These days, boys are bombarded with sexual images from a young age. We’re raising 6 boys to become men of God. Not an easy task in a culture that reflects less and less of God and our Christian faith.
The trap for future pornography addiction is laid early. Comic books portray girls dressed seductively and movies even personify animals dancing suggestively. None of us want to think of our own son caught in the pornography trap.
As their parents, we do our best to filter what our sons are exposed to in literature, on t.v., movies and the internet. ”By 2003 the number of children aged 8-16 who had viewed pornography online increased to 90 percent. Most of this exposure happened while doing homework online.” (Focus on the Family)
We can’t afford to be caught off-guard. We can’t ignore this sin crouching at the door desiring to devour our sons (Genesis 4:7). We must take a stand.
Using internet protection software is a first-line defense. We also have to start training our sons to guard their own hearts long before they hit the computer.
3 Safeguards for Averting the Pornography Trap
1. Give Our Sons an Appetite for Purity
In our home, we seek to teach about sexuality in a positive light, uplifting the marriage bed in an age-appropriate manner. From an early age, we seek to answer questions about where they come from in a God-honoring way. God created sex. We want to keep it in its proper place and teach our sons to cherish purity.
God wants us to “hate the evil, and love the good…” (Amos 5:15). I remember my son Jesse at age 4 pointing out a pretty woman in a magazine. I didn’t want to shame his natural attraction. Instead, I chose to steer his thoughts and perceptions away from the importance of physical beauty towards her heart (which obviously wasn’t evident in the magazine).
Even at that young age, this opened up a brief discussion about true beauty. Make the most of every opportunity to plant seeds of purity! For help teaching about sexuality in God-honoring way, check out these books that our family uses.
Signing the Parent’s Purity Pledge is a wonderful way as a couple to commit to uphold purity in your home!
2. Teach Our Sons to Discern Good from Evil
“But solid food is for the mature –for those whose senses have been trained to distinguish between good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:14).
When training people to recognize counterfeit money, the U.S. government acquaints them with the characteristics of real money. They don’t waste time pouring over the imitation. Instead, they become so familiar with the real thing that the counterfeit is easy to detect.
Putting scripture in their hearts will help keep them from a sinful lifestyle because it the real McCoy (Psalm 119:11). They can compare all else to it. We’ve taught our sons this scripture to give them an excellent litmus test for discerning good from evil.
“Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable –if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise –dwell on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
3. Invest in Family Relationships
Investing in our marriage is probably the best safeguard against addiction for our sons. When we are able to give our sons a stable home environment based on love and commitment, they grow up more secure. Spending time with our sons and keeping the lines of communication open also fosters quality family relationships.
But what if things don’t look like that? All families experience some degree of trauma or wounding like a difficult move, a death, even divorce. It’s not necessarily the absence of trauma but how we move through it when it occurs that’s important. Trauma and loss can be the breeding ground for addictive behaviors if not worked through in a healthy way. It’s how a family handles trauma that affects the outcome for better or for worse.
We train. We pray. We hope. We believe. And then we rest. “The Fear-of-God builds up confidence and makes a world safe for your children.” (Proverbs 14:26 Message). He’s got our back on this issue. Don’t fear. Just stand.
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