There are always unintended consequences to our actions. We can’t act one way, good or bad, and not expect our actions to have unintended consequences. Like a rock dropped into a lake, there will always be a ripple effect to our attitudes and actions.
Secondly, pornography for a man is not primarily about the physicality of a woman. A woman’s appearance is an external magnet for the eye to enjoy, but the greater problem for the man is his insatiable cravings of the mind.
Pornography is first and foremost about the theater of the mind, where the young male can enter into his virtual world and be king for a day or in this case, king for a few minutes as he satiates his mind with the risk-free intrigue of the cyber conquest. Porn is a secret world all of the time. Porn resides in the heart. It is lust, which feeds itself while in the darkness of a person’s mind.
This makes what we do as parents all the more important because the mind of the child is not altogether discernible. The seeds of lust can be planted in the mind of a child many years before he is old enough to act out on what has been growing inside his heart. This is the message of James.
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)
Though James is speaking in a continuum—lured, enticed, desire, conceived, sin, and death—he does not say these events happen in a rapid-sequence. It can take years for all these sinful events to transpire. In most cases the allurement and enticement of the porn addict began in the theater of his mind while he was a child. T
his has been a consistent pattern I have seen in counseling. You will see in my five sure-fire ways to motivate your child to use pornography how any child can be in porn training without the child or the parents knowing how he was wrongly shaped.
1. Non-Romantic Marriage
Porn Training: Only certain kinds of women are porn-worthy.
The Christian home should be a sexual home. God said sex was good and His first couple were not ashamed about their unique sexualities. It was only when sin entered their world that people became giggly about sex and sexuality. One of the biggest unintended consequences of the non-romantic marriage is how it communicates certain people are not porn-worthy.
Before your mouth completely hits the floor, let me explain.
A major characteristic of the porn-trained mind is how some people are worthy to be lusted after and others are not worthy. There is no question about what kind of woman is porn-worthy. There is not a woman in America who does not know this, which is why many of them obsess over how they look, how much they weigh, what they wear, and the horror of growing old.
Though they would not say it the way I have stated it—as being porn-worthy—many of them want to be worthy of their husband’s attention. They want to be desired. While this is not all bad, it can be deadly, especially in a marriage where she is not desired. A husband who will not romantically pursue his wife is sending a message to his children about how she is not worthy of being pursued. She does not fit the criteria. She is not attractive enough to be pursued.
In addition, when the children’s minds are filled with sensual TV commercials and movies, it begins to establish the kind of beauty which is worthy of their gaze. Our children need to be taught about real beauty as seen in the relationship between their dads and moms.
Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair, the wearing of gold, or the putting on of clothing—but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. (1 Peter 3:3-4)
One of the best ways for the husband to highlight real beauty is for him to pursue his wife in the home. There needs to be a lot of hugging and kissing between the husband and wife. Release biblical sexuality and romance from its shameful prison and teach your children a biblical view of love.
Children need to see marital romantic affection. The dad can send a clear message to his children regarding what beauty is and what turns him on—though he would not say it this way to his children. Holding hands, dancing in the living room, hugging for long periods of time, and smooching in front of the kids are beautiful examples of who and what is worthy of a man’s love.
2. Instant gratification
Porn Training: Cyber women are downloadable and extinguishable.
The spoiled child who is given everything he wants is a perfect candidate for porn training. Another main characteristic of the pornographer is the easy accessibility and extinguishability of the cyber girl.
Too many of our children have not heard the word no. They are often given the desires of their heart. It used to be children were glad to have their needs met, but that day has passed. Not only are needs an expectation and an assumption, but so are the desires. You’ll see this in the average middle school church ministry.
My daughter came home the other day telling me how most of the sixth graders in the group had iPhones. When children run the home by easily persuading their parents to give them the desires of their heart, then there is nothing to stop the child from getting into porn if the opportunity arises. And the opportunity will arise.
I heard a stat recently which said out of 813 adults from 18-26, two out of three agreed pornography viewing was acceptable. 86% of the men and 32% of the women used porn. The percentage among women is growing. I think we all agree porn is exponentially easier to access than it was just ten years ago. If the child is set up to get his selfish desires met, it won’t be hard for him to be allured by porn.
- The spoiled child gets what he wants when he wants it with no regard for right or wrong.
- The porn addict gets what he wants when he wants it with no regard for right or wrong.
Instant gratification in a child breeds instant gratification in adults. We’re hiding our heads in the sand (self-deception) to think we can meet all the desires of our child’s heart and expect him not to be this way when he becomes an adult.
3. Non-Communicative Couples
Porn Training: Married couples communicate less and less, a requirement for porn enjoyment.
