A4P Guest: I heard you saying many times and read on many of your posts that looking at a woman lustfully is like committing adultery. Am I right?
A4P: First, I didn’t say that; Jesus did on Matthew 5:28 “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” And second, Jesus didn’t say, “looking at a woman lustfully is LIKE committing adultery.” He said, “anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
A4P Guest: Okay, Jesus said it and I heard you quoting Him many times.
A4P Guest: And I also heard you saying, I guess you were quoting another Bible verse, that adultery is a ground for divorce, am I right?
A4P: Yes, I was quoting a Bible verse, saying adultery is one of the biblical grounds for divorce (the other grounds are abandonment, when the unbelieving spouse leaves and the hardening of the heart, which is also often the culprit for divorce in almost all cases – 1 Corinthians 7; Matthew 19).
A4P Guest: Okay, so, I found my husband viewing porn multiple times; he is looking, lusting and committing adultery with all these women he’s watching on screen; and he is not willing to seek help to stop this. He always says, “I will stop,” but within a month or two, I find porn on his phone or laptop or I find him in the basement in the middle of the night viewing porn on TV. Now he locks his phone and laptop with a password. Don’t I have a biblical ground for divorce here since he is committing adultery with multiple women?
A4P: Oh, no! No! The standard of sexual purity starts at the heart level, the evidence of which is reflected at the eye. Anyone “who looks at a woman lustfully has committed adultery with her in his heart” doesn’t mean that the man literally had a physical and sexual relationship with a woman he lusted after. If that was the case, all of us married people would have been divorced by now since we all have lusted a number of times. The key word in that particular verse, I believe, is “heart.” Lust is the seed of adultery and Jesus is addressing how sinful and adulterous acts start at the heart, heart where the standard of sexual purity stands or falls. So, our perspective towards lust should be at that severe level, seeing lust as the actual, full-blown adultery. But when it comes to dealing with adultery in a marriage, adultery in its literal sense is the actual physical/sexual relation that exists between two consenting adults outside the confinement of marriage.
I understand the pain you are going through because of this issue; I can only imagine the shame and guilt feelings you carry with yourself and I don’t want to underestimate that. And yes, you might rightfully be very emotional and angry at this point; I understand that too. But porn addiction is not the same as a man having the actual sexual/physical relationship with a woman.
Yes, it is important you demand that your husband seeks help because demon spirits are involved in porn and if your husband stays in it, you, your children and the whole family might be exposed to the influence of demon spirits which only come to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).
But at this point, instead of contemplating divorce, think how you can help your husband. Try to see him as a person who needs your help; a person who needs someone to rescue him. If he insists in staying in porn no matter what you say to him, you may need to separate from him just so he may be shocked and revert to seeking help. But remember, this is something you should not, and cannot do alone. You need others to help you both. If you can’t support yourself and children financially (assuming that you have children), you need to seek help from your immediate families and local church. You have to do everything you can. Porn addiction can’t just disappear by itself. Your husband needs others to help him. His decision and willpower won’t bring any change to the addiction. You also need others to help you in this tough journey. While you get help for yourself, decide to be your husband’s ally, not adversary. If he is in a serious porn addiction, he can’t think straight. You need to understand that. Remember your wedding vow? “In sickness and in health.” Here it is. Your husband is sick and he needs your help. Fight a good fight for him, for your marriage, for yourself and most importantly, fight for your children. Please, don’t entertain the idea of getting divorce.
There was one Focus on the Family radio program that was aired a couple days ago that touched this particular issue candidly. It was an interview done with one of the most respected Bible scholars and teachers of our times, Pastor John MacArthur, regarding divorce and remarriage. Here is the link for Part 2 of that interview where Pastor MacArthur touched this specific topic:
May the LORD see you through this tough journey! ///
Two Important Disclaimers:
1. The purpose of the above post is only to create awareness in the area of porn addiction in marriages. It is not in any way, shape or form a reflection of the whole counseling sessions. The advice given in the above post may not be applied to other similar cases since every case is unique.
2. Every story you read on this page is tailored in a way to cover the identity of the person who gave us permission to share their stories.