“I hear it so often: ‘Help! My kids are looking at porn!’ Not long ago, one mom wrote to say that she and her husband had allowed their preteen boys access to the Internet to play a video game, thinking they had taught and trained the boys well enough to resist whatever temptation they might encounter there. They were wrong, and had just learned that for the past four months, when Mom and Dad left the house for a date or to run some errands, the boys had been looking at pornography. What should these parents do? How should they respond? Another mom told me of a friend whose little girl had been waking up in the mornings and using the family’s iPad to look at porn. She was only a child, but was already hooked on pornography. What should this mom do?
Most men my age, or older, remember a day when pornography was rare and taboo. Pornography has existed as long as the camera has existed (and before that in more rudimentary forms, I’m sure), but has been difficult to find and has always carried some level of stigma. Today, the tables have been turned and porn has gone mainstream. Instead of being a shameful addiction it is now the punch line in jokes, the subject of sitcom episodes, and porn stars are even admired. It’s probably significant that we don’t speak of “porn actors” but “porn stars,” as if there is something inherently glamorous in their line of work. Books and magazines encourage us to enjoy pornography, to allow it to add a little spice to our relationships. Clearly, we live in a day when it is much harder to avoid pornography than it is to find it.
And then there are the scary statistics which reveal that men and boys are consuming porn as never before. Additionally, women and girls are now being introduced to it and even being encouraged to regard it as normal for the female gender. A recent email haunts me. It came from a girl of fourteen who found herself battling addiction to pornography. Porn is now a mark of our culture, a part of our lives. The sexuality of a whole generation of children is being formed not by talks with their parents, but by professional pornographers who will do anything (anything!) to fuel an increasing desire for greater perversity in order to increase their own business profits.
Our children will be exposed to pornography— make no mistake about it. If not through school, it may be through the church, or it may be through a seemingly innocent Google search. But sooner or later our children will see pornographic movies and images. And we, as parents, need to be prepared.”
Written by Tim Challies, those paragraphs from the Introduction to a new mini-book should deeply sadden you. If they don’t then you have been desensitized by the immoral culture in which we and our children live. “But what am I to do?” you ask. “Does it even pay to try to curb this epidemic?” If you are a loving parent or grandparent then you already know that you must. As a father and grandfather, myself, these words grieved me deeply the first time that I read them. And the sobriety of them still has not worn off. So, what are we to do?
So, let me encourage you to fight the good fight of faith and holiness by informing you that real help has arrived. HELP! My Kids Are Viewing Pornography is a 64-page, pocket-sized book written by Tim Challies. It will walk you through, step-by-step, the development of a Porn-Free Family plan. Biblically-wise parents recognize that our task involves both loving protection and wise instruction—all of which should reflect our understanding that the deepest problem lies in our children’s hearts. Therefore, in addition to providing practical wisdom in this Internet age, this resource directs you to repeatedly take your children to the gospel, the heart of Jesus to save us from sin, and the power of the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ.
As the consulting editor for the LifeLine Mini-book series, I want to make you aware of this important new resource. Get print copies from the new Biblical Counseling Books website, or in Kindle format from Amazon.