fighting for free hearts

Beauty Over Porn. Every Time.

Outside my window, the city skyline loomed like dark, jagged teeth between which the train snaked as it delivered me to an uneven and misshapen silo somewhere in that vast greyness.

The morning commute was as quiet as the world outside the window was dark. A strange heaviness afflicted me at the thought of the workday i anticipated before me.

There is a very good reason it’s called The Daily Grind.

And then, a burst of color as the rising sun announced itself. Red, orange and pink careened off of the buildings, and the hovering clouds — animated with the colorful blend — became beacons of beauty and life.

Sunrise. In many ways so common. Yet, in every way uncommon. In every way special.

Sunrise. A gift of beauty regularly given, and regularly unsavored.

i sat looking out the window at an otherwise bleak scene that had been turned suddenly radiant and inspiring and i realized how often i fail to appreciate the stunning sweetness of the created world in which God has placed me.

And then, a deeper thought that warmed my soul:  “Yes, i miss this more often than i would care to admit, but i am alive to it now.”  i used to miss the the powerful attractiveness of not only the created world, but the relational world as well because i was mired in a life dominated by indulging my compulsive pornography habit.

Pornography is an abuse of beauty. It is even, dare i say, a rape of it.

In its assault on beauty, pornography steals the loveliness of the human body — and human sexuality — solely to consume it. Pornography is an act of selfishness and greed.

The abuse is, in many ways, subtle.  One one hand, it would seem that pornography is celebrating the beauty of sexuality. And certainly, that is what pornographers say they are doing.

However, a steady diet of pornography makes a person more self-centered and less able to appreciate authentic beauty. It makes a person less able to experience beauty without sullying it; without stripping it of its true value in order to satisfy lust.

And yet there is hope, for the sun can rise within a heart. Once cold, barren, and immovable, a heart can be penetrated by beauty, goodness and life.

Mine was.

When i was deep into pornography i consumed women’s bodies, evaluating them strictly in terms of sexual value to me personally.  i was the ultimate objectifier of women.

Eventually i hit rock bottom, and it was then that was compelled to forsake pornography.

It took abandoning pornography to finally be able to see true beauty and appreciate it on its own merit. This is true regarding my ability to see the authentic beauty in actual people — as opposed to images on a screen. And it didn’t stop there:  as i got clean from porn, i became aware of beauty in all sorts of seemingly ordinary things like the sunrise  over a city skyline.

Suddenly, the things i had previously considered mundane were infused with life, goodness, and beauty all their own.

My rejection of porn led to my aesthetic awakening. i was no longer dull to the beauty God had placed in things as diverse as sunlight or a smile or tears.

Pornography truly had been killing me in ways that were far more layered and complex than i had realized.  It wasn’t just that pornography was sin — and therefore deathly — because it violated Jesus’ command to not look lustfully on a woman; rather, porn had killed artistry and nuance in my life.

It had utterly anesthetized me to the countless ways God expresses beauty in this world.

But the sun rose within my heart.

i was resurrected. My aesthetic awakening was real. And it continues to be. As a new creation, i now celebrate the beauty i have so often in the past missed.

Porn kills beauty, but beauty rises from the ashes to soar again.

Beauty wins.

 

 

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