10 Practical Ways to Resist Pornography and Sexual Temptation

When you were a kid, however many decades ago that was, pornographic material was not as readily available as it is today. Sure, there were magazines and video rentals, but those were not available at the mere click of a mouse. You had to go out of your home to get them. Today pornography and sexual temptation are everywhere, as close as the phone in your pocket. As a husband and father, you’ve certainly faced this temptation and, like many others, you’ve likely failed time and time again.

But as strong men, men who want to live faithful and honorable lives, we are called to fight against those debilitating temptations and their resulting behaviors. Jesus taught that if a married man merely ‘lusted in his heart’ for another woman it was the same as committing adultery. We want to honor all women and particularly our beautiful wives. These are just a few of the many reasons to resist extra-marital sexual temptation and pornography.

Pornography is Unhealthy for Families     

One recent study found that fathers who had purchased pornographic materials within the past year had significantly lower marital, parenting and family-life satisfaction scores when compared to fathers who hadn’t purchased any.

According to psychologists, when a husband consistently watches pornographic material it can cause several problems within marriage including:

  • Sexual dysfunction and diminished sexual satisfaction
  • Loneliness and depression
  • Dishonesty
  • Dehumanized view of women
  • Addiction
  • Aggressive behaviors and violence
  • Infidelity
  • Divorce

A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association noted that repeatedly viewing pornographic material can cause a reduction in the brain’s gray matter, activity and connectivity. Put more simply, the more porn one watches, the more “brain dead” they become.

The Web and Pornography

Although the Internet does serve many useful purposes, it’s also an instant gateway to reams of pornographic material. Christian evangelist and author Josh D. McDowell noted in his 2018 publication The Porn Epidemic: Facts, Stats & Solutions that there are now over 26 million pornographic websites worldwide.

Sadly, one popular site recently reported that they had received over 23 billion visits in 2017 alone, and that visitors subsequently downloaded over 10 million adult-content videos during that same year. And that’s just one site.

Other Forms of Sexual Temptation

Unfortunately, online pornographic websites are just one form of sexual temptation facing the average red-blooded father today. On any given day, he might be exposed to:

  • A flirtatious attractive coworker
  • Movies and TV programs
  • Magazines
  • Pop-up ads on the computer
  • Online dating sites
  • Chance encounters on social media
  • Erotic emails

How to Resist Sexual Temptation

Unless you’re locked in a vacuum, you can’t totally escape sexual temptation. But resisting its enticing spell is possible when using these 10 strategies:

Pray

God made you, so He understands your worries, thoughts and weaknesses. Lift up prayers to Him every day and ask for wisdom and guidance to protect you against those evil thoughts and desires that are inevitably going to crop up.

Consider the Consequences

Fear can be a powerful motivator, so consider the consequences if your wife or child would unexpectedly walk in on you while you’re viewing pornographic material on your laptop. Think about how your actions would affect your marriage, including the possibility of divorce. Consider deeply how your pornography consumption affects how you relate to your wife and kids. It can’t be good. I would bet you treat your wife with less respect and are less sensitive to her needs. Guilt can also wreak havoc on your emotional life which will, in turn, affect everything else. There are severe consequences to porn consumption.

Determine the Root Cause

When your mind wanders sexually it usually isn’t purely just about sex. There is probably a deeper reason, like trying to replace an important piece that’s missing in your life or relationship. Determine what the root cause of your sexual thoughts is and address it in a constructive fashion. This may take some time and even professional help. Don’t be afraid to reach out. You are not alone in this struggle. There are people available to help.

Use Social Media Cautiously

How many times have you heard about married men reconnecting with old girlfriends on social media, or meeting someone new, and then cheating on their wives? Use social media only for good and flee quickly from any temptations that may arise. Give your wife your password or save it on your computer so anyone can log in if that’s what it takes.

Avoid Pornography at All Costs

Pornography not only promotes lust in the heart, it also leads to unrealistic fantasies and

desensitizes your mind towards your spouse. Do you really want her to do the things that you’re watching in that video? Pushing the focus of your sexual desires outside of your home can only lead you down a path of destruction. Set up a filter on your phone and computer that will keep you (and your children) from those kinds of sites.

Practice Sexual Intimacy

Think back to when you first met your wife and why you fell in love. You shared something deeper than a physical attraction called intimacy. Keep that fire rekindled by going on dates, communicating openly and honestly, or just snuggling up together on the couch. Put your heart and mind in the right place so that sexual temptation has nowhere to take root.

Don’t “Box” Yourself Into a Corner

It is always a good idea to stay out of compromising situations. For instance, if a coworker has been coming on to you, avoid being alone with her in the same room. Politely, but firmly, decline when she asks you to join her for lunch or quick drink after work. If temptation is going to be a problem, be sure to meet with her only when others are around and never “box” yourself into a corner.

Be Accountable

Hanging out with the guys is something we all love to do. But, choose your friends wisely and avoid anyone who would encourage, or even tolerate you cheating on your spouse. Instead, find a brother in Christ of high character who will hold you accountable. It is actually best if you can both hold each other accountable. Plan to meet weekly and give them permission to ask you the tough questions about this subject and your struggles. Over time you will find that you will be strengthened by their encouragement and understanding.

Take the Moral High Ground

The world needs a little more chivalry and being a gentleman is nothing to be ashamed of. Take the moral high ground by treating all women with respect, which will also set a good example for your kids.

Channel That Inner Passion

Sure, sex is important, but it isn’t everything. You are more than a mere sexual being. Put your inner passion and drive to good use in other ways like volunteering at a food bank, mentoring troubled youth or coaching your kid’s sports team. Doing so will also position you as a positive role model for your children as they grow up and start their own families.

Sadly, sexual temptation and pornography are here to stay, so as a father you need to remain diligent so that you can protect yourself and your family from their far-reaching tentacles. The Bible teaches that “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Warding off impure thoughts will go a lot better if you first place your trust in Him and then pray for protection whenever temptation rears its ugly head.

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