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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 tables, 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? It’s like 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.
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 the 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 are watching some form of pornography on the internet. Internet pornography users spend over $3,000.00 every second of the day.
When we look at pornography on a daily basis, 37 pornographic videos are created in the U. S. 2.5 billion emails containing pornographic material are created every day.
Tragically, 116,000 searches for child pornography are done.
Some of the statistics indicate that over 37% of the content created for the internet is pornographic in nature.
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 very innocently. 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 devistating.
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, to find that 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.
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.
Mirror Neurons in 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?
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.
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 an 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 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.
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.