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A Hope-Filled Conversation on Guys and Pornography

Paula Hendricks

Paula Hendricks | 11.11.10
Twitter: @PaulaWrites678


Today I’m talking with Tim and Aileen Challies about Tim’s recently released book, Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who are Sick of Porn. In this fifteen-minute interview, you’ll hear Tim and Aileen answer questions like:

  • What should a woman do if her husband’s asking her to do things in the bedroom that violate her conscience?
  • If a man isn’t interested in having sex with his wife, is that an automatic indication that he’s addicted to pornography? 
  • If a single woman is dating, should she try to figure out whether her boyfriend’s addicted to pornography? Do single women have any hope of getting pure men? 
  • How can we as women help men with this struggle?

I love Tim and Aileen’s hopeful take on this very heavy subject. (And, who doesn’t enjoy listening to Canadian accents?!)

When you’re done listening, here are some great resources for further study.


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Resources for Further Study

  • Tim Challies’ book, Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who are Sick of Porn. I love that this short book—although written for men—is packed with incredibly helpful info for women, too. While Tim addresses the issue head-on, the book isn’t graphic or explicit in nature. Leave a comment below by midnight, and two of you will be chosen at random to receive a free copy!
  • Aileen Challies’ e-book, False Messages: A Guide for the Godly Bride. This is a great, practical resource written specifically for women on the purpose and power of sex and sexuality. I highly recommend it—it’s just 21 pages, and it won’t cost you anything to download.   
  • Rebuilding After Pornography.” Hear from a couple whose marriage was rocked by pornography, and then rebuilt by God’s grace. A great four-day interview with Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and Tony and Pam Vuke . . . 
  • No Longer Just a ‘Guy’s Struggle.’” Dannah Gresh, Erin Davis, and I talk in this audio blog about how pornography is no longer just a struggle for guys, but for Christian women and girls, too. Learn how you can be part of the solution in this sixteen-minute interview! 
  • When His Secret Sins Break Your Heart” by Kathy Gallagher. And while you’re checking out this book, you’ll want to check out PureLifeMinistries.org and SettingCaptivesFree.com, too. These sites offers resources for those struggling with sexual addictions and support for their spouses.
  • Covenant Eyes. An Internet accountability and filtering program that logs almost all Internet activity.

Topics: Sexuality


  1. This was very helpful, I never looked at it this way. Supporting your spouse is very important even while it may hurt or affect you, seek counsel and accountability.
    posted by becca
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:18 am
  2. Glad to see more helpful things emerging- I'm not sure if I know anyone that this topic has not touched, but it is still a tender topic where hope is so necessary- thank you for your work.
    posted by Debbie
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:25 am
  3. I am praying also (and hopeful) for the next generation of men that Tim talked about because I have 4 daughters that need Godly, pure husbands one day!

    I met Aileen and Tim at the Ft. Worth Conference and am very thankful for Aileen's time (and signature) on her "False Messages" book. This booklet was copied and distributed at a recent Bible study session and we have heard some very encouraging feedback. Thanks to Aileen for writing this and making it freely available!

    Would love to be entered into the random drawing for Tim's book. It would be added as a resource at our church. Thanks.
    posted by Jodi
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:28 am
  4. This came at a good time for me. Thank you. I would love to be entered into the drawing for a book.
    Blessings on your ministry.
    posted by Kim
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:36 am
  5. Excellent interview and great Godly advice from both Tim and his wife.

    An excellent resource for Men and Women in this area:
    posted by Chris
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 8:37 am
  6. Such an amazing topic for us to be discussing! I am so encouraged that there are leaders willing to face this issue head-on! I would LOVE to read this book and share it! So many have been affected by this issue, so I am interested to see how this book tackles this issue and what impact it will have.
    posted by Julie
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:15 am
  7. I'm thankful to god for blessing peolpe with the gift to be able to help gods children in this sin filled world learn to to be godly children,Than you so much Tim,Aileen and Nancy.
    posted by Vigilance
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:35 am
  8. Thank you for your insight! I am engaged to be married in February and my fiance has struggled with this for years. He came clean just before we started dating, so our relationship was really a blessing for him. He attends a group once a week with the Walkpure organization. Your conversations inspire me to learn more about it myself rather than the usual check-up conversation we tend to have every couple of weeks. I want to be the best wife I can be and I know by learning more about this addiction, our marriage can stay strong throughout this lifetime!
    posted by Hannah
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:49 am
  9. Thanks for all the resources! This topic is such a tough one to broach with the s/o but it MUST be addressed, in any relationship. My s/o and I are fighting the battle together. I'm his accountability partner. It's a big responsibility but I am honored to do it.

