5 most influential ways to teach your child to avoid pornography

Rick Thomas is a counselor and paster. This article was originally published on RickThomas.net. It has been republished here with permission.

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  • Before I get into five sure-fire ways to motivate your child to use pornography, let me establish two important points. The first is no parent wants their child to become involved in pornography. We all can agree on this.

  • The problem for many of us is we do not understand the insidious allurement of pornography or how our behavior, though unintentional, can help shape a child to crave something that can lead him into a lifetime of slavery.

  • There are always unintended consequences for our actions. We can’t act one way, good or bad, and not expect our actions to have unintended consequences. Like a rock dropped into a lake, there will always be a ripple effect to our attitudes and actions.

  • Secondly, 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 are the cravings of the heart.

  • Pornography is first and foremost about the theater of the mind, where the man can enter into his virtual world and be king for a day or in this case, king for a few minutes as he satisfies his mind with the risk-free intrigue of the cyber conquest.

  • Porn is a secret world that resides in the heart. It 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 a child is not altogether discernible. James 1:14-15 (ESV)

  • The seeds of lustcan be planted in the mind of a child years before he or she is old enough to act out on what has been growing inside the heart.

  • The continuum of being lured and enticed by sin to desiring and conceiving sin does not have to happen in a rapid-sequence. It can take years for this sinful sequence to bring sin and death to a person’s life.

  • In most cases the allurement and enticement of the porn addict begins in his mind while still a child. This has been a consistent pattern I have seen in counseling. A child can be in porn traininglong before there is awareness from the child or the parents.

  • Non-romantic marriage

  • The Christian home should be a sexual home. God said sex was good and His first couple were not ashamed about their unique sexualities. It was only when sin entered their world that people became gigglyabout sex and sexuality.

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  • One of the biggest unintended consequences of the non-romantic marriage is how it communicates certain people are not porn-worthy. Before your mouth completely hits the floor, let me explain.

  • A major characteristic of the porn trained mind is how some people are worthy to be lusted after and others are not worthy. We all know who is worthour lust-filled attention.

  • Women certainly know what can draw the attention of a man. This is why so many of them obsess over how they look, how much they weigh, what they wear, and the horror of growing old.

  • Though they would not connect this as being porn worthy, many of them want to be worthy of their husband’s attention–they want to be desired. While this is not necessarily wrong, it can be deadly, especially in a marriage where the wife is not desired.

  • A husband who does not romantically pursue his wife can send a message to his children that she is not worthy of being pursued. She does not fit his criteria. She is not attractive to him.

  • Couple this with filling the child’s mind with sensual TV commercials and movies, it begins to establish a kind of beauty that is worthy of a person’s gaze—a beauty the Bible does not exalt. 1 Peter 2:3-4 (ESV)

  • An effective way to highlight biblical beauty is for the husband to pursue his wife. Lots of hugging and kissing between a husband and wife can clarify in the child’s mind what real beauty is.

  • Holding hands, dancing in the living room, hugging for long periods of time, and smooching in front of the kids are beautiful examples of who and what is worthy of a man’s love.

  • Instant Gratification

  • The spoiled child who is given everything he wants is a perfect candidate for porn training. An integral characteristic of the pornographer is the immediate accessibility and extinguishability of the cyber girl.

  • A child who is given the desires of his heart when and how he wants them to be met is being setup for a lifetime of instant gratification.

  • When children run the home by easily persuading their parents to give them the desires of their heart, then there is virtually nothing to stop them from getting into porn if the opportunity arises. And the opportunity will arise.

  • According to Covenant Eyes fifty percent of all Christian men and twenty percent of all Christian women are addicted to porn. CE also says global porn revenues are down by fifty percent due to the amount of free porn online.

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  • Porn is exponentially easier to access than it was just ten years ago. All a person needs to enjoy porn is a heart that lusts and access to the ubiquitous Internet.

