25 August 2015

Friends in Christ, according to research from Relationships Australia, one in five Australian couples battle with intimacy problems triggered by internet porn.

With that in mind I cannot tell you how grateful I am to my youth leader, Peter Miller, over 30 years ago, for giving us one simple piece of advice: Do not take the second look.

He explained to us 13 and 14 year old boys that it was natural to notice a pretty woman. Normal, healthy.

He said it was the head turning for the second lingering look, where you start devouring them with your eyes, that caused the problems.

I think “Don’t take the second look” advice was based on Job 31:1…

“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a young woman.”

Jesus words are also relevant:

“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.“ (Matthew 5:28-29).

So I think Job 31:1 is useful for our school boys and now, I guess, for girls also. It’s God’s inspired word straight from the Bible. Why wouldn’t it also be useful to our men?

Of course, in some circumstances, far more intensive help is needed. Internet filtering and accountability software like Covenant Eyes. Professional counselling. Our pastoral staff reviewed and recommend the “Valiant Man” course by a Melbourne pastor. For a very accessible cost, men could work through 10 videos online with workbook, over 70 days, addressing the depths of this issue. Start alone if you can’t talk to anyone else. But better to ask another Christian man to walk with you through it.

We also recommend the following resources:

  • For men struggling with pornography: Finally Free by Heath Lambert,
  • For women who have been let down: Shattered Vows: Hope and Healing for Women Who Have Been Sexually Betrayed, by Debra Laaser,
  • Also the Australian GuiltyPleasure.TV website has many resources and links,
  • Patricia Weerakoon’s books (CEP):
    Birds & Bees By the Book – for 7-10 year olds (& their parents),
    o Growing Up By the Book – for 10-14 year olds (& their parents),
    Teen Sex by the Book – for teens (& their parents),
    The Best Sex for Life – for married and engaged couples.

I’m sometimes accused of being simplistic in repeating my youth leader’s advice. Porn is so much more accessible online today. We now realise more about how it ‘rewires’ the brain.

Well, I found pornographic magazines left repeatedly at the local bus stop I used to get on as a kid. And his advice not to take the second look served me well then. It’s helped me stay out of that trap for over 30 years since. By God’s grace, I intend to keep following it. And when I take a second glance, I know the Spirit will prompt me not to take a third look.

Warmly in Christ

Sandy Grant