    If I were to get the book, I would share it with him and with other guys I know.
    posted by Anna
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 10:33 am
  10. This hits very close to home. My husband struggled with porn secretly for the first 12 years of our marriage. He has been walking in victory for the past 5 years thanks in part to the ministry of Reformers Unanimous. God has used this to draw us closer to each other and to Him. I have learned much about forgiveness and trust. God has given a peace beyond all understanding and a love for my husband that could come only through the Lord. Perfect love truly does cast out fear.
    posted by Jessica
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 11:06 am
  11. Ours is a story of God's steadfast love, grace, redemption, forgiveness, and reconciliation! After 8 weeks of marriage counseling (after my husband confessed to his internet porn addiction) with our Pr, he pointed us to Setting Captives Free.


    My husband is now free, walking in the light for two years and 5 months!

    To God be the glory!!!
    posted by Evie
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 11:17 am
  12. I can't wait to share this book with others!
    posted by Melissa Burns
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 11:43 am
  13. I follow Tim's blog daily and would love to have this book to share with my three sons and my son-in-law. I may just buy it for them for Christmas.
    I too have heard very positive responses about www.settingcaptivesfree.com
    posted by Julie Cortens
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 12:16 pm
  14. Wow, it is such a blessing to hear someone speak of this in such a helpful n knowledgable manner. Thank you and may God continue blessing both of yall greatly :)
    posted by Liah
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 3:28 pm
  15. Thank you for such an uplifting treatment of this subject!

    It's so easy to forget that Christ is victorious!
    posted by Chris
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm
  16. Really need to get my hands on this book, would be an extra BONUS if I got one for free:) Thank you for posting this on your blog! When dealing with this subject I dont think you can ever gain enough insight and advice to help come along side your partner and stay together through all the struggles.
    posted by Brittany R
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm
  17. a very helpful book, for men, but especially for women struggling with a spouse who is addicted to pornography.
    It gives hope!!!
    posted by RC
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 5:00 pm
  18. I would like to encourage moms of single men & women. I have 5 boys & 4 have them have never viewed porn, & I don't expect they will. My daughter has found a 24yo young man who is also pure. Our prayers & diligence in the home can help our kids remain pure. Having a dad & grandfathers who have resisted porn is a stronghold that has served as an example for our sons as well. Resisting sin in our lives is a blessing that can protect our children from the same type of sin.
    posted by LeeAnn Cheeley
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 5:06 pm
  19. I remember my father getting magazines in the mail and everyone thought it was "normal" !!! Men were expected to do this, I guess. I am now very concerned for my son because he admitted to looking at it on the internet and he is only 18. He moved out of our home after high school to gain some experience in independence and was meeting with a couple of our elders a few times a month to get wisdom and advice on becoming a man. He shared this with them and is now estranged from our fellowship due to serving his flesh in more than one way. I am having to put all my energy in trusting God for the outcome in this every day. I wake up praying and go to sleep praying... Through it all I have gained strength, hope and courage, though. God has used this situation to refine and conform my heart... SO, don't lose hope if you are faced with a loved one who is in sexual sin. God can take anything and make it work for His glory and your benefit. And don't forget that love hopes, endures and perseveres..... :)
    posted by Barbara
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm
  20. Great information to have and pass along to those who are hurting so badly; our churches are full of such hurt. To be able to grab on to some hope--from those who are desiring to stop the addictive thinking and focusing, to those spouses who desire to be the focus of love and affection rather than objects of a fantasy.

