Feb

27

2013

Zach Nielsen|12:01 AM CT

Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture

A recent article in The Telegraph highlights the tragic symptoms of a disease that's infecting our worldwide culture. The piece focuses mainly on teenagers and the dysfunction that has become normative in their lifestyles as a result of consuming porn.

In light of this, how can parents raise children in a pornified culture? Here are eight suggestions for this ever-increasing problem. 

1. Aim to give our kids a huge view of God who is gloriously delightful.

We can't simply tell our kids to stop doing certain behaviors; we must also teach them to delight in what God has made. I've been trying to make a discipline of pointing out all the good in God's creation. A few weeks ago it was a blessing to watch my two older kids spend hours picking the wild raspberries that grow in their grandma and grandpa's huge backyard. They need to be reminded of God's goodness in giving us such amazing created blessings, like raspberries. If we're not careful, we can become functional gnostics (flesh and matter are bad; only what's "spiritual" has value) in our communication about sexual ethics with our kids. A helpful verse for them to memorize is 1 Timothy 4:4.

In short, I want my kids to know that sexual perversion is the height of idolatry (Rom. 1), but also that sexual integrity is the height of beauty. This demands we talk about it, probably more than we're comfortable with or experienced when we were kids. But it's a new world, and a new world demands new communication to train our children.

2. Teach them the gospel. Our kids are spring-loaded legalists.

They have to see us model gospel truth through active repentance and forgiveness. They have to know their acceptance before God isn't based on their performance, but on Christ's. They have to know their standing as a family member doesn't depend on their obedience, though their standing does imply a certain type of living.

For example, when we're disciplining our kids we often say, "Since you're a member of this family and since I love you so much, you will not do this." Consider the difference from saying, "If you want me to love you and if you want to keep living in this house, you better stop doing this." The indicatives of our faith must precede and inform the imperatives. Don't reverse the order.

3. Teach them that boundaries bring freedom and obedience is a blessing.

When I was a kid I thought if I screwed up, God was going to whack me with a big stick. No one ever taught me this, but it's what I felt. Obedience wasn't motivated by love, but fear of punishment. This didn't get me very far.

When my kids are age appropriate I plan to communicate that sexual sin will never provide the freedom we crave. They can choose to reap the harmful consequences of disobedience, but I'll warn them from Scripture and experience that they don't want to start down that path. Obedience leads to blessing.

4. Talk to them sooner than later about sex and internet porn.

When I was 8, I remember going next door to our neighbor's garage. Like any curious kid, I enjoyed snooping around a bit. I soon discovered he had boxes full of pornographic magazines. Sometimes a friend and I would sneak over there, grab a few, and go sit in the bushes to look at the naked women. Back then, this risky endeavor filled my stomach with butterflies for fear of getting caught by my parents or the neighbor. But all you need today is a closed door and an internet connection. The vilest perversion imaginable is only two clicks away.

We must communicate in general terms what's available and why it's so destructive. Some would contend this discussion will just stir up their curiosity, but what's the alternative? I'd rather have them be warned by me so I can offer reasons and means to fight than to have them innocently stumble on pornography someday on the internet.

5. Begin to train your kids how to interact with the opposite sex.

We've already started to "date" our kids. We feel it's crucial for them, at an early age, to begin experiencing what it's like to be treated well by a member of the opposite sex. Especially for girls, a lack of healthy male attention from dad will often prompt them to seek it in unhealthy ways from younger men more than happy to provide it. My boys need to learn women aren't objects to be consumed but image-bearers of God to be loved.

6. Guard who your kids spend time with.

Since sexual exposure is much more accessible today than 25 years ago, we're much more aware of whom our children spend time with. There will come an age (sooner than I'd like to think about) when we won't be able to guard them as tightly, but hopefully the foregoing points will have taken root in their lives such that they'll be equipped to make wise decisions.

Be careful, though, you don't take this too far and communicate an unhealthy fear of unbelievers. The older our kids get, the more we have to let them go and pray our training has taken root. There's really no other choice. We must train our kids so they're sheltered enough to be age-appropriately safe but informed enough to make wise decisions on their own. Just don't hide your kids behind the fortress of your supervision until they're 18.

