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What porn did to a marriage
February 22nd, 2011
06:00 AM ET

What porn did to a marriage

The blog begins with a startling confession:

Hi, my name is John, and I was a sex addict. I’m also a believer in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and am married to an amazing and beautiful woman of God.

Church leaders have long struggled talking about sex, much less pornography. But Relevant magazine made a daring move this month when it printed a blogger’s confession about how his addiction to pornography affected his marriage.

The blogger is John Buckingham, and he is an English teacher, Relevant says. Buckingham said in the story that his addiction to pornography started when he was 12. He thought it would end after his girlfriend accepted his marriage proposal in early 2010.

Yet four months after getting married, Buckingham says he succumbed. He started watching pornography again. Burdened by guilt, Buckingham said he told his wife what he had done.

She was devastated. All the love and trust and intimacy we had worked so hard to build for the last four months was called into question and our marriage was shaken to its very core. I feared it wouldn't stand, and I wouldn't have blamed her in the least for walking out altogether. She had every right to do so.

She didn’t, and as Buckingham suggests later in his article, he didn’t give up either. He says he talked with other Christian men about their struggles but felt that they were using “softening rhetoric” (“I messed up;’ “I stumbled”) to minimize what they were doing.

He writes:

The sin of lust isn’t just a mistake, a mess-up or a problem…it is no less than an act of sin that is reprehensible to God and nothing short of honestly confessing and repenting of that sins is good enough for God.

Rachel Buckingham, John's wife, writes a follow-up blog explaining how she felt after hearing her husband's confession.

I no longer felt safe or loved. I was suddenly bombarded with lies—he doesn't find me attractive; it's my fault he strayed; I'm not beautiful; I'm not sexy; I am a horrible wife; I'm a failure; he is stuck with me; he doesn't love me ...

Buckingham writes more about his struggle. I’ll leave it to readers to decide if they think he has overcome his addiction.

But his confession left me with two questions:

Is pornography now such a pervasive problem in the church that leaders need to talk more openly about?

And can people of faith like Buckingham actually learn how to overcome their struggles while living in a sexually-charged culture where lurid images are just a mouse-click away?

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Faith • Sex • Sexuality

soundoff (1,043 Responses)
  1. god@hell.net

    There is no reason to believe that a god or gods exist.
    Religion makes claims of truths to propositions for which there is no evidence.

    This article is based on complete nonsense and delusion.

    It is unfortunate that the people in this situation do not approach their problems rationally.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • KELLY BAUM

      show me something that says there is no creator? You have to have just as much faith that you are nothing more than a speck of dust floating through existance for no reason, than you do to believe that you are part of creation.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Pitboss

      Faith is the evidence of things unseen and the hope of things to come.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Shamrock6

      Faith is belief – which is one of the most powerful emotions we have and creates around us a positive and worthwhile reality. Faith is also one of the main reasons that the ancient ones gave us religion....to teach belief. Faith however, is not a corny saying off of an old Christian Hallmark card.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:49 am |
  2. Dick Grayson

    He sure has a mental illness alright but it's not watch he watching, it's what he is following...

    February 22, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • independentlyowned

      Ha. Like.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • John Mark Estieme

      Says the guy whose user name here is based on a comic book character. LOL

      February 22, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • OcTears

      Hey Estieme,

      "You cant handle the truth"

      February 22, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  3. Reality

    Marriage does have many pluses to include safer s-ex:

    To wit:

    It is obvious that inte-rcourse and other se-xual activities are not practiced safely with over one million abortions and 19 million cases of S-TDs per year in the USA alone.

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (S-TDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with S-TDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    More evidence:

    http://pagingdrgupta.blogs.cnn.com/2011/02/20/yes-oral-se-x-is-se-x-and-it-can-boost-cancer-risk/?npt=NP1

    "Yes, oral se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens: Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal s-ex, including human pap-illoma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 'se-x.'"

