Teach the Dangers of Pornography
Do you have a child age 11 or above? Statistics show they have more than likely been exposed to pornography. Before you throw in the parenting towel…read how guest author, Jonathan Pokluda encourages us in the battle.
Flee the evil desires of youth and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Tim 2:22
Do you remember the days when pornography could only be found in the occasional dumpster or your crazy uncle’s closet? Now it’s found in the living room of the most righteous person you can think of. Maybe not visibly on the coffee table, but it’s being piped into nearly every home in America. It’s most likely in your pocket right now.
The same Internet your kids are using for homework is a storage shed full of any kind of pornography you could imagine. Your kids have seen porn. That’s true. If for some crazy reason I’m mistaken, it will be true much sooner than you think. The average age of first Internet porn exposure is 11. So what are you going to do about it?
- Control the Internet. It’s your home. It’s your Internet. The internet is the primary method that pornography is viewed. You can install Internet accountability software such as covenant eyes or x3watch. There are also Internet filters that you can install on your computer with a simple Google search. More and more, kids are viewing porn on their phone. If your child has a smartphone I would make sure that you have accountability software on it. Also, keep in mind that your kids are better at technology than you are. These filters serve as a tool, but they are not foolproof. (or not teenager-proof).
- Monitor Social Media. In my house we have a “no locked doors” policy with the kids. As they grow older this will extend to anything password protected. What is something our kids would need to hide from us? I can’t think of anything. I don’t pry, unless I have reason to. The scriptures exhort us to be “children of the light” (Ephesians 5:8). As a practice I don’t hide things and I don’t want my kids hiding things from me. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat (to name a few) should be monitored to see who is trying to reach out to your kids. Did you know pornographic content is readily available on all of these? Proverbs 13:20, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”
- Talk to your kids about porn. This is the most important advice I can give. Your home-schooled, precious little girl will encounter pornography. This will happen. You can fight evil with good simply by talking with your kids about porn. You are not trying to turn them into legalists, but even Jesus said to remove that which causes us to lust (Matt 5:28-30). They don’t think you understand their world, and they’re probably right. Most likely, you didn’t have to go through adolescence with porn being piped into your living room, readily available on your best friend’s cell phone. Start there, by empathizing with them. Tell them you don’t understand, but you want to. Talk to them about what the scriptures say, why pornography is a bad idea, and let them know they can talk with you if (WHEN) they encounter it.
You don’t need to be afraid your kids will view pornography, but you do need to be ready, and you do need to help them overcome the temptation that is all around them. 1 Corinthians 10:13 is a great reminder that God is helping you fight temptation.
How will you live out 2 Timothy 2:22 this week?
Imagine if you were 100% honest with your parents about what you know and/or have experienced as far as pornography. What if they didn’t freak out, but were willing to help you with ways to handle it if or when you come across it again? Try giving it a shot this week. Dare you.