When a young man strong in his faith read a 2014 Keeping Room article about porn, (click here to review) his response was: “She’s overreacting. Porn is just a normal part of life. It’s everywhere, and in everything.”
When a young woman devoted to Christ and purity recently considered dating a young man, she asked: “When it comes to dating a guy, I’m assuming porn/lust will be something that definitely was/is a struggle, or will happen occasionally. So, what signs do I look for that he’s handling it well?”
When Christian Counseling Today decided to publish their most recent periodical (vol. 22, no. 1, 2017), the entire issue was dedicated to educating Christian counselors on the serious epidemic of porn use.
Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:
1a.Watch out for reactions like the young man’s above. Find out which ways the youth in your life are thinking about porn. Have they fallen for the lies culture has been feeding them:
- Do they think porn is just an acceptable part of sexuality?
- Do they consider it to be innocent and contemporary?
- Do they believe it’s okay in moderation?
- Do they deny its brain-damaging and addictive nature?
- Do they comprehend the spiritual and relational ramifications?
- Do they dismiss the need for accountability if there is temptation?
- Do they fear that it might be considered judgmental or intolerant not to accept someone’s porn usage?
“For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions…men corrupted in mind…who will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all.” (2 Tim. 3:6, 8, 9)
2.Invite and celebrate questions like the one asked by the young woman above. Don’t make the next generation feel ashamed for wondering about porn. They didn’t ask for their world; but they do have to function well in it. An authentic walk is a healthy one. Dialogue with them, inspire them, and teach them Truth until they believe it. And pray for them to find like-minded boyfriends/girlfriends!
“If we walk in the light…the blood of Jesus…cleanses us from all sin.” (1 Jn. 1:7)
3a. After having some conversations, parents may decide their kids are among the many who are at high risk. You may decide you need further protection when it comes to technology. One reputable organization is: Covenant Eyes. You may also want to read: Help! My Kids are Viewing Pornography by Tim Chailles.
3b. Look for the existence of red flags for porn. Loved ones demonstrating a number of these signs may indicate the need for support:
- Increased interest or participation in frequent dating around and pre-marital/extra-marital sex
- Twisted views of sex
- Interest and involvement in sexting & questionable video chatting
- Being secretive
- Sexual activity & symptoms of STD’s
- Damaged relationships
- Inability to have healthy relationships
- Very low self-confidence
- Increased anger
- Turning away from God and His people
3c. Research counseling, groups, and programs designed to help with porn recovery and accountability, specific to gender and age group.
“In an abundance of counselors, there is safety.” (Prov. 11:14)
The invitations are everywhere. For men and for women. For teens. For children as young as 8 or 9. One glance at a sidebar photo, one click on a “harmless” site, one ten-second photo, one media rental, one novel series, and before you know it, one turns to two. It seems so common – and it is. It can seem so good – but it’s not. Pornography is more dangerous than ever due to a greater acceptance than ever. Therefore, it’s crucial to refresh your memory about the in’s and out’s of this industry so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
- Pornography, to any degree, for any purpose, and in any context, violates God’s beautiful design for sexuality and His commands for how it must be honored. His standards don’t adjust for our humanity; our standards need to adjust to His divinity. (Job 40:8; Ps. 19:7-11; Is. 48:17-18)
- Porn requires you to change your values so that you will feel permission to rewrite God’s other standards as well. With eroded values, you don’t have to consider how you view or treat others, and you will eventually lose your desire to hear anything God has to say to you in His Word. (Is. 66:4; 1 Cor. 2:14)
- Pornography needs you to lust so that you won’t love. It will even try to convince married couples that it can be beneficial for love; but it will only be toxic and lead to lust and harm. (Prov. 6:25; Mt. 5:28; Col. 3:5)
- Pornography makes you believe it will improve your life and meet your needs, but its deceptive goal is to make sure you never feel satisfied so that you keep going back for more. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can “use porn in moderation.” (Ps. 107:9)
- Pornography deprioritizes your relationships. You can’t have both fantasy and a real person. If you choose fantasy, your self-gratification will cause you to struggle in the real world. If you choose a real person, you have no need to maintain a fantasy life. You will function at a higher level relationally and get to experience the unique sexual experience God has planned for you in the context of intimate marriage. (1 Cor. 13; Heb. 13:4)
- Pornography opens a broad door for evil. Stop and think about those behind and in front of the cameras – their ages, how they got there, how they are treated, and the condition of their souls. And don’t forget about porn in books and artwork, too. Something is going on in the hearts and lives of those authors and artists, too.
- Porn dumbs down your mind. It requires that your mind give more and more attention to it and that your brain store more and more of its visuals, leaving less time and space for higher thoughts. (Phil. 4:8)
- Porn turns you into an addict. Then it wants you to keep it a secret to keep you from getting any help before it destroys you. And considering the prevalence of porn today, there’s a good chance that you know someone who is keeping their addiction a secret – for now. Eventually they will become so desensitized and so desperate that their behavior will move from hidden internal behavior to overt external behavior.
- Christians involved in pornography are like inmates who don’t realize their cell is open. You are empowered for something far greater than sexual pleasure; you are primed for holiness. (Col. 3)
- Pornography is a worldly enemy that is planning to stalk you. It’s waiting to take your human sexual curiosity and desire, and exchange it for deep and painful shame. But as a Christian, you can grip the Living Spirit of Pure Jesus to continually guide you to express a self-controlled, healthy, holy, fulfilling sexuality – beginning at puberty (loving your future spouse well with your early choices) and lasting for life (enjoying a faithful, sexual relationship with your spouse and a holy relationship with your Savior).
Keeping Room Tips:
Just as airlines have a procedure if there is loss of oxygen in the cabin, Christians today need a procedure for dealing with the world’s pervasive pornography. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first (immediately devise a plan to keep you from the wiles of porn). Then, put the oxygen mask on your loved ones (provide conversation, support, and accountability for others). Or allow someone to put an oxygen mask on you (get help if you are already struggling with pornography). Ultimately, everyone on the plane needs oxygen (no one is immune to sexual temptation).