“IS PORNOGRAPHY GOOD FOR MARRIED COUPLES?”
For almost three months now, I’ve been trying to resolve some issues between a couple. I must confess, it is one of the most difficult tasks I’ve ever handled as a person. These family issues are rooted in pornography, which have eaten deeply in them, resulting to infidelity between both parties. According to them, it all began 4 years back with the mentality of “after all it is for adults…” “We are married….so we can watch it…” Subsequently, they found it very difficult to desist from it. Thanks goodness, the good news is that God has intervened in their lives and with some therapeutic measures; they have recorded to a very good extent, positive results. May God bring His work to accomplishment in their lives, amen.
My dear friends, one of the most devastating problems that has ensnared many good people is the problem of pornography. Many of these same people will testify that they were ensnared with just a “peek” just as the case of the couple above. In relation to marriage, this issue becomes terribly grave, even though it may appear ridiculous or absurd, but it is not. 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. 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 ANY ONE 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 could be said to be 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. It is pertinent to note that 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, I have never seen a single advantage of pornography.
For married couples, pornography leads to comparison. From my discussion with the said couple, I have come to understand that when a married person watches porn, he/she begins to compare what he/she has seen with that of the partner, 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 need to be very 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.
Therefore, dear friends, 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).
From what we have said so far, I unite my voice with that of Sacred Scripture and the Church to condemn pornography. Since pornography is not good for married couples, it is equally bad for singles as well, for the obvious reasons cited above – it is a “spiritual cancer” of the soul.
My final recommendation on this issue is: If you have a 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.