Pornography: What is the Impact on Families and Society

Pornography: What is the Impact on Families and Society

This post tackles a subject that all adults need to pay attention to.  Pornography on the internet as well as print material is impacting our families in a devastating way.

Pornographic and sexually explicit material is easy to access with the introduction of tablets, cell-phones, and computers.  While this post highlights many of the problems that come with pornography, there are several excellent resources that can be used to fight against pornography.

Have you ever run across a story or a theme that seems to re-occur? Sometimes, there is a particular message that the Lord really wants you to pay attention to.  I love it when I sense the Lord pointing out something specific.  The Lord wants to communicate with us. His desire is to lead and guide us.  This is where safety and peace are.

Overcoming Temptation.

The story that seemed to be re-occurring to me is one that Chuck Pierce tells in Possessing Your Inheritance.  He is recounting a time where a stronghold had been brought to his attention.  It was something that he was not fully aware of but he understood that it would ultimately cause great personal harm if he failed to deal with it.

He took the issue to the Lord which ultimately resulted in a conversation between him and Lord. Chuck read Romans  6:13  which says “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.”

The scripture spoke to his spirit and he, out of obedience, presented each member of his body to the Lord for sanctification.  This is the power of the Word of God in relation to sin. I encourage you to read the book and read those passages out of Romans 6. You will be encouraged by the power the Lord provides in His Word.

Walk the Walk

In the same way, as we understand who we are in Christ and that we have a specific purpose in life, I believe we receive a revelation of the power we have in Him.  This gives us a picture of how we are to walk.

This post will deal specifically with pornography but it is applicable to all sin and addictions.

Walking in Newness of Life frees us from the power pornography can have. In fact, the walk in the Newness of Life frees us from all addictions.

What is Pornography?

Merriam Webster defines pornography as the depiction of sexual behavior to cause sexual excitement. Click To Tweet This depiction includes pictures or text.  These depictions are usually of a sensational nature. The images or portrayals are unrealistic and exaggerated.

Pornography is a Major Industry.

Webroot indicates that pornography is being accessed online every second of the day.  Specifically, there are 28,258 people watching some form of pornography on the internet. Internet pornography users spend over $3,000.00 every second of the day.

Shockingly, 37 pornographic videos are created every day in the U. S. and  2.5 billion emails containing pornographic material are created every day.

Tragically, 116,000 searches for child pornography are done.

Clearly, with the introduction of cell phones and tablets, along with the computers in the classroom, our children have easy access to the internet and potentially pornography.  Children can stumble upon pornography without even looking for it.

Pop-ups that may seem innocent yet interesting can pop up when our children are playing games or researching something for school.  Out of natural, innocent curiosity, our children click on that pop-up and are then lured down a very long, dark road.  The impact is devastating.

How Does Pornography Impact the Brain?

Pornography is highly addictive and interacts with the brain much like cigarettes, alcohol or hard drugs. Click To Tweet Viewing pornography actually changes the chemical make up of the brain. Anything that is controlling behavior apart from the Holy Spirit will bring harm.  This is why pornography is so destructive.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was!  There are some Christians that believe pornography is harmless entertainment.  Others have even commented that pornography is a form of sex education.  I believe this is dangerous ground.  We as the church must stand up and be clear on our attitudes towards pornography.

Pornography and the Limbic System

The limbic system in the brain is impacted when pornography is viewed.  The brain releases chemicals that are related to pleasure with the use of pornography.  Dopamine is the hormone is associated with happiness and Glutamate is associated with remembering the experience.

Pornography releases an increased amount of Dopamine and Glutamate.  The body reacts to this release as a feeling of intense sexual pleasure.  This happens despite the fact that there is a lack of physical contact.

Sadly, the feeling of sexual arousal becomes less as more porn is viewed. In order to achieve the same level of arousal as the previous incident more pornography is needed.

It is easy to see that a vicious cycle begins.  The next time someone views pornography, they are going to view more of it. Consumers watch more pornography and it becomes more deviant and violent in nature.

Pornography on the Male Brain

Dr. William Suthers notes a more specific problem. Pornography triggers mirror neurons in the male brain.  These neurons are involved in mirroring or mimicking behavior.  The mirror neuron system arouses the body which leads to the male seeking a release of the sexual tension.  This usually results in masturbation.

The hormonal and neurological consequences that result are designed to bind the male to an object he is focusing on.  Ideally, sexual attraction and arousal and bonding should be taking place between a husband and wife.

In the case of male viewing pornography, this leads to the male focusing on an image on a screen. In essence, the natural design of the human body is hijacked and bound to pornographic images.

