I was walking through the Beatitudes with my 9th grade small group, and we came across the dreaded passage from Matthew 5:28, "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." After we talked about it a bit, I made what I thought was a bold statement. I said, "I'm just going to assume that all of you guys are struggling with pornography. If you're not, that's great! But, I'm going to start with the assumption that it's a struggle for everyone. Let me know if it's not a struggle."
Every one of those guys admitted that pornography is a struggle in some way. Several made commitments to have an accountability program (XXXchurch.com) installed on their computer. A few even listed me as their accountability partner.
Pornography is insidious. Its lure is powerful and its addictive capacity is a bottomless pit. These days, with porn just a mouse click away, there's never been greater access to this destructive evil. Everyone is vulnerable, from teens to parents to Christian leaders. One survey found that 87% of men admit to using porn in the past month. Another study set out to research the affects of porn on young men compared to those who had never viewed it. When researchers couldn't find any young men who had not viewed porn, the study was abandoned!
When I assumed all the guys were struggling, I had hoped I was wrong. I wasn't. Everyone is just one mouse click away. This issue isn't going away. If we're not talking about it with our teenagers, we're missing great opportunities to help them. I believe the tormented boys in my small group really want to talk, they want help, they want freedom!
The Scriptures warn us (with good reason!) to flee immorality. No good thing will ever come to your life---or your kids' lives---relationships, marriage, family, or ministry from exposure to pornography.
If you or your kids haven't been caught in porn's snare, wonderful! Keep doing what you are doing but know that everyone in your family is vulnerable. If you or your kids have been ensnared, let me encourage (and challenge) you: it isn't the unpardonable sin. Do your best to flee or help your kids flee. God wants to help. Use accountability tools. Help is available. Get help. And let me tell you, as I told the guys in my small group, I know you (and your family) can win this battle. I believe in you!