    All things are possible...THROUGH CHRIST!!
    posted by Jeannie
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  21. Good stuff. I know a few directions in which I can pass this stuff on.
    posted by Joel Hoyt
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm
  22. Thank you for posting the interview, and the list of other related resources is so helpful! We need honest conversations in this culture when just about everyone has been exposed to or hurt by pornography.
    posted by Bethany
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:30 pm
  23. A needed message! Would love to read.
    posted by Jenn
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:35 pm
  24. I would love to read this book. My marriage has been touched by porn, as has the lives of my other family members. I appreciate the ministry of True Woman!
    posted by Jessica
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm
  25. Good stuff, thank you! We have 2 sons on the brink of adolescence!
    posted by Cindy
    on Thursday, November 11, 2010 at 11:58 pm
  26. Thank you for posting this.
    posted by Jody
    on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 9:27 am
  27. Thank you for these resources--we have struggled with this in our marriage.
    posted by Peggy Lorenz
    on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 9:44 am
  28. Congrats to Becca and Jessica . . . You both won a copy of Tim Challies' new book! Look for an email from me in your inbox with further details.
    posted by Paula Hendricks
    on Friday, November 12, 2010 at 9:49 am
  29. Thank you, Ladies please remember to pray for your husbands in these areas. I was challenged years ago with the realization of all the Scriptures warning about sexual sin and realized the Scriptures are for us as believers and that none of us are beyond these temptations.
    posted by Melissa
    on Saturday, November 13, 2010 at 5:01 pm
  30. Hi Paula i can say thank to God that i dont have that problem in my marriage. My husband is pure he only had other addiction. I do pray for him alot.
    posted by brenda
    on Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 3:27 am
  31. Porn was a major factor in a recent dating breakup. It's such a stronghold. I wonder how much any of us should "tolerate." Yes, it shouldn't be relegated as a "bigger" sin than others, but it breeds such distrust. . . at least in my case. And I wasn't willing to allow it in marriage. Am I wrong? And I also struggle with what is addiction and what is not.
    posted by Nancy
    on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 7:11 pm
  32. For any woman with sexual abuse in her history, being subject to the tastes and desires of a man whose mind has been shaped by pornography is like being violated all over again. No one should be induced, coerced or forced to perform acts they find distressing, degrading or sickening, no matter how "loving" the relationship is. I value my own well-being above any set of moral principles that might be imposed upon me by someone else's will.
    posted by Bonnie
    on Monday, November 15, 2010 at 10:32 pm
  33. They briefly addressed the issue of men (supposedly) losing sexual interest in their wives. The dynamics of this are complicated and rarely discussed because the mindset of much of the modern church is that sexual problems in marriage stem from men's issues. This bias is one major factor in what is driving a massive percentage of men to walk as so-called Lone Ranger Christians. I've dealt with husbands who've attempted to kill their sex drives. Though not impossible, it's rare that porn is the reason, as is shame from early impotence. But for most healthy men the reason is simple: instead of free and frequent sexual bonding, they instead find sex with their wives has become so loaded with controlling behaviors and volatility, that they've just learned not to open up this vulnerable part of themselves. They can't be themselves, but the lists of do's-n-don'ts, expectation and such just make the act not worth it. Wives deny this truth to the detriment of their marriages. In too many Christian homes sex is allowed by the wife if the proverbial "honey do" list is done and if he's scored all the romance points, etc. Even from the pulpit this sick system of sexual rewarding is the subject of jokes by pastors who pull punchlines about men being relegated to the couch for one offense or another. We cannot joke of denial as punishment and not see sex as a reward for good behavior, but jesting about such violations of the one flesh nature of marriage is surprisingly common place. And couples take that message home, too. Thus men understandably lose interest in having God's precious gift of sex turned into a reward system. Again, the reason we don't talk about this is because: 1) men are ashamed to admit their wives deny or control them, 2) the solution points to wives as needing to repent, seek their husbands forgiveness, stop being controlling, start being selfless, and get accountability for not continuing the behavior... and God knows we never hear that remedy discussed.
    posted by Eloquorius
    on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 4:38 am
  34. Dear Nancy,

    You were wise to break-up with a boyfriend that is participating in porn. It is destructive in marriage and indeed breeds distrust, isolation and lack of intimacy. Pornography is defined as “words or graphic images intended to excite lascivious or lustful, lewd feelings” (Linda Dillow, Intimate Issues). A young man would be participating in sin according to the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:28. You would not want to “tolerate” sin in someone you would consider marrying.

    As Aileen said on the blog there is a difference in looking at pornography and addiction to pornography. Dr. Harry Schaumburg, author of False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction, says: A sexually addicted person becomes fully absorbed with sex, for it becomes the greatest need—not the greatest desire. Sex is wanted, demanded, and will be pursued at any cost.”

