Why do you mention Dr. James Dobson by name?
Without a doubt the worst thing about this website is the fact that I admit that reading James Dobson’s book on adolescence is what brought me to porn. Chances are it will drive people away from this website instead of to it, people that need help. It was with a lot of prayer and thought that I mention him by name.
This site exists because as far as I can tell singles face a very different battle with porn than marrieds. As far as I can tell every other Christian resource to help with porn addiction is done by a married. I have read “Everyman’s Battle” I have read Joshua Harris book "Not even a Hint" I have gone to covenant eyes I have gone to many other Christian websites and read through many other Christian books on the subject and often the battle plans they lay out are unhelpful to me or draw me back to porn because the burden I carry as a single is different than the burden they carry as a married.
Across the board sexual temptation is extremely different for unmarried people compared to married people. There are sexual temptations that married people have that certain counseling will help them overcome their addiction, but if you give that same counseling to an unmarried person it will help their temptation overcome them.
When I make that statement I imagine most experts would disagree. But the reality is that James Dobson is probably the best expert the Christian community has, and the stuff he wrote in his book on adolescence to help young people directly led me to porn. I mention James Dobson by name on my website because I don’t think there is anybody that will say they are a bigger expert than James Dobson, and he got it wrong. What he wrote was a stumbling block to me (Romans 14, I Corinthians 8), and as far as I can tell everyone in the christian community at large deals with this subject exactly like Dobson. What if the normal way purity is dealt with in the church is a stumbling block to those it was intended to help?
I do not know of anyone who has ever dealt with the difference between singles and marrieds in regards to sexual temptation. I know I have never heard anyone talk about the subject. I am not saying this as an expert I am saying this as one who carries the burden. If James Dobson is wrong on helping the unmarried with sexual temptation, then I would imagine everyone in the Christian community would have to re-examine how they teach on the subject.
If all this website does is make the Christian community discuss the difference between single and married sexual temptation I will be thrilled. I think that is a huge step in the right direction.
Personally I do not know if my story is unique. I have never heard anybody else say the reason why they entered into porn was because of another Christian trying to help them. Perhaps I am the only one that Dobson’s advice led astray. Perhaps it was a perfect storm or perhaps there are others. I would ask anyone who is in the same boat as me, someone who stepped into porn because of bad advice from a trusted Christian source, to write them and let them know. These people genuinely want to help Christians. How can they help if they never get any feedback?
Do you blame James Dobson for your porn addiction?
Yes and No.
Recently I followed my own advice and sent a letter to James Dobson letting him know of my website and that I mention him by name because I feel that his book opened the door to pornography for me. His people responded. I will not post either letter because I am not here to argue, I am here to help singles overcome porn and help their councilors help them.
Within their response they posted what I would call the pornographic part of James Dobsons book. They seemed to think that as an adult that I would find that it wasn’t that bad. I read some of it and had to stop. It was worse than I remember. Its not so much that this section opened up the door to porn, but to me an unmarried that section of the book was porn.
Back when I first read the book I was a sheltered 14 year old with great training in bouncing my eyes off of immodesty. That was the most sexual explicit thing I ever looked at. Now I am over 320 days from the last time I looked at porn, and I was surprised how much it affected me to read the first sentence, I did not read the rest. If I was married there is no way it would affect me. But the truth is that what he wrote is the second most sexual explicit thing I have ever read. The most sexual explicit thing I have ever read is the description of the sexual response cycle in a college biology text book. What Dobson wrote is more explicit than any novel I have ever read, and many of them had warnings about explicit content.
I think this goes back to my point that there are a lot of sexual temptations that the unmarried face that the married don’t. And vice versa.
But in some ways I do not blame Dobson because
Even if I never read his book there were three instances in my Christian High school where one of the teachers would have likely gotten me addicted to porn, and one instance in Bible College.
Currently whether the subject is puberty, purity, or porn everything is dealt with from the focus of a married man’s view on sexual temptation. No thought is given on an unmarrieds view on sexual temptation.
