The use of pornography by married couples causes severe marital problems.

Written by Paul J. Bucknell on February, 03, 2021

Can Married Couples View Porn?

The Big Question

Is it a sin for Christian couples to watch porn if they both feel aroused and enthused before their pleasures are satisfied in sexual intimacy?

The Discussion

The question behind this question is whether it’s okay for married couples to watch porn to stimulate their sexual desires to enhance marital intimacies? Let me provide an answer from several angles. At the end of the article, I have added study questions and many helpful web articles where I have treated related topics in more depth.

1.) Defining porn

The English word for porn or pornography derives from the Greek word ‘porneia,’ a general term that describes various kinds of sexual immoralities.

“Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality,…” (Galatians 5:19).

“Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).

Onenet defines the Greek and original word for immorality:

Onenet: “1) illicit sexual intercourse 1a) adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc. 1b) sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18 1c) sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mr 10:11,12 2) metaph. the worship of idols 2a) of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols.”

The root word for porn means sexual immorality and derives from what God calls evil, running counter to His good purposes for purity in a marriage covenant. The “graphy” from pornography means written, or in today’s language, filmed or on a webpage.

Pornography, then, fosters enticement to all sorts of sexual immoralities—all unpleasing to God. Although men have a greater problem with this, ladies too can get addicted.

2.) Lust behind pornography

Referring back to our question, I understand that the believer who suggests such a question would no doubt only say his or her purpose is to enhance one’s sexual relationship with his/her spouse. Sex within marriage is holy if done from love in a holy way. The ensuing pleasure is good and not evil (Heb 13:4). God created sex and its pleasure to promote intimacy and joy between the husband and wife.

However, the use of pornography to build that holy passion between husband and wife is adulterated by inward sexual ‘drooling’ over others. By picturing the enticing sexual scenes (description of porn) in one’s eyes, a person betrays one’s purpose of purity. How can a wandering lustful eye create oneness? I have thought much over this; the means do not justify the end because the arousal is an admittance of lustful pleasure in others’ nudity and sexual advances.

3.) Is porn ever okay?

Paul describes porneia as something from the flesh, thus being evil. The apostle and Jesus (Mark 7:21) denounce all forms of immorality, that is, the sexual use of others for one’s own purposes. Sexual interest is not evil in and of itself, but the usage of others, whether in thought or in deed, is evil—no matter how much our modern society justifies it. Jesus speaks powerfully.

21 For from within, out of the human heart, come evil ideas, sexual immorality, theft, murder, 22 adultery, greed, evil, deceit, debauchery, envy, slander, pride, and folly. 23 All these evils come from within and defile a person” (Mark 7:20-23 Net Bible).

Again, the emboldened word, Sexual immorality, shares the same root word porneia as the above verses.

4.) Understanding purity in marriage

The pleasures that accompany sexual intimacies between husband and wife highlight and reward one’s oneness (Gen 2:25; Mat 19:6).

Oneness is not only seen in the sexual relationship, but in the way one shares, teams, plans, prays, lives life with one’s spouse. Pornography is like having a guy or girl come on your mattress between you two, alluring you into lusts.

Can you see that the manifest seduction in pornography? It appropriately is called immorality.

5.) Pornography and lust

Porn by design conjures lustful enticement from erotic scenes. Jesus called the pursuit of these desires as deserving of hell. Why? Because of the dishonesty and rejection of one’s spouse. Why? Because of one’s willingness to use another’s body for selfish reasons.

Consider how this attitude differs from that which David speaks, “In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord” (Psalm 15:4). Would one desire for his daughter or son to play such a passionate part in a porn play? I hope not!

Jesus attaches the sin of adultery to the eyes and desires, the very thing such couples try to bring into their marriage through porn.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell” (Mat 5:27-29).

Is it not the lust that your body is responding to? Instead of welcoming such destructive images, a couple should rather “tear” out their eyes. Or, more simply done, don’t view and use pornography! Porn, without question, defiles marriages.

Oneness of soul greatly contrasts with a bitter and indifferent couple.

