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What do porn and coronavirus have in common?

We hate them both, and we want them to stop! My series on the blog in April will be on porn, and so to launch that series, I wanted to give a big picture perspective on the real problem with porn (hint: it may not be what you think!). Then I zoom through a bunch of reader questions.

First, listen in:

Main Segment: How Porn and Coronavirus Go Together

To start, let’s back up and figure out why porn is bad. Why is porn a sin? Well, there are three levels to each, and I explain how focusing only on #1 or #2 misses the point:

1. Because God says it’s a sin

2. Because God sets rules based on what’s good for us

3. Because God’s purpose is to reconcile the world with Himself, which means reclaiming the world for the kingdom of Heaven. And THAT includes agreeing with God about the nature of humanity and intimacy.

And how is porn like Coronavirus?

1. Some will have worse symptoms than others

We focus at To Love, Honor and Vacuum on the devastating effects of porn, which are real. But not all men (or women) have problems getting over porn or even have long-lasting effects. Like COVID-19, some will require ventilators, and some will be asymptomatic. So when it comes to porn, let’s treat it seriously, but let’s not be alarmist, and let’s always remember that greater is He who is in us than He who is in the world.

2. We need a zero tolerance.

If there’s even a bit of coronavirus, it will spread. We need to eradicate it.

3. We change our behaviour for the good of others.

Our teens need us to change our WiFi behaviour at home for their good.

4. Quarantining isn’t the long-term answer. We need a cure.

Staying away from porn is great and is necessary. But ultimately we need more–and that involves embracing kingdom of heaven views of sex, intimacy, and people.

Listen in and see what you think!

Reader Question #1: What if my husband wants bondage/spanking?

Here’s a letter that demonstrates what happens when someone starts seeing sex from kingdom of darkness perspective rather than from Jesus’ perspective. When sex is about power and lording over someone, we’ve lost something important!

Before we got married, my husband was a porn user.
Lately he has started asking to act out some of his fantasies.  He likes it when I submit to him, likes spanking, and is interested in bondage.  These are things I’m not comfortable with because I worry he’s just acting porn out with me, rather than sex being a mutual loving act.  (He’s always been kind and not cruel but bondage freaks me out.). I’ve brought it up with him and he has said that porn was a replacement for me, rather than me being a replacement for porn. The submission part I’m (getting) okay with.  I’m definitely an in-control person in most of life and it’s good for me to let him be in control too.| My worry is the spanking/tying up stuff. Any suggestions on how to be more okay with this?  (It’s also not something I enjoy.)
Any suggestions for alternatives?

Reader Question #2: I discovered my husband’s porn use after he died

My husband passed away very suddenly a year and a half ago. I was recently able to access his google account and came across a porn subscription and hundreds of downloaded photos among other things he clearly hid from me. I’m so angry and feel so betrayed. I’ve worked so hard processing and walking through my grief over his death and now I feel like I’m back at square one.
We were married a decade and had couple of kids together. My memories all feel clouded by this. What else did he lie about and hide from me? How do I reconcile what I know now with the man I thought I knew? How do I let this go and forgive when there can’t ever be a real resolution?

What a sad one! But here, let’s remember point 1, above. People do have different effects. Don’t judge your husband’s whole marriage through one choice that he made. Remember he made other choices, too–good ones–and those define him just as much.

Reader Question #3: It’s not just teenage boys who watch porn!

Just putting this question up to remind us as parents that girls struggle, too.

I am 16 years old. I was first introduced to pornography in the 6th grade and I honestly don’t even know how I started. I think it started with masturbation and then I eventually found porn. I hate myself for my “addiction” and no matter how many times I go to confession ( I am roman catholic) and am forgiven by God, I still come back to it. My biggest struggle is that I don’t know how I could ever tell my parents or a close friend because I know they will view me so differently.

Reader Question #4: My boyfriend’s mom thinks getting married will cure his porn addiction

Here’s a question from another teen girl that makes me want to give everybody’s parents a shake:

I’m about to graduate from high school. Recently, my guy came out with his porn issue. Naturally, I was devastated, but we have been healing our relationship. Now, my parents want me to move away for 6 months. His mom is encouraging me to disregard their wishes and just stay and marry him. My friend’s mom, who is at this point the only person I trust to not have an ulterior motive in counseling me, said that it would be wiser for him to get counseling for his porn and work through some of those issues while I get counseling or my eating disorder. I told his mom that, and she told me that I just need to get married to him, and that counseling won’t help. She said that marriage is the only thing that will make him stop. I don’t know what to do with this whole mess. I’m not even an adult yet but I cannot go to my parents for many reasons. One of which is that they don’t like anyone not from our church, and are trying to keep up our family’s appearance as my father is a respected official. I don’t want to get married yet, because we’re both not ready, but I feel wrong in believing that.


Okay, that’s it for the reader questions! Listen in for all the answers, but I’d also love to hear yours!

One final thing: We know that with self-isolation, domestic violence is on the rise. I received a letter from a brave woman recently who left her abusive husband to give her and her son a better life. I read the letter in the podcast; it’s a touching one. If you are being abused, and if you’re struggling right now, please find a domestic abuse hotline in your area and reach out. You are not alone.

That’s it for our podcast-in-isolation this week! Have any opinions on those reader questions? What about how coronavirus and porn go together? Let’s talk in the comments!

SheilaSidebarAboutMe - PODCAST: Porn and Coronavirus--How Scared Should We Be? Sheila Wray Gregoire has been married for 27 years and happily married for 22! She loves traveling around North America with her hubby in their RV, giving her signature "Girl Talk" about sex and marriage. And she's written 8 books. About sex and marriage. See a theme here? Plus she knits. Even in line at the grocery store.
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