there is also the problem of men who are watching paid actors in a porn video and then expecting their wife—who has been home all day with two or three small children—to perform like the actress on the screen.
Friends, this is not why Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 7.God is the creator of sex. In the context of the marriage-bed it is a beautiful thing. Sadly, in our hyper-sexualized world, we have perverted that which was meant to be good and beautiful. Our culture has replaced intimacy with pornography. But true love—the love that Jesus shows for His beautiful bride—is a beautiful self-sacrificial image of Christ and His bride.