    February 22, 2011 at 10:17 am |
  4. Greg

    It's always funny to me how non-believers paint christians as intolerant and judgemental. One look at these comments shows a very different truth. By their comments, the non-believers show themselves to be exactly what they complain about most intolerant, judgemental and even ignorant (based on their language). The idea of God the Creator challenges your desire to be your "own god" which allows you to do whatever you want, whatever "feels" good at the time (which is called humanism). This causes you to be flighty, non-commital and compassionate only when it serves you in some way. How fulfilling is this life? How is it working out for you? To live a life of purpose with a rock solid anchor for moral truths can only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. I know this is a challenge but I urge you to look at how being your own god is working, beyond meeting your fleshly desires.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • John Mark Estieme

      This is one of the best refutations of atheism I've seen online. Very well put, sir. 🙂

      February 22, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Faith

      How do you suppose that anyone could believe that christians are judgmental? (this is sarcasm). Your premise is flawed.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • John Mark Estieme

      @ Faith – I think your tiny brain is probably flawed. 😉

      February 22, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • independentlyowned

      Atheists don't just do whatever we feel like, whatever feels good at the moment. We still do good things for the world, but not because some imaginary being tells us to, and not because we fear that if we don't we'll be punished. We do good for the sake of bettering the world and nothing else. Humanism focuses on complete human fulfillment, not on impulses and desires. I think you're confusing that with hedonism. Please learn your definitions.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Daniel

      My "fleshy desires" have me giving to various charities (not the church) to help educate, feed, and cloth children the world over, spending years in the field helping those less fortunate, volunteering my time teaching inner city school children, and doing my best to live in love not in fear. I do these things not for want of reward in heaven (for that in of itself invalidates the motive) but because I feel it's the right thing to do. No one needed to tell me. If that's being immoral than I can deal with that. Thanks for not being judgmental.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:29 am |
    • Shamrock6

      It takes many lifetimes to fully awaken the soul and evolve to a point where you can begin to think of yourself as a God however that is the purpose of our existence. Trial and error are part of the process. Each are given the opportunity to learn...often by mistake. The time for Jesus is drawing to a close as we move into the Age of Aquarius, or the age of reason and man however his teachings will be with us forever as many aren't evolved enough to understand what he was trying to show us.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • David Johnson

      @Greg

      You said: " By their comments, the non-believers show themselves to be exactly what they complain about most intolerant, judgemental and even ignorant (based on their language). "

      WoW! So, let's stay on subject. Here is what I think:

      I have looked at adult p_ornography. I bet every man has. I am not addicted, nor did it destroy my marriage. Actually, I get bored easily. Once you've seen 1 naked person, you have pretty much seen them all.

      I bet this is true of most men.

      Any addiction, threatens the afflicted's well being.

      The housewife who finds her comfort in food, threatens her health and her marriage. Let's outlaw food!

      The religious nut, who is addicted to Jesus, is in danger of insanity and losing their spouse. Let's outlaw religion! Amen!

      Certainly alcohol, ruins more people's health and marriage than any other addiction. We tried outlawing that once. People still drank. Prohibition just fueled organized crime.

      Let's look at a list of addictions:
      •Alcoholism
      •Drug
      •Food Addiction
      •Gambling
      •Internet
      •Nicotine
      •Prescription Drugs
      •$ex-P_orn
      •Shopping
      •Work Addiction

      Would you make each of the addicting things illegal? Force everyone to do without, because some in society can't handle them? Pfui!

      From the article:
      He said: "The sin of lust isn’t just a mistake, a mess-up or a problem…it is no less than an act of sin that is reprehensible to God and nothing short of honestly confessing and repenting of that sins is good enough for God."

      Lust, is hard wired into humans. The reason we are hard-wired for lust, is to pass on our genes. It’s in Mother Nature’s interest to encourage us to create more humans.

      Note the life cycle: Birth; Growth; Reproduction; and Death. This is true of every organism. It is the Biological Imperative.

      The evolutionarily ancient limbic system, buried deep inside our brains, fires up when we are watching something we take a fancy to. Structures like the nucleus acc_umbens, involved in pleasure and craving, are at the heart of that system.
      Source: sciencefocus.com/feature/psychology/human-brain-hardwired

      Can you say EVOLUTION?