  • If the child is set up to get his selfish desires met, it won’t be hard for him to be allured by porn. Instant gratification in a child breeds instant gratification in adults. We’re hiding our heads in the sand to think we can meet all the desires of our children’s hearts and expect them not to be this way when they become adults.

  • Non-communicative Couples

  • One of the common complaints I hear from couples in marriage counseling is the couple’s lack of communication. They hardly talk to each other. If they do talk, it’s usually about family events, mutual transactions, and marital business.

  • Non-communication is a prerequisite for the porn trainee because viewing porn is not a verbal endeavor. Pornography is enjoyment for the twisted heart that does not require verbal interaction.

  • The children of non-communicative parents are trained in the devaluing of words, which is also a devaluing of the opposite sex. A man who does not talk to his wife is sending a loud message–she is not worthy of my 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. Talking is not part of this scenario. Ephesians 4:29 (ESV)

  • Husbands, your children need to see the value you give your wife by giving her your best words throughout your day. These are words that build up, cherish, nourish, and adore your wife. Show the value you place on the woman you married. Let her be exalted in the minds of your children.

  • Talking well is not only valuing the person, but it’s exalting the use of words. This is one of the most powerful ways the LORD builds us up–through His Words. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (ESV)

  • No Consequences for Actions

  • A child who does not have to payfor what he has done wrong will learn how to get away with anything. This is the kind of behavior that gives a porn addict a false confidence in a risk-free virtual environment.

  • Children need 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.

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  • Porn has no rules and it’s a low risk habit. It doesn’t take much to do porn. It’s not like robbing a bank. A child who knows he can get away with things is easy prey for porn’s allurements.

  • Biblical discipline is a matter of respect and honor for God and His Word. There is right and wrong in God’s world. The porn addict does not have this kind of respect. The lines are blurred, a reality for him that did not begin when he first viewed pornography.

  • Many porn addicts have a low-view of the law of God. They simply do not care, because they have not been made to care. 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 disregard his mother more than he will his dad. When children do this, they are stretching the boundaries of honor, respect, kindness, and biblical love.

  • Critical Community in the Home

  • Is your home a critical community? Is it a place of encouragement, praise, affirmation, and love or frustration, impatience, criticalness, and self-centeredness?

  • The porn world is a refuge where people go to escape the sadness of their lives. It’s a place where the addict can obtain personal satisfaction for his dissatisfied life.

  • There is no place on earth that has affected him more that what has transpired in his home. Even the church cannot accomplish what the home can, whether good or bad.

  • If the home is not a refuge of encouragement, your child will be tempted to find his refuge. Porn is always beckoning for the sad soul.

  • Porn will never criticize, condemn, admonish, discourage, or disappoint. Porn builds up the hurting soul. All the addict needs to do is tweak his conscience to make it all right in his mind.

  • 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.

  • The Poorly Trained Child

  • Porn training happens by abdication. Children are responders and they will respond good or bad to what is given to them. Their hearts are like open buckets, longing to be filled. It is the parent’s joy and privilege to cooperate with the LORD in rearing a child.

  • Parenting well does not mean your child is home free. Parenting poorly does not mean your child is predetermined to be bad. A parent’s behavior does not determine the morality of the child. The grace of God does.

  • However, our personal responsibility to biblically steward our children does matter. We should not presume on the grace of God (Psalm 19:13). The question for us to answer from this article is, “How do I need to change in order to cooperate with the LORD in the parenting of my child?

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Rick has been training in the Upstate of South Carolina since 1997. After several years as a counselor and pastor he founded and launched his own training organization in order to assist Christians around the world regarding a better understanding and practice of discipleship.

In the early ’90’s he earned a BA in Theology. Later he earned a BS in Education. In 1993 he was ordained into ministry and in 2000 he graduated with a MA in Counseling. In 2006 he was recognized as a Fellow with a nationally recognized counseling group.

Today his organization represents clients in over 90 countries as well as all 50 states through his consulting, training, blogging, and coaching.

Website: http://rickthomas.net

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