5 Tips to Maintain a Porn-Free Marriage

A note from the Editor: If you or your spouse are struggling with pornography, many aspects of this post will not be “applicable” to you. If your marriage is headed downhill due to porn, there are various steps that you should take to restore your relationship, find freedom, and create boundaries. I encourage you to check out this post instead. Remember, every marriage is different, and each struggle is unique!

We’ve all been there. Popcorn and beverage in hand. Comfy couch, warm blanket and a remote. You settle in with the spouse for a movie. Cue intro music, when, suddenly, a hot, heavy, lust-filled scene fills the screen.

Maybe both of you lunge for the remote to fast-forward. Or maybe you both sit in awkward silence and pray the scene ends quickly. Or you glance at your spouse to see whether or not they are enjoying what they see. Either way, you’ve both experienced a full-frontal attack of our current culture’s mass acceptance of sex.

As the movie continues, you are left wondering how you can combat our overly sexualized culture. Should you stop watching TV-MA or rated R movies? Or worse, you find yourself longing for more of what you saw!

So, how can your marriage keep clear of porn issues when it seems like it’s everywhere our society?

While you can’t avoid every situation, here are five tips to keep healthy marriages porn-free.

1. Make a plan.

We’ve all heard the old adage, “If you FAIL to plan, you PLAN to fail.”

Nothing could be truer when it comes to keeping your marriage porn-free.

Have a plan in place, both for you personally, and as a couple. Agree together to practice looking away (instead of gawking) when you see sensitive images. Have a conversation about what types of movies and content you will allow yourselves to intake. What will you do or say when your friends or co-workers steer the conversation in a sexually negative direction?

Make a plan for when your plan isn’t working, too! If you find that a new issue you didn’t realize existed, make sure you have a way to reassess and revamp your current plan together.

2. Recognize the lies of our culture.

Many times we fall into sin because we failed to understand the lies being told to us through our culture and even within our own minds.

So let’s say you get into a fight with your spouse. He or she says something hurtful. Quickly the lie that enters into your mind is “they don’t care about me.” You might allow the lie to fester. The lie then turns into “if they don’t care about me, I’ll care about myself.”

You might be tempted to turn to porn in order to “take care of yourself.”

It’s also important to realize that our overly sexualized culture is sending us lying messages all the time. Movies tell us that sex looks and sounds a certain way. Lie! Advertisements sell sex as a way to get ultimate fulfillment. Another lie! Books teach us that any type of sex is healthy and permissible. Wrong again!

Related: 10 Lies Pop Culture Teaches About Sex

Praying for understanding and having watchful wisdom over what you see, hear, and think will help you combat the lies that so easily entangle us into a pornographic trap.

3. Understand your commitment.

Did you know that the definition of commitment actually means “an obligation that restricts freedom of action?” In a culture that thrives on the idea that freedom means to do whatever you want, commitment (i.e. the marriage bond) is in stark contrast to that concept! Your commitment to your marriage was a voluntary redaction of your freedom.

The Bible goes even a step further, saying that your body is not your own and actually belongs to the other person, and visa versa.

Having the correct view of commitment is a core essential truth that will guide you when you are together or alone. Understanding you don’t get to watch, read, or do things that our culture deems appropriate, but go against the nature of your commitment, is a key ingredient to keeping your marriage porn-free.

4. Laugh…a lot.

The Bible says “a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Laughter and light-heartedness is akin to taking a pill to get rid of a headache. It’s easy to let bitterness come between a husband and a wife, but harboring unforgiveness creates negative space in your spirit. That negative spaces creates a vacuum for the sin of porn to take root and grow. Being unhappy is a playground where sexual images and scenarios can tempt you into thinking they will bring you happiness (Newsflash: they don’t).

Laughter and smiling is an outward sign that you are enjoying life. Ask yourself if you are laughing and smiling enough with your spouse? If you are having issues that are keeping you from laughing and smiling, resolve them as quickly as possible and truly let them go. When you do, you are actively creating a barrier between your marriage and the temptation of porn.

5. Make time for intimacy.

When someone is occupying a certain chair, another person is forced to find another seat, right? People who are full aren’t usually tempted to eat again. Porn can be viewed similarly. If you are regularly having sex with your spouse, sexual images, books, and thoughts have a hard time competing for a place at the table.

Personally, as a homeschooling mom of seven, I know having sex regularly isn’t always easy. So, for most of our 17 year marriage we’ve implemented a sex schedule. For my husband, it helps him forgo any temptations he might have during the week because he knows he can expect sex on certain days. For me, it helps me mentally and physically prepare to make space in my busy life to rekindle romance with my husband.

Obviously you don’t have to schedule sex, but having sex regularly (and having a conversation about what “regular” sex means) is an important step to keeping your healthy marriage porn-free.

Related: Three Cheers for Real Sex!

Porn-Free marriages DO exist.

It is possible for couples to keep clear of porn issues and protect themselves from an overly sexualized culture. Whether you’ve experienced it or not, porn is an easy trap to fall into. Above all, accountability and honesty are integral for a healthy marriage, but these five steps are great tools to continue down the path of a porn-free marriage.


Elaine MingusElaine Mingus is a happily married homeschooling mom of seven. Her number one passion is to see Christ glorified, followed closely with protecting children. She is the creator of Radical Christian Woman, a blog that seeks to bring life and wisdom to Christian women across the globe.