This demands great wisdom. There's no manual. We must be parents of prayer.

7. Guard the computer and turn off the television.

We have Covenant Eyes on all our computers and, via the AppleOS, our children can only access the websites we've approved. Certainly this will change as they get older, but hopefully they will have internalized the gospel and tasted the blessings of obedience.

Victory over porn is finally a heart issue, but that doesn't mean we should forsake preventative structures. You'd never say, "I want to know my obedience is motivated by more than just following the right rules, so I'm going to dive into unwise situations to see if I'm strong enough to withstand sin!" That's absurd (1 Cor. 10:12-13). We need right hearts so as not to be legalists, but right boundaries can help us taste the blessing of obedience.

The TV will show your kids functional soft porn all the time. There are countless better things to do with your kids than watch TV. Read with them, play sports with them, enjoy creation with them, tell them a story, or just serve them in an activity of their choice. The key phrase here is with them. If they spend more time with the TV than with you, you're all in trouble.

8. Seek to cultivate a relationship with your kids such that they feel they can be open with you about anything.

As a young dad, I'm not totally sure how to make this happen, but I know it'll come through modeling openness. I try to draw out their hearts and show them that if they're honest with me, I'll be fair, loving, and compassionate. If they see me as guarded and reserved, why would I expect them to be any different?

Last, do you ever repent in front of your kids? If they never see you repent, what makes you think they'll come to you for help after seeing internet porn for the first time? Modeling repentance for our kids is probably the quickest way to show we believe the gospel and are a safe refuge in the midst of their sin.

Zach Nielsen (@znielsen) is one of the pastors at The Vine Church in Madison, Wisconsin, where he serves in the areas of preaching, leadership development and music. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa and Covenant Theological Seminary and blogs at Take Your Vitamin Z.

Categories: Christian Living
  • Sam

    Great article.

    One thing I would add is, "Unplug." Folks, the internet is not as essential to your happiness and productivity as you think it is. Raise kids on books, not blogs.

    • Tamika May

      Sam, so VERY TRUE!!!

    • Jayson

      ...says the guy commenting on a blog post.

      • Sam

        My point was not that blogs are bad but that children shouldn't be raised in front of a computer screen.

        • Melody

          My son can make videos that would make your head spin. He has been able to draw in the paint program the way the other kids did with crayons.

          There are plenty of garbage books out there and you cannot put a safety program on them when they go to read them.

          It doesn't have to be an either or. I would say that people do not have to give their kids phones with all the bells and whistles that include internet.

  • Deb Felak

    Walt Mueller of Center for Youth/Parent Understanding posts this in his blog. http://learningmylines.blogspot.com/2013/02/sex-on-campus-preschool-campus.html

    • Tamika May

      Deb. Thank you. So TRUE!!

  • Pingback: Noon Brew 02/27/13 | 13past1

  • Johnney

    I think Tim Keller's talk on his marriage book provides some great insights on how our culture views sex contrasted to sex in the covenant of marriage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9THu0PZwwk&list=FLyprol7VW6HyZVaitQYCPng&index=2

  • Chris

    Good points; all easy to say, and very hard to do.

  • Pingback: Get Linked Up | Jason Autry

  • http://tylerceason.blogspot.com/ Tyler Eason

    This was a very encouraging article. As a soon to be father I hope to learn these lessons early. Thanks Zach for your thoughtful look into this subject.

  • Jennifer S

    Very practical and real suggestions. Raising kids is NEVER easy - and it shouldnt be. It should be work to raise great kids - and talking to your 8 year old about sex or porn is HARD. But there are good ways to do it without violating them - that is my aim.

    I asked a family member once how she brought up a tough subject with her boys like masturbation, and she shrugged her shoulders and said, "I never have." YIKES. I want my kids to know they can come and talk to me about the hard stuff and that means I have to model to them by talking to them about the hard stuff FIRST.

