Jim was a good-looking 24-year-old Christian guy ready to get married. He had dated lots of women through the years, but he usually ended the relationship soon after it had begun. He was picky, he said. He always was hoping someone better would be right around the corner, but it seemed he finally had come to a dead end instead. Jim was having a really tough time in his search, and he asked me for help.
As his pastor, I assumed he was being a typical guy. For a long time, I thought he was being patient and wise in waiting for the right woman. Jim and I met often to discuss a variety of related topics. You name it, and we had talked about it. We talked about the most important qualities of being a man or woman of God, Christian dating, God's plan for his life, etc. Yet there seemed to be no progress, no change and no hope. I was just about ready to give up on Jim until one day—out of the blue—I asked him if there was any porn in his life.
I was not ready for his answer.
Jim said he had been looking at porn for the past 10 years. He had seen thousands of pornographic websites, movies and magazines. His dad would give the magazines to him after he was finished. Sometimes, he and his Dad watched porn movies together when he was a teenager. As a result, Jim wasn't embarrassed or shy about telling me about this part of his life. It was something his dad did, so he thought it was something most guys do.
Jim didn't think to tell me about his porn lifestyle as he honestly didn't see any correlation whatsoever between his past activities and his present attitudes. Naked women, graphic porn and casual sex were visual images that had been indelibly etched and engrained in Jim's brain.
We soon started making some progress in solving his problem. It was much deeper than we first realized, and we had to do some serious surgery. It was not a quick fix. Why? Because a picture really is worth a thousand words! I automatically was losing by competing with a lot of powerful pictures! We both realized a bandage would not fix Jim.
I began to show Jim how porn deeply affected how he viewed women, marriage, sex, ministry and God. He began to understand how he never would be content with only one woman in life as long as he compared her body to others. He began to see the real reason why he might be picky and single—forever. He became thankful that God prevented him from marrying a woman whose heart he probably would break.
We went through the Book of Ruth to see how Boaz treated Ruth with respect and integrity. We examined the life of Solomon, beginning with wisdom and ending in lust (1 Kings 3—11). The wisest man who ever lived had a lot to say about men's weakness for women (Prov. 2:16-19
; Ecc. 7:26
). Jim saw that God said a husband should be totally satisfied and captivated by the breasts of his wife and not by anyone else's (Prov. 5:18-20). All the centerfolds had to be erased from Jim's memory! He began to see that women were to be treated with absolute purity (1 Tim. 5:2
) and spiritual equality (Gal. 3:28
; 1 Pet. 3:7