Discover 5 reasons why I believe purity culture is the number one enemy of freedom from porn.
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Welcome to the husband material podcast where we help Christian men quit pornography so you can change your brain, heal your heart, and save your relationship. My name is drew boa and I'm here to show you how. Let's go.Speaker 2:
Today we are talking about here already culture, which I believe is the number one enemy to freedom from porn. What is purity culture? It's a movement that started in the 1990s when conservatives and Christians became concerned about the negative effects of sex outside of marriage. And they were right. It was a problem. People were dying of AIDS and people weren't neglecting God's guidelines for sex and sexuality. Unfortunately, their solution to that caused more problems. They created what I believe was a war on sex and sexuality, and this became known as purity culture. Just like the United States government waged a war on drugs saying just say no. Um, and that didn't work in the same way the church waged a war on sexuality with weapons like purity rings to stay pure until you're married. And virginity became this prize. Possession messages like true love waits and I kissed dating goodbye. We're the battle cries of this war. And this can be summarized in one sentence by author Christopher McCloskey . He said, sex is dirty, so save it for someone you love. Really that is the essence of purity. Culture. Sex is dirty, it's gross, it's bad. So therefore save it for someone you love. This doesn't make sense. And yet this is the attitude that many of us grew up with, whether we knew it or not. If you grew up in a home where sex was not talked about, where it was taboo and the only guidance you got about it was maybe what not to do sexually. You grew up in a home influenced by purity culture. And I believe purity culture actually sets us up to struggle with pornography. So here's my list of the five failures of purity culture that set you up to struggle with porn failure. Number one is toxic shame according to purity. Culture. When you're born and when you're growing up, you're sexually pure until you have sex or until you use pornography, until you engage in some kind of immorality. And then you are impure. You are unclean, you are trash, you're damaged goods and this becomes your identity. It's not just something you've done or that someone's done to you. It's who you are. This toxic shame says you're worthless. Are you even a Christian? You are not loved by God, by others. You're not worthy of loving yourself. You are a sexual mess and this is the foundation of so much of the bondage that the enemy has in our lives when it comes to pornography. This toxic shame message of you are unclean. You are impure is actually the opposite of what the Bible says and this is why I end every episode of husband material with the same words. You are God's beloved son in you. He is well-pleased . I'm reminding you of your identity in Christ. You are Holy, pure, blameless, clean, righteous in the sight of God. Listen to John 15 three Jesus says you are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. What is that word? It's the gospel. It's the good news. It's the message that Jesus is with us and for us, and he has done everything necessary to bring us back to who we really are, loved by God worthy of care and dignity and respect. And this is true of all people and especially those who have been adopted by the father who have been United with the son and filled with the Holy spirit. So I want you to know this. Toxic shame has no place in the life of any person, has no place in the life of your sexuality. And that is the first failure of purity. Culture is reinforcing toxic shame. The second failure of purity culture is sexual anorexia. Some of you were like, wait, what does that mean? I know what anorexia is, but what is sexual anorexia? Well, sexual anorexia is when, just like in anorexia, a pattern of disorder eating, you avoid food. You see that food is bad, it becomes repulsive to you. You, you can't handle it. You shut down your appetite. In sexual anorexia, you shut down your sexuality, you see someone beautiful and you bounce your eyes. I can't look at them. I can't go near them. You experience pleasure in your body, maybe in your genitals and you think this is bad, this is wrong. I have to stop this. And so you push away intimacy with other people. You've push away pleasure in your body and you become anorexic sexually. You can't handle beauty. You run away from it or you try to overpower it. In any case, you put a wall up between you and experiences of beauty, touch, affection, delight and love. So sexual anorexia is not what God wants and it is the second failure of purity culture. The third failure of purity culture is a military mindset, and you'll see this all the time for any kind of porn recovery or sexual addiction recovery or ministry or organization aimed at sexual purity. They all take on a military mindset of fight the battle for purity, be a warrior, conquer the enemy. And the problem is this often puts us in a fight against our sexuality where I feel like I have to go to war against myself. This is not the biblical view of spiritual warfare. Spiritual warfare