The topic of pornography addiction in Fireproof has me thinking about the issue of addiction in general. Addiction is serious business. The addict loses all sense of perspective, and will do anything to get their next fix. This profoundly corrupts their sense of morals, and therefore makes them untrustworthy. Very often the thing which the addict craves is something which would be healthy in the right context. The power of their addiction however can turn what should be wholesome and beautiful into something dark and shameful.
There is one kind of addict which we have discussed but haven’t given enough attention to in this space. This addict is on an obsessive search to secure as many notches as they can. They are fueled by the high they receive when they convince their victim to go all the way. Taking what they want by force wouldn’t have the same impact; the rush comes from the victim’s willing consent. In their amoral attempt to get their next fix, they will say or do anything to seduce their mark. The mark for their own part typically never sees this coming. They think if they offer themselves in good faith they will be loved and accepted as a result. But while the addict isn’t acting out of malice, once the mark has gone all the way the addict has no more use for them. The mark is left bewildered, hurt, and rejected. This experience can be absolutely devastating and life altering. What did they do wrong? Why did the addict drop them as soon as the deed was done, only to pursue fresh meat? Did the discarded mark never really mean anything to them after all? Was all of the wooing and effort to make them feel at ease only a ruse to get them to consent? Unfortunately, often the answer is yes.
We’ve all known the victims of this kind of cruel use of the innocent. We’ve seen the life long pain this can inflict. I must stress that there is nothing inherently dirty or wrong with the victim’s choice to consent. They were merely offering their most precious gift, hoping to be loved and accepted in return. Their only fault is having been too trusting of those who said all of the right words but never really meant them. Had the addict not discarded them once it was done it could have been something of great beauty.
I assume everyone reading this knows exactly what I’m talking about. The Church’s addiction for grooms is a not well kept secret. They most often woo the young, promising acceptance if he only does this one thing for them. While innocent the young mark still might sense something is amiss with the seducer. Many will offer to give up something lesser instead, keeping their one true gift for when they are certain their love will be returned. What if I call her my girlfriend, maybe even live together with her? I promise to remain faithful. But the seducer is adamant; he must go all the way, and it must be done in public. Once you do this, they tell him, you will be loved as one of us. But the mark is suspicious, he’s heard of other men who went all the way only to be treated with contempt afterward. This is all part of the game for the seducer, who knows the conquest is near. This time it’s different. Those other grooms meant nothing to me. The mark still isn’t sure, but the seducer knows all of the right words. I’m not that kind of church. I’m the kind which actually values marriage. You can trust me.
How can they ever trust again?