No parent wants their child to become involved in pornography. The problem for many of us is we do not understand the insidious allurement of pornography and how our behavior, though unintentional, can help shape a child to crave something which can lead him into a lifetime of slavery.
There are always unintended consequences to our actions. Interestingly, pornography for a man is not primarily about the physicality of a woman. A woman’s appearance is an external magnet for the eye to enjoy, but the greater problem for the man is his insatiable cravings of the mind.
Pornography is first and foremost about the theater of the mind, where the young male can enter into his virtual world and be king for a day or in this case, king for a few minutes as he satiates his mind with the risk-free intrigue of the cyber conquest. Porn is a secret world all of the time. Porn is lust, which feeds itself while in the darkness of a person’s mind. This makes what we do as parents all the more important because the mind of the child is not altogether discernible. The seeds of lust can be planted in the mind of a child many years before he is old enough to act on what has been growing inside his heart (James 1:14-15). You will see in my five sure-fire ways to motivate your child to use pornography how any child can be in porn training without the child or the parents knowing how he was wrongly shaped.
Porn training says that only certain kinds of women are porn-worthy. The Christian home should be a sexual home. God said this was good and His first couple were not ashamed about their unique sexualities. It was only when sin entered their world that sexuality took a wrong turn. One of the biggest unintended consequences of the non-romantic marriage is how it communicates certain people are not porn-worthy. A major characteristic of the porn-trained mind is how some people are worthy to be lusted after and others are not worthy.
There is no question about what kind of woman is porn-worthy. There is not a woman in America who does not know this, which is why many of them obsess over how they look, how much they weigh, what they wear, and the stress of growing old. A husband who will not romantically pursue his wife is sending a message to his children about how she is not worthy of being pursued. In addition, when the children’s minds are filled with sensual TV commercials and movies, it begins to establish the kind of beauty which is worthy of their gaze (cp. 1 Peter 3:3-4). One of the best ways for the husband to highlight real beauty is for him to pursue his wife in the home. There needs to be a lot of hugging and kissing between the husband and wife. Release biblical sexuality and romance from its shameful prison and teach your children a biblical view of love (Proverbs 5:18-19). Children need to see marital romantic affection. The dad can send a clear message to his children regarding what beauty is and what captivates him.
Porn training says that cyber women are downloadable and extinguishable. The spoiled child who is given everything is a perfect candidate for porn training. Another main characteristic of the pornographer is the easy accessibility and extinguishability of the cyber girl. It used to be children were glad to have their needs met, but that day has passed. Not only are needs an expectation and an assumption, but so are the desires. When children run the home by easily persuading their parents to give them the desires of their heart, then there is nothing to stop the child from getting into porn if the opportunity arises. And the opportunity will arise.
I heard a stat recently which said out of 813 adults from 18-26, two out of three agreed pornography viewing was acceptable. 86% of the men and 32% of the women used porn. The percentage among women is growing. If the child is set up to get his selfish desires met, it will not be hard for him to be allured by porn. The spoiled child gets what he wants when he wants it with no regard for right or wrong. The porn watcher gets what he wants when he wants it, teaching him to disregard self-control (Proverbs 21:17; Ecclesiastes 10:17; Titus 2:2). Instant gratification in a child breeds instant gratification in adults. We are hiding our heads in the sand (self-deception) to think we can meet all the desires of our child’s heart and expect him not to be this way when he becomes an adult.
Married couples communicate less and less, a requirement for porn enjoyment. If couples do talk to each other, it is usually about family events, mutual transactions, and marital business. This is a perfect setup for the porn trainee because viewing porn has nothing to do with verbal communication. Porn is about visually enjoying women in order to feed the mind. The heart of porn use is privatized self-centeredness. It is a man isolating himself in order to watch a video. The heart of the non- communicative couple is self-centeredness. It is two people married to each other, but living in their private worlds. The children of non-communicative parents are trained in the de-valuing of words, but it is more than this. It is the devaluing of the opposite sex. A man who does not talk to his wife is sending a loud message — she is not worthy of his words. Nothing devalues a woman more than pornography. The female is objectified only for the purpose of being used in a slavish way to satisfy the putrid mind of a man.
Husbands, your children need to see the value you give your wife by giving her some of your best words throughout your day. I am not talking about words which satisfy the family schedule or the financial budget. I am talking about words which build up, cherish, nourish, and adore your wife (Psalm 19:14; Ephesians 4:29). Show the value you place on your wife. Let her be exalted in the minds of your children.
No Consequences for Actions
Porn training teaches a false confidence through a risk-free relationship. Along with the spoiled child mentioned above, there is a parallel parental action to giving the kid whatever he desires. This is the parent who teaches little to no consequences for his actions. A child who does not have to pay for what he has done wrong will learn how to get away with anything. This, too, is a major characteristic of a porn compulsion. Children must have a comprehensive view of love, which means they must be appropriately disciplined when they do wrong (Hebrews 12:6). The spoiled child who suffers little consequences in life will have a low regard for rules and authority (Proverbs 13:1; 15:5).
Porn has no rules and low risk. It does not take much to enter the porn world. It is not like robbing a bank, which makes porn’s allurement even more appealing. A child who knows he can escape punishment is easy prey for the tentacles of pornography. We have clear sin categories in our home. My kids know there is a right and a wrong.
The porn watcher does not have this kind of respect. The lines are blurred, a reality for him which did not begin when he first stumbled onto pornography. One of the ways you can discern this in your child is by how he respects his siblings or his mother. Typically a child will push his mother farther than he will push his dad. When children do this, they are stretching the boundaries of honor, respect, kindness, and biblical love. These four items, among several other character traits, are also absent from the porn user. As a parent, you may want to examine how you honor, respect, show kindness, and biblically love those in your home and community; but also be willing to punish him when needed (Proverbs 15:10; 19:18).
Critical Community in the Home
Criticism and anger are the most common ways we devalue others. Is your home a critical community? If you were to assess your home, would you determine there is more encouragement, praise, affirmation, and love or is there more frustration, impatience, criticalness, and self-centeredness? The porn world is a refuge where people go to escape the realities of their lives.
It is a risk-free haven where the addict can be in control, while satisfying his weary mind. There is no place which will affect his mind more than what goes on in his home. Even the church cannot accomplish what the home can accomplish, good or bad. If the home is not a refuge of encouragement, your child will be tempted to find refuge in other places. Porn is one of the easiest places for him to get lost in the moment. It gives him a satisfying power which he does not experience in his real world. He can go into his momentary addiction and seize the moment with no fear whatsoever of being condemned, judged, criticized, or disappointed. All he will need to do is tweak his conscience in order to feed his habit. Once his conscience is appropriately hardened, he is home-free — according to his self-deception.
The best antidote for this kind of twisted thinking is to create a culture of encouragement in his home through the word of God (Acts 11:19-23). Each time you read God’s word you find encouragement and help. Compare how God’s words affect you and how your words affect others. Porn training does not happen by volition. It happens by default if the parents are not attuned to the kind of home they have created. What are we exporting to our children? The good news for the humble person is he can examine his mind and behavior through the lens of this post and change. All a parent needs to do is implement the needed changes listed under each of the five points mentioned.
Adapted from Rick Thomas