      Humans, whose brains are functioning correctly, control themselves. We should know when we are "full", of either food or $ex.

      Stop worrying about the words Bronze Age men put in the mouth of Jesus. Control yourselves and enjoy your life. It is the only one you will ever have.

      Self-flagellation can also become an addiction.

      Love and Prayers!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • James

      I am so embarrassed at times to tell folks I am a Christian because of the utter lack of good literary criticism being used when interpreting scripture. If we interpreted letters we received over the years from family and friends the way that powerful church organizations interpret scripture to protect their own interests we would see the error in how we minimize God's creation. What compassionate father would create children only to be damned for eternity? Would you knowingly sire a child having the ability to see into the future and know this precious child of yours will be removed from your company forever because he/she were born Muslim, Jewish, Hindu. The Christian church needs to grow up and take more responsibility for who we say is in and who is out. How dare we use God's word literally, all the while throwing His creation that does not align with us down the toilet.

      The Body of Christ is often arrogant, cold and terribly quick to throw others under the bus. Jesus was way more concerned with active, thoughtful, daring solutions to societal ills and railed against the establishment. He was interested in the underdog, social justice! Moral justice is something contemporary evangelicals have taken as their banner. To love justice and mercy in Micah chapter 6 sums up the old testament. Where is that in our churches today!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • Shamrock6

      @James....Great post man!! It's great to see that there are others out there who have evolved the teachings to reflect their real and intended truth.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • Greg

      Hey guys, I lived that same philosophy for most of my life, I'm a good person, I'm not hurting anyone. I realized, though, that there was no "real" basis for this "good" that i was talking about. Doing things because they make you feel good is dangerous because our "feelings" can and do mislead us. I applaud the good things you are doing, just watch your back, there is an enemy waiting for a chance to deceive you. My main point was to look at the comments, pick out the believers and non-believers, and tell me who sounds more intolerant and judgmental. This is the pattern in every comment section I have read under articles with "spiritual" topics.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:55 am |
    • OcTears

      My life is just fine without your God and frightening followers. I live to contribute to the ultimate achievement of keeping the human race alive, and to preserve it for future human growth. Work as one people with no borders, no religion, no wars. One human race, one people, one goal. Stop thinking small as individuals and start thinking as a part of something bigger. The expansion of the human race into the Universe. Thats our course no matter what God or being you believe in.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
  5. steevo

    If you want to cure your addiction to pern, take a look at a picture of ABDULLAH THE BUTCHER naked.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • OcTears

      ...or watch Paris Hiltons movie. If that doesnt make you stop watching p0rn then there is no cure.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  6. tk

    No need to bring religion or God into this debate. What he needs is an "intervention" like any other addiction.

    This news (?) story should be in FOX NEWS where people can pinpoint to the actual cause of the problem-OBAMA

    February 22, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • OcTears

      Oh man dont tell me your a FOX news sucker (sorry that news station is the most one sided; not even the muslim networks are as one sided as FOX news). No wonder all the religious fanatics are commenting on this topic.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  7. Baton Rouge

    To get back to the original article, I thought the man's guilt was kind of normal. He was hiding his secret life from his wife. However I thought the wife's reaction was so 1950's, blaming herself because she wasn't beautiful enough, and that it was her fault that her husband strayed. Who brainwashed?

    February 22, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Frogist

      @Baton Rouge: I think it is quite normal to question whether the problems in your marriage are because of something you have done or something you are lacking. And in terms of se-xual problems, it is easy to understand why Rachel might have questioned whether she was attractive enough for her husband if he was turning elsewhere for his pleasure in light of the fact that they were both taught that the only pleasure they are going to have after marriage is from each other. If a man couldn't pleasure his wife, he might think he was inadequate as a man too.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:25 am |
  8. frankie

    Bottom line is, its human nature, and if your man is turning to the tube to satisfy his urges, that means that wifey needs to step it up. I turn to that when I'm not getting any or what I'm getting is not satisfactory. Be more like the ladies in the films, and your man will not stray.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Craig