    Sarah Krause
    Revive Our Hearts
    posted by Carrie Gaul
    on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 7:03 pm
  35. Dear Bonnie,

    You are right - no woman should be forced to perform acts that violate her conscience or sense of well-being. The Bible does not specify which sexual acts between a husband and wife are acceptable, but the Bible does make it clear that in the marriage relationship our bodies are no longer our own. A husband and wife belong to each other (1 Cor. 7:4).

    The Bible does say that a husband is to love his wife as "Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her" (Eph. 5:25). Any sexual request that makes her feel uncomfortable or degraded would not reflect this kind of sacrificial love. As Tim Challies said, a couple in disagreement in this area would want to seek wise counsel.

    Sarah Krause
    Revive Our Hearts
    posted by Carrie Gaul
    on Thursday, November 18, 2010 at 7:04 pm
  36. This was really helpful, I've been struggling for the past few days over how to really help my boyfriend with this struggle. It's hard at times because I know that its hard for him, and he says that I help him in ways. And I am glad that I can. And thankfully he doesn't struggle with it as much as he use to, not as often as well. Thank you.
    posted by Candi
    on Thursday, December 23, 2010 at 2:51 am
  37. I found out 3 months into our marriage that my husband was looking at porn. He felt horrible hurting me and since that time says he has not done it. I worry about him constantly. He has no support and does not like opening up about it. I don't want to push him away. I know this is going to be a life long struggle for us. I pray for him daily and have grown so close to God through this and learning to be selfless. At the same time I hurt so bad and just want my husband to open up and get help.
    posted by lynn
    on Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 5:00 pm
  38. Dear Lynn,

    I’m so thankful for the ways the Lord has met you during this time. And so encouraged by your love, commitment and prayer support for your husband! You are on the right track, Lynn! Persevere in praying and in asking the Lord to help you minister to your husband in the area of physical intimacy.

    In his book Sacred Influence, Gary Thomas’ chapter “Pure Passion” addresses how vitally important it is to meet the physical needs of our husband’s. I’ve included below a short quote from this excellent resource:

    “How well does God think you’re helping his son walk in sexual holiness? The sexual life you foster, create, and maintain in your marriage isn’t merely about you and your husband; its’ about your husband’s relationship with God, as well as his ability to provide a godly example for your church. Your husband is solely responsible to God about where he sets his eyes and on what he lets his mind meditate. But having said that, let me also say that you can make his job easier or more difficult by the spirit, energy, and affection that you express toward him.”

    You might also want to look over the resources offered through Pure Life Ministries (www.purelifeministries.org). Steve and Kathy Gallagher are the founders of this ministry dedicated to helping those addicted to pornography find freedom in Christ. The Articles for Wives and Testimonies of Wives will be especially helpful to you as will Kathy’s book When His Secret Sin Breaks Your Heart.

    Press on, dear friend! I’m praying for you tonight ~
    posted by Carrie Gaul
    on Friday, March 18, 2011 at 4:43 pm
  39. We need to take an honest look at what pornography and pornography addiction truly are and stop making it a sex only issue. The reality is that those who make a practice of viewing pornography are not driven by the need for sex, but instead the evil ungodly desires within them for power, control, and the desire for humiliating and degrading others. It is about selfishness, disrespecting others and crossing the boundaries of people's privacy. It is a form of hatred, the opposite of what is of God which is Love.

    We as Christians sometimes do not see it for what it is. It is serious SIN. The Bible says that anyone who looks at a woman with lust commits adultery in his heart. A man who is repeatedly viewing pornography is committing adultery in his heart against his wife over and over again and JESUS NEVER SAID ADULTERY WAS OK. That is why it is so damaging to Christian marriage and needs to be dealt with immediately. God takes it very seriously and so should we.

    To those held in bondage to pornography, accept God's grace YES, know who you are in Christ and what he has given you at the cross; stop believing Satan's lies; then kill the sin or it will kill you and seriously wound those around you. We are a slave to whatever controls us and as Christians it should be the Holy Spirit. I will leave you with this:
    1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 (NLT) "God has called us to live holy lives not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you."
    posted by Mary
    on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 12:38 am
  40. This is a very difficult subject and our marriage has been affected by this addiction. I struggle to understand why...I believe I could benefit from receiving this book..
    posted by Dawn
    on Monday, July 22, 2013 at 8:54 pm

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