Culture

5 lies that porn will tell you

Desmond Ng // November 9, 2019, 11:51 pm

5 lies porn - 2

When I first started dating Elaine, it was during a particularly victorious period of my life.

I had been clean for a number of years already. When we were dating, there was never any urge to turn to porn at all. I thought that I had successfully conquered it.

However, a few years into our relationship, porn resurfaced again. I chanced upon a website link one day. I thought that I would never get hooked again, and that I was already immune. But a seed had been planted.

And once I had made up my mind to go take a look, I began to think of reasons to justify my actions. It was a wrong choice and I knew it. I told myself that it was just one look to see what it’s all about. What harm would that do?

I took one look, and then another, and another … and I was hooked again.

Even after marriage, this dark passenger was always with me. So within the first six months of our marriage, Elaine caught me on the computer.

It wasn’t a part of me that I had shared with her before. She was completely shattered with hurt. She felt that she was not good enough for me and wondered why I had to turn to porn to satisfy my physical urges.

I was guilt-stricken and shocked as well. I never intended to cause such grief to the one that I love. I never expected that I would ever be found out. After all, it wasn’t the first time I had looked at it in our marriage, and I thought I had covered my tracks well until then.

But the Bible is always right – sin will find you out. So we went through the whole cycle of confession and forgiveness which was very painful and emotionally draining. God repaired and restored our marriage, but it wasn’t easy.

When dad cheated on mum

Just when things seemed back to normal, the enemy came calling again.

It started so innocuously. I was watching TV when I discovered that there were actually porn channels as well. The voice of the enemy came calling again. “Why not? Just one time? It wouldn’t hurt. God will understand. He will forgive you. Elaine wouldn’t find out.”

I gave in, and the whole cycle restarted. Of course, Elaine caught me again. This happened in the third year of our marriage. I apologised and begged her for forgiveness, but her love had begun to grow cold.

I was so completely misled. The Devil’s voice is seductive, and I pray that God’s Word will illuminate the truth for you, as it did for me, although I had to first pay a heavy price in my marriage.

Here are some common lies that the enemy uses.

1. “I will never ever get caught.”

“Sin will always find you out.” (Numbers 32:23)

My sense of immunity was heightened by having never been caught all throughout my growing up years. I thought that I would be able to do it in marriage too. That lasted all of six months.

I was so emboldened by a false sense of security that I even watched porn in the room next door while Elaine was studying. But the truth is, sooner or later, our sin will be uncovered. And sin is always ugly when it is shown up for what it is.

I thought that I would be able to maintain a double life. The one that I showed people, including my wife, was that of a church-going, God-fearing man. One who was always nice to people, served in church and went on mission trips.

What are you hiding from God?

The other side, which no one could see, would take over after Elaine had gone to sleep.

In fact, I tried to compensate for how I had disappointed and displeased God by taking on more church ministries. I was always trying to make it up. It was a religious spirit that said that I had to be doing all those things and more in order to gain credit with God.

But I was never sincere about it. It was motivated by guilt and shame, and God doesn’t operate that way. Religion demands that we operate in a certain way to gain God’s favour. The Devil loves it when we live in reaction to his works – that way he’s had a role in setting our agenda.

I was living a life of hypocrisy. We ought to live in response to the Father, not sin.

2. “Nobody is watching.”

Truth is, God is always watching. Nothing escapes His view.

This sounds crazy, but when I was deep in sin, sometimes my computer would hang for no particular reason. Other times, the website that I wanted to visit would be inaccessible.

How God must have grieved whenever I took advantage of His grace.

There’s no other explanation other than God was trying to get my attention. He loves me so much that He was trying to prevent access to those undesirable sites. I knew it too, but I tried anyway.

And whenever I tried hard enough, I would always be able to get to the website I wanted to go to. I always told myself that God is all-forgiving and that He would be able to understand. How God must have grieved whenever I took advantage of His grace.

In fact, I even mustered a challenge to God. “What’s the worst that could happen?” I asked Him. After all, every time I logged on, nothing happened.

“Would He make Elaine divorce me? Surely He can’t be that cruel and mean!” I would scoff.

3. “My life will go on as normal. I can carry this on forever. I love leading my double life.”

Sin and God cannot co-exist. I started to shut myself away from society. I didn’t like to hang out with church friends or do church work anymore.

I hated that Elaine signed me up for Bible study courses. I hated that she wanted me to attend prayer fellowships. I never wanted to go anymore! I knew I was very far away from the passionate worshipper that I had been years ago.

My sex life with Elaine was completely shut down. I didn’t desire to have physical intimacy with her anymore. I talked and behaved differently towards Elaine. I started to take her for granted. I treated her like trash.

I was close to being discovered a number of times, but each time she didn’t have any hard evidence against me. But she knew because of how I behaved. I was always evasive and disengaged, and she could see it. Sin always tries to hide, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden.

Purity on the purple line

4. “Porn makes me feel like a real man.”

I was actually a weakling. I never faced up to myself, Elaine or God about how I was failing all of us so badly. I was always running away from the problem. I was always seeking self-gratification when God had given me somebody to be responsible to and for. It gave me an instant high.

Why would I want to involve somebody else and her emotions, especially if she didn’t like it, when I could get such satisfaction on my own? I didn’t have to be disappointed, neither did I have to disappoint anyone.

I desired intimacy without responsibility, and pleasure without covenant.

I desired intimacy without responsibility, and pleasure without covenant. It was a coward’s mentality. And it short-circuited our sexual relationship.

5. “I just need to blow off some steam!”

After all, I was working such long hours, and I saw porn as a pressure release vent. It was fully justifiable, I thought. I craved the temporary high that it could give. When I was on the computer, everything else just seemed to fade away.

What I failed to realise was that porn is never a five-minute job. One picture leads to another. One site leads to another. One fantasy leads to another.

I was staying up into the wee hours of the morning, sleeping only a few hours a night, having to go to work all over again in the morning. My body was certainly not feeling the benefits of “blowing off steam”.

It was a completely exhausting lifestyle which perpetuated the Devil’s lie of needing to release and relax!

Porn caused my marriage to breakdown so badly. It hurt my communication and intimacy with Elaine. It hurt Elaine and her self-image. She felt like a sex toy. It was nothing but bad news and only God could make things right again.

Before the internet, it was much easier to resist temptation because it was not so easily accessible. Now, it is a powerful and insidious tool that the Devil uses to infiltrate lives and minds.

At 22, I fear about the dangers that my generation faces

It always starts off so harmlessly: a junk mail, a hacked page, a nude scene in an “artistic” movie, a “fleshy” advertisement. The Bible says that sin is always crouching at your door, it desires to have you, but you must rule over it and do what is right (Genesis 4:7).

Almost every household has an Internet connection nowadays. Even if we never key in a search word or type in a URL address, porn still finds its way into our homes. It could be a pop-up advertisement, or it could turn up in our e-mail inbox.

The question is, what will we do when it appears on our computer screen? The choice is ours.

This is the first of a two-part series on the dangers of pornography. The article was adapted with permission from Desmond and Elaine Ng’s book Rings on Fire, which was published by Graceworks. 

THINK + TALK

  1. What is sexual purity to you?
  2. What is your view on pornography?
  3. Are you struggling with an addiction pornography or masturbation?
  4. What efforts are you making to get clean? Do you have a recovery group?