      If that is your thought process, be prepared for your woman to also stray. She will look at other men who are more successful, have more money, are better husbands, fathers, etc. and decide, hey, my man isn't as good as those men, I'm out of here. If you look at marriage as what I can get, rather than what can I give, and what can we do together, good luck, you will need it.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • civiloutside

      Actually, Frankie, it's the responsibility of *both* people in the relationship to make it work. It's unreasonable to place the onus solely on the wife.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  9. Shamrock6

    One of the biggest misconceptions about God is that you have to be a christian or religous to believe. That couldn't be farther from the truth. I am overtly anti-religion however I know there is a creator and I believe Jesus was a great prophet – one of but many – however I despise the judgment and arrogance of the organized Christian religion.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • John Mark Estieme

      One of the biggest misconceptions is that you think Jesus was just "a great prophet." Mistake #1. He was and is the Son of Almighty God. Get a clue. LOL

      February 22, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • Greg

      I agree 100%

      February 22, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Shamrock6

      We are all sons and daughters of God. There is nothing about Jesus that doesn't reside in every one of us. We all have the potential of Jesus. We all have the potential of God. You'll grasp it one day.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • TracyGroofus

      I do not understand how you can hold Jesus in such high regard yet ignore what he said and stood for. He never claimed to be a prophet and said he was the Son of God. Plus, he said he was the only way to God. Is the arrogance you refer to regarding Christians from Christians or from the Jesus you claim to esteem?

      February 22, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Greg

      I meant I agree with you Shamrock6 🙂

      February 22, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Pitboss

      When you meet Jesus I believe you may come to a different opinion of His position as God in Human form.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Shamrock6

      I can't wait to meet Jesus!! That would be incredible. We are all the sons and daughters of God. How do you think we all have the spark of divinity in all of us? Jesus said to look within to find God – that is what he meant he said he was the only way to God. Follow his example.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • David

      @shamrock:
      -"We all have the potential of God"-
      sorry dude, respectfully, i gotta disagree with that one

      February 22, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • OcTears

      I too believe Jesus was a prophet just like mohammed or Buddha. Christians just wanted one up on the other religions so they named him the son of God.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  10. Light

    Let God be done thru this blog http://lightoftheearth.blogspot.com/.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:11 am |
  11. Tony Miller

    Maybe they should go old school mormon. Then he could pick up a few exra wives as back up. What Wife 1 won't do in bed Wife 2 might.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:11 am |
    • RM

      lolol and just imagine if the various wives are going through – pregnacy, menapause, monthly cycles. the poor guy has two choices... check the biological clock of the next wife or take up building model ships in the peace and quiet of his garage. I enjoy practical vs fantasy. mmmmmm and what it the poor man is tired and doesnt want to put out to wives 1 and 3? Can they go looking for something on the side? I do think fair is fair.... oops this is your fantasy. Have fun with it,

      February 22, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • OcTears

      Oh man dont say that....no offense women but one is enough for me.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  12. Mike Weiss

    Marriage is Christian. Christianity began in Genesis when God promised a coming Redeemer to the very first married couple.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • dogs rule

      Christians do not have the monopoly on marriage, you idiot! Do you really believe all the Jewish couples; Islam, Hindu, etc etc married couples in the world are not married? Just you? Get real.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Tall Ed

      Marriage Pre-dates Christianity. My guess is that if you built a time machine the cavemen would have and something similar to marriage. It's a human creation that transends all cultures, religions, races, etc... Now maybe you feel there is an aspect of your marriage that is grounded in faith, but you are not everyone and my marriage has nothing to do with yours.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • OcTears

      Didnt you know that the christian cave men would watch Betty and Wilma on p0rn rock tablets.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  13. Rich

    Marriage is God's idea. (Genesis 2). That doesn't mean only Christians get married, but as a Christian, it makes marriage make sense. The whole concept of marriage to a Christian is that it represents God's love for the church. (Ephesians 5).
    Yes, marriage has been around longer than "Christians". Obviously. But that doesn't change the author of it.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Read the bible

      He left his staff outside her tent. They're married. Read genesis.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • BIBLE: file under fiction

      I love how people use quotes from the bible to "prove" their points about the bible... "Harry Potter is real! He's the chosen one!, 'Harry Potter is the Chosen One' (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)"

      February 22, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • OcTears

      Again God creating marriage is obsurd. What happened to God during the thousands of years of civilization that did not even recognize him. They were married or was it called tenants in common because yuor God wasnt created yet to create marriage. Logic people not some verse that some non-God person wrote in a book. Dr. Suess has some really good versus in his books but you dont see me quoting them here.