    • KJQ

      With all due respect, Jennifer, it is the Father's responsibility to discuss sexuality with his sons, and the mother with their daughters unless that is not possible (e.g. widow/widower).

      • JoeR82

        That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard in my life. (KLQ post) Parenting is a team effort - not one for the son and one for the daughter.

        What happens if there is two moms or two dads? Oh wait, I'm sure in your mind this should never occur.

        Time to move into reality and stop living in the dream world you call home.

        • KJQ

          JoeR82: If my statement is THE most ridiculous thing you've every heard (read, actually), then you have led a very sheltered life. I'm sorry that you find my comment ridiculous.

          I should point out that in commenting on this Christian web site, I assumed that I'm speaking to professing Christians who hold to the belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. If you are not a Christian and/or do not believe the Bible to be the only infallible rule of faith and practice, then it's not surprising that my comments seem ridiculous to you. "The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" - 1 Cor 1:18

          So, if by "two moms or two dads" you are referring to homosexual marriage/unions, then yes those should never occur and are sinful. In those cases it really doesn't matter what the "parents" teach as unless the parents and/or children repent and believe, they are perishing. That isn't just my belief/opinion, it is God's as well, which He clearly stated for us in His Word.

          I do agree that parenting is a shared responsibility (though a family as defined by God, not a team as defined by man). In the area of sex eduction, however, I personally believe that the same sex parent should be the one to do the teaching due to the sensitive nature, as well as being better able to relate to their children of the same sex.

          My "dream world" is the one that my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ will restore, along with all His creation, when He returns in glory to judge both the living and the dead. In the mean time, I and my family live in this world but do our best, by God's grace, to not be of this world.

          • JoeR82

            It was only a figure of speech as I have heard/ read a lot worse. I came to this article because a friend of mine (a pastor) shared this on his Facebook so I thought I would give it a read. I, unlike most/ all Christians I know am open to hearing other peoples opinions so I wanted to see what this was all about.

            I just found it funny that it mentioned that you should keep your kids away from us "non- believers". On the other hand I think it is good so that I don't have to tell my kids to stay away from the people who are disillusioned from the word of God. (Not that I ever would because we have taught our kids good values and to treat everyone as equals - independent of race, religion, sexual orientation, beliefs, etc)

            If there was a God (which I don't believe there is) then I would like to think he/ she would want everyone to be free- thinking and not just follow some fictional text.

            My dream world would be one where everyone treated as equals and not just by words from some book that has no origin - which is getting closer and closer and more people question this craziness and actually open their eyes to the "light".

            I feel bad for typing what I just did as I don't like to talk negatively about someone else's beliefs and it goes against everything my wife and I tell our children but I felt it was necessary in this case.

            "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful."

            • KJQ

              JoeR82: Thanks for the background on where you were coming from. I am saddened but not entirely surprised to hear that the Christian you know appear to be "closed minded". I for one, while a Christian, consider myself to be a "truth seeker", hence I'm willing to read/discuss/debate virtually any topic, especially Christianity due to the eternal consequences of being right about it.

              I know it's hard to relate to Christians wanted their teens not to associate too much with "unbelievers", but maybe an analogy would help. If your teen was hanging out with a group of teens who regularly did crystal meth and drank, you probably wouldn't want them to do so (assuming you believe crystal meth use and underage drinking to be bad for your teens). In our (Christians) case, sex is only to be between a husband and wife. It can certainly be demonstrably shown that there are many negative physical and emotional consequences for those who engage in sexual relations outside of marriage. For example, recent CDC data shows 1 in 4 adults (1 in 2 between 15 and 29 years of age) who are sexually active have an STD. So, the difference is in what parents see as harmful to/for our children. Christians see sinful behaviour as those to be avoided, and so the choices we make about who we associate with are important. Are there implicit judgments being when we do this, yes there are. However, as long as we are using God's standards and not our own, we are to make such judgments.

              You used the word "disillusioned" describing the Bible, and I don't know any believers who are "not happy with" the Bible, so perhaps you meant something pejorative like "deluded"? If so, then you would of course have to have definitive proof that the Bible is false to be able to say anyone is deluded/deceived by it.