Dr. Suthers highlights additional specific unique aspects of internet pornography.

  • The desire for extreme novelty increases.
  • There are almost no physical limitations to internet porn consumption.
  • More and new are always available in the world of internet pornography.
  • Teens are highly susceptible to addiction because their brains are at peak dopamine production and neuroplasticity.  This means that their brains are more vulnerable to addiction and rewiring.

What Does the Bible Say about Pornography?

Interestingly, the Bible talks about the importance of what we allow to enter our eye gates.  Matt 6:22-23 (ESV)  “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness.  If then the light is you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”

Clearly, the Bible tells us that what we see impacts our entire being.  We need to be vigilant in what we allow to enter in.

Specifically, pornography is a type of engagement in sexual activity with someone other than a spouse.  This is true for married couples and singles. The act of marriage belongs in the safety and confines of the marital relationship.

Much of what happens in pornography is exaggerated, and deviant.  The scenario can be described as the consumer watching a video and then going onto another and then another. He may want to stop but oftentimes it is very difficult and many are not able to resist temptation.

The psalmist declares in Plasm 101:3 (ESV) declares “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.  I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.”

You can feel the energy behind that scripture.  The psalmist is determined to block those things that are worthless and unproductive.  As we have seen, pornography is not just worthless but is extremely damaging. It can take control of one’s personality.  More specifically, it can rewire the brain.

13 Practical Steps to Defeat Pornography

How Does Pornography Impact the Family?

Families are at risk. The points outlined make this point very clear.

Pornography negatively impacts the make-up of the family. Men that view pornography on a regular basis become distant with their wives.  In addition, they become preoccupied with their next opportunity to view pornography.

Men often expect their spouses to perform in similar fashion to what they have seen shown in the videos or in the magazines. In fact, they are regarding their spouses as objects to fulfill their desire

How Does Pornography Impact Society?

Sadly, the use of pornography not online negatively impacts families, it also impacts the larger society.  Of course, the family is a huge piece of society but the family is being torn apart with the increased use of pornography.

As families deteriorate, we are left vulnerable to state agencies having to step in to support families.   This video lists 10 research findings related to porn use. These include men preferring using porn rather than having a healthy sexual relationship with their wife.  Also, consumers of pornography have difficulty establishing deep relationships with other people.  Take a look at the video and note how wide the impact is.

How Does Pornography Impact Children?

Children are important, as well as a vulnerable part of our society.   Pornography is particularly troublesome when it comes to our children.

Children get addicted to pornography faster than adults due to the brain being more plastic and malleable Click To Tweet .  Children are sometimes exposed to pornography by other children.  This is quite easy since so many teens have their own phones.  This fact alone can make the issue seem overwhelming.

To compound the problem, computers and tablet use in school is the norm of the day.  They can be great educational tools but they have to be used wisely.  Our children need to understand the dangers of the internet.  In addition, computers must be monitored by adults to prevent opening up a door that should remain shut.

The child’s brain cannot properly process the intense feelings that accompany viewing pornography.  Without adult of parental guidance and supervision, children may continue viewing pornography out of curiosity.  Sadly this can result in children becoming predators of younger children as they attempt to act out what they have viewed.

Hijacked by Porn

Children are curious about their bodies as well as the bodies of the opposite sex.  This is a natural curiosity and only reflects the natural design of the body.  The Lord created each of us as sexual beings.  Pornography has taken that God-given design and hijacked purpose and design.

The porn industry also places women and children at risk of sexual exploitation and abuse.  There is a definite connection between the porn industry and sex trafficking.  Clearly, women and children are victims on both ends of the pornographic spectrum.

Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to protecting against pornography.  The job is a big one but there are families doing their part and equipping their children for the battle before them.

You will be encouraged by this family’s story.  It is a clear demonstration that children can be given the necessary tools to resist getting involved with pornography.

What is the impact on families and society?

What is the Answer?

There is hope.  The Lord has not left us without defenses. Once again, your relationship with God the Father is your first line of defense.  If you don’t have a relationship with the Lord, He is eagerly waiting for your invitation to become His child.  He loves you and wants the very best for you.  This is true for every aspect of your life including your sexuality.

Powerful Resources to defeat Pornography!