      February 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  14. R.W

    Why is it so important for women to have sole propriety over all the pleasure their partners receive. I think identifying a person who enjoys adult media as an addict, diminishes the severity of that term.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • Frogist

      @RW: Firstly I agree with you wholeheartedly about the use of the term "addiction". When any instance of mast-rbation is considered an addiction to se-x, we have truly undermined what a real addiction is. The article does not go into detail about how John's addiction is affecting his life other than it makes both husband and wife uncomfortable. He is not abusive, cold, spending all their cash on p0rn sites etc... Which makes me wonder whether or not it is a serious addiction situation or not. But I think you are mistakenly blaming Rachel, the wife, for John's fears. John decided long before he met Rachel that p0rn and self-pleasure was a sin and therefore deathly wrong. Rachel might have shared that interpretation, but it is clear that he came to his conclusions about his behaviour through his religious stance. Not because his wife told him not to.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  15. OldGoat

    I don't need God, Jesus and the rest of the boys to tell me how to live.

    The sin of lust isn’t just a mistake...

    Lust is not a sin. It's a natural feature of the human condition. Perhaps these uptight religious zealots would do better to quit referring to a bunch of mythological BS when making their way through life. My philosophy is, "S*x is like money: you'll never have enough."

    February 22, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • What he said

      Here Here!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • John Mark Estieme

      Perhaps your motto should be, "I'm an idiot and I like to share that fact online." 😉

      February 22, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Pitboss

      God does not tell people how to live, but He will help you if you ask. You should try Him out since He did create you after all. And He doesn't make any junk.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • Kina

      Hi, I couldn't help but notice that you took the scripture reference completely out of context. You have NO argument. Thanks.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • lilimax

      Who tol you that lust is not a sin? It is a sin against the holy spirit. We are advised by the scripture to flee all youthful lust. Lust can kill!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • lilimax

      Who told you that lust is not a sin? It is a sin against the holy spirit. We are advised by the scripture to flee all youthful lust. Lust can kill!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • OcTears

      OldGoat: Worded like someone with intelligence. Did someone call the local churches to have all these bilbble thumpers commenting nonsense. How the heck do you call someone ignorant or uneducated that does not believe in smoke and mirrors. Your religion was created by people who did not have knowledge of the real world and wanted a safe haven after life because they were scared of death. Religions are a thing of the past and future humans will laugh at all the funny christian rituals. We do that today when we discuss greek, roman, egyptian etc. religions. Not to put christians down but it is fact and history tells us that.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  16. Cletus

    Marriage was invented in Soviet Union by Soviet scientists, and any who think otherwise are no longer available for comment.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  17. Randy

    Marriage in and of itself is a Godly act. Going before a justice of the peace or getting a signed piece of paper does not make you married in the eyes of God. It might get you recognized for a free TV at a couples retreat but in the eyes of God you might as well just go pick up ho's downtown.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • dogs rule

      Oh for crying out loud. If you do not believe marriage is a legal contract, just try getting out of one!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:10 am |
    • rkaralius

      Bull cookies. Two committed people are married in the eyes of God, human rituals notwithstanding. No church OR civil service changes that.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • Shamrock6

      The arrogance of christians is hilarious. The belief that they somehow know what God is thinking and can see things through God's eyes is beyond ridiculous. The concept of God is such an esoteric thing that most people – definitely this one – are just not evolved enough to really begin to understand it. To say that you know what God sees and thinks is incredibly selfish and judgmental and has nothing to do with understanding the nature of God and what existence is all about.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • crabman

      MORON

      February 22, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • crabman

      HAY RANDY DOSE THAT MEAN I CAN GET THE STUFF MY X HAS -- BECAUSE I WASN'T MARRIED INA CHURCH TELL THAT TO THE LAWYER AND THE STATE

      February 22, 2011 at 10:28 am |
    • Kannon

      Atheists are sometimes asked "Why do you care so much? If you don't believe in it, ignore it."