              I applaud your teaching your children that we are all equal. This is actually a Biblical value. We are all descended from one couple (Adam and Eve), hence all are the same race. We are all fallen creatures who sin, and all deserve God's present curse and wrath to come.

              I understand that you don't believe in God. Your saying, however, that if there is a God He would have to conform to your view of what is right and wrong. From the Christian perspective, God does exist and He wanted us to know about Himself and ourselves, and so He revealed Himself to men and inspired them to write down His truth and His will for us. The book of Romans, particularly Chapter 9 explains why it is not unreasonable for God, who created us, to demand us to live according to His ways and not our own. He doesn't want us to follow fictional texts (e.g. Koran, Book of Mormon), but does want us to follow His book - the Bible.

              I don't understand your "... some book with no origin" remark. If the Bible didn't have an origin, it wouldn't exist. The real question is who wrote it, and why. The Bible is "self attesting" because it was written over thousands of years by many men who could not possibly have collaborated/conspired to make it the cohesive work that it is. Textual criticism has proven that the various books in the Bible were written in/at the times claimed. They contain many, many prophecies which have come true (e.g. Isaiah's specific mention of where Christ would be born, where He would be raised, and how He would die).

              Don't feel bad for expressing your viewpoint. Yours comments are very respectful and far more measured than the vast majority of your fellow atheists.

              I couldn't help but chuckle at the irony in your having used the closing quote you did because of the fact that it is not clear who wrote it. It is often incorrectly attributed to Seneca the Younger by people such as by Cardiff in his 1945 book, but is most likely from Edward Gibbon. The irony for me was that the Bible is demonstrably more proven in it's origin than any other ancient writings.

          • mel

            You personally believe but do you have a verse that says that only the parent of the same sex can talk to children about sex?

            You referenced widows/widower. Does that mean a divorced person cannot be saved by grace or only good people?

            I am curious how you were able to give birth to children without sin. I've yet to meet one other than Jesus.

            • KJQ

              Mel: I did not say that only the parent of the same sex can talk to children about sex. I said that that is the norm. There is no specific verse that supports this, but there are innumerable verses which put the responsibility for the education of children squarely on the Father's shoulders (again, where there is a mother and father). The "you" in the Shema is clearly the father, and the father is the head of the home (if there is a father).

              I made no mention of salvation as sex education of children has nothing to do with that. I mentioned widows/widowers as that is the primary biblical reason for there to only be one parent in the home vice the normal two. The scriptures are quite clear that divorce is forbidden except in the case of adultery, or if an unbelieving spouse divorces a believer. Those who believe in Christ but committed the sin of unlawful divorce can of course be saved if they repent. There are no "good people", and no one is saved because of who they are or what they did or did not do.

              Your last remark I take to be some sort of ad hominem attack upon me. I am a vile sinner, as is my wife, and are my sons. We all come forth from our mother's wombs speaking lies. I sin daily in thought, word and deed, by commission and omission. Only the grace of God has saved me or anyone else from the consequences of sin. I'm sorry if my stating an ideal has somehow made you think I'm sinless, far from it. But just because none of us can rightly keep the law of God, doesn't me we are not to strive to.

      • Jennifer S

        Yes - I agree, in an ideal world where that could happen in a healthy way, that would be best. But if I left it to my husband (and we have talked about this at length), it likely would not be done or be done with so much embarrassment that it would cause a decrease in communication. I am a nurse and while it is still hard, I feel strongly that my kids should hear things from their parents before they hear it from their friend or in a book. So if that has to be me, then it will be me, instead of not at all or with inhibiting embarrassment.

        • KJQ

          Jennifer S: Thanks for your response. I totally sympathize with your comments. I was raised by unbelieving parents, and so sadly there was no discussions about sexuality at all in our home. That meant that when it was time for me to start having some discussions/educating with/of my (now) teenaged sons when they were pre-teens, it was indeed quite awkward for me. Praise be to God that He had convinced/convicted me that this was my responsibility and so I did it. It was made a lot easier, I believe, for me because we chose to home educate our sons. I hate to make comparisons with others, but it certainly seems that my wife and I have a much closer intimacy with our sons than our fellow Christians who chose to send their children to public or private schools.

