I speak to women all week long, and the effects of porn in families is heartbreaking. I asked one of my pastors to share his wisdom on how women should respond when pornography threatens a marriage. If this isn’t a struggle found in your family, please read because it’s a situation in more people’s lives than you know.
What to Pray when your husband struggles with pornography.
The statistics about pornography are staggering. 68% of young men look at porn at least once a week. 1 and 8 searches on the web is for porn. 9 out of 10 boys will look at porn by the age of 18. The saddest part of that last statistic is that those boys become men who become husbands and fathers. The images in their mind don’t go away, and they walk into a marriage with a distorted view of what sex actually is.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers reports that 56% of divorce cases involve one party having “an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.” 56%! It’s an epidemic in our culture!
“Sad” doesn’t really describe the way you feel when the evils of pornography enter your marriage. Along with the hurt are a lot of unanswered questions. Will I ever trust him again? Why would he do this to me? Where do we go from here in my marriage?
I don’t have all the answers to your questions, but I do believe there is hope for your marriage.
There is a reason behind your husband’s pornography problem, and it isn’t what you think it is. A lot of women blame themselves for their husband’s actions. Let me say this as clear as possible… That is a lie from the enemy. Don’t believe it.
His pornography problem is not because you aren’t a good enough wife or you aren’t attractive enough. -Matt Scobell
The reason behind your husband’s pornography problem is that he desires acceptance and approval despite all of his flaws as a man, and he finds that acceptance and approval in pornography.
This isn’t every man, but in my experience, this pertains to a lot of men.
Every man seeks and desires acceptance and approval. This desire is part of his nature and part of his wiring as a man. The reason pornography is such a huge problem in men’s lives today is that men can instantly get the acceptance and approval whenever they want it. It is just a click away.
Accepting your husband for who he is, flawed and all, is a step in the process of him winning this battle in your husband’s heart and your marriage.
Understand this, no matter how hard you try to be the wife you think your husband desires, you will fall short and you will fail him. Not only will you be unable to meet all of his expectations, you will be exhausted in the process.
Rest in that God says you are approved, loved, and cherished. This isn’t on you.
Your husband has nothing more than an identity crisis. He doesn’t know or he forgot who he truly is. All the acceptance and approval has already been placed on him in Christ Jesus.
His true identity….. if he is found in Christ is: He is the son of the living God. Chosen for a specific purpose. Made in the image of God and loved unconditionally. Your husband knowing his true identity in Christ is what has the power to change his heart and his actions. Nothing else can change him. Trying harder and putting in more effort on his end will yield good results in the beginning, but eventually his efforts will fall short.
It’s also tempting to think you can control whether your husband looks at pornography or not. You can restrict his phone, take away his computer, and attempt to watch him 24/7, but this problem won’t go away by your efforts. If you “attack his behavior without affirming his identity, it is a recipe for defeat.” -Jason Britt
By walking in his true identity, he is now free to allow Jesus to love Him back. “The relationship is not between a criminal and a policeman, but between a loving Father and His child. When he begins to understand and enjoy that relationship, holiness and righteousness will become a part of his life without even trying. That is the beauty of a relationship with God.” –Steve Brown
Your prayer for him is not, “I pray he stops looking at pornography.” Your prayer for him is that he knows who he truly is in Christ Jesus. You pray he knows he is the son of the living God who was created for a purpose and all the approval and acceptance in all the universe has already been placed on him by his Creator, and all past mistakes have been wiped clean at the cross.
Your prayer is that he believes that he is loved unconditionally, because it’s “the love of God that leads to repentance.”
Pray that he walks in the freedom found in knowing that there is nothing he can do, good or bad, that will change his standing before God. That truth will heal your marriage and transform his heart.
Praying with you,
Pornography isn’t just a man problem, if you are a woman who also struggles with this issue, you can pray this over yourself! Can I lovingly encourage you to take next step and confess this to a friend? There is freedom there! xoxox-Lauren