      The problem is that we have people like this guy, affecting our lives in a negative fashion as a result. They push their irrational beliefs unto others and actively work to influence law and legislation. They have an impact on our culture and how we treat one another as human beings. When delusion guides your hand, you become dangerous to those around you. Spreading an idea such as "It might get you recognized for a free TV at a couples retreat but in the eyes of God you might as well just go pick up ho's downtown." is incendiary and spreading a message of hate. Really positive values there.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • tmichelle72

      Randy I am a Christian and while I respect your passion for the sacrament, it is not completely true that you can only get married in a church. That is dogma and actually I believe Catholics must be married in the church for the union to be recognized by the church but the Word of God does not state this at all. What we hold true on earth is held true in heaven (within the boundaries of God's law). So as long as your marriage is legally preformed by a person of the cloth or by a government appointed person (which we are bound by scripture to uphold the laws of the land), then according to the God you are indeed married.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:51 am |
    • OcTears

      Hey Shamrock6 dont you know that God talks to them in their sleep. Papa smurf came to me in my devine sleep once but I think people would call me crazy if I told them that.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  18. Hmmm.

    As this a "belief" blog, I think the issue is this: As more conservative Christians, this couple follows the letter of the Bible. They understand it to be the Word of God. The Bible, if taken literally, prohibits ALL activities of a s-exual nature outside of marriage. The language is "do not touch." If taken literally, this is a non-negotiable point in the Christian text as it stands.

    So, in the context, the question is how should the Church at large address this growing problem as defined by the Bible to help people like this (Do you think is the church's job?). If they "just get over it", "evolve", or "grow up" then they are ignoring or violating the directions of their faith.

    The answer, I suppose is 1) They should ignore the Bible, ditch their faith, and get it on with p-orn. 2) They should find a qualified counsellor who understands their religious beliefs and work through it toward a biblical and spiritual restoration as defined in the text of the Bible in the letters to the Corinthian church, the church in Rome, or the recorded teachings of Jesus in the Gospels.

    Are there any other options? Thoughts? Choose 1), choose 2) or another way?

    February 22, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • David

      hola, interesting set of options... logical, no doubt, but neither are biblical or authentically christian (no offense intended here). Option three that I propose will likely sound less "practical" to the "do-it-yourselfers" within Christianity, but hopefully some will take consideration: plead with God for mercy grace to repent. Pray, like Paul in Ephesians 3, "that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your (our) hearts".
      The principle is this: Unless the Lord builds a house, those who labor do so in vain. So we can employ all current psychological methodologies, get all sorts of counseling, etc... but unless God gives mercy, and supplies grace, strength, power to cherish Christ, behold his beauty, and turn from sin, all our efforts will fall as dead in his sight.

      -soli deo gloria

      February 22, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Frogist

      @ Hmmm:
      I think the way they have chosen to approach their marriage and religion leaves them with few options. It does seem a black or white situation for them now. Either accept that attraction, self-pleasure, and the occasional p0rn0 is part of normal life, or struggle to fit into a mold that does not accept them as real people. It is a tough place they have put themselves in. But mere spiritual counseling is not enough, if he in fact has a debillitating addiction. Some kind of professional psychological help is required to properly diagnose his behaviour. I personally don't think he does have an addiction as the only things his activities are affecting are his and his wife's perception of what marriage is. Having experienced some relationship counseling myself, it's important for them to know what is a reasonable expectation from their partner... is a "no p0rn, no mast-rbation ever" policy reasonable? I don't think so. If he has a serious addiction, I don't know.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  19. Jazz

    A MAN SHOULDNT SIT LIKE THAT

    February 22, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • Funnyman

      LOL!!!!!! Amen.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • echotrain

      Right on! I wonder if there were any girls in the stuff he was watching...

