LILY Letter 153: How P*rn Impacts Relationships

March 21, 2024

Describing his father's dream, Nephi said, "I said unto them that the water which my father saw was filthiness; and so much was his mind swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness of the water" (1 Nephi 15:27).

When we think about how to overcome pornography or any other vice, sometimes we try to defeat the problem by drilling down on it, fighting it, and focusing on it--almost to the point of obsession. This is self-defeating. It can make the problem seem bigger and even more insurmountable. Perhaps the best thing to do, instead, is to explore what we can replace it with. If we don't want our minds focused on objectifying others through pornography, what can we focus on instead? We can focus on becoming clean, our relationship with God and the purifying power of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We can remember that His transcending love is there for the taking if we will accept it.

Pornography comes in many shapes and forms. For men, it generally comes in the form of magazines and internet videos. Some women utilize it that way too. But more often we observe that women experience it in salacious romance novels and television programming that presents false doctrine about the meaning of real love, replacing it with all kinds of cheap substitutes based primarily on fleeting emotion. That can be as pornographic as many of the images that turn men's hearts cold against their wives. The proper test of whether or not you are viewing pornography and other counterfeit material is whether the thing you are viewing will strengthen a healthy relationship with your real companion (current or future) or create unrealistic expectations and dissatisfaction.

If you are in a relationship and your partner has a history of indulgence in pornography, remember that Jesus Christ said, ”I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 5:32). It is not so important where your partner has been as it is where he or she is now and in what direction he or she is headed. There is no foolproof way to know what is in another person's heart. Jesus taught that the way to know a true prophet from a false one is that, "Ye shall know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16).

If your partner has history with pornography, you can observe what his or her "mind" is "swallowed up" in. Does he or she have a balanced and healthy attitude on the topic of sex? Or is he or she preoccupied, either with indulgently talking about sex all the time or fearfully avoiding the subject altogether. Is he or she excited about growing in the gospel and finding other things to occupy his or her mind? Nephi said, Father Lehi's mind was so much "swallowed up in other things that he beheld not the filthiness [.]" His secret was not shaming himself for looking at the filthiness. It was finding uplifting things to nourish and occupy his mind when it might be tempted to wander into strange roads.

You may ask yourself if your partner is growing and serving, rather than making excuses for past indiscretions. If you have been involved in pornography, you can ask these same questions of yourself. Above all you may ask yourself if it is good judgment for your partner to choose you, and what the answer to that question might mean. It isn't your place to judge the worthiness of your partners action or the sincerity of their repentance, except as it is necessary for you to make a decision about who you are going to spend your life and eternity with. In that important decision, consult with your Father in Heaven to know your partner by his or her fruits.

NEW VIDEO on LILY Tube:

My Partner Has a P*rn Habit, What Should I Do?

 

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