Monday, October 12, 2015


I wanted to share some more statistics (thank you Pastor Donny) on something that has an even greater negative effect on our society than electronic devices (my last post) – pornography.

Statistics and other Reference Resources on the Impact of Pornography to Marriages, Families, and Society

Pornography's Impact on Marriage & The Family
Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Property Rights Committee on Judiciary
United States Senate
Testimony of Jill C. Manning November 9, 2005:
Complete Report reviewing all major research on pornography:

Impact on Society
• Approximately 40 million people in the United States are sexually involved with the Internet 1
• 25% of all search engine requests are pornography related 2
• Sex is the number 1 topic searched on the Internet 3
• 15% of online porn habitu├ęs develop sexual behavior that disrupts their lives 4
• 38% of adults believe it is 'morally acceptable' to look at pictures of nudity or explicit sexual behavior 5

Impact on the Marriage
• 47% of families said pornography is a problem in their home 6
• 42% of surveyed adults indicated that their partner's use of pornography made them feel insecure 7
• 41% of surveyed adults admitted they felt less attractive due to their partner's pornography use 7
• 30% of surveyed adults said their partner's use of pornography made them feel more like a sexual object 7

Impact on the Job
• 20% of men and 13% of women admitted to accessing pornography at work 8

Impact on the Church
• 53% of "promise keeper" men admitted viewing pornography in past week 9
• According to pastors, the top sexual issues damaging to their congregation are 10:
1. 57% pornography addiction
2. 34% sexually active never-married adults
3. 30% adultery of married adults
4. 28% sexually active teenagers
5. 16% sexual dissatisfaction

Impact on the Church
• 5 out of every 10 men in the church are struggling with some issue concerning pornography 11
• 34% of churchgoing women said they have intentionally visited porn websites online 12
• 54% of pastors admitted to viewing Internet porn in the last year and 30% admitted viewing within the past month 13
• 50% of all Christian men are addicted to pornography 14
• 20% of all Christian women are addicted to pornography 15
• 60% of women admit to having significant struggles with lust 16

Wow!  I would never have guessed these statistics would be so high.  Unlike electronic devices, pornography is a hidden issue that no one talks about, and so we don’t realize how prevalent it is. 

There is no doubt that pornography can devastate a marriage.  Who can compete with the actors/models that are made up to look perfect?  While the “acts” performed in pictures and videos may look appealing, let’s face it, sex just doesn’t work that way.  Not when you are married and working and taking care of a family.  No wonder sex in marriage can look terribly boring when you compare it to a picture or video that is touched up, made up and far from the reality of normal people. It also  makes women feel terribly inadequate.  Statistics show that men reach a point where they can’t physically make love any more to an actual woman when pornography has become a daily part of their lives.  

Unfortunately, our society tells us that pornography is perfectly fine.  I’ve seen talk shows discuss how it can help your sex life.  Really??

Pornography can easily become an addiction, one of the most difficult obsessions to break (some say it's harder to stop than drugs.)  Stop it before you reach that point.  If you are addicted, get help.  It will destroy your marriage.

Matthew 5:27,28  “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
(Yes, this also applies to women.)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Step Away From the Screen!

Social Media: Hazardous to Your Marriage

Social media can help you keep in touch with loved ones near and far, but it can also damage your closest relationships.  Like your marriage.
     According to research commissioned by family law specialists, social media is so hazardous to relationships that one in seven married people said he or she would consider divorce based on a spouse’s behavior on sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.  Nearly one in four couples said they argue at least once a week over social media, and 17 percent reported fighting every day because of it.
     Plenty of folks who don’t quarrel over social media use are still suspicious about it:  Nearly 50 percent of the people surveyed admitted they secretly check their spouse’s Facebook account, and 14 percent said they were specifically looking for evidence of marital infidelity.
     An earlier survey of U.S. divorce lawyers found much the same thing, with 81 percent reporting that social media played an increasing role in their divorce cases.
                                                          From Focus on the Family’s ‘Thriving Family’ magazine
                                                                             Family media BITS & BYTES – Oct/Nov 2015

These statistics are alarming – but not too surprising.  All you have to do is go to a restaurant and notice the few people at tables actually talking to each other.  I’m always amazed at the number of people glued to their cellphones – not talking on them but messaging, tweeting, and texting while a real human being sits across from them, available for live conversation.  Though the millennials are the worst for constant phone attachment, I still see plenty of baby boomers who have gotten sucked into this alarming “fad that is not going away.”  It’s gotten so bad that people become panicked and frazzled when they misplace their cellphone for a minute.  Electronic devices have become the adult pacifier that keeps people from talking while lulling them into a dangerous place of complacency that is killing relationships.

