Do you know anyone whose life or marriage has been rocked by things that were done in secret—things that one spouse thought no one would ever find out about? The thinking is that things that are hidden are free from accountability or consequences.
Read this verse from Ezekiel carefully. “…have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us….’” (Ezekiel 8:12 ESV) The context is that the 70 elders of Israel were worshipping images of false gods while publicly leading people in following God. Scroll ahead to today with the pervasiveness of pornography and what is done “in the dark, each in his/her room of pictures” by Christians. Do you see the connection?
Statistics are that 50% of Christian men and 20% of Christian women are addicted to pornography (you can see the research here)—and that doesn’t account for those who look but are not “addicted.” In addition, 56% of all divorces involve one party’s excessive use of porn (find this statistic here).
For those who struggle with pornography the message in the Bible is one of promise: there is hope and healing through Jesus! Here are some important things for you to know…or to pass on to your spouse or friend caught up in secret seductions:
1) Your choices have consequences
Choosing to stay pure and honor Jesus—to be the same in public and in private—brings great benefits. Some of the benefits are that you are empowered by God’s Spirit, you have increased intimacy with God, you have peace of mind, your marriage is protected and your love for your spouse deepens.
If, however, you choose secret seductions, there are consequences that affect not only you, but those you love. For example: your prayers are no longer heard (see Psalm 66:18), the power of the Spirit doesn’t flow through you, you dramatically increase the friction in your marriage, the likelihood of eventual divorce dramatically increases, and you give Satan a foothold in your life and in your family.
2) What’s done in secret isn’t secret
God is well aware of what you are doing. He reminds us, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7) This is important because one of the early lies is that you are getting away with something. No, God is simply giving you time to repent on your own before he disciplines you back into a righteous relationship with himself.
3) You cannot out-sin the blood of Jesus
Giving up and giving in to what has had mastery of you is exactly what Satan wants you to do. He wants you to think that God is tired of forgiving you and incapable of delivering you. Nothing could be further from the truth! Jesus took on himself the burden of all of your sins (and ours) and paid the complete price.Some of the greatest people used by God in the pages of the Bible are people who were broken: murderers, liars, adulterers, a prostitute, a betrayer and the list goes on. You are never beyond his cleansing power. He welcomes a broken and contrite spirit (Psalm 51:17 by King David after committing adultery).
4) Get help…NOW…be radical
Be radical and get a truth-telling Christ-follower of the same gender to help you keep your commitments to Jesus. Perhaps you’ll need to invest in a Christian counselor. Go to XXXChurch (totally Christ-centered) for a ton of resources and download their software for online accountability. Or go to Covenant Eyes for their resources and software. Do whatever it takes to break the cycle of secret seduction starting today.
You CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13). Protect your heart and your marriage with integrity and purity as you stand firm and build your marriage!