The Fight Against Porn and Sex Scandals

9:27 AMHeather

No one wakes up one day and says, "I think I'll ruin my life today. I think I'll do some shameful, stupid thing and ruin all that I've worked hard to build." 

No husband just suddenly says, "I know! I'll ruin my marriage and mar my reputation and risk my family and career and go on that website to find an affair. That'll be fun."

No teacher says, "YAS! I want to make headlines with my mug shot because I pursued an inappropriate relationship with a student." 

"Awesome! I'll make a complete mockery of the faith I espouse by finally achieving that porn addiction," said no one. EVER.

And neither did someone we know. A friend we've known for years and respected and loved and prayed for as he pursued noble causes. He never once intentionally made the decision to end up where he ended up. He never suddenly thought that ending up in prison was completely his life ambition.

But that's what happened. 

And because we've walked the road we've walked with one we've held dear, I feel I must write this post. Because we've had a front row seat and seen the aftermath of all that happened when the slippery slope took him completely down. 

And so I'm fighting mad at all the headlines this last week. Mad at the destruction of marriages and families and victims and by-standers who get taken down with this kind of scandal. 

Since I know the context of a man who started with one bad step that lead to more poor choices that lead to complete devastation, I can't stay silent.

Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, faster than you wanted to get there.




That's the root of it. Of every headline about Jared from Subway or Josh Duggar or Ashley Madison or ANOTHER local teacher accused of an inappropriate relationship with a minor.

The truth is that the end result of these scandals is not generally coming from one giant leap and sudden decision. It's not an "OOPS, that happened" situation. 

It's a progression of deceit that begins with one false move. One little step toward something you should ignore. One glance. That leads to one longer look. That led to a need for more. And then more. Requiring huge amounts of justification and rationalization to keep heading in that direction. Losing sight of what is best and right and good.

And then, before they knew it, these people-- all these people find themselves in these shocking situations by their own choices that brought them (and those around them) down through a domino effect.

Because at some point, sex scandals are born from letting your guard down. From allowing yourself to do something you know better than to do. From convincing yourself it'll never get that bad or go that far or get found out.

But that is all a lie. 

And we'd be foolish to ignore these headlines as if they could never happen to us or someone we know.

In our oversexed culture, we are playing with fire. We are a society that casually uses sex to sell, but then comes unglued when people succumb to ignoring good judgment because sex became a commodity that led to horrible choices.

We can not emphasize enough to ourselves and our children the need for safe guards. The need for extreme caution and awareness because the lines are blurred when it comes to the mixed messages our culture offers when it comes to sex.

If we've learned anything from the Josh Duggar situation, it's that no one lives in a bubble. No one can escape the clutches of temptations because they've distanced themselves from the big bad world.

It's within us. 

We must never be arrogant enough to think, "That idiot. How can he be so stupid? What I loser. I would never do that."

Even a slight detour off the path you know you should keep can lead you down a road that destroys you, by your own volition.

So, how can we shore up our defenses in order to avoid a similar fate?
 
Nehemiah 4. I read it yesterday. And it was a slam dunk in my mind--the applicable wisdom that it offers on this very topic of porn and sex scandals.

You see, the Israelites were rebuilding their wall. Just going about their daily grind of laying brick and mortar, minding their own business. Just like us. Walking through our days, doing our thing.

But, an enemy was close at hand, threatening all that they were building. An enemy was lurking, with threats and deceits and opposition. Mocking and taunting the people.

Make no mistake about it, bloggy friends. We are just going about our daily grind. And there is an enemy who prowls around like a lion, seeking to devour and destroy. 

And the pitfalls of porn and sex scandals are an insidious way to bring us down.

No matter how solid you think your marriage is or how God fearing you believe your kids to be or how protective you are over your family... there is an enemy.

And he doesn't say, "YOU! Hey you! This will be fun. I've got a deal for you! Give in to some momentary pleasure. Because it can hook you to a point of devastating your life and becoming a headline!"

Nope. It's a tiny gray area. One little thing. No one will know. It's a thought planted, like a seed. That can grow and take root and take over and become the weeds that choke out all common sense and resistance.

Like the Israelites, we must be quite aware of our enemy. Quite aware of the opposition, the temptations, the slippery slope and the incredible potential dangers. 

And with our awareness and the humility to realize none of us are above the temptations, we must be a people of prayer. We must be a people crying out to God continually to hear our prayer and protect us.

Warriors on our knees, covering ourselves and our loved ones with our continual attempts to storm the Throne Room of heaven to protect us from these dangers. 

Just like the Israelites.

Continuing with their work. Aware of the dangers. And being a people of prayer. 

As the people "worked with all their heart" (Nehemiah 4:6), they continued to be aware of the plots against them and they never let up praying to their God (verse 9).

Even still, there's more we can do. More than just praying, "God, help me never to end up like those people."

