We live in a soft porn culture. The search for images of naked or scantily clad women used to be underground. Now those images bombard us from television, billboards, retail displays, and catalog covers. If you have a son and you haven’t talked with him about the dangers of pornography, now is the time to start. Keep these factors in mind as you tackle this daunting yet critical issue.
Father Knows Best
When it comes to teaching young boys in the ways of becoming a man, no one has a more powerful voice than Dad. If possible, encourage your husband or son’s father to take the lead on this issue. If Dad isn’t willing or available, find a pastor, friend, or trusted coach or neighbor. Moms have an important role to play, but let’s not underestimate the powerful influence of the men in our boys’ lives to provide wisdom, counsel, and accountability.
Porn Has Gone Mainstream—With Free Delivery!
Pornography used to be hidden. Not anymore. Today our kids may stumble across pornographic images in pop-up ads, commercials, spam emails, or follow-up videos on YouTube. My son once asked Siri an innocent question about the weather. Up popped an animated picture of a woman dressed in a teddy. It was not the weather girl. As parents we need to be vigilant, recognizing that sexual images abound and marketers have become brazen in their attempts to steal the hearts and minds of our sons. Be on alert.
Teach Your Son What To Do
Many statistics suggest the age of first exposure to pornography is around 11 or even earlier. This implies that if you want to be the first to talk with your son about sex, you need to start when he’s 10, 9, or 8. Don’t let your son be caught off guard. You can even prepare a child as young as 5 or 6 to avert his eyes, walk away, change the channel or close a browser, and always tell an adult. Teach him to heed that feeling in his gut that says “I shouldn’t be looking at this” and make sure he knows you are always safe to talk to. Instruct him on how to treat girls and women with respect and warn him about the come-ons of aggressive girls. Affirm your son when he sacrifices immediate gratification for the greater good of his character. Offer grace when he confesses a lapse and shows repentance.
Affirm your son when he sacrifices immediate gratification for the greater good of his character.
Encourage His Purity
Keep screens in common areas, limit screen exposure, and set screen curfews to curb late night viewing. Invest in software to monitor the internet use of your kids and know their habits. Beyond setting rules, use teachable moments such as a risqué commercial to talk about the sexualization of our culture and how those images affect our thoughts, hearts, and actions. Be diligent to connect with your son in lots of ways so he sees you as a trusted resource and safe place to be vulnerable. Many boys seek out porn in an effort to learn about sex. Instruct them from a young age that you are the authority and be willing to engage his questions without judgment. Teach him that God has good purposes for his sexual expression in the context of marriage.
Don’t Believe the Lies
There are many who argue that the prevalence of porn is a sign that it’s not so bad. Others lament that the fight for our sons’ hearts and minds is hopeless, so why bother? Both of these arguments are baseless. Pornography is damaging to our sons’ sexual, spiritual, and mental health. It poses a threat to every future relationship he has with a girl. Porn is degrading to both men and women and desecrates the sacredness of sex as designed by God. As discouraging as it may be to face the challenges of keeping our sons pure, there is victory for those who call on the Lord for help. Moms, take heart and prepare for battle. Our boys are worth the fight.
Tell us! What can you do today to help your son prepare for what may pop up on the screen tomorrow?