Pornolescence

It is going to take decades before we’re able to accurately tally the cost of our cultural addiction to pornography. But as Christians we know the cost of tampering with God’s clear and unambiguous design for sexuality will be high.

Already we are seeing far too many fractured families, heartbroken husbands and wives. Each is its own tragedy. Countless thousands of women are used and abused in front of cameras; violated for other people’s pleasure. That is another sickening tragedy. But an overlooked cowst is that porn is stealing the best years from a million young Christian men and women. Porn is dominating their lives during the years when energy is high and responsibility is low, when they are charting the trajectories for the rest of their lives. Their dreams and abilities are hampered and squelched by a reckless commitment to sin.

So many young Christians have stunted their spiritual growth through pornolesence.

Pornolescence is that period where a person feels the guilt of their sin, but still enjoys it too much to give it up.

Pornolescence is that period when a person is mature enough to know pornography is wrong. However they are too immature or apathetic to do anything to avoid it. They feel guilt, but their sin is too enjoyable to give up. An addict may occasionally ask for help, or install Covenant Eyes (but keep a workaround for when he’s really burning up), or look for an accountability partner. But he doesn’t really want to stop. She may plan to speak to an older woman in the church, but her internal shame weighs heavier than her desire for holiness. So she continues on, night after night.

This is pornolesence: the time between seeing the sin and actually putting it to death. For some people it lasts days, for many more—years. The sexual awakening of many young people comes far too early in all the wrong circumstances, and delays every other kind of awakening and maturing. It especially delays their spiritual maturation.

A person cannot full-out pursue God while also full-out pursuing porn. It’s either/or, not both/and. God will not be mocked. God will not allow you to soar to spiritual mountain tops while you stoop in pornographic filth.

Porn is stealing the best years from so many young people and stunting their spiritual growth. These people are the future of the church. But with each click, with each video, with each unblushing exposure to what God deems abhorrent, they choose to worship a god in place of the God. And all the while they delay their entrance into maturity, into leadership, into who and what God calls them to be.

If this is you, hear my plea: for the sake of Christ’s church, and out of love for Christ’s church, put that sin to death. Do it for Him, and do it for us.

About the author

Tim Challies

Proper introductions begin with names, so let me tell you how to pronounce mine. It’s pronounced CHALL-eez and rhymes with “valleys” and “rallies.” It’s quite simple, really, but is almost always the first question I’m asked. I am a Christian, Husband and Father of three. I worship and serve as an elder at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto. I have written 5 books and write daily articles on my blog to encourage others.

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