Category Archives: pornography

What’s the offer?

In the last few years, more books have been written about pornography than ever before. That’s a good thing. The conversation around this difficult topic is finally starting. I am convinced that the vast majority of these books were written by well meaning individuals. Folks wanting to help others by share their stories and thoughts. But what are these well meaning folks actually offering to struggling men and their wives?

I haven’t read every book out there or walked through every program. But I’ve done quite a few of them. And I feel comfortable concluding that the vast (like almost every single one) focuses on the concept of recovery. Now, please hear me. I am a fan of counseling. I frequently recommend counseling as part of a journey toward freedom. I’m not against the concept or its application in the world of professional counseling.

However. In most of these programs, recovery is presented as the gospel of the program. The good news. The thing that if you do the program or follow the steps you will move toward or receive or be in. Recovery is defined in the Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary as “regaining or returning to a normal state.” As in, I used to struggle, but I’ve been in recovery for 6 months or 6 years or whatever. Or, our marriage has been so much better since my husband went into recovery. This greatly concerns me.

Let’s think about it from the perspective of a wife. Recovery. Really, that’s the offer? A return to our normal state? So if my man does everything right and I do everything right, I might recover what we lost? But….what I lost was a crappy marriage to a guy who struggles with porn! Why on earth would I want that back? For nearly every couple I’ve ever spoken with, returning to what was normal has not been a compelling offer.

But what if the offer really was extraordinary? What if the offer was freedom, not just behavioral management or sin management? What if the offer was supernatural instead of just a return to the old minus certain actions. Would that be worth pursuing?

Here’s the real offer to men and women, chock full of hope, restoration, and freedom:

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost.” (Luke 19:10, NIV)

Not WHO was lost, but WHAT was lost. What has been lost in your life? And what does God want to offer you?

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 36:26, NIV)

Not a return to normal. Radical open heart surgery. A new identity at the level of your heart – the deepest, truest you. And why does He want to offer you that?

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10b, NIV)

So you can have life to the full. Not normal. Not partway. To the full.

Why you should care that pornography is #1 on Wikipedia.

This isn’t a wiki-bashing blog. Wikipedia can be a helpful tool in today’s world. My sister would suggest not relying on it to diagnose why you feel sick today, but for many folks, it’s the first stop on a research project.

This blog is about why it matters that porn is the most popular content on Wikipedia.

According to Focus on the Family and the London School of Economics, the average age of first exposure to pornography is eight years old.

  • (The Pastor’s Weekly Briefing, with H.B. London, Jr., Focus on the Family, May 5, 2000 and Sara Gaines. “Why Sex Still Leads the Net,” 28 Feb 2002. Research by London School of Economics, January 2002.)

In 2010, Focus on the Family published that more than 50% of the calls to their Pastoral Care Line described pornography as “a problem in the home.”

A few decades ago, if you wanted to look at porn, you had to go find it. Today, it finds you. The younger the better. Porn is everywhere, available anytime, at the touch of a button.

I was recently speaking to a group of women about this topic. When I shared the next thought, there were literally gasps around the room. If you’re a man reading this, you already know that the next thing I’m going to say is true because you’ve experienced it yourself. But if you’re a woman, you may not know this.

The reason seeing porn for the first time matters is that men don’t ever forget it.

In years of working with men on this topic, I have never ever met a man who couldn’t tell me in vivid detail about the first time he saw porn.

What to do afterward, how to help the young boy or young man when he sees porn for the first time, how to walk with him…these are all great questions that we’ll cover elsewhere.

The point of this blog is to simply say:

For the love of your son, grandson, nephew, cousin, neighbor’s kid, or any other young boy you know, please install a filter on your computer!

It’s not about isolation. (Has that ever worked, anyway?) It’s not about trying to hide it from him. It’s simply common sense. If you are walking through a gunfight and you have the option of a bulletproof vest, wouldn’t you put it on? Wouldn’t you put it on your young son? It’s no guarantee, but if it helps keep him protected for another week, another six months, another three years, isn’t that worth it?

People ask me all the time, ‘Ezra, do you use a filter on your computer?’ I think what they really want to know is…you’re teaching this stuff, why would you need one? The truth is that I’m in a place in my life where I don’t think I “need” a filter in the sense they are thinking – that somehow without one I’m doomed to fail.

The reason I use a filter is simple: I don’t want to be surprised.

My observation about the state of the world is that pornography isn’t just out there innocuously waiting to be discovered. It is actively hunting, infiltrating innocent search results, seeking to force itself on me. And part of my battle plan is to wear some armor.

Check out the full article here: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2012/06/05/co-founder-larry-sanger-wikipedia-is-virtual-porn-hub/

I’ve used http://www.bsecure.com for the last seven years or so and have been extremely satisfied with it. And they have a filter for the iPhone and iPod!

 

Gen X. Gen Y. Gen Porn.

The sad state of affairs is that we truly are raising boys in Generation Pornography. From the grocery store checkout aisle to wifi devices, porn is anywhere and everywhere.

Consider:

  • In 2000, the average age of first exposure to pornography for boys used to be 11 years old. In 2010, it dropped to 7 or 8. (Focus on the Family, The Economist)
  • Pornography in the home was the number one topic in over 12,000 recent calls for help. (Focus on the Family)

The simple statistical truth is that if your boy is ten years old, he’s almost certainly already seen porn. I’ve spoken to thousands of men at conferences and retreats over the last four years. The record for the latest first time exposure to pornography is thirteen years old. But the stories I hear today tell me that the true average age is closer to seven or eight. Access to porn is everywhere – Xbox Live, iPods, phones, computers – and our culture has never been more sexually explicit in music, TV, and movies.

In the old days, boys found porn through their friends, neighbors or families’ stash of magazines somewhere. These days, they find it while innocently doing homework online.

And once a boy sees porn for the first time, he’ll never forget. Every man I’ve ever spoken with remembers the first time. It’s not like a bad dream that he will eventually forget. Walking with him in this will require your participation. Lecturing, yelling, scolding, or simply not talking about it will not help him process through the images that are now burned on his mind.

For many parents, this is an absolutely terrifying issue. Most of the moms and dads I speak with are far more comfortable talking with their kids about sex than about porn. And it’s  understandable. Where do you start? Where do you end? How do you figure out if they’ve seen it yet if you don’t know for sure? How do you avoid making them curious if they’ve avoided it somehow?

These are the questions and issues that we want to wrestle with at Unbound Ministries. So come join us for Talking with Your Son about Porn and start the conversation that could change his life forever.