By Aaron Buer
For the last two days I have been writing about how to talk to boys about sex. Be sure to check out the previous two posts.
Unfortunately, parents and youth workers need to talk directly about pornography because it is everywhere. It isn’t enough to repeatedly tell them, “NO!” Pornography is so compelling and pervasive that boys need further understanding on why it is dangerous because everyone else is telling them that it is fine and actually good. Here’s how I have talked about it with the boys in our student ministry.
- Dangerous Days
I am convinced that there has never been a more difficult time in the history of the world for a guy to protect his sexuality. Our culture is obsessed with sex. Sex is used to sell everything from clothes to deodorant.
But the greatest threat to purity isn’t what’s found in commercials but rather what is found on private screens. If you have a smart phone you can access pornography anytime, anywhere, for free.
- You Are Not Alone
According to the research I’ve read, 98% of American males, middle school age and up have viewed pornography. It’s next to impossible to grow up in our culture and not see pornography.
If you are a parent, this means you must change your approach to pornography. Instead of creating boundaries and hoping he never makes that bad choice, you need to prepare for the inevitable. What will you do to help your son process what he has seen? And how will you help him untangle himself from the grip of pornography?
Because we as guys are designed by God to be fascinated with the female body and because we, especially as young men have a powerful sex drive, pornography is incredibly dangerous. Research shows that 50% of us are addicted to pornography. That is how porn works. It is highly addictive, and like other drugs, gateway porn leads to harder and harder porn.
I’ve talked with many guys who accidentally stumbled upon porn and within a few years they were compulsively viewing harder and harder pornography several times a day, engaging in sexting and eventually acting out their fantasies.
Understand this: pornography is not controllable. It cannot stay compartmentalized. It leaks into the other areas of your life. It is like a campfire that jumps its barriers and becomes a raging forest fire. Pornography has the power to destroy you and the relationships that you care about the most.
- Love Lost
Most of the divorces that I’ve witnessed over the last few years involve a man who is addicted to pornography. You can’t contain the power of pornography. It corrupts your view of women. By God’s design, women are beautifully complex— full of emotional and relational subtly and mystery. Pornography blunts a man’s ability to relate successfully with women. It makes you relationally stupid.
Pornography also destroys what sex is supposed to be. Newsflash, real sex is nothing like what you see in pornography. Women don’t approach sex like men do. In real life, sex is a lot like pursuing a woman you love. It requires wooing. It requires affection and romance. It requires sacrifice and unselfishness. By design, sex in marriage is a reflection of what the entire marriage relationship is. In contrast, pornography makes sex all about me. It’s about my release and nothing more.
- It’s not OK to stay where you are
We all feel shame after viewing pornography, at least initially. Shame makes sin feel more powerful than it is. This is why Paul, in Ephesians 5 encouraged Jesus followers to drag their sin into the light. Darkness holds power over us.
Let’s bring pornography into the light. You aren’t the only one struggling with porn. 98% of us have seen porn and the other 2% are lying. You are not alone.
There is only one way to beat porn and that is through accountability. Fighting alone you will lose. But, if you drag your struggle into the light by confessing it and asking for help, you will find that porn loses much of its power.
- Come Clean
If you want to experience freedom from porn you have to do something scary. You have to tell someone you trust that you’re struggling. It should not be a girl because girls simply cannot understand the struggle. The best choice is your dad. If your dad isn’t around or isn’t a follower of Jesus, tell a small group leader, a quality uncle or a youth pastor.
Jesus gave His life so that we could have freedom from sin but there is no freedom without confession. Believe in the power of the Gospel. Jesus can bring life and healing to the darkest of stories.
Aaron Buer is a student pastor for 10 years and currently serve as the senior high pastor at Ada Bible Church in Grand Rapids, MI. He is the blog/author of