Porn and the dinner table

dinner table

What do porn and a dinner table have in common?

Both involve community- sharing a meal brings people together. Pornography brings people together, in a way- mentally or spiritually, if you will.

Sharing a meal- tradition and biblical example

In most every culture, sharing a meal together is practiced and rightfully enjoyed- a healthy ritual. Some cultures regard the practice as sacred.

Jesus’ lifestyle reflected his practice of sharing meals. The bible speaks on the topic, and often. Jesus shared a meal with Zacchaeus the tax collector, and with Matthew. The old testament is full of Jewish holidays and observances involving meals, celebration, and feasts.

In his book A Meal with Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission around the Table, author Tim Chester brings to light God’s purposes in the seemingly ordinary act of sharing a meal- how this everyday experience is really an opportunity for grace, community, and mission.

“In a world of competing church models and strategies, Tim shows us that Jesus employed one practice over all others: sharing a meal with people. This book serves as a poignant reminder that [outreach] is never enacted best through programs and propaganda, but rather through the equality and acceptance experienced at the common table.” -commentary by Mike Breen

Dinner dynamics 

What happens when a meal is shared? 

The dynamics of dinner time:

  1. A shared meal fosters an exchange of ideas and companionship with each other. Discussion and interaction nurtures and builds relationships.
  2. For a family, the time fosters intimacy between husband and wife and allows the children to experience the dynamics of the exchange.

Chronic lack of affirmation

Pornography can surely move into a man’s life as a filler for having his needs for affirmation and in a warped way, companionship, met. But the healthier and more loving a family’s ties are, the less inclined a man is to look elsewhere for that value and affirmation.

‘During my clinical research for The Lights of Tenth Street, several experts told me that a chronic lack of affirmation is one reason so many men slip into pornography addiction. For whatever reason, they feel like less than a man, so they seek —and find! —affirmation in pornography.’ – from the book For Women Only: What You Need to Know about the Inner Lives of Men by Shaunti Feldhahn

So a man can have his sexual needs met this way, right? Isn’t a climax a climax? Well, not really.

Take the lead

As a man, you need build protections for yourself, and one of those is helping your wife and family be in a position to build your esteem as the man in your family. You need to lead your family in gathering together for meals. If it is not currently at least a semi-occasional event in your home, make it so. Go for twice a week, at least for starters. With the average family, it won’t happen every night but that is not an excuse to not pursue it at all.

If you start this program up, watch for resistance. That ‘ole devil won’t like it.

family sharing at dinner table

 

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About Scott St. Onge

I help men become better husbands and dads through sexual purity.
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