Defeat Lust & Pornography newlywed couple by lake
Defeat Lust & Pornography 3 minute read

How Porn Is Keeping Men from Marriage

Last Updated: March 12, 2021

As porn use has skyrocketed, the average age of first marriages has increased to 27 for women and 29 for men. For starters, this means we’re waiting longer for marriage at a time when our culture makes it more difficult to wait for sex. The result: more hooking up, more cohabitation, and more porn use.

What if porn not only makes it more difficult to wait for sex, but also makes it more difficult to get married? Here are several factors to consider if you, or someone you know, struggle with a porn habit and want to be married.

Porn Strips Away Goodness

Many times we forget that if we’ve surrendered our lives to Christ, then our sin no longer controls us (2 Cor. 5:14-20). Though you may struggle with porn, you shouldn’t let that weakness define you. Indeed, we all struggle with our sin nature (Rom. 7:14-25). Frankly, porn is only a symptom of deeper heart issues. It’s the fruit, not the root.

However, few sins can strip the goodness out of a man like the sin of porn. It can lead you down roads never imagined when you first began to view it, and perhaps it already has. I personally know two men of God who are in prison today, and their porn habit put them there.

Though I’d never wish it on anyone, getting arrested by federal agents at least brought the sin to light so it could be dealt with. It’s the friend with a carefully hidden porn problem who is in grave danger.

Sin is not like a cold that just goes away after a week or so. It’s a cancer that without treatment grows and grows. It robs you of your joy, peace, strength, and sanity. Eventually, porn will kill your soul.  As you become a warped version of yourself, you become less and less capable of loving and cherishing a precious daughter of the King.

Don’t believe the lies anymore! Take your stand not just against porn, but for honor, purity, and life. Resolve in your mind to be who you want to be, rather than do what you want to do.

Porn Reprograms the Sex Drive

Both sex and our sex drive are precious gifts created by God for our good and His glory.  They’re wonderful, powerful things. That’s part of the appeal! But sex is also dangerous, and it is intended for unhindered enjoyment only in the safety of a committed marriage relationship.

But what good is the sex drive if you are not married? Especially if you’re in college, high school or middle school and seemingly years away from marriage? Is it merely a nuisance- a burden or curse?

Could I suggest another alternative? What if the sex drive was intended by God to be a motivator, not simply to have sex, but to get married?

No, I am not saying you should just get married if you want to have sex. In fact, sex may very well be the worst reason to get married. Here’s what I am saying. If the God who designed our sex drive intends for us to enjoy the pleasure it seeks inside marriage alone, then that would make puberty our wake-up call to begin preparing for marriage.

Yes, what I just typed sounds outlandish to the modern ear, where the onset of haywire hormones could only mean one thing: HAVE SEX! (Of course, responsibly, safely, only if you really love each other, blah blah blah.)

But if you believe God made sex exclusively for marriage, and you feel the urge to enjoy it, then the healthiest response to your sex drive would be to pursue the maturity and stability necessary for loving and cherishing the woman with whom you could enjoy the sacredness of sex. (Does this idea really seem that crazy?)

Regardless, the fact remains that when we get our sexual desires “satisfied” by porn, our sex drive doesn’t drive us to marriage. It drives us to more porn. You may want to be married, but porn is just so much easier.

The result: you satiate your sexual appetite in a cheap, artificial sort of way, instead of letting your desire drive you to prepare and seek God’s calling in marriage.

Related: Porn and the Desire Dilemma

In the world of porn, you aspire to be a sex god, but that is a silly and small aspiration. Man was made for more! Resolve to become something greater: a man who protects, provides, and cares for a woman for a lifetime, no matter the cost!

Porn Inspires Sexualization Instead of Relation

Our God is a relational God. Indeed, before creation He already existed in relationship with Himself, three persons perfectly and eternally unified as one God.

Made in His image, we also long for relationships- healthy relationships defined by love, peace, joy and freedom. Further, most of us are like Adam, made for a helpmate with whom we can enjoy a unique connection called oneness, which is far bigger than sex.

But exposure to porn causes men to sexualize women rather than relate to them. Instead of viewing women as fellow image-bearers with souls, we just see them as sex objects. Eventually, this objectification can stunt our social skills, making us detached, uncomfortable, or ashamed around the opposite sex.

Related: License to Lust–How Porn Trains Objectification

The result: you imagine sharing oneness with a myriad of women you cannot hold, while you struggle to carry on a meaningful conversation with the women you could.

We were made for intimacy. Not the kind where we bare our bodies, but the kind where we bare our souls.

