Thursday, April 2, 2009

Holy Hormones! Guarding Our Sons Against Pornography

by Rebecca Ingram Powell

Christian recording artist and Dove Award winner Clay Cross was first exposed to pornography at a friend’s house. He was in the fourth grade. Although he had been raised in a Christian home, he didn’t realize the long-lasting consequences the sin of pornography would have on his life, so he did not run away from the temptation. He did not call his parents to come and pick him up. He did not say, “No, thanks.” He did not think, twenty years later, he would still struggle with a porn addiction he kept hidden from his wife, his family, and his thousands of fans. While we are quick to teach our kids the damaging consequences of drugs and alcohol, how do we guard our sons from the equally destructive effects of pornography, especially in a culture where sensuality is worshiped, women are exploited, and all forms of sexual expression are embraced?

Setting a standard. The Christian home sets the standard for our children. Our actions and attitudes as parents provide a living example that speaks louder to our sons than any lecture we might give. But are we missing the mark when it comes to making holiness a reality in our homes?

By all outward appearances, Clay and his wife Renee had the ideal Christian home, yet they were very lax in the kinds of entertainment they chose through television, movies, and risqué comedy routines on HBO. “People can easily turn off what they know they need to be about when they are watching entertainment,” Clay admits. “With no standard in my home, it actually made it easier for me to be watching pornography on the side because Renee and I were watching trashy stuff together and with our friends.”

Wired for sight. For us moms to come to an understanding of our sons, we have to realize their weakness when it comes to this battle, and our responsibility to guard their hearts by helping them guard their eyes. The male species is wired for sight. The things we moms may not consider sensual, a growing boy with escalating hormones might find especially provocative. Here are some practical things you can do.
Keep lingerie magazines, including sales fliers from your local department store, out of sight.
Filter what you are watching. You may love watching the choreography on “Dancing with the Stars,” but for your son, it’s all jiggling flesh and steamy sexual images.
Take a closer look at teen shows on “kid-friendly” channels. Many young actresses are dressed to draw attention to every curve. Maybe you haven’t noticed, but he has.
Be Internet savvy. Make sure there are filters installed on your computer, but keep in mind that no filter can do it all. Know how to check your Internet surfing history. Help your son avoid the temptation of the Internet and other media by keeping computers and TV’s out of his bedroom.

A filter on his heart. As moms, we may be tempted to leave this part of raising our sons up to their fathers. However, when we understand the challenges our sons face, it will go a long way in helping them overcome the multiple temptations they confront every day. We also need to understand the only trustworthy “filter” is the Holy Spirit working in a growing young man’s heart. As a boy grows up, the feelings and thoughts he is suddenly experiencing may come as a surprise, and even a shock. Let your son know he is normal. It is vital that boys understand all men struggle with the issue of pornography, but there is a God who is bigger than any temptation they face. Agree to hold him accountable for his entertainment choices, and let your son know you are willing to be held accountable for yours. Teach him to resist temptation the way Jesus did, through prayer and Bible study. Using Philippians 4:8 as a guide, help your son practice replacing fleshly thoughts with godly thoughts of things above.

“Boys think pornography is harmless,” says Clay. “It may feel naughty to them, and it may be something they wouldn’t want others to know they are doing, but it won’t feel like it’s going to hurt them. They have to be convicted that it is wrong and it has damaging effects.” As your son grows into the man God intends for him to be, your relationship must grow with him; you must be willing to talk about and pray about his real life issues. Let him know you’re on his side and always cheering for him. Let him know you understand the battle. And let him know through Jesus Christ, the battle is won.
Rebecca Ingram Powell is a pastor’s wife, mother of three, and a nationally known author and speaker. Her latest book is “Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose.” She is online at

P31 Resources by Rebecca Ingram Powell
Dig Deep: Unearthing the Treasures of Solomon's Proverbs
Dig Deep is a 9-week Bible study for guys, 7th grade and up, covering King Solomon's ageless advice to his son. Daily lessons deal with choices, stewardship, friends, purity, Christ-like characteristics, and cultural issues.

Season of Change: Parenting Your Middle Schooler with Passion and Purpose

Remember middle school? It was awkward and embarrassing. It was mean girls and gawky guys. It was best friends and battle scars. In Season of Change, Rebecca shares candidly from her experiences as both a middler and a mom. She invites parents to dive deeply into these years with their kids, challenging them in their choices and focusing them on their faith.


Danielle said...

I think this topic is very important, and not spoken of enough... but, I also think it's geared alot towards the male side and not enough on the female side.

I speak from experience when I say that I, a female, was introduced to pornography at a very young age, also at a friends house, and the imprint is still there. Throught Christ, I have victory, but the devil shows himself in almost every place we turn.

Guarding your sons is very important, but so is guarding our daughters. My daughter is only 9, but these days, only 9 is not so young anymore. I keep her eyes from seeing many things, and her ears from hearing many also, but I lack the no-how to discuss certain things with her...without me being embarassed.(sigh) Which, I know, it shouldnt be that way.

I know Vickey Courtney does alot for young women... is there anyone else with books or CDs, DVDs?