We must do the next thing. Because in the face of opposition, we must proactively build a defense.

The Israelites posted a guard day and night to meet this threat. Nehemiah 4:9

We, as a people wanting to avoid the pitfalls of porn and sex scandals, we must be aware of our enemy. We must pray continually. 


And we must post a guard, day and night, to meet this threat.

Because it is a threat. So, we must make intentional decisions before hand. Have brutally honest conversations within our spouses and with our children. Talk about how all that ruin started slowly, like a slow burning fire. But the flames can grow and they can engulf our lives. 

We must be in tune to realize the first tiny step on the slippery slopes in order to avoid it. And we must place barriers around it.

We must be on our game, always. Making a deal with our loved ones to cry for help before things get too bad if they find this temptation knocking on their door. Commit to being each other's guard, taking our stand to watch out for each other.

And never ever think you are above it all.

There are some practical ways to help post a guard, day and night. Set up rules about screen time and public places for viewing. Make kids plug in electronics at night. Have parental controls on your television. In our house, because of our friend's story, I am the only one who has the parental control pass code. Not my husband or my children. If I were to find that watching things I shouldn't was becoming a habit, then we would change this arrangement. 

When my husband travels for work, he avoids turning on the television at all in his hotel room. He does this because another friend who travels for work found himself watching porn in the hotels. He and my husband had been meeting with some other men to disciple each other as this began to happen in our friend's life. When this friend came clean, they all read a book called Every Man's Battle. And they made a pact with intentional boundaries and decisions by way of posting a guard. They shared these thoughts with their wives so that we could be part of praying and watching and posting the guards around our marriages and our families.

You see, here's the thing. We have an enemy who comes at us, innocently enough, like the serpent approached Eve in the garden. And all these temptations seem innocuous enough at first glance, masking the incredible dangers that can lie in wait.

But we have a God who is bigger. We have a God who can frustrate the plots of our enemy. We have a God on our side who knows our tendencies to mess up and he has the power to help us. Our God can frustrate the plots that seek to take us down. Our God can throw on the warning switch and help us overcome that which seeks to overcome us.

And then, we cannot just return to business as usual. Once the Israelites became aware of their opposition, they made proactive steps and prayed and posted guards. And then they went back to building.

But now, they "carried materials to do their work with one hand and held their sword by their side in the other" (verse 17).  They also appointed a man with a trumpet to sound the alarm when danger came near.

May we do the same. May we build AND defend. May we build our lives and go about our daily grind. As we are also defending ourselves. Watching carefully. Being alert. Asking God to help us. Daily. Carrying our sword, being in the Word, ever aware. 

And may we set up alarm bells that will ring when we find the opposition is about to take us down. At the first step, before we spin out in a downward spiral.

All the while, shouting, as the Israelites did at the sound of the alarm...
OUR GOD WILL FIGHT FOR US! (verse 20).

These headlines are that alarm bell. These stories are that trumpet sound to do something and to ask God to fight for us.

Indeed he will. He will fight for us to keep us protected. He will fight for us if we become embattled with these temptations. He will fight for us even if we find ourselves in the pit and way too far down the slippery slope. He will fight for us to help us be ever watchful and aware. 


And he can even fight for us to bring redemption and grace if we find ourselves broken. If the cross was enough, then it's still enough when these dangers ignite an engulfing flame. That doesn't mean there won't be consequences. That doesn't offer any excuse. And that doesn't mean we don't take responsibility. 

But that does mean that maybe the story can be a warning and serve a purpose beyond the aftermath that it brings.

That's the hope of our friend. That the rock bottom where he landed may serve as a warning and prevention for another to avoid that fate.

Which is why I'm even writing this blog post today.

If you find yourself in the clutches of these problems, ask for help. Sound the trumpet. Admit the issue, take responsibility, and bring light to this dark place. Then get help. Get professional help. Get counseling. Get whatever help you need. 

And ensure the safety and help of the victims involved. Be sure those who are wounded also have their needs tended to. Don't hid behind silence and deceit. Make sure that someone is empowering the victims toward healing. 

To all of us, may we be quite aware. May we never be so arrogant as to watch the news stories and think that will never be my family. That will never be our story. We indeed, must be on alert. For ourselves. And our loved ones. We must talk to our children and equip them to respond well when they stumble across pornography. When they take a step down a path that can lead to destruction. 

We must be warriors on our knees, begging God to fight for us and our families against this enemy, this evil. We must post guards in our houses and be the guards for each other.

We must raise the battle cry against pornography and sex scandals and continue to build our walls and go about our daily grinds, with our materials and talents in one hand and our sword and weapon in another.

Building. And defending. Keeping the Word as our defense. Asking God to fight for us. Being ever watchful and aware and careful.

There but for the grace of God go I. 

"My God! Please fight for us!" (Nehemiah 4:20)

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