As a Christian I believe that sex is to be reserved for marriage. Often times it is easy to think that a married person has an easier time overcoming porn because they have liberty in this area that single Christians do not. But I honestly think that the singles have the easier time.
In all honesty when it comes to overcoming pornography for the long run I think singles have an edge on the married men. The problem is in the short run there is such a focus on the areas where we do not have liberty that those honestly trying to help us are actually hindering us or putting stumbling blocks in our way.
I Corinthians 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
Generally the messages I have heard on purity have long winded parts about how great sex is. As a single I don’t have liberty in this area, so for me this is a stumblingblock.
Generally most Christian counseling done on porn addiction has a lot to say about how great sex is once porn is out of your life but again as a single guy I don’t have liberty in this area and it is a stumblingblock to me.
I learned very early on when I received counseling from my pastor that if he started talking to me about things that were stumblingblocks to me to let him know. He was very gracious most of the time to end the discussion or to adjust what he had to say.
God does not give the unmarried a lot of liberty in this area. We are not to have sex (I Corinthians 6:18), we are not to touch the opposite sex (I Corinthians 7:1), We are not to look and lust after women (Matthew 5:28), we are no allowed to have impure thoughts (Philippians 4:8).
That said God does give us some liberty in this area. If all intimacy was sex then we would have no liberty in this area at all. But intimacy includes intellectual, emotional, and spiritual. I hammer down hard on these three subjects all over this website because in the area of intimacy I am not allowed to have sex, touch, look with lust, or fantasize about sex but I have full liberty to be intellectually, emotionally and spiritually intimate with people.
If all I focused on was the things I had no liberty to do I would never overcome pornography.
In my thought life I can’t focus on my wedding night because I don’t have liberty there until my wedding night. But I can focus on that conversation I will have with my fiancé about my addiction to pornography, how God showed my grace in overcoming this addiction, and some of the things it will mean for us as a couple. This conversation is the most intimate conversation I could imagine. It deals with intellectual emotional and spiritual intimacy all things that I have liberty in.
When I confessed my addiction to my pastor and he took me under his wing and helped me, this was the first intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually intimate relationship I ever had. Because I could finally focus on areas of intimacy that I was at liberty to have I was finally able to overcome my addiction. And as time went on I grew closer to my pastor and he grew closer to me and I learned how to practice intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy with other people. Certainly not at the level I practice with my pastor, but this liberty allows me to snow ball porn.
Porn is simply a bad counterfeit of intimacy that Christians do not have liberty to partake of. When singles practice intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy porn cant compete with our liberty.
Beating porn is not all about intimacy. There are things you can not allow in your life because your liberty becomes a stumbling block. For me that is Netflix, red box, steam, and news websites. As long as I stay away from them I have no problems with having the internet. But for some people having the internet is a stumblingblock. For some people it’s having the internet without a filter. For others having a computer at all is a stumblingblock.
When I started this journey and confessed my addiction to my pastor and overcame porn websites like yourbrainonporn.com and nofap.com really helped me in fighting my addiction. But as the withdrawal symptoms subsided I find that where they used to give me liberty over my addiction they have become a stumblingblock. Don’t let it surprise you when something that used to help you becomes something that makes you stumble as you transition into a new stage of life.
I think fasting is the quickest way to find your stumblingblocks. But you need to recognize your stumblinglblocks more for the purpose of knowing where you have liberty than to find out what you don’t need to do.
Some people have this idea that overcoming porn is about all the things your not going to do, they don’t understand how God made man. When God made Adam he made him to walk with God but he also made him to do other things. Man is made to do more than worship God. God specifically made angels that sit in front of his throne and cry “Holy Holy Holy”. When God made Adam, Adam walked with God, and gardened, and got to know his wife, and named the animals. God made all of mankind to do things. Overcoming porn is not about never doing something again it is about finding where you have liberty and practicing that liberty.
You must replace stumbling blocks with liberty.
As a single you have a wonderful opportunity that in the long run Porn wont be as much of a battle as a married persons. Short run we have a harder battle because there is more stumbling blocks and less liberty. But in the long run if we deal with porn as a singles we should have more liberty than those who deal with it in marriage.
My understanding when it comes to liberty about anything that has to do with sex is this. If you as an unmarried person take liberty in sex then one day when you get married your wife becomes your ball and chain. When you were single you had liberty to have sex with whoever you wanted to but now as a married you can only have sex with one person. As a single you looked at all the porn you wanted to but as a married person you are only supposed to look at her. As a single you could do whatever you wanted to do with who ever you wanted but as a married person you can only do what she will let you do. If you are sexually liberated as a single then marriage is a trap that offers very little liberty.