Those are just three thoughts to consider, but I share more in a second post here at Covenant Eyes. In the meantime, I’m betting you already know other ways porn is keeping men from marriage. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

  1. God created sex for marriage! Therefore, one could conclude that one is not ready for sex unless they are in a life-long committed marriage for the glory of God. That’s a high standard to hold to, and seemingly impractical in a culture that believes you are ready for sex whenever you want it: porn/masturbation, fornication, pre-marital sex, and even adultery.

  2. Rahul Sylvester

    Hi iam a Christian from India. Im struggling with porn and want myself to quit watching it but it just does not happen. Iam in love with a girl who is now a Christian and prays to the Lord. We did premarital sex but then we stopped once we accepted Jesus as our saviour but still we talk about sex sometimes on chat messages. I want to marry this girl but my wedding is getting delayed because our parents are not accepting this marriage. They want me to marry a Christian girl from a Christian family and not a converted Christian girl. Also I have been praying to the Lord but I think my sins are delaying my wedding. Please help

    • Chris McKenna

      Hello, Rahul – I can tell that you are dealing with a lot of anxiety and stress from this situation. First, put your trust in God. Place all of this situation right in His faithful hands. I’m not smart enough to know if your struggles are contributing to the delays in your marriage, but I do know that breaking free from a porn addiction will honor God, yourself, and your future wife. Who can you talk to about this secret sin? It will continue to dominate your life if you try to battle it alone, in the dark. I encourage you to find someone you can talk to so that you can start “living in the light” as Paul calls us to in Ephesians. That’s a good first step.

      Peace, Chris

    • MJ

      What a touch situation, Rahul! My encouragement is to remember that love is first and foremost PATIENT! Keep WAITING on the Lord in the situation with this girl you are attracted to. And waiting doesn’t mean sitting around, but focusing on what YOU should be doing to walk in righteousness before the Lord! And You CAN do it if you’ve got God’s Holy Spirit alive and living in you! Praying for you!

  3. Trevor

    Sorry it is not porn keeping men from marriage It is feminism and no fault divorce, not to mention family courts that almost always favor the woman in divorce settlements. Most guys have seen firsthand how men get the short end of the stick in a divorce settlement. Most child custody ends up going to the mother, with the father paying child support. It is no secret that most women marry up and the wife usually gets alimony, even if she never worked while married. In domestic disputes the courts usually side with the woman.

  4. Jaret

    MJ,

    I gotta say this article hits home hard! Over the summer I finally was able to get a friend of mine, who has a lot of the qualities God asks us to look for, to go out another date with ms and eventually we wound up dating for real. However, as soon as I realized where things were going it was like I lost all ability to carry on a deep meaningful conversation. Instead I found myself becoming frustrated and annoyed when she wouldn’t do things that I wanted and pushing up to the line and causing it to become further and further away than it originally was, and the entire time knowing that she wasn’t completely comfortable with it. I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that 2 weeks before we started dating I got CE, but was still turning to pornographic images on social media. This caused a lot of shame a guilt to build up in me to point where it felt like we were drifting apart rather than closer. As soon as she got back from her mission trip she ended things because she didn’t believe that I could lead her in a Christ like way, and because things were becoming too physical a lot faster than they needed to. After that my usave got so much worse, but recently I’ve decided enough is enough and I’m stepping out in faith that the Lord will continue to show me unending grace. Thanks for showing me the damage that unrepentant sin does to us.

    • MJ

      “I’m stepping out in faith that the Lord will continue to show me unending grace.” – AMEN to that! He WILL! Keep walking in faithful obedience! God’s grace is Your power to do just that.

  5. macharia

    I started watching porn when I was high school in form two, after that I developed problem of mastubation since then I have not been able socialize with girl, no interest with them now I have tried to stop with no vain kindly help.

    • Jaret

      Dude, I was the exact same way and still am honestly. I’ve recently set a goal of going 90 days free, download the eBook regarding the porn circuit that’s one of the biggest tips they give. I’ve tried to “white-knuckle it to no avail. You have to surround yourself with brothers who will call out sin in your life and will also ask how your walk is going.

    • MJ

      So sorry for the pain of your struggle, but will pray for You to grow in the knowledge of God’s TRUTH which WILL set you free (in time). Don’t give up!

  6. Alex A

    I agree with everything in this article, but please understand: it is very tempting to look at pornography when 90% of the women around are sleazy and worldly. I haven’t dated in years, and once I graduate from grad school, I’m probably just going to buy a house and remain single. I haven’t looked at porn for a week now, and I’m not looking back. I’d rather be lonely than risk a divorce, child support, etc. I might just get a dog, it’ll be more loyal than most women these days.

