fighting for free hearts

Porn Values

One of the realities of pornography that is subtle yet inescapable is the fact that the more a person views it — or even consumes things that are not technically pornography but are influenced by porn culture — the more that person starts to value what porn values.

Far from being simple, harmless entertainment, pornography shapes its viewers in a profound way.  Even entertainment that is not outright pornography but is derivative of pornography has a strong shaping effect on its viewers.

What does porn value?

It values false ideas of beauty; false ideas about sexual relationships; and false ideas about oneself.

In porn, beauty is entirely physical and sexual and it has one purpose:  arousal.  In porn, sexual relationships are indiscriminate and sex itself is a commodity — something to be bought and sold.  In porn, each person is unaccountable to others and selfishness is prized. In fact, in porn the highest value is personal sexual fulfillment regardless of what the consequences.

Moreover, what porn teaches men and women to value in themselves and others is the ultra consumeristic mindset:  everything exists for my pleasure. The damage porn has done to our standard of beauty is also unfathomable. And whether you are an addict or not makes no difference. We are all shaped by this somehow.

We have, as a culture, elevated physical, sexual beauty to such a degree that we pursue it and value it in a way that is out of proportion with reality. Physical beauty fades, it’s unavoidable. And yet some of us will go to extreme lengths to hold on to physical, sexual beauty because it has been sold to us as a magical way to have value and security.

This is what makes the words of Proverbs 31:30-31 all the more important:

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31 is often seen as some sort of template for Christian women; this is how they should act and it is the sum total of what they should aspire to be.  That’s a discussion for another time. The fact is the whole proverb is building verse by verse to the conclusion it reaches about about charm, beauty and real value in a woman. Both men and women need this instruction. The fallen nature of men looks to the physical, sexual beauty of women wrongly and porn culture exploits it. The fallen nature of women does the same, and a pornified culture exploits it.

Pornography thrives because both men and women have bought the lie;  they both attempt to fill the void in their hearts for affirmation, validation and security through porn, they just do it in slightly different ways.

2 Responses to “Porn Values”

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