One of the common complaints I hear from couples in marriage counseling is the couple’s lack of communication. They hardly talk to each other. If they do talk, it’s usually about family events, mutual transactions, and marital business.
This is a perfect setup for the porn trainee because viewing porn has nothing to do with verbal communication. Porn is about visually enjoying women in order to feed the mind. Who needs to talk? The heart of porn use is privatized self-centeredness. It’s a man isolating himself in order to watch a video.
The heart of the non-communicative couple is self-centeredness. It’s two people married to each other, but living in their private worlds. The children of non-communicative parents are trained in the de-valuing of words, but it’s more than this. It’s the devaluing of the opposite sex. A man who does not talk to his wife is sending a loud message—she is not worthy of his words.
Nothing devalues a woman more than pornography. The female is objectified only for the purpose of being used in a slavish way to satisfy the putrid mind of a man. There is no communication in this scenario.
Husbands, your children need to see the value you give your wife by giving her some of your best words throughout your day. I’m not talking about words which satisfy the family schedule or the financial budget. I’m talking about words which build up, cherish, nourish, and adore your wife. Show the value you place on the woman you married. Let her be exalted in the minds of your children.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. (Ephesians 4:29)
Teach them to talk in ways which build-up the other person. You’re not only valuing the person, but you’re exalting the use of words. This is one of the most powerful ways the Lord builds us up—through His Words.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)
4. No Consequences for Actions
Porn Training: Teaches a false confidence through a risk-free relationship.
Along with the spoiled child mentioned above, there is a parallel parental action to giving the kid whatever he desires. This is the parent who teaches little to no consequences for his actions. A child who does not have to pay for what he has done wrong will learn how to get away with anything.
This, too, is a major characteristic of a porn addiction. It gives the addict a false confidence in a risk-free virtual environment.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. (Hebrews 12:6)
Children must have a comprehensive view of love, which means they must be appropriately disciplined when they do wrong. The spoiled child who suffers little consequences in life will have a low regard for rules and authority.
Porn has no rules and low risk. It doesn’t take much to enter the porn world. It’s not like robbing a bank, which makes porn’s allurement all the more appealing.A child who knows he can get away with things is easy prey for the tentacles of pornography.
I’m all for grace-motivated living and doling out affection on my children, but I’m not for letting them get away with sin. We have clear sin categories in our home and my children know where the lines have been drawn. This is a matter of respect and honor for God and His Word. There is a right and a wrong. The porn addict does not have this kind of respect. The lines are blurred, a reality for him which did not begin when he first stumbled onto pornography.
Many porn addicts have a low view of the law of God. They simply do not care, because they have not been made to care. One of the ways you can discern this in your child is by how he respects his siblings or his mother. Typically a child will push his mother farther than he will push his dad. When children do this, they are stretching the boundaries of honor, respect, kindness, and biblical love.
These four things, among several other character traits, are also absent from the porn user. As a parent, you may want to examine how you honor, respect, show kindness, and biblically love those in your home and community.
5. Critical Community in the Home
Porn Training: Criticism and anger are the most common ways we devalue others.
Is your home a critical community? If you were to assess your home, would you determine there is more encouragement, praise, affirmation, and love or is there more frustration, impatience, criticalness, and self-centeredness?
The porn world is a refuge where people go to escape the realities of their lives. It’s a risk-free haven where the addict can be in control, while satisfying his weary mind. There is no place which will affect his mind more than what goes on in his home. Even the church cannot accomplish what the home can accomplish, good or bad.
If the home is not a refuge of encouragement, your child will be tempted to find refuge in other places. Porn is one of the easiest places for him to get lost in the moment. It gives him a satisfying power which he does not experience in his real world. He can go into his momentary addiction and seize the moment with no fear whatsoever of being condemned, judged, criticized, or disappointed. All he will need to do is tweak his conscience in order to feed his habit. Once his conscience is appropriately hardened, he is home-free—according to his self-deception.
The best antidote for this kind of twisted thinking is to create a culture of encouragement in his home. Isn’t this what the Gospel is all about? Each time you read God’s Word you find some kind of benefit? You are encouraged? You are helped? Compare how God’s Words affect you and how your words affect others.
The Porn Trained Kid
Porn training does not happen by volition. It happens by default if the parents are not attuned to the kind of home they have created. Kids are responders and they will respond to what the parent is providing them. The question now becomes, what are we exporting to our children? We’re all exporting something. The good news for the humble person is he can examine his mind and behavior through the lens of this article and be changed. All a parent needs to do is to implement the needed changes listed under each of the five points mentioned. If you do this, then plan on being surprised by God. His Word is true—He gives favor to the humble (James 4:6).