Have you ever wondered why sexual sin is against your own body?
1 Corinthians 6:18 warns of negative physical consequences to sexual sin – a desecration of the Holy Temple, our body, which houses the Holy Spirit:
“Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.”
Now, science confirms exactly how sexual sin harms us: It damages your brain.
Whether it be premarital sex, adultery, or viewing pornography, sexual sin alters our brain function and, when indulged in repeatedly, can lead to a seared conscience – an actual brain phenomenon that numbs us to guilt and conviction of our wrongdoing
Related Article: Sex Before Marriage Changes Brain Chemistry
Oxytocin and Vasopressin
When porn is viewed, several things happen to the brain involving powerful hormones – two of which are Oxytocin and Vasopressin.
Often called the love hormone, oxytocin is released when we hug or kiss a loved one. It regulates social interaction and sexual reproduction, playing a role in empathy, generosity, orgasm, and human bonding.
Vasopressin is a hormone found in most mammals which is also used as a medication; it numbs the pain.
When we watch pornography and “act out,” the sexual sin releases a powerful concoction, creating a perplexing issue for the human body.
Rewiring Your Brain
Fundamentally, the bonding hormones of Oxytocin and Vasopressin form a rewiring of the brain when consuming the wrong material, that lures the individual deeper into a prison of their own making.
Related Article: What Keeps Men Trapped In Porn? 3 Steps Towards Freedom
An intoxicating combination of hormones – intended to bring loved ones closer together and promote mental healing – are instead operating out of sinful activity, completely confusing the mind.
Dr. Doug Weiss, Executive Director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center and expert contributor to the Conquer Series, a cinematic series that helps men break free from pornography, elaborates:
“When [you] have a sexual experience, your brains makes these opiates which [are] four times stronger than morphine. Boom! It hits your brain, your brain lights up like a Christmas tree. This is the highest chemical reward your brain gets for anything. That’s why a lot of guys get in trouble, even in ministry. They don’t know their brain is defective.”
When the brain has been changed in this way, sexual sin takes a profound toll.
Related Article: This Is Your Brain on Porn
The individual knows that watching porn is a shameful act and one to be kept a secret, yet each time they view it, they find themselves trusting it more, pairing with the porn stars or the activity with a deep mental bond, and feeling healed by the sexual sin; they are trapped in a destructive cycle.
There is a part of your brain that is responsible for convicting you of wrongdoing.
It’s that little voice inside of you we call it our conscience.
If you continue to participate in that wrong behavior, however, eventually you become desensitized to this convicting presence. That part of your brain simply stops responding.
In effect, your conscience is seared, just as the Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:2:
“Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”
That’s not all. When this area of your brain stays active chronically, you will eventually impair your ability to feel pleasure as well.
Dr. Tim Jennings, an expert contributor to the Conquer Series, explains:
“People who damage their pleasure centers in this way will often be disinterested in healthy relationships, will often become apathetic, and they will seek out either more high risk behaviors or drugs or other types of things to stimulate the pleasure centers so they can feel this.”
Related Article: 5 Ways Porn Ruins Relationships
As our brains transform, so does our behavior.
The changes can be subtle or obvious, but there is a great deal of energy that needs to be invested in keeping a secret life of porn addiction.
Masks need to be worn. Pretense needs to be maintained. Byproducts of isolation, secrecy, shame, and guilt may begin to show outwardly, and a very real fear of being exposed gnaws away at you.
Related Article: Trying Harder Doesn't Work
Sexual sin becomes our god, taking the place of our Lord as the thing we fear, need, and use as medication for healing our wounds.
Dr. Weiss tells us in the Conquer Series:
“[Pornography and other sexual sins] can get into a man’s heart to the place where it replaces God; it becomes an idol. And how do you know it’s an idol? When you’re in pain, you go to your idol. When you’re in need, you go to your idol. When you’re hurt, you go to your idol. When you want to celebrate, you go to your idol.”
If you recognize yourself in this, there is hope.
Hope Of Victory Over Porn Is Here
From a five-year Pure Desire Ministries national survey of churches entitled Porn Use in the Evangelical Church, we know that 68% of regular male attendees and 30% of females are reported to be viewing porn.
Related Article: 15 Mind-Blowing Statistics About Pornography And the Church
So one must understand that this journey is a tough one.
While there are many in bondage to pornography, there is an increasing number of men who are finding freedom through the Conquer Series. As these men go through this life-changing process, their brains begin to heal, the apathy subsides, and their relationships go deeper.
Dr. Ted Roberts, former Marine Fighter Pilot, pastor, and host of the Conquer Series, has an over 90% success rate in helping men break free from pornography and/or sex addiction. He reveals:
“Sexual bondage is not about sex, it’s about how you’ve learned to medicate the pain in your life. Once you start facing this, your pain level is actually going to go up. Because you’ve been medicating that pain for so long, you’ll have to put your big boy pants on and you’ll have to face the pain. This is going to challenge you as a man more than anything you have ever done in your life.”
What Is God’s Plan
By going through the Conquer Series we have the grace-filled God-given ability to rewire our brains, bringing the renowned verse from Romans 12:2 into reality.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So no matter what has happened in the past, you, too, can forget what lies behind and become more than a conqueror in Christ!