Moving Beyond Marital Manipulation


Maybe you’ve heard or you’ve said these words: “If you don’t have sex with me, I’m going to be tempted to stray.” Either way, we encourage you to stay and listen. Let’s, together, start Moving Beyond Marital Manipulation.

On this journey to sexual wholeness, the world is eager to bombard you with “facts” and “studies say” and “research shows.”

The world discredits who God made you and is calling you to be.

Let’s understand five ways marital manipulation short cuts the courageous work you’re doing.


5 Reasons Marital Manipulation Fails

  1. Places the husbands’ sexual integrity on the woman
  2. Removes the Cross of Jesus from the equation
  3. Degrading to women
  4. Degrading to men
  5. Mars the image of God

Your heart is to cherish your wife. She is designed by God to be a woman to be loved, cherished, honored.

That on demandIn all the ways that Jesus demonstrated integrity and self-control and self-restraint, he was willing to suffer to go against what his flesh desired in the moment to love his bride, pour out his life for his bride. sexual experience gives you what you want, how you want, when you want it. What relationship in life is like that? None.


For more on this topic, check our latest article Do You Need Sex?

Click for Full Podcast Transcription

I know, you feel like you want to use pornography. But do you really want to use pornography? Do you really I know firsthand the allure. There’s a pastor friend of mine who shares a French proverb that goes something like this, and I’ll probably butcher this a little bit, but you’ll get the the idea. You have to not only want what you want, but you have to want what your wants lead to. You can’t just want what you want, you also have to want what your wants lead to some wisdom there. We may feel like we want pornography in any given moment, we may feel like we don’t want to give it up. But the reality is, we also have to embrace what pornography leads to. And we start looking at what pornography actually leads to. I think we actually don’t want it as much as we think we do. So in this podcast, I want to talk about five reasons that you don’t want to pornography, five reasons you don’t want it. For all the allure for all the physical pleasure for all the, the sensation you get in the moment, there are good reasons why you really don’t want pornography in your life. So here they are. Five things I’m gonna give you up front, and then I’m gonna unpack them one by one first. Because the way it changes your brain, second, it makes you selfish. Third, it trains you to see people a certain way that’s unproductive for relationships. Fourth, it keeps you from healing. And fifth, it keeps you immature. Those are the five things and let me unpack them one by one. Before I do that, I want to say this, my heart in this is in no way, no way to point a finger at you, no way to shame you. I am on your side, I’ve been there. I know the allure of pornography. My heart and this is really not to to to shame you in any way. And really not for you to shame yourself with these things. But rather, to come alongside you and and to provide you with some things that hopefully will help to motivate your no to pornography in the moment of temptation. And hopefully also more especially to increase your yes to God. Because his prohibition against lost his desire for you not to look at pornography is not because he’s trying to keep something from you. Rather, because he loves you dearly and wants something much, much more for you. And I think you’ll hear that as we go throughout these. So Thing number one changes your brain in ways that you don’t want. Pornography use provides you with some aspects of what God designed sex between a husband and a wife to be. But it provides it for you in an environment and in a way it’s delivered to you in a way that it was never meant to be delivered to you. Put simply, pornography is provide you quote unquote, sex on demand. Really. I know it’s sex itself. I know it’s not real, all that, but it provides you this on demand. And the reality is that your brain doesn’t know what to do with that. The fact that you can sit down at any moment and watch porn videos online, that you can pull your phone out and watch porn on your device. Whenever you want as much as you want. Your brain actually is not wired for that it doesn’t function well with that. And so what happens over time as you use pornography is that the neural receptors in your brain begin to shut down or they begin to atrophy, something happens to them where they they stop receiving the neurotransmitters that they’re meant to receive, now can do a whole nother podcast will no teaching on that. But over time, what that does, is it makes it two things happen. One, the pornography that you’re using today begins to satisfy last the amount of pornography you’re using to begin to satisfy less and so you need to use it more, you want to use it more, you want to see more extreme stuff, the old stuff that you’re looking at doesn’t seem to satisfy. And so it has this kind of cumulative effect, you want more and more and more. Why is that? Because your brain is rewired. And it’s and you’re not feeling the experiences that your brain is supposed to feel with sex anymore. Because the the neurotransmitters of the nerve receptors have shut down there atrophying. The second thing that does for you is that normal experiences normal relational experiences, normal experiences of relaxation, normal experiences of rest, normal experiences of beauty, normal experiences of entertainment, normal experiences of healthy physical activities, they begin to satisfy you less. Why? Because those nerve receptors have been shut down. And when they satisfy you less, that means pornography begins to be the only place that you’re experiencing some of the things that God designed for you to experience in the in the in life, the only place you get that same high so your brain changes and you become more and more addicted to pornography and the rest of your life begins to feel more gray and pale and boring in comparison to it. So in other words, as much as porn RDP may seem like hey, this is a treasure trove. Actually pornography trained your brain changes your brain to the to the in a way that your world becomes smaller and smaller, and smaller and smaller. And its end desires that you’d be spending all of your time focused on pornography, and all of your love would be spent there, and you’d have nothing else that you’re going to. If that didn’t sound like a tactic of the enemy, man, I don’t know what is. Secondly, it makes you selfish, makes you selfish. Adding to what I just said, the reality is that pornography, that on demand kind of sexual experience, you get what you want, quote, unquote, whenever you want, however you want. If you don’t like what you’re watching, you just stop and watch something else. If you don’t like