Is my boyfriend’s porn a marriage deal-breaker?

Desiring God ministries has a podcast called “Ask Pastor John,” in which John Piper fields difficult questions about life, ministry, and whatever. In the most recent episode he answers a query that has to be one of the most pressing question facing young women today: “Is my boyfriend’s porn a marriage deal-breaker?” Because of the internet, pornography has become pervasive and common among young men. It seems sometimes that there’s hardly anyone who hasn’t been hooked by it. So more and more women—even Christian women—must grapple with this question as they consider marrying.

Ask Pastor John: “Is my boyfriend’s porn a marriage deal-breaker?”
[audio:http://cdn.desiringgod.org/resources/ask-pastor-john/2013/apj-122.mp3]

I want to argue that this is also a question that young men need to consider as well. Why? Because the answer to the question is not going to be one that you like if you are hooked on pornography. At the end of the podcast, Piper says that a woman ought not to marry a man who is regularly failing in this area. Piper says that she should not lower her standards to accommodate a man’s porn addiction. As a pastor, I couldn’t agree more with this answer.

Young Christian men, why do you need to consider this carefully? Because this answer might be a means of grace that the Lord would use to break this pattern of sin in your life. The world is telling you that your sin is common and that it is no big deal. It’s telling you that you can just muddle forward carrying this albatross around your neck. Have you let yourself believe those lies?

Perhaps it will be sobering for you to realize that Christian women are being told by their pastors that you are unmarriable as long as you hold fast to this pattern of sin. There are many other reasons that you ought not to walk in darkness, many of them that should be more sobering than this one (e.g., 1 John 1:6). But maybe for some of you this will be the one that gets your attention. I’m praying that it will be.

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