I have been working with teens for the past 14 years. When I began working with teens the Internet was not around so I rarely had to deal with the issue of pornography. Today however, that is not the case. Just last week I was confronted with the issue of pornography on four different occasions. Three came from teens and one came from a parent. There seems to be somewhat of a disconnect between the Baby Boomers (1945 – 1960), the Generation X-ers (1961-1981) and the Millenniums (1982 - current day). The parents of the Millenniums have a hard time comprehending how their teenager could be addicted to pornography, because back when the Baby Boomers were growing up only truck drivers or perverts viewed such vial images. However, the Millenniums don't know anyone older than 12 who has not seen pornography.
I know that several of you have toddlers and it makes you sick to your stomach to even think about pornography stealing away the innocence of your son/daughter, but unfortunately that is the reality of the world we live in.
As a youth leader I have seen two extreme reactions from parents when they find their teenager has been viewing pornography:
1. Is to freak out. This is not good, and it does nothing to help your teen move away from his/her addictive behavior.
2. Treat it as if it's "no big deal". After a teenager confided in me that he was struggling with pornography I encouraged him to tell his dad about his battle. I was proud of this young man having the courage to come clean to his Dad. He asked his father if he would put filters on his computer so that he would not be tempted. His Dad's response was: "Look son, this is something you are going to have to deal with your whole life, it's time for you to man up and just be strong enough to resist the temptation."
This too is a wrong reaction. It's vital that as parents we provide solid answers and solutions to the issues our kids are faced with. (Note: These will be covered in tomorrow's blog.)
Remember yesterday's blog: "Lead me not into temptation." If you have a computer in your house and you don't have a GOOD filter on it, you are a fool. YOU ARE LEADING YOUR CHILDREN INTO TEMPTATION.
When a kid comes to me and tells me that they are addicted to pornography, the first thing I do is ask them if they would please forgive my generation for making it so hard on them to grow up. A lot of the pain this generation is suffering is due to the Boomers not speaking up and fighting for a moral society.
The second thing I do is explain to them WHY THEY MUST BEAT THIS DEMON. The demon of lust is the meanest and baddest demon of them all. You can say that you don't believe in demons, however, whether or not you believe something or don't believe something has nothing to do with what is truth.
According to the Bible there are only four ways to open yourself up to demonic activity:
1. Exposing yourself to the Occult (witchcraft, palm reading, Harry Potter is occult activity)
2. Sexual Immorality (pornography, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, sexual immorality)
3. Drugs and Alcohol (drunkenness, getting high)
4. Gossip and Slander
The Bible says: "Resist the devil and he will flee from you." It will take every bit of fight they have in them to win this battle but it's OH SO WORTH THE EFFORT.
The third thing that I say to that teenager is (I look them straight in the eyes and say):
"You are not abnormal. Every male at some point in his life will have to stare down the demon of pornography."
I have spoken on this issue before and I will post my notes from that sermon tomorrow, but I feel as if this blog is getting rather lengthy. So I guess you can consider this the introduction to my series on pornography.