Pornography is on the rise among men, women, and children. It has become one of the major fallouts of a society that is increasingly more virtual. According to studies that came out just one year ago, “The top porn site, Pornhub, is the third-biggest bandwidth-consuming company behind Google and Netflix. Pornhub also has more daily visits than Netflix, Amazon, and Twitter combined.” These are staggering results and should spur us to action. As women, we are the gatekeepers to our homes, and we must be vigilant to be proactive in discussing this difficult topic with our children. We must be vigilant to pray for God’s constant protection over the hearts and minds of our children. We must be vigilant to keep ourselves pure.
Psalm 119:37 says, “Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” You don’t see this verse splashed across coffee mugs, t-shirts, and wall art. Yet, this is a powerful verse we need to have memorized to fight against temptation when it comes. We need to pray this verse daily for ourselves and our families. We need to teach this verse to our children. Jesus reminds us in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” When we see the Scriptures in front of us, why would we choose anything but the abundant life God offers us and desires for us? And yet, in the tangible world, lines get fuzzy, our own flesh tricks us into thinking it’s not a big deal, and, suddenly, our self-justification turns into full-blown addiction before we even realize it.
As Christ-following women, we are called to be counter-culture (Romans 12:2 and Ephesians 5:1-16). This is not easy to do, nor is this a very comfortable calling. Our flesh craves to be accepted and “one of the crowd.” We don’t want to be thought of as weird or a marm (as my college roommate so sweetly called me, bless her heart). We don’t want to be that mom; we want to be the cool mom. I daresay if we knew our kids’ lives were hanging in the balance, we would gladly be labeled weird, marm, or that mom to save them.
It is time for a reality check; my sister in Christ, our kids’ lives ARE hanging in the balance. There is a real, powerful, hungry enemy licking his chops at the thought of devouring our children and us. The question is, what are we to do about it?
The first answer is prayer, prayer, and more prayer! We can never go too far in how often or how boldly we pray for our children. Please hear my next statement with love. It is time to stop praying for the physical safety of our children and start desperately praying for their spiritual safety. If you don’t know what to pray for, mine the Scriptures for powerful words to pray regarding your children, such as Ephesians 3:14-19, Philippians 4:8, and Colossians 3:12-15 to get you started.
The second answer is to talk with your kids, guide them, and train them up in what is right. Proverbs is replete with warnings and admonitions from a father to a son on many subjects, especially sexuality. Solomon admonishes his son in Proverbs 4:23 to guard his heart. If you have read the book of Proverbs, it is obvious that as a father, he doesn’t just make this profound statement about guarding your heart and then walk away expecting his son to figure it out on his own. No, this statement comes in the middle of much instruction, dialogue, and explanation of why it is important to do life God’s way and the destruction that comes when we don’t.
The last answer is to have a plan of action for how you will combat pornography and do everything you can to keep it from creeping in your back door. First of all, we must teach our children what pornography is. Sadly, this conversation must start younger and younger. Here is an excellent book for helping perpetuate that conversation with your children. Our children are such targets for porn that the author has now written this version of the book to help you have this conversation with your very young children. Neither book is written from a Christian perspective, but you can easily adapt them and bring in what God’s Word says on the subject.
Know what reading material is coming into your home. Monitor the magazines by literally turning page by page to check for soft porn. This has always been my habit, but today a cooking/home magazine came, and I lazily flipped through and left it on the counter. Before I could even walk away, the Spirit convicted me of flipping through page by page. I listened and was shocked by what I found on the last page, a woman in nothing but her underwear and her arms across her bare breasts. The message was to get comfortable with your skin. The problem is that we have become way too comfortable with seeing other people’s skin.
Know what is coming through your television screen, computer monitor, phones, and tablets. I am sure by now you have all seen the commercial where the wife is sitting in the living room with another couple, and her husband walks into the room in a dress shirt and brief underwear, asking when the Zoom meeting will start. He didn’t realize it was in person! Yes, we all get a chuckle out of it, but the stark truth is that this commercial is soft porn. Call it what it is because if we don’t, we run the risk of becoming desensitized to it, and our kids will accept it as normal.
A quick word here about kids and phones or tablets: even if your child doesn’t have a phone or tablet with internet access, one of their friends does. Handing a kid a phone or tablet with unrestricted internet access is like dropping them off at the local party store full of alcohol, vapes, and porn and then shouting after them as they go in, “Just don’t look at all the bad stuff! Don’t do anything you shouldn’t! I will pick you up in five hours when I have had a good long break from you.” Your kids will resist it, they will argue with you about it, but ultimately you stand responsible, so do not give in to unrestricted access to the internet. Is the internet evil? No, it’s not, but we live in a broken world where our enemy delights in taking a good thing and twisting it for his nefarious plans and purposes.
The temptation is to gather our children, throw the screens out the door and hunker down until Christ returns. That is not God’s plan for us as His children. Jesus admonished His followers in Mark 16:15 to go into the world and share the gospel. As His followers in a post-Christian world, we are still called to go and share the gospel. The good news is that training our children how to fight against pornography and call it what it is can actually help spread the gospel. Our children can be the light amongst their friends and schoolmates by standing against porn and offering the hope only Jesus gives. Determine right now before God to be prayerful and proactive as a parent, remembering that, ultimately, your children are in God’s hands.