The Young Man’s Battle against Pornography: A Christian Counselor Speaks
Christian Counselor Seattle
There is a war raging and the war is being fought for our sons’ hearts and minds. As Christians, we are already losing this war, which has been going on for many years. In truth, instead of a number of meaningful battles, there have been far too many massacres with little or no opposition. The enemy is better financed than we are, more technologically savvy than we are, and much more experienced than we are when it comes to interacting with the sexual nature of our young men. The enemy also knows that control of our sons’ hearts and minds means control over so much more. For many years, as a community of believers, we have simply been reacting while the pornography industry has been much more proactive. As a Christian counselor, I have seen the damaging effects of pornography and sexual addiction on young men’s relationships ̶ and on their feelings of self-confidence and trust in God. I believe that Christians and the church alike need to be more proactive in this struggle and to fight for the hearts and minds of our young men.
What is the Big Deal about Pornography?
Unfortunately, the big deal is that pornography causes addiction in much the same way that alcohol or other drugs cause addiction. Once a young man is exposed to it, he will likely want more and more of it. This can and often does lead to feelings of intense self-loathing and to questions about God’s grace in the face of continued sexual sin. It has also been shown that once young men are exposed to pornography, it changes the way they look at the female body, not only on the screen or in magazines but also in school or out in public. These are only a few of the problems that men experience after viewing pornography, but the damage does not end there. Apart from the inward struggles of the men involved, pornography objectifies women and degrades the female body. It also leads to strained relationships and can cause untold heartache to the wives of addicted men. This only scratches the surface of what is wrong with pornography. In far too many cases, the damage has already been done. Many battles have already been lost. So, what can we do to turn the tide?
What Can Parents Do to Protect their Sons from Pornography?
It used to be relatively easy to keep pornographic images out of the home. Keeping an eye on the mail or limiting television exposure meant that our young men would be hard-pressed to find pornographic images in our homes. In more recent years, we had to keep an eye on our computer’s web browser history log. The problem today is that it is easier than ever for young men to be exposed to harmful pornographic images. Such images are only a few clicks or taps away ̶ now not only on the computer but on the tablet and smartphone as well. Even with a good firewall or software protecting your home’s Wi-Fi, data plans allow smartphones and tablets to access the Internet without going through the home’s Wi-Fi connection. The fact is that we can no longer keep our young men from being exposed to harmful and sexualised images. Instead, we have to connect with the hearts of these young men so that they know how to react when they are exposed. This means developing intentional relationships that foster integrity and handling the shame and difficulty involved in sexual addiction.
Christian Counseling Provides Hope in the Battle against Pornography
If you have a young man in your life or are a young man struggling with pornography or sexual addiction, please know that there is help available. Christian counseling can provide a confidential place where you can bring some of that darkness into the light. The book of Hebrews tells us that we have a mediator who was tempted in every way we are. This means that Jesus himself experienced such temptations yet remained sinless. Knowing that God loves us and sent his Son to die for our sins should provide us with hope, and Christian counseling can facilitate a meaningful part of the healing that Jesus offers us. If you or someone you love is struggling with these issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us. I would be honored to come alongside you in preparing your young man for battle or helping you fight your own.
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