          I'm a bit reticent to say this but had I refused to fulfill my duty to educate my sons about sexuality, and had my wife's urgings not convinced me, then she would have brought our church elders in and I would likely have faced church discipline had I continued to neglect my duties.

  • Pingback: Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture | Alex Chediak

  • Ruth Li

    it's such a dangerous, absurd and vile time, when morality is ruined and degenerate culture and rubbish are pouring into people life. Children heart cannot be simply shelded from these things, they can only be educated and cultivated to own the ability to tell the difference and behave their own mind world, and more importantly, to be honest with themselves and with God.

  • Pingback: La pornographie recable notre cerveau | NotreEglise Point Com

  • Pingback: Investigating the Challenges Facing Young Christians

  • Pingback: Ridgeway Church » Growing up in a “pornified” world (28/2/13)

  • Pingback: Are we and are our kids prepared for the temptations of this culture? | Reflections of a New Creation

  • KJQ

    I'm glad Zach wrote this article as this is one of the biggest issues facing Christians today, especially boys/men, and it needs to be discussed far more than it is. I do have to take issue with two points, though. The first regarding his 5th point is that I strongly believe that Christians should not "date", but practice courtship. One doesn't need to be alone with members of the opposite sex in order to learn how to relate to them. There is a reason courtship was the norm for most of the past 2,000 years, and it wasn't prudishness or 'narrow mindedness'. If we're honest, we have to admit that the change from courtship to unsupervised dating in the past 50 years is not due to some new biblical revelation, but by cultural influence. Even courtship should be delayed until such time as the men are established and ready for marriage. "Dating with no intent to marry is like going to the grocery store with no money. You either leave unhappy or take something that isn't yours." I also didn't appreciate the "Just don't hide your kids behind the fortress of your supervision until they're 18", and don't agree with it. We home educated our twin sons, and they had limited exposure to unbelievers over their formative years, and were never alone with girls/women as teens. They are now godly young men who are willingly waiting until they well established before they begin to court potential wives. It is our responsibility as parents, especially fathers, to protect our children until they are adults. In the case of boys, until they are men and established on their own. In the case of girls, until they have been courted and we hand the responsibility for their care and protection to their husbands on their wedding day (remember the father gives the bride into the care of the groom - not TO him as his property as the world likes to accuse).

    • Nancy

      Thanks for your comments KJQ. They added much needed additional insight to this article. And you are right, we need much more discussion of these matters if we hope to see the next generation of children find blessed lives in Christ. This is no time to forget God's Word: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." I don't think there has ever been a time when this soberness is more needed.

  • Jayson

    Which "Apple OS" are you referring to?

    Are you talking aout OSX or iOS? They're two different things, and neither of them are called AppleOS.

  • http://www.gracelaced.com Ruth@GraceLaced

    Zach, this is an excellent article. I love that I read through the whole thing not knowing who the author was, and was so encouraged to see it was from you! Going to share it!

  • Brandon

    For those interested in Internet filters, I'd not suggest Covenant Eyes. They're not bad; but don't think they're the best because they're Christian-run. You have to pay for the service, and it's not even the best out there. The best that is out there, in my experience, is K9 Web Protection. It's free and covers areas of the internet that CE doesn't. Specifically, Google Images, Bing Images and the like.

  • Pingback: Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture

  • Pingback: …a little bit of this, a little bit of that… | kristian_with_a_k

  • Pingback: Weekly Links (3/1/2013) | The Beacon

  • http://mikesnow.org Michael Snow

    And be AWARE of this danger on Facebook:
    http://zeitgeistcontext.wordpress.com/

  • Pingback: Weekly Commentary (March 1, 2013) : A Modern Exile

  • Amy

    This is all nice, theoretical stuff.
    I did everything this blog says-my teens still look at porn.

    What about that? What about when all the tricks don't work? What about when the prayers don't seem to make a difference, and your kid knows what the Bible says and they know about unplugging and you eat dinner together every night, etc. etc???

