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Why Viewing Porn Is Like Visiting The Food Court At The Mall!

Porn Free Zone SignOver the years I’ve heard a lot of “support” for pornography:

  • “I’m not really cheating.”
  • “I’m only looking.”
  • “It’s a substitute until I get married (or while we deal with issues).”
  • I haven’t seen “THOU SHALT NOT VIEW PORN!” in the Bible.

Recent surveys show that more and more Americans, even Evangelicals, find nothing wrong with viewing pornography. With today’s teens and adults inundated by both soft-core and hard-core pornography it is a challenge to properly teach and equip them to remain pure.

That’s why I use the FOOD COURT analogy.

Jesus, in speaking of adultery, told us in Matthew 5 that even LOOKING at another woman with lust is committing adultery. I would venture He also meant that singles doing the looking were committing fornication.  Obviously, then, Jesus would find viewing pornography to be sinful.

Christians, therefore, must avoid this sexual sin in order to honor and obey Christ.  Anytime we wish to attain a standard of behavior it is good to look at our overall objective.

With that in mind we need to examine what our “sexual goals” are. If we are to be Biblical then I think our goals would strongly resemble the following:


  • Stay sexually pure until marriage.
  • Prepare for a healthy love life after marriage.


  • Remain faithful to our spouse, for life.
  • Have a loving, healthy, safe love life.

Essentially, we are going on a diet:  We are restricting our sexual activities to those that are good for us and that are in agreement with Jesus’ commands.

So we commit, as Christians, to remain pure both before and within marriage.  That is our “sexual diet”.

This is where the FOOD COURT comes in.

Think back about all the people that you have known over the years who have been on diets to lose weight.  What makes them succeed, or fail?  Self-discipline and self-denial, or their lack…

Food diets work to control and guide our desires for food.  To succeed we make sure that:

  • We only consume that which is healthy and which supports our goals, and
  • We avoid places and situations that would tempt us to blow our diets.

Now, what would you think if your spouse, or a close friend, announced that they were going on a strict diet but went down to the Food Court at the Mall every day at lunch just to “look”.  Do you think that they would stay on their diets, seeing all that “good stuff” that they can’t have?  Would they rationalize that “it’s only a little cheating on my diet”?

Here is what we would encounter:

  • Food we shouldn’t have.
  • Food presented in it’s ideal form (displays, samples, etc.) to entice us to buy it
  • Food we haven’t tried, and which may not even be good for us.
  • Food that provides temporary satisfaction
  • Food that is not nutritious
  • Food that is not on our diet
  • Scenes of those enjoying what we should not.
  • Increased hunger as we see and smell all of that food (especially at Mrs. Field’s!)

“Sexual diets”, such as our desire for pre-marital and marital purity, have many of the same requirements and the same dangers.

Viewing pornography is like going to the food court.  We are watching:

  • What we are not supposed to have.  Those in the porn product are not our spouses.  They are not our lawful sexual partners in God’s eyes.
  • “Ideal” love-making, stylized and fake, but tempting.  Here fantasy can trump reality in a heartbeat!
  • Sexual acts that we might never think of on our own, and which may actually be physically, emotionally, or spiritually harmful to ourselves or those we profess to love and cherish.
  • Movies/images that do not ultimately satisfy, but isolate.
  • Representations that do not show a loving, caring relationship, but often one of power, manipulation, depravity, and abuse.
  • What we are not “authorized” to watch.  Jesus clearly stated that what is going on in our MIND is as important as what is going on with our bodies.  Watching others engage in sexual acts is not “authorized” by God as a means of dealing with our God-given desires.
  • Increased sexual desire.  Like the food court, what we see makes us desire what we can’t have.

Essentially, pornography makes us hunger for what we do not or can not have while at the same time increasing our “appetite”, our “hunger”.

So, just like the Food Court is a place to be avoided for those on a physical diet, so pornography, in all its many forms, is a thing to be avoided by those seeking to honor God with their bodies, either as singles or as a married couple.

Our job is to follow Paul’s imperative:  “FLEE SEXUAL IMMORALITY!” (1 Corinthians 6:18a, NLT)

Impossible?  Not for those who follow and depend upon Christ!

How do YOU stay pure?
Share your thoughts with us!

In addition, here are some additional articles that might be helpful:

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