Project Documents

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Jerome Thayer

Second Advisor

Rick Trott

Third Advisor

Kenley Hall

Abstract

Problem. Recent statistics in the nation, research among Christian couples, and my own counseling experience with couples, “particularly men” who were addicted to pornography, revealed that pornography is one of the leading causes of divorce and family breakdown today. Thus, it needed to be addressed at the Madison Community Church in Madison, Wisconsin. The purpose of this research project was to develop, implement and evaluate a seminar on The Effects of Pornography on Marriage and Strategies for Prevention. The intent of the seminar was to help couples, and “particularly men,” to understand the harmful effects of pornography on marriage, and provide biblical strategies, boundary plans, and practical steps to help protect oneself from the influences of pornography or avoid the use of it.

Method. The seminar, The Effects of Pornography on Marriage and Strategies for Prevention was designed over one year and implemented in one day consisting of three sessions to teach participants the addictive nature of pornography, how it distorts God’s gift of sex, its effects on marriage relationships, the best approach to avoid the temptations of pornography, and strategies for prevention. As part of the seminar, a survey was given both before and after the seminar to assess the participants’ knowledge of and attitude towards pornography and to evaluate changes that resulted from the seminar.

Results. The survey results revealed that there were significant changes in most items on the survey. The individual comments received on the surveys showed that the seminar helped the participants know sexuality is a gift from God, discover that pornography is an enemy of intimacy and distorts God’s intentions for sex, learn pornography’s many effects and how it wrecks marriages, develop healthy intimacy, recognize the need for establishing boundaries, and develop accountability methods to guard themselves from the influences and temptations of pornography. Almost all the respondents believed that pornography has devastating effects on marriage relationships and that it must be avoided at all costs.

Conclusions. Most of the seminar objectives were met. Among the factors that contributed to the success of the seminar are the support of the church board, the response of married couples to the two-question survey, my own journey for study and further understanding of the nature of pornography from the current psychological or social science literature, and an examination of the Scriptures that helped develop the theological foundation of pornography, lust and sexual intimacy. Yet, it was the implementation of the seminar that aided couples not only to understand the powerful allure of pornography lust and its devastating effects on marriage, but also provided valuable information, resources, and accountability methods to guard themselves from the influences of pornography.

Subject Area

Pornography--Religious aspects--Seventh-day Adventists, Pornography--Prevention, Sex addicts--Pastoral counseling of

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