Your Brain on Porn

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Watching just 5 hours of porn has been proven to significantly change people's sexual beliefs and attitudes. Find out 5 distinct ways that porn warps your brain, as well as 5 biblical ways to renew your mind and find freedom.

19 thoughts on “Lust After Death: Advice to a Widower Who Fantasizes About His Wife

  1. I’m the one who asked the question, and, Luke, I appreciate your personal email and counsel after I asked you the question. In your answer you pointed out that death breaks the marriage bond. That was the first time I acknowledged that I was a single man. It made me grieve for a while, but it also made me do a lot of thinking. And strange as it seems even to me, admitting that I am no longer married seemed to let me release my wife to God and Heaven. I had been holding on to something that could not be a reality.

    Then Brad’s kind and well-thought-out video blog gave me more to think about. Looking both issues–is it wise; is it moral–was really good. My answer to myself was, No, it isn’t wise, and Yes, it certainly could be immoral.

    As to the loneliness, I’ve been going to a men’s Bible study each week that is facilitate by a long-time friend of mine. I’ve also started visiting another church that has an active senior citizens’ group. I regret to say that I’ve not had much support from the church where I’m a present member. I hope it’s not selfishness on my part to try and find a church where I’m more than a non-person after “amen” is said each Sunday and each Wed. evening.

    Thanks so much Luke and Brad. And thanks to my local counselor, Rod, who told me about Covenant Eyes. God’s blessings on your work and counsel.

  2. I have a question,what do you tell a married woman whose husband ignores her in bed for many years, he claims he turned off his mind from sex. But the wfife fights with feelings of being aroused because of a burning for physical sexual pleasure.

    How can you advise her, she says she gets aroused by sharing the same bed though the husband does not. Can she leave the marriage instead of falling in sin with another man?

    • First, your husband needs to be held accountable for his sin against you. If he is approaching this marriage from a Christian perspective, then he is sinning against you by denying you sexual gratification. The Bible speaks to this situation specifically:

      “The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5).

      That said, I’m very curious about the underlying reason for his desire to turn his mind off from sex. Is it a biological problem? Is there some reason for his frigidity? Does he know why? Has he told you? That would be a good place to start the conversation.

      Even if there is a physiological or psychological reason for his asexuality, he is still in a covenant of marriage with you and should not deny you your desire for sexual pleasure.

      Have you had this kind of discussion with him?

  3. I didn’t watch the video and of course didn’t read the email, but found the advice given to Joe underwhelming and a bit condemning. There is an assumption in this article that its wrong for this man to desire and experience sexual pleasure/release without a wife. There’s a statement that “its wrong to engage in acts of sexual lust” and ties this to the phrase “burning for physical sexual pleasure” calling this a moral issue! When Paul spoke of burning for sex, he approached it as a normal need, not a moral issue, and instructed those who were evidently postponing relations to go ahead and enter their prospective sexual relationships. (That’s the only interpretation that makes sense to me.) The only thing that would have been immoral was to try to continue in a celibate life when one still has active sexual desire.

    I agree that it might be unwise for the widower to yearn for the companionship of his wife, but it doesn’t mean he has to erase happy memories of having sex with her which aid him in obtaining sexual arousal as needed. A divorced man might still recall enjoyable moments with his ex, though there’s no love left between them. The guilt trip people are on regarding sexual fantasy etc, is mind-numbing sometimes.

    Regarding “self-control”, again Paul said “not all have this gift”. It seems obvious that masturbation is a relief valve for these until they find a new partner. We can agree that they shouldn’t idolize sex or be pre-occupied with it, but it’s part of life and good health, physical and mental. I would advise the same to the woman whose husband is neglecting her. Yes, she may have a right to divorce, but would rather not go that route. Ideally she should talk to her husband, but I doubt if she want to make love with someone who apparently doesn’t truly desire her. It will take time to heal that relationship. Masturbation allows her a way to allay her physical/emotional drives and to make a more rational decision as to her life in general.

    • I think you’re glossing over important details. Did Paul treat sex as a natural drive? Yes. But did he also treat burning with sexual desires as a moral issue? Yes. All of 1 Corinthians 7 speaks of sexual relations as a moral issue. And when you say Paul told them to “enter their prospective sexual relationships,” let’s be very clear that we’re talking about marriage here, not just any sexual relationship.

      I really think your reading of Paul is poor.

  4. My pastor yesterday, in speaking of dealing with the Christian believer dealing with addiction or a besetting sin, quoted a Christian counselor who said these kinds of issues come down to this: “Are you going to worship self or worship God?”