      February 22, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Midnight Toker

      Maybe that isn't a man.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj-qhIGTXdU&feature=related

      February 22, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Daniel

      Ha! You're right! Now we know the real problem here.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  20. teremist

    If you do not have Christian faith, you can not grasp the impact on the Christian home of this type of lust. All Christians struggle with sin and temptation. Christians are still human. The difference is that when we know we are displeasing and offending The Lord God, we are required to confess, repent, and change our behavior. Marriage itself, is considered a sacred
    covenant between a man and a woman. It has both rules, and responsibilities, that fall on both partners. Thus, the marital bed, has no place for third parties, either in word, deed, or "visual aids." It is a place to celebrate the love and joy we are given, in a physical way. Trust and total commitment are integral elements of Christian marriage. It creates mental, emotional, and spiritual bonding that endures a lifetime. I do not expect those with no faith to understand it. That is their loss.

    February 22, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • dogs rule

      Oh, give me a break! Do you really believe this issue does not exist in Jewish families as well. Bible-thumpers really get my goat!

      February 22, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • John

      *Rolls eyes*

      Please grow up and abandon your childhood religious fantasies and become a normal, healthy person.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • happyjackrich

      One glaring problem with this article is that all religion is an artifice of the human mind. The christiian God is no more a reality than the muslim Allah, both of which are no more a reality than Zeus or the pagan Sun God. So framing things as an affront to god or a 'sin' or however you wish to term this stuff is no solution, since the frame of reference is completely bogus in the first place.

      If it causes a problem in the marriage then the couple should seek counseling and work through it, and use their love for one another as a guide. Praying and worrying about how god feels about it is really misplacing where the harm is occurring – which is squarely between the husband and wife.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Sam

      "I do not expect those with no faith to understand it. That is their loss."
      I like that statement. God says in his word, ( The Bible) "My people perish for lack of understanding."
      There is true happiness if you live your life this way, no confusion no condemnation. God is not a Religion and He is not a respecter of anyone. He is God. And I encourage you to learn from him just as you learn from your professors in schools, a fellow human like you.

      February 22, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • John Mark Estieme

      @happyjackwad – One problem with your post is that it's your crappy opinion, only. Most people know that God exists, you're on the outside looking in. Time to get your lazy butt to church, little man. The universe doesn't revolve around you (thankfully).

      February 22, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • Daniel

      "Marriage itself, is considered a sacred covenant between a man and a woman." So sacred that Christians have significantly higher divorce rates than their secular counterparts. Am I missing something?

      February 22, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Cal

      Great point Daniel...outstanding. What is it now 80% divorce rate? What's so sacred about that? Can someone clarify?

      February 22, 2011 at 10:42 am |
    • teremist

      @ Daniel.....As with most things, that humans do, there are those that either fail, or give up too easily. In our society many tend to go for the quick fix and instant gratification. The marriage covenant IS sacred. That does not mean it is always treated with the respect and reverence due, even by Christians. When it is treated with the respect and reverence due, it is the best that this life has to offer. However that requires great care, and daily effort, that not everyone is willing too give to it.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:05 am |
    • Sam

      @Cal Its hard to determine where the problem of Divorce arises. To each is own, but in my opinion. There is only one reason people should divorce. Adultery. If this is the case for all Divorces in America, then the Divorce rate being high is not the issue, but the issue is people being faithful to one another.
      Note: My comment is one sided and only talks about the reason people Divorce.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • OcTears

      Hey happyjackrich: not only your opinion like others stated. Mine too, and most likely the majority posting here.

      February 22, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • OldYeller

      "If you do not have Christian faith, you can not grasp the impact on the Christian home of this type of lust."

      I think I can kind of grasp it (no pun intended) – but I feel that it's not the lust that's the problem. It's the idea that its "impact" must be so massive and overblown, as it was for the couple in the story. The way they reacted says more about their upbringings and repressions than it does about lust and Christianity in general. I'm actually kind of surprised to hear anyone defending it, to be honest.

      March 3, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.