Dear Naked and Afraid,
Dear Word Washed Wife,
I am a happily married woman. I met my husband in college and I truly love him and our life together. We both love Jesus, are active members of a local church body, and have two wonderful children ages 11 and 8. But I have a question. It’s too embarrassing to ask anyone I know because I don’t want them to think my husband is a creep. But about 6 months ago my husband expressed that he was getting bored in our bedroom and asked if we could spice it up. I never considered myself a prude, so I said “yes!” He then suggested we watch pornography together as a way to turn up the heat. I was shocked. I said “no,” but he has asked several times since then. Would it be wrong for us to watch this together? Help, please.
Naked and Afraid
Dear Naked and Afraid,
In our modern society, the definition of pornography is becoming more and more muddled. For this reason, your question is becoming more and more common among Believers. Today, pornography is a rampant problem with tentacles that reach far into almost every marriage and church. This saddens my heart. Satan believes that he will win if he can destroy Believer marriages, the very institution that God designed to sanctify the body of Believers. But though he may be winning some battles over the purity of some Believer’s minds, he has already lost the war. Thank you, Jesus! Sorry to preach, but I’ve known too many couples, close up and personal, who were hurt by pornography. Keep reading.
For the purpose of my answer, let us first make sure that we are talking about the same thing. I define pornography as any exploitation or perversion of God’s design for sex between a husband and wife. Perversion of God’s design includes self-gratification, profit, entertainment, and for-profit sites. These entrap the participant with lust, sin and shame. In my definition, I do not include main-stream American movies or TV sitcoms, even though you can find brief nudity a plenty, and you may draw that line there, but I feel hesitant to make it too inclusive. There is enough evil out there to quibble over the grey.
For years, my standard answer to all bedroom questions was, “What happens in your marriage bed stays in your bedroom.” (Hebrews 13:4) I assumed that people wanted to know my positions on whipped cream and role playing; you know what I mean … the “visit by a shoe salesman” kind of role playing. Yes, I am that old. Now I understand that my responses were naïve – I never considered pornography. I do not go to the internet for my every need, and I forget the hold it has on people today.
Now please know this: I am not a prude. I believe that God designed sex for the pleasure of both man and woman! And, God designed the sex act to be experienced only in the context of marriage. God wants both husbands AND wives to enjoy each other’s body. He also wants both to enjoy the ecstasy of orgasm. There is absolutely nothing in God’s Word that supports anything else! Therefore, I believe that when a husband and wife view pornography, even if they do it together, they invite others into an act that God designed for but two people – a husband and a wife. Further, when married couples invite pornography into their home, it does not typically end there.
So to the question, “Is it a sin for a Christian couple to watch porn together?” For some, and for perhaps many, my answer will not be popular: Yes, it is a sin for a Christian couple to watch porn together. And sister, the moment you felt the need to ask, you already knew the answer. Deep down you knew that it was a sin. You only asked because you wanted support of what you knew to be the truth, correct? Consider this. If I eat a decadent piece of chocolate cake, and it is very pleasurable, I don’t worry if it is sin. But when I find myself sitting in a movie theater watching a PG-13 movie that makes me blush or makes my heart beat quicken, the Holy Spirit inside me says, “Leave; to stay is to sin.” Christians know what conviction feels like; we must be sensitive to it.
The two most intimate acts that people can do together is to have sex and to pray. So, to the Christian who says to me their sex life is boring and wants to spice things up, I respond with this: PRAY! This response is, perhaps, counter culture. So what?! My sister, how is yours and your husband’s prayer life? I’m not teasing, how is it? When my husband and I chase after God together, our relationship benefits! I hope you will read my blog on increasing the HOLY MOLY in your sex life. In it, you will find many practical things that can help. Sister, the answer you need, that we all need, is JESUS!
If your husband has gotten himself stuck in the bucket of sin labeled “pornography” and can’t find his way out, don’t crawl in the bucket with him! Instead, pull him to safety. That safe place may be in an accountability group with men in your church, a Sex Addiction Support group or counsel from a Christian brother who has himself overcome an addiction to pornography. Do not allow him your husband to live in shame, but at every turn, remind him of Psalms 34:5. When we look to God as our source of help, our faces become radiant! In Christ, we cannot be consumed by shame, because there is no shame in Him! Hallelujah!
If my answer to your question is not enough to discourage your husband from wanting to view pornography together, ask him to go see your pastor together and ask him for his answer. A great test is to ask yourself, “Would I do this in front of the pastor of my church?” If your answer is, “yes,” then more than likely there is no root in sin. The very thought of asking your pastor may be enough for your husband to permanently close the subject. Regardless of who your husband wants to hear from, me or your pastor, stick to your guns! Keep your heart pure and avoid sin in what you see and hear.
Stay washed in the Word and keep reading the blog!
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
DISCLAIMER: In the interest of all reading, and with an intent to simplify some questions, I have taken the liberty to edit some letters. Because every marriage situation is unique and multi-faceted, I have personally reached out to each person who wrote me an e-mail to offer more specific details that address their needs.