is not against sexuality. It's actually for the sake of sexuality, against the spiritual forces of darkness that are trying to destroy our sexuality. So this military mindset, we need to be very clear that yes, spiritual warfare is a thing and it's important, and yet it's not the most important thing. I believe the most important thing is to go into those where our sexual development was stunted and learn how to grow up into mature, Christlike sexual adults. And that's why on husband material, you're not going to see a lot of content about fight the battle or conquer or overcome or be a warrior because there's enough of that out there. The military mindset is based on purity culture. It's this idea that I'm sexually impure. I need to shut down my sexuality and fight myself because of that. And that's the opposite of the approach that I take. I believe that what's necessary is to join with God's love and experience self-compassion experience, curiosity about where our sexual desires and attractions are coming from. And you can't do that if you're shutting them down and always fighting against them. The fourth failure of purity culture is a result of the military mindset, which is sin management. If I believe that my sexuality is something that needs to be imprisoned, it's something that needs to be fought, then I'm going to try to get as many restrictions around it as I can. Internet filters, accountability software, anything that can kind of prevent me from merging with the enemy of pornography. Problem is these sin management techniques about controlling behavior are surface level. They're skin deep, and for some people that can work for a while , maybe you'll get some victories in your quest of warfare against your sexuality. You know, I got even a year of victory using this spiritual warfare, sin management technique. But in the end, all your victories, no matter how much you have, can be lost in a moment of defeat in the military mindset and in sin management, you're fighting a losing battle because even if you can learn how to manage your stress and you can learn how to overcome your sexual sins , your fantasies, your attractions, and really the beauty of sexuality will still have a kind of magical forbid effect on you. And if you let down your guard, then everything you've worked for, everything you fought for can be gone in a moment. As long as you're buying into this whole purity culture narrative of toxic shame. I'm a sexual failure, I'm sexually impure, and then sexual anorexia. I need to shut my sexuality down. The military mindset, I need to fight against any kind of sexuality that comes up within myself and then send management. I mean, it's a recipe for relapse in the end. And this is why purity culture cannot lead to deep healing and true freedom from pornography. And there's one more failure of purity culture. I have to talk about failure. Number five is false promises. Now, there was some truth in the messages of purity culture. For example, sex outside of marriage is not God's plan and I do believe it's a bad idea. The problem is that in order to support that truth, people brought in so many lies. I'm just going to read some of them to you. Here are some examples. One day you will get married and sex and marriage will be so much more amazing than anything else and actually marriage is the finish line that will satisfy your sexual desires and you will no longer have any sexual struggles after you get married. This is such a false promise and it set us up to see marriage as the solution, and this is one of the reasons why divorce rates are so high among Christians and non-Christians because we bought into this purity culture narrative and we believed the false promises that if I keep myself pure one day, it'll pay off with some kind of sexual extravaganza once I get married. That just doesn't happen. The real promise that God gives us is that you know, one day you might not get married one day, even if you are married, your spouse might die. You will not be promised a kind of marriage to any particular person and sex and marriage may or may not be amazing, especially not at first. Here's what God does promise that he wants to marry us himself, that the Lord wants to be our bridegroom and one day there will be this thing called the marriage supper of the lamb where we are all invited and it will be impossible to sin and it will be amazing and sexuality will no longer be a struggle for us. And until that day we are still recovering from the damage of sin and shame and pornography and purity. Culture actually pornography and purity culture have a lot more in common than you think. They both have an incredibly low view of sex. In purity, culture, sex is seen as forbidden, nasty, gross, dirty. In porn, sex is seen as whatever. It doesn't matter. It's casual. And both of these visions of sex and sexuality are so puny, are so pale in comparison to the beauty and glory of God's design to actually enjoy our sexuality in a healthy way. If you want to learn more about that, download my new free ebook. Sexuality meets discipleship. Check out the link in the show notes for more information and always remember my friend, no matter what purity, culture or pornography might tell you, you are God's beloved son and in you, he is well-pleased.