Yesterday I wrote about the influx of readers at LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com who are struggling with porn. I urged you to get involved by talking about this difficult issue with the young women in your life.
But I know those won't be easy conversations to have.
Porn is a serious issue, but it is not an unpardonable sin.
Porn isn't fun to think about. It certainly isn't easy to talk about. It's one of those issues we prefer to imagine impacts somebody else. Or for those who know the dark truth—that porn can sink its teeth into anyone—talking honestly about it can be amongst our worst fears.
If you fall into the category of women who have wrestled with porn, let me take a moment to talk just to you. I wish I could take you out to lunch and tell you that yes, porn is a serious issue. But most importantly, despite what Satan is whispering to you, porn addiction is not an unpardonable sin. Jesus Christ is more than able to deliver you and take away the shame you may be feeling. You don't have to hide, in fact you could join me in leading a charge to set others free.
Because this issue has become too big for us to remain silent.
You may have read about Britain's sweeping reform this past summer. Saying that the "darkest corners of the Internet" pose a threat to children, British Prime Minister David Cameron rolled out a radical and controversial plan to stop porn's influence on his country's youngest citizens.
The plan essentially blocks porn on most computers, smart phones, and tablets. Filters for adult content will become the default setting, and to access porn, citizens will have to prove they are eighteen or older. Cameron also demanded that Google and other search engine companies do more to hide porn from kids.
Cameron announced, "I am not making this speech because I want to (moralize) or scare-monger, but because I feel profoundly as a politician, and as a father, that the time for action has come. This is, quite simply, about how to protect children and their innocence."
Has the time for action on the issue of porn come? Let's look at what's at stake:
- One study found that 93.2% of boy participants and 61.1% of girls had been exposed to porn.
- The number of fifteen to seventeen year olds who have had multiple exposures to hardcore porn is somewhere around 80%.
- The average age of first Internet exposure to porn is eleven years old.
Fact: Our kids are seeing porn. We know we don't want this, but we should really know why. Here's a great article from Focus on the Family that outlines the harmful effects of porn better than I could, but let me hit the highlights.
Porn is a big deal because it:
- Wreaks havoc on marriages.
- Creates unrealistic expectations.
- Is addictive and progressive.
- Causes emotional trauma to children who are exposed.
- Leads to earlier sexual activity.
- Devalues monogamy, marriage, and child rearing.
This list is not intended to batter those of you who have struggled with porn. You likely already know that porn can make a mess of things. But I think it's critical for us to see in black and white what porn can do.
If that list isn't devastating enough, there is plenty of evidence that easy access to porn has led to an increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and sometimes violent sexual behavior. Did you know that the FBI's statistics show that pornography is found at 80% of the scenes of violent sex crimes or in the homes of the perpetrators?
Porn matters because it launches an attack against so much of what God has created and treasures. But we're not the prime ministers of a major world power. We can't drag Google into the boardroom or force the citizens of our nation to change the settings on their personal computer.
So what can we do? I'd like to propose a three-pronged counter attack.
Prayer moves mountains. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says,
"If you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.'"
When we see the numbers and realize how big the problem is, doing something about our culture's porn problem can feel like climbing Mt. Everest. But nothing is impossible with God. I believe the avalanche of comments we're seeing on LiesYoungWomenBelieve.com are indicative of a fresh attack by the Enemy. He is seeking to take young women out with the aftershocks of porn addiction, and he is succeeding. When the spiritual battle heats up, it's time to draw our swords. One of our greatest offensive weapons is prayer.
I'm setting aside the entire month of September to pray about this issue. Would you join me?
2. Go on the offensive
The availability of the Internet is the number one contributing factor to the rabid spread of porn. So, let's take our fight to where the battle is already being waged. Will you use your Facebook, blogs, and Twitter feeds to spread the word about this issue?
Here are links to some great articles to get the conversation started:
- When Children View Pornography from Focus on the Family
- Strategies For Fighting Sexual Sin by John Piper
- Fake Love, Fake War: Why So Many Men Are Addicted To Internet Porn And Video Games from Desiring God
- Sexual Purity: The Joy of Moral Freedom from Revive Our Hearts
3. Talk to the Next Generation
I know I already asked you to speak to the young women in your world in yesterday's post, but we mommas know how to make sure things get done. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
Please, make it a point to talk to the young women in your world about the dangers of porn. The chances are sky high that she will be exposed to it early and repeatedly. Just one exposure can take her down a terrible path in the absence of someone to lovingly speak God's Truth and stand up against the pervasive lies of culture about sex. If porn usage and addiction is going to decline (instead of continuing to rise) we must help future victims armor up.
Who can you start that conversation with?