Since the 60’s sexual revolution the Christian community has felt that Christians should teach young people about sex before the world does. I am very grateful I did not come into contact with a couple of other books on the market for adolescence that are proud of how explicit they explain sex. No telling how messed up I would be if I came across them.
There are many people in the Christian community whose parents never told them about sex and they regret several decisions they made and they think if their parents/church/Christian school told them about sex then they would have made better decision. These people applaud anybody in the Christian community telling people about sex, and the more explicit they are the louder they applaud. Personally I don’t think any of these people remember being a virgin or single.
When the world teaches on sex it has porn and birth control to back up everything it says.
When the church teaches on sex it tells young people to wait a decade or more for marriage.
This current message on sex and purity lets the world out gun the church. No wonder in a recent survey 77 percent of unmarried Christians said they looked at porn at least once a month.
As far as I can tell sex is at most only 1/8 of intimacy. There is intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy. But there is a lot of physical intimacy that does not involve sex. So sex is at most 1/8 of intimacy. But when it comes to the unmarried the Christian community tends to focus on sex. They tell us sex is awesome, you are a sexual creature, and save sex for marriage. And in the back of our mind we are thinking even if I met the right one tomorrow it would be at least a year before we got married. But thanks for making me focus on sex. Which I can’t partake of.
A lot is said today about emotional affairs in marriages. When a couple practices intellectual, emotional and spiritual intimacy with each other I would imagine it significantly reduces the chances of an affair. I would imagine that intellectual emotional and spiritual intimacy are essential in any marriage to maintain sexual purity.
I would argue that intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy is essential to the unmarried to maintain sexual purity. Currently the Christian community is out gunned by the world when it comes to the subject of sex. The Christian community is saying wait. The world is saying porn and condoms. If the Christian community instead taught that intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy are things that need to be built before marriage, and that after you are married sex makes you far more intimate with your spouse than anything else will, then we outgun the world because we are offering more than sex. We have intimacy.
The thing about intellectual, emotional and spiritual intimacy is that they not only can be practiced outside of marriage, they are commanded to be practiced inside the church (See I Corinthians 12). When the topic of sex is confined inside an understanding of intimacy it is a lot easier to process. I say this as a single.
As a single, I am sick and tired of the world outgunning the church on the issue of sex. It is so unnecessary. If we simply added intimacy into our teaching as the Bible teaches then the world would have nothing on us. Porn cannot compete with intimacy. Casual sex cannot compete with intimacy. A right understanding of intimacy protects from premarital sex.
I cannot help but think of that video I saw in Bible college where a man said he had a message for singles out of the book of Song of Solomon. And all he did was preach on how awesome sex was. To this day that sermon was the most pornographic thing I have ever been around. Looking at Song of Solomon now I stand flabbergasted that this man skipped over the intellectual, emotional and spiritual intimacy that is pouring out of that book, to focus on the smallest part of intimacy.
The Christian community needs to change from “Christians need to teach young people about sex before the world” does to “Every Christian needs to have an understanding of intimacy and practice it within the church, sex is part of intimacy, but for our young people that part is years away and should not be the focus of intimacy.”
So no in a way I do not blame James Dobson because the Christian community as a whole needs to change its focus on how it deals with sex and purity in the church to a focus on intimacy. Furthermore the church needs to have conversations about what brings sexual temptation to singles vs marrieds.
What Verse Backs up the premise of this website?
The very premise behind this website is that the unmarried are facing several different areas of sexual temptation and addiction than the marrieds, and several wonderful solutions for the marrieds who struggle with sexual temptation and addiction is harmful to the unmarried. And vice versa.
The Bible tells us in Romans 14:13-15 “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.”
Furthermore The Bible tells us in I Corinthians 8:9-12 “But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.”
In the area of sex the unmarried Christian has no liberty. 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). The Bible gives us liberty in intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy, and the Bible gives us liberty in finding a spouse.