I haven’t even begun to talk about Ipads and computers and video games.  They have become a huge bone of contention between many couples (look at the statistics above.)  What has happened to our society?  Someone posted a picture on Facebook of people walking around in a big city, all glued to their cellphones.  The caption read, “The Zombie Apocalypse”.   There’s a lot of truth to that.  My granddaughter was visiting over the summer and went to play outside with some friends.   She came back in thirty minutes, and I asked her why she was home so soon.  She said they all had Ipads and were playing on them.  She felt excluded because she didn’t have one.  She is nine years old.

Do you realize that while you are on your cellphone you might miss your baby’s first steps…your child’s first baseball hit…your husbands rare move to romance you…the moment before dinner boiled over the pot onto the stove…the most amazing day your child had…your toddler saying “I love you” for the first time…your grandfather’s last breath…just to name a very few.

I’m beginning to resent the constant intrusion of my cellphone.  Back in the day, the telephone was reserved for your time at home.  We could walk away from it with no guilt.  We didn’t sit around and watch for it to ring or keep it glued to our side.  We spent our time concentrating on getting together with our friends to talk with them in person.  Oh yes, we would occasionally chat for hours with our girlfriends on the phone – but that was actual talking.  People don’t even do that so much these days. 

We need physical, live human contact to survive - not just a message on a screen. You may think you want to go live up in the mountains away from civilization, but how many people actually do it? Not many because we are programmed to need human contact. (Thanks Hal Hester!)

I realized one morning, that I had conversed with four different people in 30 minutes via text messages, scheduled my plans for the next week and shopped for jeans, a pair of slippers and some of my favorite organic foods without ever talking to a human being.  Is that what our future looks like?  Will we all wind up permanently glued to a screen with no human interaction except via reading a message?  No wonder marriage is in great trouble.  No wonder our society is in grave danger.

Monday, September 21, 2015


The niece of a family friend recently died of a drug overdose - such a tragedy for any family to deal with.  Even worse, she left behind four small children, an ex-husband in another state and an estranged relationship with her mother whom she hadn’t talked to in a while.  What will happen to those children?

I can’t seem to stop thinking about what the mother of this young woman must be going through right now.  There must be lots of guilt and “if onlys”. 

I know of too many people who have cut off ties with family members.  Granted, family can be the most difficult people to deal with.  We tolerate much more from them than we would with non-family friends.  But to remove them completely from our lives is not what God intends for us.

1Timothy 5:8 – “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”  I believe this goes beyond a financial responsibility.  We also need to provide them with love.  (I’m not saying you have to be best friends.)

Of course, there are exceptions when abuse in any form dominates a relationship. Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case.  A fight over who got what when Grandma died or careless, hurtful words are usually the culprit of family estrangement.

Usually, family is the fortress for many - the people you can depend on regardless of how you fought at one time or maybe still do.  A true family is one that you know will always be there for you no matter what.  You would never discard them because they are your family.

I’ve often said that we should have that same attitude about our spouse.  Would you divorce your parents or your kids? (Of course, there may be times when you FEEL like you want to.)  We should have that same commitment to our spouse.

But if someone is willing to dispose of a family member, what chance do they have of staying with a spouse who offends them?  Not much.

Colossians 3:12-14 says, “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues, put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”

We all need to learn to forgive.  Unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting it to kill the person you won’t forgive.  Not forgiving hurts us more than it hurts the person who has offended us. 

What about our spouses?  Do you harbor an unforgiveness against them that is affecting your relationship?  That poison of unforgiveness could destroy your marriage, showing up in other areas you may not be aware of that can lead to divorce if not dealt with.

Forgiveness is not always easy.  It takes time and practice.  Forgiveness is not forgetting, rather it is choosing to never bring the issue up again and working on loving the person who hurt you.  It is a conscious action that will reap many benefits for your health and welfare and that of your family and your spouse.