    DO NOT allow people to think raising a teenager is just a matter of reminders. It is very difficult. There is no right answer for everyone. You, as a parent, are completely reliant on the HOLY SPIRIT to change their hearts and convict them of their sin.

    Some nights you are just praying. And holding on in faith. To me-that's what it looks like to parent teens.

    • C. Smith

      Amy, I'm sorry to hear you feel that way. Is there a father involved? If so, it is possible that he is looking at porn too. It is very common for good fathers to look at porn too because they are trapped into the terrible addiction. If the head of household (father) if there is one is sneaking peeks then he is leaving the door open for satan to come in and take hold of you and your children. I pray that is not the case for your family but, it may be. It happened in my household and we are working hard to keep our boys eyes pure. Pray for wisdom and that if your husband is trapped in porn that he may be set free.

  • Pingback: Protecting Your Family on the Internet | Vicki Tiede's Blog

  • Pingback: Criando niños en una cultura permeada por la pornografía – TGC Español

  • Pingback: Raising Kids in a Pornified Culture | Kirk Cameron

  • Melody

    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
    not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

    "For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness.
    "All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man." Mark 7:21-22

    So by all means protect your children from seeing the things that are shameful to even speak of but don't make the mistake of thinking that you have made them pure by doing so. They are just as sinful as all the other children in the world and God chooses who He will save - not you.

    Pride is an insidious thing and connected to every sin in the bible. What made Saul a murderer? The pride of thinking he understood the scriptures so perfectly and kept the law so religiously that he approved the murder of the saints without guilt.

    1) 2) and 6) are HUGELY important in this article otherwise all you have done is raise someone that looks down on other sinners. According to Luke 18:11 that is a bad thing.

  • Pingback: Zach Nielsen – Criando filhos em uma cultura pornificada | Voltemos Ao Evangelho

  • Vince

    Hey Zach, great article, thanks for posting. Another great web filter that I use is K9 - it's actually the best I've found so far (in my opinion), and it's free. Just thought I'd comment in case people have a quibble about paying for a filter.

  • http://www.HistoryinaNutshell.com Marcia Yiapan

    This was all good, but when it comes to being mindful about who your kids spend their time with, that should include school. If they go to a public school they're swimming in a soup of ignorance, blindness, amorality, profanity and blasphemy all day.

  • Pingback: What I Read Online – 03/08/2013 (a.m.) | Emeth Aletheia

  • http://thesmallrain.wordpress.com/ Sarah

    Zach, thank you for your article. We have our own "Zach" who is almost 12. The other day we found he had been looking at articles on AskYahoo about sex...it came somewhat as a surprise to us, but not completely. We read all his texts and we take up his ipod daily to check what he has been looking at...but we missed his internet for a couple days.

    This led to a really good discussion, and thankfully he had not clicked beyond a few articles. We were able to talk with him early on and deal with this upfront...not that there won't be more times to deal with it. We talked really honestly about how this is such a draw for humans and how our flesh wants to feed this desire.

    Your article was really timely, and although we already are doing some of these things, the reminder and affirmation came at just the right moment. Thank you!

  • Pingback: Messy Mondays meet….I don’t know | The Small Rain

  • Pingback: Criando filhos em uma cultura pornificada - Logos Apologetica

  • Pingback: Parenting & Pornography | Northbrook Baptist Church

  • Pingback: Vale la Pena Notar...Recursos Para Padres | Hombres de Dios 360

  • Pingback: Eating the Poisoned Apple: How Legalism Demonizes Sex | Beggars Daughter

  • Pingback: Kids and Porn = Child Sex Offenders |

  • Pingback: Informed – Issue #23 |

  • Anonymous

    No offense, but why would the Gospel Coalition have an article like this written by a guy whose never had teenagers?

    I've raised a son and let me give you the real truth about guys and porn.

    1. Your son will be introduced to Internet porn on or before age 10 no matter what you do to protect him.

    2. Porn is addictive and you won't be able to shame, badger, or threaten your son enough to make him stop it. It will just go underground.

