A sweet blogging friend (and her equally sweet husband) bravely shared their story of how the snare of pornography trapped her husband and almost destroyed their marriage in the January 2012 issue of Homelife magazine.
I read the article to my children.
Not because I wanted to bring up a sensational topic or even because I feel comfortable bringing up the topic of pornography addiction with my 18, 15 and 14 year old sons but because this is a significant issue in the lives of men today. My sons will one day be husbands and I pray that being willing to talk to them about the subject of pornography will prevent their future wives the heartache that Kristen and her husband endured.
So, how do you broach this topic with your sons? And, what ways can you, as a mom, help them protect their eyes?
- First, don’t shy away from difficult conversations. If there is a strange charge on the cable bill or you find an inappropriate magazine when changing your tween sons sheets, don’t ignore it. Seemingly innocuous mistakes can lead to full blown addictions. Confront your son with love and grace, but also provide clear instruction on the dangers of something they may view (and much of the world views) as harmless.
- Put safeguards in place. With three boys in my home, there is not a computer that is not password protected. All of our computers are in common areas of our home. Our television has a code for shows that are rated over PG. There are apps that can be installed on your child’s mobile phone to alert you if inappropriate images are viewed and some that block them altogether.
- Be alert. As much as I invest in the protection of my children’s eyes at home, the fact is that they are subject to other influences. Non-believing family members, classmates (my children attend public school) and peers can all introduce your son to pornography without you ever knowing it. Be as alert as possible for changes in your son’s behavior. Do they act differently after coming home from a certain friend’s house? Do they let it slip that they watched a movie that you would not have approved of?
- Clearly communicate your values. Our boys should not have to guess why we feel the way we do about something. My boys are aware of the reasons their father and I feel that pornography is a dangerous tool the enemy uses to chip away at the heart of marriages. They know that protecting their heart is something that God takes seriously, as is the sacred nature of the sexual relationship between husband and wife. Don’t leave your boys guessing as to why you feel strongly about something. Provide them with the biblical foundation to stand on for those moments that you aren’t around to be their conscience for them.
There is a powerful scene in the movie, Fireproof, when the character played by Kirk Cameron, finally takes control of his problem with pornography. He is tempted and rather than giving in, he destroys the computer that allows him access to the images he knows are wrong to view. I remember watching the movie when it first came out and thinking “that was a little excessive”.
But reading stories like Kristen’s and knowing the battles that face our husbands and sons every day, it isn’t excessive at all. It is wise. And, we should teach our sons to make those types of wise decisions when faced with the temptation of pornography.
Question: What steps are you taking to protect your sons from the dangers of pornography?