I didn’t understand pornography. My understanding of it was rather… simplistic. A picture of a woman—half or less dressed. Provocative position or possibly outright sexual posing. That’s what I assumed.
Look, I’ve never really seen anything that labels itself as “porn.” I’ve seen stuff I consider porn, and I’ve seen movies that I think should have been reclassified. My computer has been hijacked by images that I immediately shut out as I did a hard shutdown after clicking on the WRONG link. Hint to the wise. Scarlet fever is not just a disease. You’ve been warned.
So when a guy was talking about how he actually preferred porn to sex, I was stunned. And I said so. I said, “I don’t get it. I mean, you can give me the most perfect picture of a steak with everything just how I like it, but after ogling it for as long as my salivating mouth wants to, I’m still going to walk away from that picture unsatisfied It’s not real.
The guy said, “That’s the lie of porn. It convinces you that the real thing is inferior to the imitation. It’s why you starve emotionally.”
And then I got it.
Sort of. I mean, you can’t “really” get something like that without steeping yourself in it, and I won’t do it. And, then there’s that guy vs. girl difference thing. While women lust, too, many of us just aren’t affected in the same way by pornography as many men. It’s how our brains are wired.
So, ever since that conversation, I’ve tried to find ways to understand it without becoming too close… without dipping into the muck, so to speak. That’s why, when Celebrate Lit offered Live Pure and Free for review, I jumped at it. I mean, most of my readers are women. I doubt that most of them have a pornography issue. Why would I choose a book that is about helping men overcome an addiction to lust?
Because if I want to understand and help my brothers (and the occasional sister) in Christ who fight this temptation daily, I need a safe way to learn about it. And I figured this book would help with that.
Note: Links may be affiliate links that provide me with a small commission at no extra expense to you. Additionally, I requested a review copy of this book. Opinions are mine.
Do I Really Think This Book Will Help Fight Sexual Impurity?
Live Pure and Free is written in a devotional-slash-workbook style. It’s a daily roadmap to “taking every [lustful] thought captive.” And it is written by an overcomer—not a guy sitting in a lofty tower of “look how great I am,” but a humbled man willing to be vulnerable to help other men trapped in the same pit as he was. The same pit he knows he could fling himself into if he gets careless and cocky.
This book won’t do it for you. You can’t pick it up, read the daily 3/4 page bit of encouragement, fill out the other page of answers, and say you’ve put on your armor for the day. It won’t work that way.
But yes, I do think Live Pure and Free can help fight habitual sexual impurity. It’s a little like a good workout routine. You can’t do your routine, walk away, and binge on every unhealthy food you want, only to go back in the next day and “work it off.” But a good workout routine, combined with healthy choices, can reap great health rewards. The same is true for this book.
One of the things I like most about it is that his stories are carefully crafted to avoid sparking temptation.
David Howe must have been alert to the fact that thoughtless word choices could paint images in the minds of his already struggling readers when he wrote this. Not once did my brain send off warning bells that I might want to skip that one. I get more of those bells in “clean Christian fiction!”
While this book is written to and for married men, Howe makes note that single men need this, too, and he works with them in the pages as well.
Did I love reading it? No. But honestly, should I? I hate that this book has to exist! But because the need is there, I’m glad the book is, too. And if I ever have anyone tell me they’re struggling, man or woman, I intend to send them to it.