The married on the other hand have liberty to do whatever the married couple decides to do.
So the married has meat and liberty the unmarried may never have and in my life the public expression of that meat and liberty has been a constant stumbling block. Through the knowledge James Dobson put in his book I stumbled into porn. Though the conversations one of my Christian high school teachers had about orgasms my conscience was wounded. Because of a sermon I heard in Bible College I avoided a book of the Bible.
I am fully admitting I have a weak conscience. Perhaps the weakest. I am aware that not all unmarried are as weak as I. Jim Eliot as a single man ministered among tribes where it was not uncommon for the women to walk around undressed. Perhaps God granted Jim Eliot special grace. Many young men earn a medical degree and part of earning that degree is being exposed to nudity. Perhaps they can have a clinical detachment that I do not.
I am not judging any of these men. I am simply acknowledging my weakness in this area where I do not have liberty.
But that said I have to wonder if the reason why so many young people in church fall to sexual sin is because of marrieds allowing their liberty to become our stumbling block?
Did you get addicted to porn because you didn’t have a dad?
Honestly I have no idea. If my dad was alive I know that I would never have been given James Dobson’s book. But that said sexual temptation is everywhere so it is likely that I would have gotten addicted somewhere else.
At the end of the day I could blame my dad’s death, James Dobson, the porn industry or even God for my porn addiction. But I am the one who has to suffer the consequences so I don’t really dwell too much on who is at fault; I just focus on moving on and helping others out of this mess.
Again I mention James Dobson by name because he is probably the greatest expert in the Christian community and he got this stuff wrong. If he got it wrong perhaps the rest of the Christian community can have a discussion on how to do things different to give the unmarried the tools they need to overcome the constant attack of sexual temptation.
Several sources have told me that if my dad had taught me about sex instead of reading about it in isolation from Dobson’s book then I would never have gotten addicted to porn and that may very well be true. Throughout my journey overcoming this addiction the one thing that has constantly allowed me to overcome relentless temptation is emotional and spiritual intimacy. If my dad had been alive and shared this stuff with me I may have been emotionally and spiritually intimate with him to such a degree that the relentless temptation would never have overcame me.
That said when I was born around 30 percent of children were born to unwed mothers, currently around 40 percent of children are born to unwed mothers. Furthermore due to divorce only 50 percent of children will spend 18 years living with their fathers. So a very high percentage of young people will never develop correct emotional and spiritual intimacy with their father which leaves them like me very open to sexual temptation.
That isn’t even considering the number of young people who grow up with their dads introducing them to porn. I went to public school in middle school and there were a ton of guys that had access to porn because their dad thought it was great and their moms apparently didn’t mind.
I would say for the Christian community to expect fathers to give sons guidance that leads them away from porn is naïve at best. The reality is half of young people under the age of 18 don’t live with dad so they wont have the opportunity to get close enough to him to have the emotional and spiritual intimacy to protect them from porn. Then among those that live with dad a high percentage of dads will introduce their kids to porn. Then there are the dads that are Christian and trying to do right in this area but never connect with their kid so their child with dad in the home never develops the emotional and spiritual intimacy needed to overcome this sexual temptation.
That leaves a very small percentage of young people whose relationship with their dad allows them to overcome sexual temptation. Would I have been one of those? I don’t know.
Even in this time of derelict fathers the Bible has an answer. Throughout the new testament there is a call for the older men in the church to treat the young people in the church like a father treats his children. And there is a call for the young people in the church to treat the older people in the church like children treat their fathers and mothers. If every church practiced this level of intimacy the problems associated with fatherlessness would go away in our churches.
Its so easy for a man in the church to see a boy without a dad and say that that boy or young man doesn’t get in trouble and is faithful to church so its okay to ignore him. But God still commands the men in the church to treat the young people in the church like a father treats his children.
