Porn, Children and the Internet

The advancement of technology in our culture has certainly afforded us the opportunity to get answers with one click of a button.  Buying a local newspaper or book is becoming obsolete as it has become easier to download information rather than drive to the local bookstore.   Businesses across the landscape are making it easier and easier for consumers to never leave their homes by shopping with just that one click of a button.  Yet that same click can afford the user to not only buy retails goods; it has the ability to take them to on-line sites that have the ability to harm and corrupt young and older minds alike.  Gone are the days that young boys would sneak a look at a Playboy magazine to view naked pictures of women in erotic poses.  Now one click will afford anyone to anonymously visit a multitude of sites day or night where they can view any and all types of graphic sex videos, buy illicit drugs or any number of harmful substances.  The internet, while an amazing tool and resource for many, is also a convenient path that has the real potential to corrupt young minds and presents unique challenges to families today.

Ever since they were able to understand, my wife and I consistently taught our children that the greatest struggle we have is denying selfish and destructive desires.  Often, we would talk about the battle going on in our minds of personal desires and emotions that had the ability to take you to a place you didn’t intend to go.  All of us struggle with wanting to satisfy our personal, selfish desires over what is true, honorable, healthy and respectful… The battle-ground, we would explain, was in your head, in the mind for all of us regarding our desires and wants over our needs.  In particular, we would often caution them regarding the use of the internet and the traps that it poses for young minds.

Some time ago I was working on my computer researching a project on line when I hit the back button a number of times to get to a previous screen.  In seconds a site identified as celebrity sex photos came up on the screen with a host of naked females in a pictorial.  I realized that it must have been one of the kids who visited the site and I called for Shelly to come in.  As she came around the desk she took one look at the screen and looked at me as though I was the guilty party.  When I explained to her what I had done and that I thought one of the kids had visited the site, she instructed me to go to the history tab to review all the sites visited.  It didn’t take much detective work to find out as the history showed: Pokémon, Pokémon, SpongeBob, Celebrity sex photos, no cold trail here.  Shelly asked me how I wanted to handle the situation which at first, I struggled with somewhat.  I knew which son was on the computer but I did not want to embarrass him further by making him feel like he was some type of deviant, so I shot from the hip and called him in to the office.  As I began to tell him what happened to me while on the computer, I could see the embarrassment growing on his face.  I asked him very non-accusatory if he visited the site of which he very sheepishly admitted to doing.  I then asked which I now consider to be the dumbest question I could have asked, “Why?”  Why, I knew why he visited the site, the same reason why I probably stayed a little too long on that same site trying to so call figure out who was the culprit!  He didn’t have an answer to my dumb question but it gave us an opportunity to talk about how men are designed to be attracted to women, but that attraction can be perverted by allowing unrealistic pictures to become imbedded in our brains, which is more powerful and can hold more information than any computer.  “Garbage in, garbage out son” I explained.  We again discussed how the greatest battles we face are in our minds, the things we want and are pulled towards for selfish desires; our flesh constantly at war with our spirit.  It was a good talk and he left not thinking that his mom or dad thought any less of him.

Confronting our children and teaching the truth about a host of issues is often uncomfortable both for parents and for our children to hear.  However, if we are to fully prepare our children to thrive and survive in a cowardly culture, we must be willing to speak the truth in love in order for them develop a strong foundation of faith and a willingness to pursue a Godly moral compass in their daily walk so as to avoid the trappings of a culture bent on their destruction.

Excerpts take from “Raising Courageous Children in a Cowardly Culture: The Battle for the Hearts and Minds of our Children” by James and Michelle Capra 2017.

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