I feel really really sorry for people who practiced liberties in sex as a single. They get married to the love of their life and now they feel totally restrained by someone they love more than any other.
But if you as a single practice restraint and reserve sexual liberty for marriage then marriage will be freedom for you. My fear is that because I looked at porn as a single that in that area I will be constrained but my hope is that since I stopped looking at porn for so long that looking at my wife alone will be freedom not shackles. That said there is so much I have restrained myself with that once married nearly everything to do with sex will be liberty.
Lets be honest as singles we want to get married and have legal sex. Over the years I have been surprised by a stumbling block for the newly married. I grew up in the church and the message has always been sex is great and awesome save it for marriage. But then if you listen to some of the married peoples conversations you find out that a lot of people who save sex for marriage really struggle with it for a long time.
Worse yet some people are teaching that if you are a virgin when you get married you will have the most awesome sex possible. One couple believed that got married and after 6 months they got divorced because they struggled with sex.
When married people talk to married people about sex they talk about how bad honeymoon sex is. When those same married people talk to the unmarried they tell us how awesome sex is. I think this is a stumblingblock
This is a problem for a number of reasons. First of all because as a single I really don’t need to be focused on sex because I don’t have liberty in this area. Second sex is going to involve two people and there is no way my fantasy is going to involve their voice. So no matter what my fantasy is a lie. No matter how clinically accurate a description on sex is until you know how your wife thinks and responds on the subject you don’t have the context to make any description on sex true. Until after your married and know how your wife votes on this subject all descriptions on sex is a lie to you.
I think what happens is that two people get married and they spent the last few years hearing how awesome sex is and that couple turns that message into two different fantasies so they waste time in their marriage trying to make their separate fantasies come to pass. Their fantasy destroys their liberty.
Let me tell you where I am at. I don’t even begin to see why I should bother with any fantasy since it’s a lie. My liberty in my marriage will be decided by me AND my wife. She gets a vote. Until my wedding night I don’t know how she is going to vote, and in all honesty until my wedding night I don’t know how I am going to vote. Why should I destroy my liberty by fantasizing about sex?
I am at the place where I wont listen to any sermon or lesson on sex. I like to listen to Christian radio but if that’s the topic I wont listen. I don’t have any liberty in that area now. And until I am married I wont know how much liberty I have there. To make matters worse the guy doing the preaching or teaching or lesson has probably been married for 20 years and there is no way that I will have the liberty as a newlywed as he does after decades of marriage. Truth be told I probably couldn’t handle that much liberty.
When I get married I want as much liberty as possible but I see sex, porn, preaching/teaching on sex as a single as taking away my liberty when I get married. I believe that God made sex to bring two people closer together than anything else could, so as I go to my wedding night one day it shouldn’t be about fulfilling my fantasy or even great sex, it should be about knowing my wife. Right now I can focus on my liberty in intellectual emotional and spiritual intimacy.
What will Intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy mean when I meet the girl I will one day marry? It will mean that I will be able to develop an extremely healthy relationship with the woman I love more than anyone else in this world. It will mean that before we say I do we know each other better than we know anyone else in the world. It will mean that before we get married we will likely be one heart. It will mean that we have put such an importance on knowing one another that when we finally experience physical and sexual intimacy it will be the logical progression of our intimacy and since our goal will be knowing one another instead of a fantasy or great sex there will be no room for disappointment.
Why? Because I practiced my liberty as a single, I will better be able to practice the liberty I will have as a married man.
Its easy to say that the marrieds have a lot of liberty that singles don’t but the singles have some liberty that the marrieds don’t. This is a message on emotional affairs. Everything he is talking about is totally wrong for a married man to do, but as a single guy you should find a single girl and do this. What is immoral for them in emotional affairs is a necessary liberty for you.
Focus on the Family has a list of signs that indicate an emotional affair at the end of this article. Again what married people do not have liberty to do in this area, you not only have liberty to do this but its practically necessary for you to do this stuff in this stage of your life to move to the next stage.
In all honesty I have heard more of what singles should be doing in these messages on what married couples should not be doing in emotional affairs than any other message to singles I have ever heard. I have read many books on Christian dating and I think there is more substance on what we should be doing in these emotional affairs messages than any one of the books I have read says. I would encourage you to study anything you can find on emotional affairs because although this is a married persons stumbling block it is your liberty.
Really sit down and pray about what liberty God has given you and practice it to the best of your ability. Don’t pout about the liberties married people have that you don’t, you have liberties they do not have. I highly recommend you discover them and practice them, until you are married and your liberties change. Rejoice and practice whatever liberties you can at every stage of your life!