Is My Boyfriend’s Porn a Marriage Deal-Breaker? (Ask Pastor John)

Is My Boyfriend’s Porn a Marriage Deal-Breaker? (Ask Pastor John)

We released ten new episodes in the past two weeks, and what follows are brief transcribed excerpts from each (click on the hyperlinked titles to listen).

As a brief programing note, during the month of July we will be releasing four new episodes each week (on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays).

Is My Boyfriend’s Porn a Marriage Deal-Breaker? (Episode 122):

Porn is destructive to a man’s capacities to love a woman purely for herself. He is training his body to need increasingly different, strange, erotic situations and bodies, and he is making it harder to be content with the real body of the woman that is going to be offered to him as his wife. And her body, as it is, at its best, is not going to be the airbrushed body of pornographic sites. And when she is 50 it isn’t going to be that either. And if he hasn’t cultivated a kind of pure love for his wife, for herself, as she is, then his eyes are going to be cruising continually beyond what she has to offer him at age 40 and 50 and 60. A woman needs to be able to trust a man. A woman feels profoundly compromised when a man says to her, “No, I really need more than you can offer me.” That is tragic for a man to say that to a woman. So porn is destructive to his capacity to love her for who she is.

And here is the fourth and the last thing I will say about why it is so wrong for a man to do this. Porn is destructive to a man’s soul. His capacity to see God in the purity and the greatness of his glory is shriveled. It is compromised. The soul shrinks to the size and the quality of its pleasures.

Suffering, Sacrifice, and Christian Hedonism (Episode 121):

If Christian Hedonism can’t create a people who can cry and rejoice at the same time, let’s just close up shop, because you should always be crying and you should always be rejoicing, and there is always reason to do both in your life.

Does Christian Hedonism Make Joy an Idol? (Episode 120):

Christian Hedonism doesn’t make a god, or an idol, out of joy, because Christian Hedonism says we make a god out of whatever we find most joy in. That is the short answer. So find your greatest joy in God and, thus, be done with all idolatry.

What Does It Mean to Be Dead to the World? (Episode 119):

My old flesh loved the world, craved the world, depended on the world, needed the world, and worshipped the world as its god and its satisfaction. And now all that died. And the world now has been crucified to me as a god. So if you say, “In what sense has the world died in me?” I say, “The world once was a god to me. It once was my life, and I killed it. I crucified it. I put it to death with its desires. And my flesh died. So my dying to it, and it dying to me, is the same reality. I killed this pseudo reality called the world, which was posing as an all-satisfying god to me and my old, blind, foolish self, who worshipped this world, died when I died with Christ.”

Is the 40-Minute Sermon Passé? (Episode 118):

Pedagogy and education are secondary in the worship service. The category is this: supernatural encounter with the living God as the preacher worships over the Word and draws the people into an experience of God almighty through his proclamation. That is the category. And if you try to just replace that category with a lecture category, then her argument is going to make sense. All we are trying to do here is improve people’s understanding of some theological truths. Well, that is just not the main point of preaching. The first aim of preaching is not education, but encounter.

The Joy of Calvinism and the Fight for Joy (Episode 117):

In this world there is so much sorrow. We are disappointed again and again. We are discouraged. We suffer. We fail. We are assaulted. We get sick. We die. Day after day the world is attacking our joy in God, our family’s joy in God, our church’s joy in God, our nation’s joy in God. We are constantly being assailed by things that threaten our joy and the question is this: How does God’s sovereignty work to help us fight for joy in God? Because joy in God is the reason we are made and it is what glorifies God. And the answer comes in Romans 8:28 and Romans 8:32 and Genesis 50:20.

God’s Joy and the Joy of the Calvinist (Episode 116):

So the love that the Father has for the Son and the Son has for the Father, this love is essentially joy, because they are not lovingly enduring each other. There is no longsuffering in the Trinity like there is for recalcitrant sinners outside the Trinity. They have an infinite pleasure in each other’s perfections. And this is what just blows my mind and I love it. Therefore, joy is at the essence of God’s God-ness. It is the foundation of his sovereignty. The reason God is free and independent and powerful outside God is that he is completely happy inside God. He has no needs. And he is sovereignly independent because he is happy at the core of his being in his all-sufficiency, his self-sufficiency. And, therefore, when he creates the world, it is not owing to any deficiency in him.

Why Is Interracial Marriage Such a Hot Topic? (Episode 115):

Parents want their children to succeed in marriage. They don’t want them to get divorced because of irresolvable differences. And everybody who has been married 10 years — I have been married 44 — knows that all marriage is hard. All marriages, I laughingly say, are cross cultural. I married a woman from Georgia, for goodness’ sake and I am from South Carolina. So that is cross cultural.

Tornadoes and Twitter Timing (Episode 114):

God is the one who subjected the world to futility. And not only that, he didn’t just do it like a clock maker who said, “OK, I am going to make this clock go bad now,” and then steps back and watches the clock go bad. He is involved in nature, as the Bible says everywhere, repeatedly governing the natural processes, like Jesus stopping the storm so that the disciples say, “Well, who then is this who rules, who commands the winds and the waves and they obey him,” which he does in Oklahoma as well as Israel.

Natural Disasters and Pastoral Ministry (Episode 113):

The goal of pastoral ministry is faith in our people and glory for our God. And all of that — great faith, strong faith, indomitable faith, glorifying God — all of that spilling over for the same in the world. We want more of that to happen in the world. We don’t want our people to stumble into unbelief or into doubt when they are clobbered by some grief, loss, pain, or suffering.

Tuning In

Ask Pastor John is a daily podcast series of 3–8 minute conversations released each weekday at 10:30am (EST) through the DG Facebook and Twitter feeds. You can tune in to the new episodes through the free Ask Pastor John mobile app for iPhone and Android. We’re currently hosting all the recordings on SoundCloud, a website making it easy to listen to several of the podcasts in one sitting. They’re also archived on the DG website and syndicated in iTunes.

We want to hear from you. To submit a question to Pastor John please include your first name, hometown, and question in an email to AskPastorJohn AT desiringGod DOT org.

Thanks for listening to the podcasts. We appreciate your engagement and interest.

Tony Reinke (@tonyreinke) is a content strategist at Desiring God, blogger, the author of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (2011) and John Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (2015), and hosts the Ask Pastor John and Authors on the Line podcasts. He lives in the Twin Cities with his wife, Karalee, and their three children.