A parable is when you liken one thing to another, giving a greater depth of understanding. Jesus Christ often taught in parables. As I have coached people over the years, a number of parables have come to mind that I hope will throw greater light on the problem of pornography.
Parable 1: Pornography is like the Niagara River above the Niagara Falls. As the river approaches the falls, it is powerful and strong. If a you attempt to go canoeing above the falls, you will almost certainly go over the falls; the river is just too strong to navigate safely at that point. Disaster is almost certain. However, when you are standing on solid ground just a few feet away from the edge of the river, it doesn’t matter how strong the river is, it can’t pull you over the falls. The river will always be there, strong and powerful, but why would you play in it? As soon as you begin putting your feet in the water, you are in dangerous territory. There is no need to get in those waters. The further away from the river a you are, the safer it is.
Parable 2: Pornography is like a mirage in the desert. It looks appealing, you think you are going to get what you want, but in the end you get nothing. If a person is dieing of thirst in the desert, they longer they stay in the mirage the more they miss the opportunity to find real water. Water may be just over the next sand dune, but the illusion of the mirage keeps them from partaking of the real joys in life; the joys that come from healthy relationships, meaningful activities, service to others, living a purposeful life.
Parable 3: Pornography is like buying a bag of potato chips that you think is full, but upon opening the bag you find it only has a few crumbs in the bottom of the bag. It looked like there would be some chips, when you open the bag it smells like chips, and the crumbs do taste like chips, so somehow you think you got something. But since you are still hungry you buy another bag of chips, and it also turns out to be empty! But it sure smells good, and it really seems like you are getting something. But somehow you are still hungry so you buy another empty bag of chips. Somehow you don’t realize that in this store they only sell empty bags of chips, and you are always hungry looking for something to fill that need, and you keep thinking the next bag of chips is going to be the real thing. But it never is, never has been, never will be. Not in the porn store. All they sell there are lies, broken promises, disappointment, shame. You come in hungry, you leave worse than that.
Parable 4: Pornography is like a tiger trap. In the old movie “Swiss Family Robinson” the Robinson family finds themselves stranded on an island. There is a tiger living on the island, which makes the island unsafe. So, they devise a tiger trap. They dig a deep pit and cover it with palm branches, and from a rope they hang a large piece of meat. When the tiger comes along, he sees the meat, he smells the meat, and he attempts to get the meat. But just when he thinks he has it, he fall into a pit so deep he cannot get out.
Pornography is just like that. It seems appealing, and just when you think you are going to get what you were hoping for, you find yourself stuck in a pit! You are trapped and it is so hard to get out. When you finally do get out, it isn’t too long before you are lured in by another image, and you find yourself stuck in another pit. We live in a world where the tiger trap lures are all around us. They are so enticing! They promise to be so good! So fulfilling, so exciting, so rewarding; something you can’t possibly turn down. But how many times are you going to fall in one of those pits before you realize you are never going to get that piece of meat hanging there, and you are always going to end up in the pit? You don’t need try one more time. You may think, “This time I will be careful, maybe I can avoid the pit and get it this time” Don’t even try it, haven’t you already landed in the pit countless time? Now you know that when you see an opportunity for porn, it is the bait. They use those women like a piece of hanging meat luring you in. Now you know to turn and run the other direction. No matter how appealing they make it, don’t believe their false promises, run the other way!
Parable 5: Trying to break free from pornography addiction is like wrestling a grizzly bear. As long as you wrestle with him, he beats you every time. You can dodge him for a while, but it is just a matter of time before he has you pinned and is taking a bite out of you. But you don’t have to wrestle the grizzle bear. You and the bear are in a barred cage, and there are a few places where the bars are wide enough for you to get through, but not the bear. God is outside the cage, extending his hand to help you. With his help you can get out of that cage, God can heal you, and you can walk free! You don’t have to keep wrestling with this!
Hopefully these parables will help you see the truth about pornography. If you have any other parables or insights feel free to share. If you are stuck in one those cages, or pits, or mirages, or rivers, or potato chip stores, there is hope! With the right tools and God’s help, you can be free. I see it happen all the time. God bless you!