How to guard your eyes from looking at porn and nudity?

Introduction

Recently one of my readers emailed me asking what are some strategies Christians can use to guard their eyes from looking at porn and nudity? So in today’s article I  want to answer this question.

1. How does your brain respond to nudity/pornography?

As Christians usually we tend to look at such issues from a spiritual point of view, which is not wrong. However for the sake of this study first of all I want to talk about an individual’s biological reaction to porn and nudity? After all God intended sex to be a biological factor also, right? Let us see.

Naturally the masculine brain responds to visual stimulation in a very strong manner. During puberty it further improves itself and becomes cued in to sexual maturity. Once this process is complete the brain’s response to visual stimulation becomes even sharper.

Tests performed based on these biological inventions have revealed that when a man looks at nudity or porn the visual part of his brain reacts much faster than it does under normal atmospheres. Then it draws the viewer in reflexively and takes hold of him.  Why this happens is a mystery. Science have not been successful in discovering the actual reasons behind it.

2. How does this principle work in the spiritual realm?

We know that accepting Jesus Christ as our personal savior transforms us into a new creation, (2 Corinthians 5:17). But does this mean we become perfect and get rid of our fallen nature? It exists in every one of us even after the salvation experience (at least till the day we will see Jesus face to face). Every time we look at nudity or porn it begins to communicate with our fallen nature.

We encourage this conversation to grow when we refuse to take our eyes away from what we see. Ultimately our fallen nature starts to ask for more. The more we feed the craving more hungrier it becomes.

I said that science can’t explain how porn/nudity takes control over the masculine brain. It appears to be a mystery to science because the above process is something related to our spirit. Obviously science can’t explain things that happen in the spiritual realm!

3. Looking at porn/nudity – Is it really a sin?

Some people would justify this claiming it’s innocent fun, because no body gets hurt. But does the Bible agree with this kind of attitude?

“But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to desire her has already committed adultery with her in his heart, (Matthew 5:28, NET).”

The fact whether you are looking at a real naked woman or porn is immaterial. To look at porn or nudity of a woman other than your lawful wife is a sin.

4. Then how can I guard my eyes?

A. Avoid compromising situations

I. This is what Jesus meant, when he said, “If your eye causes you to sin, tear it out!” (Mark 9:47)

II. Lets read Genesis 39:1-12 also. Bible commenter’s say probably Potiphar’s wife stood before Joseph naked or semi naked when she attempted to seduce him one last time. But Joseph ran out from the house.

III. David did the opposite. He gazed at naked Bathsheba and gave in to the temptation.

B. Modern examples for compromising situations

I. Exercising with other women.

Never exercise with a woman who is not your wife. (If you need explanation, then you’ve never been a guy going to a gym where girls are in workout clothes. Trust me!) I realize this is not popular in these days where men and women are searching for equality in the workplace. Honestly, some women never understand this. I had one woman tell me recently that I “think too highly of myself”, but my family is too important to me not to take this precaution. (Pastor Ron Edmondson)

II. We are living in a sex culture. Business world is using sex oriented TV commercials to sell their products. Most of the music videos feature naked women dancing around. Avoid looking at such TV commercials, magazines, music videos and promotional material.

III. If you have a Computer hooked up to the internet – please don’t keep it in a private place. Keep it in a public place instead. So everyone can see what you are browsing? Do you know that temptation to view porn lasts only for 10-15 minutes at a given time? If you can resist the desire for 15 minutes you are done until it will come back later. Keeping the computer in a public place helps you to overcome this 15 minute battle.

C. Try not to look at women

When an attractive woman catches your eye, try to bounce your attention elsewhere. Job said,

“I made a covenant with my eyes; how then could I entertain thoughts against a virgin?” (Job 31:1)

If an attractive woman catches your eye accidently, avoid looking at her for a second time. Trust me, most of the time sin starts with the second time you look at her. Now is it wrong to admire a beautiful woman? Certainly not. However be careful not to let your feelings go wild.

D. Hold yourself accountable to someone

All the above boundaries can help you to guard your eyes. However no matter what we do or how much we pray, some times we are most likely to get distracted.

Otherwise think about it this way. I am a Pastor, youth leader, cell leader and a Bible teacher responsible for helping people whom God has trusted to me. I am helping them in their journey of faith. But who is going to help me when I am tempted? This is one reason why accountability partners are important. Read how to choose an accountability partner?

4. Seek counseling

If the situation is so bad prayers alone can’t help you. The only way out is seeking professional Christian counseling.  May be you should avoid secular counseling. I don’t know if they take issues like pornography very seriously.

5. Strengthen your personal relationship with God

Potiphar was a man of influence. I am sure his wife must have been a very beautiful woman. I was wondering what was the exact source of Joseph’s strength that enabled him to fight back such a strong temptation?

Actually Joseph’s relationship with God was his source of moral strength, (Genesis 39:2). Ancient Egypt – where Joseph lived after being sold for slavery was a land where sexual immorality was a way of life. However Joseph was not effected as he had a strong relationship with God.

The low of ancient Egypt demanded that any one charged with sexual harassment against the wife of a government official or a nobleman must be put to death. But Potiphar instead of executing Joseph threw him in to prison. Do you want to know why? Potiphar did not trust his wife! You see – God blessed Joseph for his faithfulness right there.

D. How to strengthen your personal relationship with God?

I. Start your day with devotions. Read your Bible according to a systematic reading plan (Click here to read about YouVersion the free Bible reading planner). Ask the Holy Spirit to help understand the life application of the scripture portion you read. Then pray and ask for divine wisdom to apply the truth you learned.

II. Don’t miss a single opportunity you get to learn God’s word. Attend Christian seminars, conferences, youth camps etc.

III. Never be a lonely Christian. Make godly Christian friends who would like to pray with you and discuss God’s word (boys with boys and girls with girls). Be a part of your Church’s youth ministry.

Conclusion

This is a very long article (approximately 3 pages of writing) but still what I have covered here is just a glimpse of the solutions. If you have anything to add please please let me know in the comments.

Other recommended resources

I. Setting captives free – A Christianity-based interactive 60-day course to find freedom from pornography and sexual addiction.

II. XXX Church – A Christian anti-pornography website that aims to help those who struggle with pornography overcome their addiction.

III. 7 ways I protect my heart and ministry from an affair by Ron Edmondson

IV. Pleasuring ourselves to death – How porn harms us by Luke Gilkerson

V. 3 steps to kick the habit of masturbation – by Luke Gilkerson

VI. Dirty girls ministries – Helping women overcome pornography addiction

VII. X3 Watch (Free edition) – Internet accountability software

Image: Alan Owens

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