This article originally appeared, in longer form, at RickThomas.net and the Covenant Eyes blog.
Before I get into five sure-fire ways to motivate your son to use pornography, let me establish two important points. First, no parents want their child to become involved in porn. We all can agree. The problem for many of us is we don’t understand the insidious allurement of pornography and how our behavior, though unintentional, can help shape a child to crave something that can lead him into a lifetime of slavery.
Second, porn for a man isn’t 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 are his insatiable mental cravings. Porn 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.
And in most cases, the porn addict’s allurement began in the theater of his mind while he was a child. This is a consistent pattern I’ve seen in counseling.
You’ll see in my five sure-fire ways to motivate your child to use porn how any child can be in porn training without his parents realizing it.
1. Non-Romantic Marriage
The Christian home should be a sexual home. God declared sex good, and his first couple wasn’t ashamed of their unique sexualities. Only when sin entered their world did people became giggly about sex. The non-romantic marriage communicates certain people aren’t 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 aren’t. There’s no question about what kind of woman is porn-worthy. There is not a woman in America who doesn’t know, which is why many of them obsess over how they look, how much they weigh, and what they wear.
A husband who won’t romantically pursue his wife is sending a message to his kids that she’s not worthy of being pursued. She doesn’t fit the criteria. In addition, when children’s minds are filled with sensual TV commercials and movies, they begin to sense the kind of beauty worthy of their gaze. Our children need to be taught about real beauty as seen in the relationship between their dads and moms.
The husband highlights real beauty by pursuing his wife in the home. Children need to see some marital romantic affection, such as hugging and kissing. 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
The spoiled child who’s given everything he wants is a perfect candidate for porn training. Too many of our kids rarely hear the word no. They’re generally given the desires of their heart. And then, desires have become expectations.
We’d all agree porn is exponentially easier to access today than even 20 years ago. If a child expects someone to meet his selfish desires, 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.
3. Non-Communicative Couples
One of the common complaints I hear from couples in marriage counseling centers on lack of communication. They hardly talk to each other. If they do, it’s usually about family events, mutual transactions, and marital business.
This is a perfect setup for the porn trainee, since 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.
The heart of the non-communicative couple is self-centeredness. It’s two people married to each other but living in their own private worlds. A man who doesn’t 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 mind of a man. There’s 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 that satisfy the family schedule or the financial budget. I’m talking about words that build up, cherish, nourish, and adore her. Show the value you place on the bride you married. Let her be exalted in the minds of your children.
4. No Consequences for Actions
There’s a parallel action to giving kids whatever they want: giving little to no consequences for their actions.
A child who doesn’t have to pay for what he’s done wrong will learn how to get away with anything. This, too, is a major mark of porn addiction. It gives the addict false confidence in a risk-free virtual environment.
Children must have a comprehensive view of love, which means they must be appropriately disciplined when they do wrong (Heb. 12:6). The spoiled child who suffers little consequences 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.
5. Critical Community in the Home
Is your home a critical community? Or is there more encouragement, praise, affirmation, and love?
The porn world is a refuge for escape. It’s a risk-free haven where the addict can be in control while satisfying his weary mind. And no place will affect his mind more than what goes on inside his home. If the home isn’t a refuge of encouragement, then your child will be tempted to find refuge in other places.
Porn is one of the easiest places to get lost in the moment. It gives a satisfying power you won’t experience in his real world. A man can go into his momentary addiction and seize the moment with no fear whatsoever of being condemned, judged, criticized, or disappointed. He must only tweak his conscience in order to feed his habit.
Once his conscience is appropriately hardened, he’s home free (or so it seems). The best antidote for this kind of twisted thinking is to create a culture of encouragement in his home.
Porn training doesn’t happen by volition. It happens by default if parents aren’t attuned to the kind of home they’ve created.
But the good news for the humble person is that he can examine his mind and behavior and, by the empowering grace of God, be changed. No one is beyond the redemption of Jesus.
Parents, strive to implement the changes listed under each of these five points. Then plan on being surprised by God. His Word is true, and he gives favor to the humble (James 4:6).