A recent study asked a group of kids how often their peers look at porn online. They responded that it was often. The study also asked what parental controls were in place on their devices, and almost all said none — because their parents trusted them. These parents have no idea what their children are seeing.
Why are controls so critical? First, the average age of a child’s first exposure to pornography is 11. So if that’s the average, some children are seeing it much earlier. Furthermore, research is beginning to give us the full, frightening picture of what porn does to a brain and to a life. Much like substance abuse, it alters the brain, creating a need for a level of stimulation that a healthy, marital sex life doesn’t always provide. It sets our children up to have a distorted view of sex and suffer from a desire that can’t be satisfied.
Why are so many dads turning a blind eye to this problem? Is it because they don’t think it’s a problem? Is it because of their own porn use? Maybe they feel hypocritical setting up boundaries for their kids that they themselves can’t hold. If this is you, we want you to know that it’s not too late to protect your children, and there is hope for you too. Here are 10 ways to fight pornography:
1. Admit you have a problem.
We live in a world that wants us to make allowance for justifying and tolerating almost every off-color thing we could think of. One of the best things you can do for yourself, your marriage and your children is to admit you have a problem with pornography.
2. Invite trusted friends to encourage you and hold you accountable.
We would also suggest bringing your wife in on your struggle. Voicing your struggle to others and admitting you have a problem is a huge step in the right direction.
3. Online accountability.
Use software to monitor your online activity. Covenant Eyes is a great resource for men. It allows you to receive your accountability partner’s reports weekly for the sites they visit and the searches they make. It lets you know when you need to follow up with each other on questionable activity. Finally, it allows you to celebrate with each other in putting online struggles to death.
4. Set boundaries with your mobile device.
Nowadays, our smartphones and tablets are even more of a gateway to pornography than a desktop computer. The same online accountability applies to your mobile device. Set boundaries and use software to monitor all online activity.
5. If you have offline pornography at your disposal, destroy it.
If you are wanting to fight your addiction to pornography but are hanging on to that magazine or DVD (in its secret hiding place) then your “fight” is really just a masquerade. Man up, and destroy those items. Right now.
6. Take all forms of media seriously.
Don’t think to yourself that TV shows or movies that emphasize sexual situations or portray women in the wrong light are harmless. Even if they are not considered “porn,” they are damaging. If you’re struggling with pornography, these types of entertainment will only make your struggle more difficult.
7. If you are married, take a step back and think on your marriage.
Are you satisfied and happy in your marriage? What’s awesome about your marriage? What is lacking? Are you content with the level of sexual intimacy within your marriage? These are great questions to ask yourself. They just might lead you to the root cause for your addiction.
8. Realize that you didn’t just become addicted to porn.
How you conduct yourself in public and where you look every day have greatly influenced where you find yourself today. That long stare at the passing woman, the double take at the lady you just walked by, the thoughts that come to mind when you see the magazines in the checkout lane at the grocery store… This is where the battle starts in the everyday scenarios and situations. Fight the good fight here too. Guard your eyes and guard your mind.
9. Take a second and think beyond the images or videos you’re looking at.
This is a person, a real woman, a human being created by God, just like you. She’s somebody’s daughter, sister, or even mother. Think of what her life must be like in front of the camera day after day – exploited and made insanely vulnerable. Chances are she is wrapped up in some kind of string of human sex trafficking and your addiction is helping to fund this multibillion-dollar business. She is not there for your enjoyment. She is being held captive and more than likely is crying out for help. Your pornography addiction is a heart issue first and foremost.
10. Your pornography addiction is a heart issue first and foremost.
You are exchanging truth for a lie. You are voluntarily placing your affections on the cheap thrills that are ultimately fleeting and leave you feeling worthless. You were created for God, by God. Ask God to help you every time you are tempted.
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Do you know what pornography is? Have you ever seen any?”