Check out these resources at Protect Young Minds.  They will be a blessing to you as you make use of them.  The 13 resources are:

  • A Quick Start Guide for Proactive Parents-This will help you prepare your children for the steps to reject pornography.
  • SMART Plan Guide for Parents-This resource gives parents a guide to help your child heal from pornography exposure.
  • Share & Speak Up Guide-This resource has statistics that every parent should be aware of.  Make sure you take a look at this.
  • Good Pictures Bad Pictures-is a children’s book that can be used to teach kids what pornography is and what to do if encountered.
  • Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds-This a version of the first book that can be shared with the 3-6-year-old.
  • Top 10 Easy Conversation Starters-This is a tool that can be used to have that difficult conversation with your child.
  • Body Safety Toolkit-You can use this tool to help your child identify a list of adults that are safe to go to in emergency situations.
  • 3 Simple Definitions of Pornography Kids Can Understand-This is a tool that can be used to teach about pornography at a level that is appropriate for young children.

I have also created an infographic that you can download with these resources. The infographic would be a great tool to give to family members and friends.  You can access the infographic at the bottom of this post.

How Do Couples Heal from the use of Pornography?

If you have dealt with pornography, there are some practical steps you can take to free yourself from this addiction.  First and foremost, lean on the Holy Spirit.  He loves and cares about you more than you can imagine.  The Holy Spirit can also give you strategies to free yourself from pornography.

Another resource you may want to take advantage of is Covenant Eyes.  They have produced a series of videos that go in depth on the subject of pornography and how to avoid it. The video below explains 6 steps that you can take to quit watching pornography.

How Can We Guard Against Pornography?

I mentioned some excellent resources parents can use to protect their children. A big part of the answer is keeping the lines of communication open.  Children need to know they are important. Even if you are not a parent, you have an influence in a child’s life in some way.  You may be an aunt or an uncle or perhaps you are a teacher.

Take the time to talk to your children. Explain the dangers of pornography and talk about the Godly design of their bodies and healthy relationships.  They look to you, as parents or trusted adult to guide them through life.

In addition to supporting your children with the previously mentioned resources, you can go to the National Center to End Sexual Exploitation and check out the Dirty Dozen List. This is a list of major brands that have allowed content that contributes to sexual exploitation. Their goal is to get these brands to stop supporting the distribution of sexually explicit and pornographic material.

National Center to End Sexual Exploitation

They have a well-organized strategy that puts pressure on companies to stop supporting sexual exploitation. The National Center to End Sexual Exploitation also has a variety of ways you can get involved in the fight against pornography.

As you look at the site, you will come away knowing how pornography feeds into other areas of sexual abuse and exploitation.  Also, be sure to read their list of victories.  This will encourage you as you get involved in the fight to protect our children and families.

Pornography is a growing industry that impacts all of us at some point.  The statistics can make the problem seem almost insurmountable. This post and the infographic are good places to start in turning the tide of pornography. I encourage you to look over the resources mentioned in this post and in the infographic.

This is an issue that will take prayer and the intervention of the Lord.  In addition, families need to be involved as well.  We can make our voice known to major companies that are pipelines for pornography.  We can also equip our children to reject any involvement with pornography.  Standing together we can make a difference.

Be sure to download the infographic and share it with family and friends. Share this post as well.  Please leave a comment in the comment box and share how you have been able to protect your children from pornography. You may have a testimony is important.  Share your victories with us.

 

Infographic on Pornography

Check out Possessing Your Inheritance to find out what your inheritance in the Lord is.

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Screen Time Caution: Ways to Limit Screen Time

Screen Time Caution: Ways to Limit Screen Time

Too much screen time can be a problem.  Here are some things to remember when allowing your child to get on the screens.

Screen Time: What Happens When There is Too Much

Too much screen time:

  •  can impact the development of a child’s brain.
  •  can decrease family time interaction.
  •  has been linked to speech delay in toddlers.
  •  has been linked to childhood obesity.
  •  has been linked to high blood pressure in children.
  •  may lead to addiction to phones and screens and could lead to hyperactivity or aggression.

Raising healthy children is a challenge.  This is particularly true now that we have children that have never lived without the influence of big and small screens in their lives.  We need to unplug frequently from screens in order to rest well and allow our bodies to recharge.

 

This post will highlight some of the benefits of using screens like computers and cell phones. There are some cautions that we need to take notice of as well. Take note of the great suggestions on how several parents find a balance when it comes to screen time. First and foremost, ask the Holy Spirit to help you.  He wants the best for your family and will give you the guidance and the courage you need to set some healthy ground rules and boundaries where screens are concerned. In addition, read the bible and note specific scriptures on family and raising children. Check out 33 Bible Verses to Pray Over Your Home. This is a great post that highlights 33 scriptures that you can declare over your family. As believers, the first defense is the Sword of the Spirit.              

