This short but powerful 64 page “mini-book” from the “Help” series of books is a must have for parents and pastors in our sex and porn saturated culture. Kids and teens are growing up in a world where the questions for parents is not “if” my child views pornography but “when”! The goal of this book is to give parents the right understanding, theology and tools to guide their children through the harmful effects of pornography.
Chapter 1: Our ‘Pornified’ Culture
“Pornolescence” is the age when a person is old enough to know and understand what pornography is and that it is wrong. It is also the age when someone is still immature enough to knowingly begin to fall into its trap. Living in their “pornified” culture, children allow their dreams and imagination to be taken captive by this mental and spiritual addiction.
The troubling statistics are overwhelming but tell the story for parents:
- 52% of pornography is viewed on mobile devices
- 1 in 5 searches from a mobile device is for pornography
- The average age for first exposure is twelve
- 9 out of 10 boys and 6 out of 10 girls will be exposed to pornography before the age of 18.
- 71% of teens hide their online behavior from their parents
- 28% of 16-17 year olds have unintentionally been exposed to online pornography
The research is showing that it is effecting both boys and girls in our society. The portrayal of young women as sex objects harms girls mentally and physically. The saturation of images leads to body hatred, eating disorders, emotional issues and more. In addition to the personal issues, there is also the growing trend of abuse of young girls as well.
Young men are being damaged as well, as the exposure to porn blocks them from normal views of women and interactions with girls their age. Young men immersed in in this culture are viewing girls less as people to be wooed, but rather objects to be conquered.
The monster of pornography is three-fold.
1.) Mockery, as it makes a mockery of God creation and intentions for sex.
2.) Violent in the way it changes our understanding of sex, manhood, and womanhood.
3.) Progressive, because it sin. Sin always wants more and will continue to move to consume.
Chapter 2: A Theology of Sex and Masturbation
The task of a parents is to help our children and keep them safe. One of the best ways to do that is by giving them knowledge. If parents do not talk, or will not talk to their children, their child will seek answers from their friends or the internet. It is a parent’s privilege to speak to their children in honest and healthy ways about sex and their bodies.
God gave sex to us as something good and as a gift. While parents need to explain the physical and scientific, they also need to express the theological and spiritual. One of the areas parents will need to address is on the topic of masturbation.
While the Bible is not explicit about masturbation is it clear on sexual sin and lust. Like any other sin, masturbation violates God’s holy plan and skews an intended purpose. It is a sin because it changes God’s image of marriage and relationships. Instead of bringing people together in human relationship, it pushes individuals in to selfish isolation.
Parents must be prepared to talk honestly and openly about this sin, while being ready to also help their children deal with the feelings of guilt. There is hope that overcomes every sin in Christ.
Chapter 3: Hope in a Porn-Filled World.
The hurt of finding out a child has been exposed to pornography must be countered by the hope found in Christ and His Word. We have common grace that extends to all, even to non-Christians.
There is a new generation of parents that are rising, because of this new world we now live in. This is a generation of parents, while not taught by their own parents about the onslaught of pornography, will not assume their children will make it through unscathed. This group of parents will grip to the hope and forgiveness found in Christ – hope for themselves and for their children.
Each parent will react and interact in different ways when it comes to pornography. Either way, parents must guide against despair or frustration. Pornography opens a window into the heart and mind of children. Parents must step in and offer something different to fill their hearts and hopes. Parents should be careful not use shame, but instead, ask questions.
Chapter 4: A Porn Free Family
Parents and families should not wait until something happens. They should have a proactive plan to protect and prevent. This plan should include 3 types of devices: fixed devices, mobile devices, and other people’s devices.
The porn-free family plan requires 4 actions: Plan, Prepare, Meet, and Monitor. Planning by inventorying internet-enabled devices, budgeting for security, learning about the challenges, and discussing the plan. Prepare by creating passwords, signing up for software, and applying parental controls. Meeting as a family and individually with children to explain the plan and preparation. Finally, Monitor the plan and preparation work, because no plan is fool-proof. Be willing to continue to have grace-filled, loving conversations as temptations arise.