FOR MARRIED & ASPIRING COUPLES: “PORNONGRAPHY IS NOT GOOD FOR YOUR MARRIAGE”

INBOX QUESTION:
“IS PORNOGRAPHY GOOD FOR
MARRIED COUPLES?”

REPONSE:
One of the most devastating problems that has ensnared
many good people is the sin of pornography. Many of these same people will
testify that they were ensnared with just a “peek.” In relation to marriage,
this issue becomes terribly grave, even though it may appear ridiculous or
absurd, but it is not. Some married couples may say, “after all it is for
adults…” “We are married….so we can watch it…” I stand out to counter these shallow
ideas wrongly conceived by many married couples, beginning from the scriptural
teachings, and experiences shared with me by married couples overtime (which I
shall implore ideologically to resolve the question at hand) and finally with
the help of the Catholic Church’s teachings on pornography in relation to
marriage.
The issue of pornography has always been something
many prefer not to talk about. A friend asked me this question on
pornography, and it took me some time (out of my busy schedule at school) to
come up with this write up. I sincerely apologize for the late post.
To begin with, the Scripture makes us to understand
that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit and that we are to be transformed by
the experience—to renew our minds to know the perfect will of God for our
lives. Far from that, Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU
SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman
lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right
eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for
you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be
thrown into hell.” (Matthew 5:27-29). In the case of pornography, you tend to
look at a naked person and this brings lust to the mind. Therefore, for one who
is married, pornography is tantamount to adultery. Hence, it is necessary to “tear
off” the habit of watching porn, even in the marital life.
Dear friends, pornography has ruined many marriages,
and is still ruining marriages till date. Hence, the goal of pornography is
simply to implant lustful feelings in the heart, and if lustful feelings are
implanted in the heart, then the couples are ruined spiritually and become
unclean; “from the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications,
thefts, murders, adulteries”. (Remember, these are the elements that make a man
unclean as pointed out by Jesus in Mark 7:21).
In addition to this, St. Peter, in his apostolic
letter, warns us: “Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from
fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.” (1 Peter 2:11). Hence, married
couples should remember that “marriage should be held in honour among all, and
let the marriage bed be undefiled…” (cf. Hebrews 13:4)
Nothing good, absolutely, nothing good comes out of
pornography. Many people who get addicted to porn began early. They see the
stuff when they were very young, and it creates an impression on them. Later
comes addiction – they kept coming back to it. It becomes a regular part of
their lives. They’re hooked and can’t quit. After a while, escalation begins. They
start to look for more and more graphic porn and start acting out sexually. At
this point, many persons make a dangerous jump and start acting out sexually.
They move from the paper and plastic images of porn to the real world. In many
cases, it leads to rape. I believe we all know the gravity of rape. Down
through my experiences in advising married couples via the social media (on
Catholic Doctrines, reflections, etc…and in catechesis), I have never seen a
single advantage of pornography.
For married couples, pornography leads to comparison.
When a married man, for example watches porn, he begins to compare what he sees
there with what his wife has, and eventually, if he could not find those
qualities in his wife, he goes outside the marriage to seek it. At this point,
the marriage now stands between the devil and the deep blue sea. This is exactly
the goal of lust, which pornography implants in marriages. To understand this
better, St. James puts succinctly: “But each one is tempted when he is carried
away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth
to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death. (James 1:14-15).
Dear friends, we are need to be careful with the
therapists and counsellors who encourage pornography in marriages. I hereby
stand to say that their arguments are weak and cannot hold water.  The therapists often believe that pornography
would teach and encourage couples to having better sex, and thereby strengthening
the love and intimacy of a marriage. This is certainly FALSE; because, they
tend to reduce marriage to the level of “sex”, and failing to understand that it
is also a spiritual covenant, ordained by God (“what God has joined together,
let no man divide…”) It is more beneficial for couples to find non-sexual ways
to strengthen their marriage.  This can
include working on better communication, respect, quality time, unconditional
love, honesty, forgiveness, openness, etc. 
When this happens a couple’s marriage, and sex life, will naturally improve.
The answer, my friend, I believe is blowing in the
wind. I don’t have much to say in this regard. Therefore, I leave you with the
teachings of the Catholic Church on pornography as stated in the Catechism:
“Pornography consists in removing real or
simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display
them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it
perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It
does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the
public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit
for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy
world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production
and distribution of pornographic materials.” (CCC 2354).
My final recommendation on this issue is: “If you have
a married friend who believes that pornography is good for marriage right now,
endeavour to save his/her marriage by forwarding this post to them. They need
it.

Shalom!

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