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Dating: Locating Mr./Ms. Right? (Part 3)

Pornography is a poison affecting society at large as well as the fundamental building blocks of culture and humanity. It skews an accurate image of sexuality with tantalizing images of forbidden, unhealthy, and toxic connections with other people. (I deliberately chose to use the word "connections" versus "relationships" because porn is hardly relational.) At best it is a connection, although more animalistic than human.

Truly, pornography is a poison that if ingested in too great a quantity is not only addictive but also potentially deadly. Porn has been around since early after the fall of mankind from God’s ideal. But as society has liberalized its moral standards and "awakened" to a moral law based upon man’s best thinking versus a divine standard, and as access to the Internet becomes more pervasive, the nosedive into pornographic addiction is becoming exponentially more precipitous. What was once a somewhat risky behavior is now easily accessed via the privacy of one’s own connection to the world wide web.

Porn is a shallow deception that is tapped to assuage a deep question haunting the masculine psyche, but interestingly, the addiction is now rampant among women also. I have disagreed for many years with the prevailing perspective among Christian authorities that women are not visually stimulated. While they may not be as visually stimulated as men, even casual attention to magazines, television commercials, and display windows in the shopping mall confirm that both sexes are visually stimulated.

This is not a bad thing. This is as God intended. But we would be naïve to believe men are the only sex that enjoys a handsome or beautiful person of the opposite gender. What’s the point? Simply that the physical is an important element in the sexuality of both men and women and this fact is exploited with abandon and impunity by pornography. So, we must be aware. As Jesus exhorted us, we must be wise as serpents while remaining innocent as doves.

Specifically with regard to men’s inclinations, it seems they desire the appearance and implied lifestyle of a porn star. I am convinced, however, this is not the case. While men are curious, they are also pragmatists. A porn queen is an illusion. Women don’t look like the pictures in magazines portray them. In other words, men understand that miracles can be wrought with an airbrush and glossy paper.

And one more thing: Just because a man remarks about a beautiful or shapely woman does not mean he wants to take her home with him any more than he wants to take the Rembrandt home that he sees at the museum. While appreciation and admiration are on the road leading to longing and lust, they are not synonymous.

The body is designed to be appreciated and admired and cared for with diligence according to the Scriptures. While Christian history records all sorts of opposing views to this perspective, the consensus of conservative theological thought is in keeping with Paul’s counsel that we are to pay attention to the body and use it—as the temple of the Holy Spirit—to assist us in our heart’s quest to know Christ more fully.

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.