the way it feels, the way it looks, you just swipe right, and you’re on to the next thing, and on to the next thing and on to the next thing. One of the relationship in life is like that. There is no other relationship like that, not a one. What other experience relational experience in life is like that. There are none, no other experiences like that. So if your heart is to be a good friend, if your heart is to be good to other men or other women, if your heart is to be a good spouse, either presently, or one day, if your heart is to be a good parent, either presently, or one day, your hearts to be a good servant of the Lord, relating to others in the body of Christ, then pornography is actually leading in the wrong direction, because it’s teaching you that you can just move on when things get difficult when things don’t satisfy you. And things are not what you want, when things aren’t working for you. It trains you to be selfish. Number three, it trains you to see people as objects, and this fits really well with what I just said. But it trains you to see people’s objects. I literally have talked to so many people over the years, who have a hard time in certain situations because they see somebody that resembles kind of quote unquote, their type of person. In other words, the type of person that they’ve been going to in porn, and they’re having trouble seeing a person, they just see body parts they see an object to last after. I remember, in the midst of my pornography addiction, I go out to a grocery store or a restaurant, or I’d see just somebody in a place, and my brain would immediately start to kind of fire up as though I was looking at pornography. Just because that person was dressed in a certain way or looked a certain way. I was not seeing people anymore, I was seeing objects. That’s what happens with pornography, use habitual habitual pornography use you trains you to see people as objects. Number four, it keeps you from healing keeps you from healing. The reason we go to pornography in the first place, is because something inside of us is wounded, broken, and in need of healing. You may not know what that is yet, or you may have an idea of what that is. But the reality is that pornography is actually sidestepping real healing, it’s actually there’s good reason to believe growing reason to believe that part of the reason we’re going to pornography is because it’s healing is hard sometimes, and we don’t trust where we’re going to end up. And so instead of healing, we sabotage ourselves. And we go back to that, which is either covering up our wound or reinforcing the wound and making it worse. It’s, it’s like, you know, just adding dirt to the wound, instead of allowing healing. There’s again, there’s a reason you’re going to pornography, you’re looking for something legitimate in pornography, and it’s not there, it looks like it’s there. There’s a sense that it’s there. I mean, you know, pornography is is an image of a human person, naked or human people naked, giving themselves and that’s a powerful image. It’s a powerful loving image. That’s the way that God designed sex is that it’s a human person is steaming the value of another person, and in essence, like the marriage vows, because that’s where it belongs saying, I give myself to you, sickness, health, better, worse, richer, poor, as long as you both shall live. That’s the message that comes through to the soul at the sight of a naked person and that’s what this queued up kind of teed up in the realm of sex Now obviously, pornography is not that at all it’s a counterfeit it’s it’s false it’s it’s not the real thing it’s it’s actually diametrically opposed to it. But and but my point is, that’s why we go because there’s something in us that needs to heal that needs to hear though that message in our soul deep in our, in our gut, we need to hear that we are esteemed and valuable and worth giving. Someone giving a life and love to us. We are looking at old quote, Gk Chesterton that you know that. I don’t know if it’s really him, but there’s no one who knocks on the door of a brothel who I mean everyone who looks at who knocks on the door brothel is actually looking for God. You’re looking for something in pornography, and it’s not there. So pornography keeps you from healing and the last one, pornography keeps you from growing, keeps you from growing. Most of us started using pornography in our lives somewhere in adolescence. Maybe even in pre adolescence, usually before age 25, we learned to deal with the pain in our life, the wounds in our life, the relational difficulties in our life. All the things I’ve just talked about, we’ve learned to go to pornography. And we’ve sidestep some normal places where we need to grow up or become mature men and women. So going back through what I just described, our brains need to grow up and develop. We want our the synapses and the neurotransmitters in our receptors operating in a healthy way. When we started using pornography in an early age, it formed our brain and our brain needs to heal and grow. It makes us selfish, but growing, growing up means we learn to give with a self giving posture and realize we learn to not make life all about us. It’s a childish thing to see the world all about me. It helps us to grow up. We want to grow, we need to grow up. It trains you to see people as objects. Well, part of growing up is learning to see whole people learning to really look people in the eyes and see the value of a human person, whether young or old, attractive or unattractive, able to give you something are completely unable to give you anything. That’s part of growing up, especially growing up in Christ likeness is actually seeing people not seeing objects. And then of course, if you’re not healing, then it’s gonna be hard for you to grow. So it keeps you from growing up. My friend drew Bowa actually talks about porn as being a pacifier. And he says that when you do the good hard work of healing, from pornography, and growing up out of pornography, you don’t need your pacifier anymore, it becomes too small for the adult life you’re living. So that’s why you really don’t want to look at pornography. You are worth so much more than continuing this pattern of going back to porn and porn, to going back to porn over and over and over again. Lord Jesus, we ask that you would free us from the grip of pornography. Lord, we want our brain to be healthy and free. We want to be self giving, not selfish. We want to see people not objects. We want to heal where we have wounds from our past. We don’t want them to fester. And or we don’t want to be immature. We want to grow up in full stature to be full adult, loving Christ like men and women. Lord, would you help us on this path? In Jesus name, I pray, amen. Brothers and sisters, if regeneration can help you, we’re here to do that. Love you. Bless you.

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