So to the question of whether I would have gotten addicted to porn if my dad was alive I would say if the men in the church obeyed Gods word on treating every young person like a father treats his children it wouldn’t matter if I had a dad or not. I would have likely still looked at porn sooner or later but I would have also very quickly had someone to help me overcome the addiction. I am very grateful I met my pastor who treats me like a son. Its just unfortunate that he is the first Christian that I have met who was obedient in that regard.
Is Masturbation wrong?
If I can be downright honest with you, I have no intentions of posting articles about how wrong porn and masturbation are. I set up this website give the unmarried the specific tools they need to overcome their addiction. I suspect that people who don’t think porn is wrong wont waste time reading about how bad porn is. And those who already feel it is wrong need the tools to overcome their addiction and it’s a waste of time for them to read an article confirming their feelings.
That said if you want my opinion on the matter, God’s Word does not say anything directly about masturbation, but it does tell us to have pure thoughts. I never once had a pure thought while masturbating. If you want full disclosure even when I have wet dreams and do not remember the dream I struggle with my thought life for a day or two afterwards. If I am struggling with my thought life after wet dreams I do not want to mess with masturbation.
Are all men addicted to porn?
Honestly I think that around 10% of men just won’t ever be tempted by porn, either because of their natures or how they were brought up.
A good example would be Jim Eliot. As a single guy he worked among tribes in south America, and many of these tribes had their women walking in public almost completely naked. He did not cast a lustful gaze toward them he felt sorry for them. Once he mentioned how a prostitute approached him and he mentioned he was so broken hearted over her condition he could never touch her.
Other examples would include David Livingstone, James Chalmers, John Knox and so many others that I cannot think of. All these men gave the gospel to cultures and tribes that had women walk around naked, and I don’t think they could do that if their heart burned toward the women in lust. That’s not to say these men had the gift of singleness, all of them married and all of them had children. It just seems they had a different mindset either do to their personality or how they were brought up.
So no, not all men are involved in porn. Not all men are even tempted by porn.
Perhaps it would help you with your struggle if you read these men’s biographies. If it was a mindset that allowed them to not burn with lust then perhaps after reading their stories you can get that same mindset.
What is a difference between married and unmarried in overcoming porn addiction?
There is some really good advice out there to help married men overcome a porn addiction that is very bad advice for singles.
I think the most blatant is one website advising all men to not each lunch with a woman. I can see how this is wonderful advice for a married man but it is terrible advice for a single. I would strongly recommend that if you are a single guy and you like a single girl to have lunch with her as soon as possible.
I think the advice on this website that is really good for singles but really bad for married men is the advice to replace the porn addiction with something else. For a single guy its really easy to find yourself with a lot of time on your hands filling up that time with industrious things to do is a wise way to avoid being tempted by porn. But married men especially married men with children have likely been making time for their addiction, and as they step away from their porn addiction they should be spending that time with their family, not some random industrious thing. Those married men likely simply need to stop making time for porn and let their time naturally be spent with their family.
Recently I heard a sermon on the radio about emotional affairs and basically everything that he was saying married people shouldn't do are things that unmarried people should be doing. In all honesty I was getting tickled because it was probably the best singles message I have ever heard. Focus on the family wrote a list of things that indicate an emotional fair at the end of this article and everything they are saying married people should not be doing is stuff that I think everyone would agree singles should be doing on the course to find a spouse.
I hope that one day there is a discussion of the difference between the liberty married people have and unmarried people have.
Why don’t you mention your name?
Its because I am a single guy. If I was to start dating a girl and she googled me I don’t want her to see all this. Either she would dump me or stay with me. But if she stayed with me it would push the emotional intimacy side of things to fast. There is a time and place for this stuff to be revealed to her. I feel that’s right after the engagement.
I don’t perceive that happening any time soon though, and have to say as I see my heart healing I am grateful to God that he did not allow me to marry before. I see how much porn hurts women when they find out about their husbands addiction and I don’t want whoever I marry to go through that.