When we think of the story of David and Goliath, we usually see the giant as David’s adversary. Goliath was the adversary of all the men of Israel. They were arrayed in battle opposite him long before David even showed up. They were hopelessly emasculated by their enemy. David’s presence is significant since he was the only man able to face down and defeat the giant. Goliath was every man’s battle.
If there is a Goliath today in the lives of most men it is Internet pornography. 70% of adult men admit to regularly viewing Internet porn. I suspect there are a whole lot more that don’t admit it. Until recently it was only a few of us religious prudes that were warning of the inherent dangers of pornography. I mean after all, it’s just a little harmless fun, right? Today more and more psychologists are starting to warn of the potential damage pornography is inflicting on our world. Experts say men who frequently view porn develop unrealistic expectations of women’s appearance and behavior, and have difficulty forming and sustaining genuine relationships. Mark Schwartz, director of the Masters and Johnson clinic in St. Louis, Mo., says porn not only causes men to objectify women—seeing them as an assemblage of breasts, legs and buttocks—but also leads to a dependency on visual imagery for arousal. Men, both single and married are allowing this counterfeit world of sexuality to twist how they view their spouse (or future spouse that each day becomes less likely to find, as their expectations grow increasingly unrealistic).
A survey of divorce lawyers say 2/3 believe online pornography now plays a significant role in the majority of divorce cases. A whooping 15% of all men admit that Internet porn has taken over their lives and is negatively affecting their day to day functionality. There was a time when men had to go out of their way to seek out pornography; mail orders that came in brown paper wrappers or late night visits to the Adult book store. All that has changed. Goliath has come to us. Soft-porn is now regular fare on evening television. Even daytime television has become highly sexualized. 2.5 billion porn emails go out every year. Banner ads beckon us on almost every website. And we have taken the bait. A shocking quarter of all Internet searches worldwide are looking for porn. The Internet is the crack cocaine of sexual addiction.
Make no mistake about it, this is not a grey area. “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matt 5: 28) What can men do about it? First, they need to tell someone. Unlike David, I am yet to meet anyone who has defeated this giant by themselves. They make a promise to themselves (and sometimes to God) and then fall right back into it during a weak moment. The scripture says, “confess your sin one to another”. Bringing the battle to the light is the only real hope for victory. Like AA, find someone with whom you can be truly accountable. Second, put a block on your computer and have your accountability partner hold the unlock code. Honesty is key though. Last week I suggested this to a struggling man and he told me he did that but he found a way around it. He was shocked when I suggested that the next step was to get rid of the computer altogether. It is no different than an alcoholic who keeps a bottle on his kitchen shelf where it tempts him everyday. Third, is prayer. Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Mark 14:38) You would be surprised how interacting with the Lord in prayer when faced with temptation can bring instant victory. When David defeated Goliath he never tried to do it in his own strength. “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” 1 Sam 17:4 Internet pornography is every man’s battle. It is time for Christian men everywhere to rise up and kill this giant, before it kills them.