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Ask A Pastor: Is My Friend Viewing Porn? Should I Address Him About It?

Question:

“After listening to one of my close friends’ conversations for some time now, I believe that he is a porn viewer. It comes out in some of his conversations and more especially his jokes. I have rebuked him for talking like this, but I feel as if there is something a lot more going on than simply an inappropriate joke or conversation – naming by looking at the source of these comments. How should I, because I don’t know for sure whether he is looking at porn or not, address him (or should I) on this?”

Answer

Thanks for your question. I am glad that you are showing care for your friend’s spiritual condition. You are truly a good friend in a spiritual sense. It is good and proper that we care for each other in the body of Christ


Your instinct is probably right about him being involved in viewing pornography. Usually, when someone is using inappropriate language with sexual overtones they are probably viewing pornography. When you see certain things on the outside, (whether it is the words they speak or their conduct) it is reflective of their hearts. (Proverbs 22:6, Luke 6:45). Therefore, showing true spiritual care means not only being concerned about what he says or does but seeking to understand what lives in his heart. That requires patience and time.

The question whether or not you should address him is a relatively easy one to answer: You should address him. But as you note, the challenge is how to do this effectively. It depends on what kind of relationship you have with this person. If you are very close to him, you might just ask him very bluntly if he has been viewing pornography. However, this will usually result in a denial which makes it hard to help him. Therefore, another approach will probably be more effective. Assuming you already have a relationship with him as he is your friend, you could suggest that you start a book study with a group of guys on the issue of pornography. Maybe set it up and then invite him to join with you.


One book that is highly recommended is a recent one by Heath Lambert called “Finally Free” which deals with the issue of pornography. This would be a good one for your book study. Another book that would be beneficial to you in helping him is called: “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands” by Paul Tripp. He outlines a very helpful process in confronting others in their sin.

Praying that you will be used as an instrument in the Lord’s hands,

Pastor John


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