Screen Time Caution: Ways to Limit Screen Time-Blashlearning33 Bible Verses

 

 

             

Here is another post that will give you some great printables that you can print for your children to use.

Screen Time: Healthy Activities

It is important to acknowledge that there are benefits to using tablets and computers.  Children are able to access books online. Some of these books are read by adults so children get to hear what good reading sounds like.  Reading is one of those habits that we want our children to practice.

I am sure you are all familiar with Sesame Street.   It is definitely different from when I was growing up but it is still a resouce for children to learn vowel sounds and practice counting.  This is a great way to use the television and computer screen.

Adventures in Odyssey and Storylin Online

Adventures in Odyssey and Storyline Online

In addition, here are two more of my favorite online resources.  Storyline Online and Adventures in Odyssey are great resources for stories.  Storyline Online features members of the Screen Actors Guild reading stories.  As I mentioned earlier, this is a wonderful way to enjoy good books and hear what good reading sounds like.  Your child will likely want to read the books for him or herself once they have heard it read to them.

Furthermore, Adventures in Odyssey is set up like the old time radio shows where the story is dramatized on radio.  This was one of our favorite activities as a family when our children were growing up. To this day, we enjoy listening to the stories on Adventures in Odyssey.  Some of the stories are from the Bible while others are fiction pieces with a clear moral message.  Check these out.  You will enjoy them.

Even though Adventures in Odyssey is technically not consumed on a screen, I wanted to include this resource because of its value.  The stories can be used to encourage family discussions on a variety of topics.

Screen Time Balance

There are great ideas that families have discovered to balance screen time for their families.  Use screen time printables that list chores or activities that must be done before children can get on their screens.

Families also use contracts so that children understand that they are making a commitment in order to use screens.

What is a Screen?

There are infographics that make it clear what we are referring to when we use the term screen.  These infographics help you set clear boundaries around screen time.

 Some families use screen time tickets.  Mom and dad hand out a certain number of tickets to children for the week. Children can earn more tickets by completing a chore or another type of activity you choose.  They can also turn in their tickets for .50 each. Of course, you can decide what they are redeeming their tickets for.

Setting a timer can be a great way of monitoring the time without you, as the parent saying anything. Once the timer goes off, the child knows its time to move on to something else.  This takes a little of the emotion out of the equation.

Screen Time: Control it Through WIFI

Another version of this is to use something that controls the amount of time someone has access to wifi.  This can also filter and control what websites are accessible to each person.   Meetcircle is a great device that parents can use to control what the children have access to at home.

Here is a great article on 25 Websites that are good for Kids.  With everything that you are allowing your child to access, it is a good idea to preview the videos or sites they are going to.  Some of the videos at the beginning may be fine, but as they continue, the material may turn dark or inappropriate.  To be a parent is not for the faint of heart but be encouraged, there are plenty of resources out there that can help.

100 Ways to Bond with Your Child

I also included a post on 100+ ways to bond with your children. Many of these ideas are centered around conversation. Bonding with your children is important and can be your most important weapon in dealing with the attraction of the screens.  Children enjoy the screens but they really need to connect with family members.

Many of the ways we bond with children involve conversations about things they are interested in or have questions about.  When your children know that you are interested enough in them to spend time with them, they come to understand that they are important.  This goes a long way in the area of building up self-esteem and confidence.

Our children need to know they are important and they have a place in this world. This is one of the marks of a healthy family. They also need to understand that they can make a difference in the world and they have a purpose. Watching hours of movies or playing hours of video games is only entertainment and recreation.

Entertainment and recreation have their place in but they are not going to build your child up. Click To Tweet That is your job.

Another aspect of screen time that parents need to be aware of is the ease with which pornography can be accessed.  Pornography is dangerous because it is highly addictive and damaging to families. Viewing pornography gives a skewed and warped view of sexuality as wll as objectifying women and children.

Consuming pornography damages healthy relationships in marriages because men start viewing their spouses as objects rather than the partner that the Lord gave them. No longer is the sexual relationship a loving relationship.  It quickly turns into something where the goal is to satisfy the lust of the flesh.  This opens the door to distrust and in many cases destroys the marriage.

Children are being exposed to pornography on a larger scale through the use of smartphones and tablets.  The heartbreaking reality is that young teens are watching pornography and then sexually abusing younger siblings or relatives.

I want to encourage you to download the infographic I created.  There are excellent resources that you can use to combat the use of pornography.

    What have you done to balance screen time?  Has pornography impacted your life? How have you found victory? Please share them in the comment section and share this with your family and friends that you think might benefit. Share some of the things that you have done as a family to balance screen time.

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