    And I thought, that question just about covers it all. Viewing porn, lustful masturbating, fantasizing encounters, etc., are all basically worshiping self, are they not?

    Also, the entire book of First John was written to encourage us that that sins can be overcome and that living a pure life is supposed to be the norm for Christians.

    • I agree that idolatry is the characteristic and summary word for our drift from God, especially in the Old Testament. Sin is idolatry. The idol of self is perhaps the biggest cult in the world today.

  5. This is disturbing. Sounds to me like you are condemning the already broken hearted. If this is how you try to help then I don’t want anything to do with your so called compassionate way of show the truth. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to mourn the death of a spouse and deal with missing your husband intimately. I don’t appreciate people like you at all.

    • Hi there. I’m sorry you were hurt by this post, at a time when you’re already grieving. I think it’s impossible for those of us who haven’t been berieved to truly understand what that experience is like. I do know that I would horribly miss the intimate life that my husband and I share. That would be an enormous loss, and I’m sorry that you’re suffering in that way as well as every other way. I hope you’re able to find comfort in your sorrow with people who are able to mourn with you, and again, I’m sorry that this post was hurtful to you at such a difficult time. Praying blessings for you today, Kay

  6. I lost my wife whom I’ve known fo 41 years, 32 of them happily married without childen. Many cannot understand that not having children, sometimes means an intense love for one another which is simply indescribable! We laughed, we loved, we fought and we did everything under the sun together. Unless you’ve worn these same shoes one cannot possibly understand the grief one goes through. I for one, never did before this tragedy happened to me. We should all embrace good advise, but please be compassionate and don’t judge anyone who does not conform to your ideals. We may critisise the atitude, but not the person. For the moment, past sexual fantasies are helping me through my griefing process. Yes, maybe one day I’ll meet someone who will continue with me my final journey in this world. There again maybe not. Don’t be angry with those who do not agree with you. They mean well, and their advise is sincere. It’s just up to each indivdual’s conscience. Search deep and see if it’s really good or bad whatever you’re thinking or doing. May your God Bless you

    • Mike, Every grief is individual, and the process of getting through it is different for each of us. It’s been almost 6 years, and I still occasionally fantasize about being intimate with her. I’ve found that the fantasizing is quite infrequent now. What I miss the most is just the nearness of herself, her arms around me, her lying by my side in bed and my reaching over to pat her on the rump just before falling asleep. God has been gracious, patient and kind in leading me these years she’s been gone. He will do the same in your life. And you are correct when you say the fantasies help. They did me as well. Blessing, my friend.

  7. We were married over 54 years when my wonderful wife went to heaven to be with Jesus. It is hard to describe how I feel about her not being with me, but time is putting distance between us, and I am now able to talk about her without bursting into tears (It has been 14 months now). The second beatitude (Matthew, Chapter 5) says, “Blessed are they that mourn, for they will be comforted.” I prayed for this comfort, and finally found it in daily bible study. I am fully convinced that even the loss of my beautiful wife was hard at the time, but God has blessed me in many ways since she went to heaven. We both know Jesus as our savior, and I know we will see each other in heaven, but not as husband and wife, for we are not given or taken in marriage in heaven. My daughter has come to live with me as my caretaker, and I take this as a gift from Almighty God. I soon will be 78, but I look forward each day and consider each day a gift.

    • Robert, I found that being loud and vigorous in my weeping was a good and relieving event. I would go through the house sobbing and wailing, and then when I was exhausted, I would stop and thank God for the years my wife and I were together. She loved me unconditionally, and Heaven knows I didn’t deserve her! She was the dearest earthly thing God put into my life. I, too. am 78. God will see you through this time of grief, and you will find that as you depend upon His grace and unconditional love, that it does get better. I’ve walked where you’re walking, but every grief is individual; so, I can’t say “I know what you’re going through.” I can say that I know a little of what you’re going through. May God bless you.

  8. Hi I am Tanyi, I became a widow after 2 years of marriage and it has not been easy to control my sexual drive since I was just 28 years when he died. I got involved in two different relationships which ended up hurting me so bodly. so I have ended relationships in my life and I have turn to God to serve him for the rest of my life, and to take care of my children. your article have been very encouraging thank you very much and remain blessed

  9. Pray for me my husband passed April 2015 and I am having issues with what you stated in the article. It’s tough and confusing to lose a husband in a tragic situation at a young age. I do good for awhile, but it seems every month or so I can’t handle it anymore.

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