By Pastor Mark Brunke: I've heard that back in the day, if you wanted to see porn, you'd have to walk into a store and shamefully ask an employee to get it from behind the counter. That seems like a lot of work to me. When I was growing up, all I had to do was turn to channel 78 on my cable box. Surprisingly, it's even easier today. Just type whatever you want to see into your smartphone and you'll find hours and hours of pornography ready to stream right to your device free of charge and free of that pesky store clerk judging you.
Pornography is so readily available today that every second there are 25,258 users watching pornography in the US. 40 million Americans admit to regularly visiting porn sites and 25% of all searches on sites like Google and Bing are related to finding porn. Even for those not seeking out pornography, 34% of internet users have been exposed through ads, pop ups, and e-mails.
While many in our culture don't view this as a problem, as Christians we are called to purity in the sexual arena both with our physical bodies and internally in our hearts and minds. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:27-30 that internal sexual lust is just as sinful as outward adultery. If you're not familiar with that passage, I encourage you to READ IT. Jesus goes as far as advising us to cripple ourselves rather than give in to sexual sin. It seems that Job understood this even before Jesus' life and ministry when he said, "I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman" (Job 31:1).
But with pornography so prevalent, what do we do? As husbands and wives trying to remain faithful, how can we stay away from porn or kick the habit if we're in it? As single adults, how can we remain pure? As parents of young teens who know their smart phones better than we do, how can we help them stay far from this sin?
I don't have all of the answers, but I do have one general suggestion and one specific one.