2 Chronicles 7-9
John 11:1-29

“But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.” 1 Corinthians 7:2

In Matthew 19, the Pharisees tested Jesus with questions about divorce, and Jesus responded by pointing to God’s original intent of marriage to be a lifelong commitment and that Moses permitted divorce because of their hardened hearts. Then, Jesus turned the question back towards them: “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery” (Matthew 19:9).

Jesus outlined the grounds for a divorce by listing one exception with massive implications: sexuality immorality. The Greek word is porneia, which is where we get the word “pornography.” “Sexual immorality” is a broad term, where, in the context of marriage, it is understood as sexual fulfillment outside of the marriage covenant. In New Testament times, most of the sexual immorality was committed by the husband; hence, Jesus was challenging men not only with their conduct, but calling them to be accountable for their actions. Unless the wife was looking for sexual fulfillment outside of marriage, the husband could not divorce her. If he did divorce her and married another woman, he was committing adultery, which according to Old Testament law was punishable by death, which further reinforced the severity of Jesus’s statement.

I also want to emphasize that pornography is a marriage killer. If this is something that has taken hold in your life, there is a pathway to freedom. Paul tells us, “It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honourable...” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-4). We can learn to control our impulses and our appetites. While it is a process, learning to live into the fullness and freedom that Christ has for us, we are to do it in community. Whether pornography has taken root in our life for days, weeks, months or even years, we are not meant to fight this battle alone. The consequences of not dealing with this are too great. May we consider reaching out to someone, either a pastor or a mature Christian who respects confidentiality and share our struggles with them; confession is how sin leaves our body.

There is freedom, but it requires us to step into the light, not so that people will shame or guilt us, but so that we can take that step towards learning what it means to repent and lean in to the reality and truth of all that Christ has for us.

Dear God, thank You that I do not have to struggle alone. I ask for Your courage to step into the light and confess my sins.

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