    3. Homeschooled kids manage to find porn too. Don't think your protective covering can keep porn out forever.

    4. Like Amy said (3/2/2013), you have to be reliant on the Holy Spirit to change hearts and convict of sin, because you can follow all the steps in the article above faithfully and still end up with porn in your kid's mind.

    5. Get acquainted with some of the online help such as the You Tube TEDx talk: "The Great Porn Experiment: Gary Wilson at TEDxGlasgow."

    6. If you kid is doing online gaming, be aware that he's probably doing porn. But there is a Reddit/nofap group of guys who want to stop their porn addiction. Without the knowledge or any pressure from Mom and Dad, 55,000 people are taking the Reddit challenge to break away from porn. And it works.

    God loves your son more than you do. And the Holy Spirit's grip is stronger than you think. Take precautions, of course, but stop badgering and start praying.

  • Alien & stranger

    I've come across this article well-after the fact, and agree with some of the things in the comment above mine. One thing we need to acknowledge is the innate sin-nature, with which we and our children come into this world. With 20/20 hindsight, I know it manifested in me as a child. I heard things from children at school when I was in Gr. 5, and happened to come across some Men Only magazines with very mild (by today's standards) cartoons and photos (no full nudity back then), and that triggered curiosity in me. Once I learned "the facts of life" when I was about 11 or 12, I realised what I'd been doing was wrong.
    However, when I was 21, I met my future husband, with whom I fell madly in love, and he then seduced me and introduced me to porn. After we were married, a situation that had developed made me realise how much my morals were off kilter with the sexual licence, but it was really only years later, after our sons were born and I came to know the Lord, that I was set free from all the sexual fantasy stuff.
    Being worried about drug-scares and HIV/Aids, I first took my sons to Sunday School, even before I knew the Lord, as I knew nothing about teaching my sons moral values. Once I came to know the Lord, and I now understood humankind's innate proclivity to depravity, I began to teach my sons Biblical truth and values, and the reasons for those values. (I carried the load of moral and spiritual training, as my atheist husband wasn't interested, being more concerned that our sons become computer-literate, so eventually they became addicted to computer-gaming). During their primary school years I told them why porn, sexual licence, drugs, cigarette smoking, etc., were detrimental, e.g. I told them that porn puts images in their minds that were difficult to erase, that it is addictive and progressive, like drugs, and that it is like drinking from a sewer instead of a pure spring (using the Biblical analogy), and that it perverts God's plan for marriage and sexual relations. Because I knew what a toxic culture we live in, I wanted my sons to "own" the values as their own, not as rules or orders from me. This helped them to withstand many temptations (including internet porn) during their high school teen years, because before they had begun high school, all our sons prayed for salvation as the Lord intervened in their lives, but one later turned away from the Lord and has led an immoral life, despite all my prayers and input, and has become a hardline atheist in the Dawkins mold. He now considers porn less harmful than smoking cigarettes!
    I've learned that there are no guarantees when raising children, probably more so if the parents aren't "reading off the same page". I've felt some envy as I've watched other people's children grow into godly young people who love the Lord - but then other people's children haven't. There are hopes and dreams for my family that have turned to ashes, but I still believe God has his hand on their lives and will work in their lives in his timing.

    • Anonymous

      Dear Alien and Stranger,

      I agree, there aren't any guarantees when raising children. They choose their own path in life.

      A friend of mine went to a wise pastor with her concerns about her adult children's spiritual lives.

      Pastor: Did you raise them to know right and wrong?
      Mother: Yes.
      P: Did you tell them about Jesus Christ?
      M: Yes.
      P: Did you pray for them?
      M: Yes.
      P: Then you did your responsibility.

      She found that to be very freeing.

  • Pingback: Resources for helping parents teach their children about sex | Grace Transforms

  • Pingback: Passion Points | Three Passions

  • Pingback: 8 Ways to Raise Your Child in a Pornographic Culture | 180 Student Ministry

  • Pingback: Ridgeway Church » Growing up in a “pornified” world