Strengthening Your Relationships as a Defense Against Porn

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” —Romans 12:10

As men, we have a unique tendency to have shallow relationships. Often, this results from poor relationship management and the inability to become vulnerable with our friends, spouse, or children. This is troubling because the Bible calls us to have deep, meaningful relationships with all of these people. In your church congregation, you’re intended to have real, authentic relationships with fellow members. Yet, so often, we fall short.

When our relationships are shallow and unfulfilling, we look elsewhere for this satisfaction and acceptance. Similar to the phenomena of a child looking to their parents for guidance, when they don’t receive it, they’ll find advice elsewhere. When our relationships are broken, it’s easier to search for faulty acceptance and love in the world of porn. It’s not always so purposeful, bur our tendencies lead us into these dark waters. The accessibility of porn makes it easier to obtain than meaningful relationships.

Thankfully, we serve a God who bestows grace and second chances. Your relationships can still grow; it’s never the end when God is at the helm. Often, your meaningful relationships are three-fold as an adult. You should connect with your spouse, your friends, and your children. Evidently, the hope is that you’re loving and honoring your parents, but for most people, you won’t see them as often, so we’ll focus on the three mentioned above.

Connecting with Your Spouse

At some point, you had a deep connection with your spouse because you married them! Unfortunately, life often gets in the way, and you go from never wanting to be separated to always needing “me” time. Marriage is all about sacrifice; if you doubt this, consider what your marriage is a picture of in the Bible. As the groom, you reflect Jesus Christ and your wife reflects the church, the lovely bride. Jesus Christ gave himself up for the church; he died on the cross!

Here’s what that means for you: sacrifice! Sacrifice builds trust and connection. When you place your desires second and put your spouse first, relationship buds.

Take the time to communicate with your bride. Men tend to clam up and not speak about their issues or even their feelings, but this trend must break for authentic relationships to grow. Your wife needs to know how you’re feeling and what’s going on, and on the flip-side, you need to know the same things about her.

Finally, lead her in Christ. Nothing builds authenticity like studying the Bible together. Be vulnerable, learn together, and ultimately, lean on Christ when you’re weak and unable to serve like you’re intended.

Connecting with Your friends

Oddly enough, the ways that you connect with your friends aren’t all too different than how you build a relationship with your spouse! It sounds weird at first, but the same principles apply.

Put their needs first, find ways to serve them, and consider what they’re feeling. One of the most encouraging things in today’s age can be simply shooting someone a text in the afternoon to let them know you’re praying for them. Nothing catastrophic needs to happen for prayer to be needed; we all need and should desire prayer!

Men often build their connections around sports, and while I love sports, don’t make the mistake of relying only on this activity. It can create a friendship, but talking about Tom Brady rarely leads to authentic, deep friendships. Talk about Jesus. My best recommendation is to study the Bible with them or talk about what you’re learning in church or at home. You don’t even have to discuss the Bible verbatim; you can talk about life! Sometimes people need a listening ear. This is incredibly difficult for men who never speak about their feelings, but I would encourage you to open up. They will follow.

Connecting with Your Children

Contrary to your relationship with fellow men, creating an authentic relationship with your children does often rely heavily on activities. If you speak to adults who had heavily involved parents, it’s usually in a positive way because they can remember so many fond memories. The key is to be open about the activity; do what they want! I know you’re probably thinking about that “sacrifice” theme again; you’re right, it’s back.

Take them to the park, see a movie, drive them around town, walk around the mall, do whatever you need to do to spend time with them. Let the conversation be natural and feed them godly advice. Take real moments and turn them into teachable moments.

As their dad, your children are looking to you as their role model. Don’t give them a reason to look elsewhere for advice. The world will provide them with a plethora of ideas if you aren’t willing to pour into your kids. The Bible commands us to be in the world but not of it, so you must teach your children how we can love people and serve our Savior without compromising the Gospel.

It’s All About Sacrifice

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “When do I get what I want?” Surely, you’ll have moments where you have time for your own wants and desires, but consider this: Jesus sacrificed everything. I’m not sure we think about that enough in our daily life. We consider the idea of sacrificing one or two things, but after that, it’s time for our turn. Jesus Christ, on the cross, bore it all. Every sin, past and present. He gave it all so that you may live. I would encourage you to prayerfully consider His sacrifice on the cross as you work to maintain and build authentic relationships.

The primary relationship in your life is with Jesus Christ, and it’s the most authentic one you’ll ever have. You can have authenticity with your spouse, friends, and children as well, but only if you are willing are diligent.

Uncommen Questions:

1. What’s holding you back from having authentic relationships?

2. If you had to say where you struggle the most with deep relationships, is it with your spouse, friends or children? Why?

Uncommen Challenge:

Get real. We’re always so afraid to be real and vulnerable, but there’s always a sigh of relief from both sides when this happens. Pour into the people around you.


Tj Todd is the Creative Director of Uncommen, an organization that focuses on encouraging men to be the husband, dad, and leaders they were always meant to be. Tj owns and operates Uncommen and is CEO of Studio490 Creative Services in Charlotte, NC.