Yielding to smut will make it hard to find your intended, dad tells son (II)

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Please read the first part of this essay here. A dad is in the middle of a conference with a son.

“That’s the thing about pornography. Its images make an indelible printing on the back of your mind. You can be just about to take the Lord’s Supper, and the flesh brings to mind some terrific image you kept going back to see, and you have lost communion with God. It just pops up. You cannot control it easily. Like images on the hard drive of your computer that are apparently forever there, images of sex are constantly in your mind, and your eye is full.

“How can you find the girl God intends for you if your heart is filled with corruption? If you have sown a little of corruption today, tomorrow you will sow a little more, to keep the thrill alive. You will reap it in such a way that you could have a lifelong suffering burden from it. If you are unholy and unclean in your thoughts and doings, how will you ever see the girl God intends for you?

“What if she happens to be a little plain, or a little overweight? She has the best heart, wants a lot of children, and you have missed her. God ordained you to miss a good woman, because He is going to chastise you with an unhappy marriage; He will let you follow your own inclinations, which have been shaped by the training you’ve given yourself with your sin.

“Son! A man who has been turned into a crust of bread by his covetings is slain, is cast down, is caught in a snare. God requires you to keep short accounts with Him. That is why the Lord’s supper is so important. We keep short accounts. We do not hold on to any secret sin. That is why every Sunday we hear words to that effect, and especially on the first Sunday when we commune at the table with God. God knows our secret thoughts. He knows everything we have done. He knows our every thought. That’s why we say there is a sword over the table; a man who eats at the table and clings to a secret sin is eating death to himself.

“BEFORE I’M DONE I want to read to you from the Westminster catechism, regarding the 7th commandment. ‘The duties required in the seventh commandment are, chastity in body, mind, affections, words, and behavior.’ Notice, son, affections. ‘ *** [W]atchfulness over the eyes and all the senses; temperance; keeping of chaste company **** ; marriage by those that have not the gift of continence.’ Now that is why I got married to your sweet mom. I married because I longed to be married. I do not have the gift of continency, the gift of holy self-restraint. I needed your mom, and love your mom, and we have had wonderful times together. ‘[C]onjugal love, and cohabitation.’ Now notice this, that conjugal love is in the context of living together. When you find the girl God wants to give to you, you two will always be together. It goes on to talk about ‘diligent labor in our callings; shunning all occasions of uncleanness, and resisting temptations thereunto’ (WLC, question 138).

“See, son? My clue to your problem is that you have been failing to do your work around the house, and cannot think straight nor hear your parents’ commands. King David made the same mistake you are making. How was it that his eyes wandered over to Bathsheba and coveted her? He wasn’t doing his job. His army was in the field, and he should have been with his troops in the tent. He had no business being at home in Jerusalem. He was slacking off. He was making things easy on himself as the general, and should never have gone home. Uriah was out there in the hill country. Why wasn’t David? Carelessness in duty and sexual coveting imply each other. He was sinning in his calling, and was disarmed in guarding against adultery. The catechism talks about occasions of uncleanness, and you know pornography prompts you to such occasions.

“AND IN THE NEXT QUESTION in the catechism, about what is forbidden, it says you are to avoid ‘wanton looks, impudent or light behavior, immodest apparel; *** entangling vows of single life, undue delay in marriage, *** unchaste company, lascivious songs, books, pictures, dancings, stage plays; and all other provocations to, or acts of uncleanness, either in ourselves or others.’

“When this was written [1648], the lascivious pictures were on the back of playing cards over from France. But the principle applies. Today people can watch other people on websites having sex, 24 hours a day. And we think we’re not under God’s wrath? And think of your duty to preserve the chastity in others? How can you do that if you are caught in pornography? If you are ceding to sinful desires, you turn your duty to others into a dead letter. How can you possibly care about your brothers in this area if you are giving leave to yourself?

“The former prime minister of Italy, Berlusconi, when he was a boy he rented out Penthouse and other magazines to his friends. He would take their money, let them go off somewhere and jerk off, and then collect the magazine 30 minutes later. He profited from corrupting others sexually, and fed their unlawful desires. We are to have an interest in others on the point of this commandment. Your duty is to God, and to others.

“And, you know, I don’t agree with all the people who say it is better to marry late. Do you not realize all the temptation that puts you under? If you meet a godly girl, from a good family, whom you love and want to commit to, I say get married. She will satisfy your every desire, my dear boy, and you will be a source of constant delight for her. When you get married, all the things you are made for are yours. But God gives this gift to you. It belongs to Him. Honor His command, my dearest boy, and you shall be man greatly blessed, for he who finds a wife finds a good thing.

“NOW, I WANT US to pray about what Proverbs tells. But before we do I want to hear a little of what you will mention in your prayer, before we pray and then I will let you go.”