The #1 Counseling Issue
Hopefully what I am about to tell you is not true for other pastors. Yet given the epidemic, I would not be surprised if it were so. Over the last decade of my ministry the number one counseling issue, measured both in number of cases as well as in length of time, has been pornography and its awful impact on souls and families. Even as of late, I have had to offer counsel yet again where a home life has been devastated by it.
God’s Word conveys to men how their wives are to be considered by them. The most common imagery is that of a garden, a stream, or a vine created to be delightful to man and bear fruit for his enjoyment (see Genesis 3:15-24; Psalm 128:3; Proverbs 5:15-19; Song of Songs 4:12-16). Men must learn to tend to their garden with sensitivity, gentleness, and love if they want it to produce satisfying fruit. Those who give themselves to pornography desecrate their marriages. They are taking a hatchet to the flowers and fruit of the garden the Lord has given them.
A few years ago I taught on male sexuality at a men’s retreat and spoke on the topics below. I especially addressed the issue of pornography in the second talk. As these summarize the fruits of my study and counsel I give to others, I offer them here in case they might be of help to some.
- Guarding the Garden: God’s Defenses Against Gross Defilements
- Pornolatry: The Spiritual Consequences of Sexual Sin
- Singing Solomon’s Song: Discovering Love That’s Better than Wine
One book I would recommend that men read is actually written by a woman who suffered with a husband enslaved to this sin. Called An Affair of the Mind, the author, Laurie Hall, helps you see how this sin impacts a wife and mother. As Biblical reconciliation will not occur until we see what our sin has done to the other, this sad and tragic book may help men feel their sin. Those involved in pornography often lose all sense of perspective and true concern for others as they feed their addictive behavior.
Want to test yourself? Read the scene in this book (Chapter 3, pp. 13-16) where she describes their little children waiting for their father to come home only to have go to bed once again without him present (Lying about being at work, he was actually living out his fantasies). If that scene doesn’t break your heart and bring tears to your eyes, you may have a greater problem than you realize.