    • Kay Bruner

      Hey Alex. I want to challenge you to start thinking of women as image-bearers of God. They may not realize it, they may not live that way, but every single woman you see is created in the image of God. Our culture teaches all of us to objectify each other. Men are taught to see women as objects of lust. Women are taught to see men as objects of emotional and material fulfillment. But I think if we all woke up in the morning and consciously said to ourselves, “Every person I will see today is God’s image-bearer”–well, I think it would matter.

      CS Lewis puts it this way: “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations – these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit – immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

      Blessings, Kay

    • MJ

      Hey Alex, Thanks for your encouragement, but don’t give up! More than likely (well, unless you’re called to celibacy) you are called to marriage! When you’re a beloved child of the LIVING God it’s not about what you’d prefer: loneliness or divorce. It’s about what He’s calling you to. There are still women of God out there looking for a man who’s pursuing their calling from God! It’s not about avoiding temptation (porn or otherwise) it’s about running with his life in your lungs, which enables you to keep running for His glory and YOUR pleasure!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related in Defeat Lust & Pornography

Editor's Picks

A group of elementary-age children watching a video on a phone.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

When I Was Eight, a Classmate Told Me Porn Was Cool

Unfortunately, I started watching pornography at a very young age. I started…

3 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A support group for men.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Porn Addiction Support Group: How to Find Help When You Need It

For many struggling with porn addiction, a support group is the difference…

5 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A thoughtful man looking at a computer screen.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Am I Addicted to Porn? 12 Signs of Porn Addiction

Despite decades of research, porn addiction remains a questionable diagnosis in the…

7 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

Close-up portrait of male student with head on knees sitting by wall in college

Defeat Lust & Pornography

My Sin Owned Me

I have long struggled with lust, first giving in to pornography as…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A young boy praying in a Catholic church.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

I Was an Altar Boy Addicted to Porn

Since I was young, I’ve battled with a deeply personal struggle: pornography…

4 minute read

Read Post

Editor's Picks

A young man embracing his wife.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

I Overcame My Fear of Abandonment

My struggles have been with pornography, masturbation, fanaticizing, objectifying, and lying. It…

3 minute read

Read Post

Related in Defeat Lust & Pornography

A group of elementary-age children watching a video on a phone.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

When I Was Eight, a Classmate Told Me Porn Was Cool

Unfortunately, I started watching pornography at a very young age. I started…

Unfortunately, I started watching pornography at a very young age. I started when I was eight years old. I was introduced to it by a classmate who claimed that it was a cool thing to…

3 minute read

0 comments

A support group for men.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Porn Addiction Support Group: How to Find Help When You Need It

For many struggling with porn addiction, a support group is the difference…

For many struggling with porn addiction, a support group is the difference between success and failure. When porn addiction takes hold, it drives people into shame and isolation. We don’t want to talk about struggles…

5 minute read

0 comments

A thoughtful man looking at a computer screen.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

Am I Addicted to Porn? 12 Signs of Porn Addiction

Despite decades of research, porn addiction remains a questionable diagnosis in the…

Despite decades of research, porn addiction remains a questionable diagnosis in the medical community. But there’s no question that thousands of people struggle unsuccessfully to quit pornography. If you’re concerned that you may be addicted…

7 minute read

0 comments

Close-up portrait of male student with head on knees sitting by wall in college

Defeat Lust & Pornography

My Sin Owned Me

I have long struggled with lust, first giving in to pornography as…

I have long struggled with lust, first giving in to pornography as a 6th grader. As I approach my junior year of college, I see the destruction that my addiction has caused and the further…

4 minute read

0 comments

A young boy praying in a Catholic church.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

I Was an Altar Boy Addicted to Porn

Since I was young, I’ve battled with a deeply personal struggle: pornography…

Since I was young, I’ve battled with a deeply personal struggle: pornography and masturbation. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when this addiction took hold of me, but that first encounter remains etched in my memory.…

4 minute read

0 comments

A young man embracing his wife.

Defeat Lust & Pornography

I Overcame My Fear of Abandonment

My struggles have been with pornography, masturbation, fanaticizing, objectifying, and lying. It…

My struggles have been with pornography, masturbation, fanaticizing, objectifying, and lying. It started after dealing with intense feelings of loneliness following my graduation from college and first job in ministry. I was spending a lot…

3 minute read

0 comments