Further reflections on the use of pornography

  • Pornography destroys the clear societal divide of sexual morality and immorality. This question depicts this moral erosion in that it entertains an immoral situation and its accompanying lust as good and right.
  • Pornography trains a man or woman to develop their sensitivities and wills to engorge themselves in others to tantalize and satisfy their sensual pleasures. A wife should want her husband’s eyes only on her!
  • By welcoming this plague of pornography in their lives, the couple embarks on an intense training program making it harder for them to be satisfied without more extreme physical tantalizing scenes. A marriage cannot rightly function when one’s delight arises from another than one’s mate. Repentance and time are necessary to reset oneself in the simple joy of one’s spouse.
  • The willingness to use porn tries to bring to life the dullness of routine marital sexual functions. They consider the use of pornography as ‘spicing up’ a marriage, much like spices make a meal more pleasurable. Without discernment, they don’t think of one’s divided heart and the willingness to put pleasure before God’s standards as their chief problem.
  • Emptiness in sexual routines leads to experimentation, which begs for trouble. Instead, focus on what brings oneness. Is there any deep-lying resentment between the couple? This is the common thief stealing away simple affection. Differences foster dullness, and thus sex has become the merger of bodies rather than of souls.

Conclusion

I could state many other things. I have gone in further depth discussing these things in other resources found at the end, but one should see why a couple should never view or listen to pornography together or separately. The use of pornography leads to adultery, and though it promises enticement, it’s a shortcut to hell. Never compromise a one-hearted allegiance to one’s spouse.

Instead, believe in God’s glorious plans for marriage. Take the necessary steps of faith to enter an uncompromised marriage, allowing for the blossoming and merger of your souls and bodies. A married couple should exhibit the best of friends, having regular opportunities to express practical ways to develop that friendship. Think of yourselves as a spiritual team, living out and proclaiming God’s kingdom.

Discussion Questions on Married Couples watching Porn together

  1. What is porn? What is its purpose?
  2. How is the Greek word ‘porneia’ translated into English in Gal 5:19 and Col 3:5? What does that Greek word mean?
  3. Why might a couple think that viewing sensual movies can help them better their intimacy? How do they hope it would work?
  4. Do you think that sexually enticing views of others, including the viewing of porn, whether on television, books, computer, or print, is evil? Explain.
  5. Why might God have included such wonderful sexual pleasures in marriage?
  6. The author suggests that underlying resentment, bitterness, and an unforgiving heart lay at the root of much sexual boredom. Do you agree?
  7. Are you free from such resentment? What is one step you can take to eliminate or minimize that coldness of heart?
  8. Where does the idea of oneness come from? Explain soul oneness and what it might mean. How might that teaching increase one’s marital intimacy?

For further study:

For purchase

Striving for Moral Purity seminar in Digital Library 2 (includes all our overcoming books and series).

Building a Great Marriage: Finding Faith, Forgiveness and Friendship by Paul and Linda Bucknell.

Reaching Beyond Mediocrity: Faith’s Triumph Over Temptation by Paul Bucknell

Running the Race: Overcoming Sexual Lusts by Paul Bucknell

Web articles

Benefits of sexual purity for singles

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Singles and Purity: The Power to Run

Singles and sexual Purity: The need and means a single person can be sexually pure. Staying clean from pornography.

Crossing the Line! Discovery Sexual Purity

Running the Race for Sexual Purity. Charting our lusts. The Big Race. Joining in. What is the race like? Can I make it? Does it really matter? Getting Ready

Pure in Heart, not divided: Matthew 5:8

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Time to Sign up for the Race for Moral Purity

If you have sincerely made those prayers relevant to you, then you have taken a strong and important decision to once again run in this race for sexual purity.

Building up endurance for the race for sexual purity

Building up endurance for the race for sexual purity. When we are not doing well keeping pure lives, it indicates that we have stopped working with our trainers.

Reaching Our Goals - Our spiritual checkup for moral purity

Reaching Our Goals - Our spiritual checkup for moral purity. Now we need to followup with confession before going on!

Down and up: Is there hope for my marriage?

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The Glory of a Pure Heart - Meeting God on High

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Pornography is dangerous: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity Lesson #7

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Dealing with Pornographic Attacks

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A Secret Look at Lust: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity Lesson #7

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Word study on lust - Greek epithumeo: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity ...

This series (free) carefully develops the training needed to overcome sexual sins. Samson. See the emptiness and pain of a lust-filled life. Porn attack! Fight back.

Correcting Two Weaknesses of Lusts: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity ...

pain of a lust-filled life. Porn attack! Fight back. What do you do when your mind is driven by horrible lustful thoughts?

Properly Handling Temptation: Reaching Beyond Mediocrity Lesson ...

This series (free) carefully develops the training needed to overcome sexual sins. Samson. See the emptiness and pain of a lust-filled life. Porn attack!

Crossing the Line! Discovery Sexual Purity

Porn attack! Fight back. What do you do when horrible lustful thoughts drive your mind?

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