Unplugging Pornography: Helping Your Teen Escape the Trap
- Thursday, March 05, 2009
During his senior year, he was required to write a term paper on human anatomy for an advanced-placement biology class. One afternoon he was routinely surfing the Web, reading about the study of the human body. Innocently clicking on a link in search of images of the female anatomy, he suddenly saw a porn site appear. He quickly left the site.
But the more he sat in front of his computer, the more he thought about those images. Several minutes later, he found himself going back to check them out again…and again. Thus began a dark journey that lasted most of his senior year of high school.
One click. That’s all it takes.
I’ve had countless teens tell me that they have received inappropriate spam mail—unsolicited, commercial e-mail that often leads to a Web site, usually pornographic. Sometimes the initial spam messages appear innocuous, such as an invitation to check out a magazine subscription or some cartoons or jokes. Sometimes the advertisements are a bit racier.
I got one of these just yesterday on my cell phone. It said, “Hey, sexy, I saw your profile online and want to send you a few pics of me. Click this link below and let’s get to know each other.”
Whoever sent this spam got my e-mail address from somewhere. It may have been from a program that crawls the Web, searching for e-mail addresses. Or my address may have been sold to a company. Or it may have been from a program that searches for names on the Internet and randomly creates plausible e-mail addresses from the original name, hoping that one in a thousand will hit the mark.
Pornography is aggressive. Pornography seeks and destroys. It’s imperative that you know about the fight you are in against pornography.
The Trouble with Porn
What’s so harmful about looking at pornography? Isn’t it just a phase that all teens go through, particularly boys?
Nothing could be further from the truth.
As your teen begins to look at porn consistently, his or her view of the opposite sex will change. Eventually your teen will stop seeing people as God sees them and begin seeing them merely as a means by which desires can be fulfilled. Pornography turns other people into objects of lust.
If your teen dates, typically it will only be a matter of time before he or she becomes more physical with the dating partner. The fantasy world being downloaded into his or her mind will fight to turn itself into reality by encouraging your teen to use people to fulfill personal lusts. And as your son or daughter tries to act out the sexual behaviors seen online, the perceived need for self-gratification will damage not only your teen’s relationships during the dating years but also his or her relationship with a future mate.
Furthermore, as your teen dives deeper into the world of porn, his or her character will begin to be eroded, even destroyed. This isn’t my idea. Galatians 6:7–8 says, “A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.”
Teens are being greatly fooled if they believe they can casually check out porn and still live the lives God would have them live. If your son or daughter sows to please lust, destruction is soon to follow.
Dishonesty within this area of life will spill over into other areas of your teen’s life. Basically, as your teen gives Satan one area of life, it will only be a matter of time before the Enemy pursues and demands other areas as well.
What You Can Do?
If your teen is into porn, you don’t have time to waste. With every look and every image, your teen is going deeper and deeper into darkness.
The Enemy wants you to feel guilty. He wants you to question how this could have happened to your teen. He will work overtime to convince you that you have failed miserably. He wants to knock you down in the first round so you will crawl back to your corner, give up, and be defeated before you even decide to fight.
But Satan is a liar. Regardless of what has transpired to get you to this point, this battle can be won. Your teen doesn’t have to continue down this degrading path. First John 4:4 says, “My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world” (MSG). The One in you is greater than the deceiver in this world, and God can bring your son or daughter out of this place of darkness.
I have yet to counsel a teen struggling with porn who desired to continue struggling. Nobody wants to be enslaved to sin and remain on the road to destruction. Yet many who desire to escape from the bondage in which they are living have little knowledge of how to overcome its grip.
If your teen is struggling with porn, he or she will need your help. Here are eight vital steps to help your teen find freedom from the darkness.
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