<<sexually explicit matter>>

Often shortened to porn, this is material that arouses the sexual desires and lusts of a person leading to mental fornication and adultery. Both males and females can quickly become ensnared in this destructive vice that has a damaging effect on intimacy, love, and respect by viewing people as sexual objects before and even when married. It is a warped, loveless and lust-inspired, selfish focus with the fantasy robbing people of a truly satisfying intimate relationship within a marriage, leading to addictions, broken marriages, increased sexual violence, child sexual abuse, sex trafficking and prostitution.

Women are emotional creatures and can be hooked on novels besides visual images whereas males are aroused visually by viewing even the partially naked female body in reality, or by media images causing them to think ungodly thoughts, imagining what is under the swimwear, seductive, skimpy or tight fitting clothing. Consequently, females should dress and behave with dignity. Suggestive attire that arouses impure thoughts and desires hinders the respect men should have for women. There is an undeniable correlation between pornography and crimes of sexual abuse and molestation. “Out of the heart come evil thoughts...adultery, sexual immorality...” (Mt 15:19).

Jesus said, lusting after other people in our minds with impure thoughts, which is the essence of pornography, is offensive to God and if not controlled, can lead to physical violation or rape (Mt 5:27,28). Job declared, “I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl” while David said, “I will put no despicable moral thing before my eyes” (Job 31:1; Ps 101:3). We need purity of heart and discipline to deal with this temptation that is increasingly becoming a major problem to many people. “Can a person hold fire against their chest without being burned?” (Prov 6:27). Those dabbling in this area don’t understand the immense stranglehold they are being dragged into and the devastating effect it will have on them. “A person is a slave to whatever has mastered them” (2 Pet 2:19).

The Bible’s instruction is to run from anything that gives us wrong thoughts and abstain from sinful desires while choosing instead to follow after what is godlike (1 Tim 6:11; 2 Tim 2:22; 1 Pet 2:11).

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord” so “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature; sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires…” (1 Cor 6:13; Col 3:5). The Bible not only tells us to put off the old self, corrupted by its evil desires but also to put on the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:21,22,24).

While we can’t prevent being exposed to the blatant flaunting of the human body, whether on the street or beach, we are to guard our minds from dwelling on what is seen. The Bible instructs us to ‘take captive’ and bring into submission all thoughts which are not pure and holy, replacing them with pure and honourable thoughts (2 Cor 10:4,5; Phil 4:7,8). The habits we foster become powerful forces within, influencing our whole life; this is why we are to guard our heart more than any treasure (Prov 4:23).

If you are entrapped, give diligent effort to be free. We must co-operate with Christ to be set free and to walk in continual freedom (Prov 6:1-5; Gal 5:1). Steps to take to gain freedom include repenting, having a trusted friend to

Use self-discipline or seek help to get free 

keep you accountable, and setting in place practical safeguards – which can range from having the computer in a ‘public place’ (where others can see the screen), to installing internet filters or tuning off the TV, and destroying inappropriate magazines, besides staying away from these sources of contamination. Replace the evil with a good alternative or interesting hobby. "Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness" (Rom 6:19). With Christ's help come into freedom from this mental bondage.

Good morals originate from principles of love, respect, modesty and self-discipline. Porn is an offence against morality, fellow humans and God. It degrades and distorts sexuality, seeing members of the opposite gender as merely sex objects. In today’s world it is vitally important to teach children about wholesome sexuality and warn of the dangers of questionable activities among their friends or online.

See also: adultery, accountability, boundaries, desire, entry points, eyes, freedom, imagination, lust, naked, pure/purity, self-discipline, sexuality, temptation,  thinking/thoughts.