“Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more." Ephesians 4:19
Pornography. It is a significant problem in today's culture, but many people shy away from talking about it. Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry. An "industry" that takes advantage of even young girls is a part of this sick, twisted lifestyle. In our media saturated culture, students are at finger tip accessibility to thousands of websites.
Pornography is more accessible than ever before. Before it was only found in magazines. Now, it is easily accessible by cell phones, iPods, and iPads. Mobile tools are being used more than the family computer. Pornography is a fast-paced train picking up steam. Statistics show that it is becoming more out of control. In every past civilization that has failed, sexual sin was one of the main reasons for their demise. "Sexting" is the newest form of pornography. People will send pictures and live video of each other through their cell phones and computers. Girls are sending inappropriate pictures to guys many times because they want attention. Guys are manipulating girls and taking advantage of them for their own sick pleasure. Video games are becoming more and more saturated with pornography. Parents need to be aware of the types of games their students are playing because some of the "M" rated games have traces of porn. Social networking is even becoming more saturated with porn every day.
Sexual perversion is the reason that pornography is demoralizing our culture. Lust and an appetite for more is at the heart of our sinful nature. Men and women are captured in this lifestyle. Pornography desensitizes a person to look at another person to fulfill their sexual appetite and perversion.
How do parents help their students win the battle of pornography?
- Talk to each other about it. I'm amazed at the amount of parents who are afraid to talk about sex, pornography and choices with their children. Trust me, if we are not teaching them a healthy view then they will get an unhealthy view from someone else. Help them understand that our eyes can be the doorway to our heart and because of that we must guard our eyes. When you talk to them about it, never shame or yell at them over it. Use it as a teaching moment and to create a healthy bond to talk about overcoming pornography. It is crucial for the Father to talk to their son about it and the Mother talk to the daughter about it. This will help with the "awkwardness" that will come up. Many students are deceived into thinking that their immorality now won’t cost them later. Here are three verses that we should memorize and meditate upon daily:
“But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28 (NLT)
“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. 2 Timothy 2:22 (NLT)
“I made a covenant with my eyes to not look lustfully at a girl.” Job 31:1
- Set clear boundaries. One obvious boundary is to not allow your student to have a computer in their bedroom. Let them know that when we look at any unhealthy sexual image, your mind takes a picture of it and stores it in your brain for the rest of your life. The more of these images you allow yourself to see, the more pictures your brain will store away. What you and I see affects how we think and how we will act. Another important boundary is internet access on their mobile phone. I'm amazed at how many parents refuse to admit their child will struggle with it. I encourage you to set boundaries that will protect and encourage them to be pure.
- Keep each other accountable. In order to be accountable, we have to be honest. If a person is struggling with a porn addiction, they need to talk to a friend about it. I'm always trying to find practical resources to help with accountability. Here are my top two resources for defeating pornography addiction.
Covenant eyes. Covenant Eyes offers an internet browser for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.
Cost is: $8.99 per month for accountability (you choose who your internet report is sent to) and filtering is $4.99 per month. For each additional user is $2.00 per month on accountability and $1.50 for filtering.
"X3watch is a free accountability software program helping with online integrity. Whenever you access a website that contains inappropriate or pornographic material, the program will record the website, time, and date the site was visited. A person of your choice (an accountability partner) will receive an email containing all inappropriate sites you have visited that week."
In order to defeat the addiction to pornography, drastic measures have to be taken. You cannot simply pray about it and expect immediate change, especially for people who are addicted. When I was a teenager I looked at porn and then began to struggle with it for a few months. Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, I found freedom when I confessed it to God and went to my parents and brothers. I memorized scripture based on this area of my life and through accountability and the power of Jesus, I have been pure. It must be a continual battle and fight! We need to be passionate about surrendering any area of our life to Jesus.
I encourage you to talk to a trusted friend or parent, set clear boundaries and be accountable. Only through the power of Christ can we be pure in today's culture. Wisdom and accountability is needed to be pure in our culture.
"Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results." James 5:16
Are we ignoring the elephant in the room? Do we really think that our own students and children are not struggling with the temptation of pornography?