My little boys have been exposed to pornography. How do I help them begin the healing process?
This is a very tough and devastating circumstance. It's almost hard to believe how widespread and accessible pornography is today. With just a few mouse clicks, anyone can view, save, and print all sorts of garbage on the World Wide Web.
I can relate to your question: Before I was even in Kindergarten, I can remember my dad watching the Playboy channel in the family room, as my brother and I looked on with wide eyes. As I grew up, I had access to my dad's dirty magazine collection because I would often sneak into them when my parents weren't home. Today, I am a 22 year old Christian. At times, these images and memories still float around in the back of my mind, but I praise the Lord that He has kept me from following in the footsteps of my dad and that God is able to transform me by the renewing of my mind (Romans12:2).
I believe that pornography is just as addictive as drugs, if not more, because of all the visual stimuli and the physical emotions that take place, especially with young boys. Pornography appeals to our flesh (or our sinful desires), but "they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts." (Galatians 5:24) The devil often uses attractive images to tempt us, just as he tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Luke 4:5-7), "but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
So where does the healing process begin? Your boys must have a close encounter with Jesus Christ (and you do too, if you're not experiencing this already). They need to understand that viewing porn is "the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes" and this "is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever." (1 John 2:16)
Pornography is a serious sin against God (Ephesians 5:3-5) and the Lord is saddened and grieved each time we take part in it, since it was because of our sins that Jesus was nailed to that cross (Isaiah 53:5). Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). Make sure that your boys understand that a life of sin will result in nothing but death and explain to them just how desperately they need Jesus (Romans 6:23). Sin enslaves, but Christ liberates and He is the only One who can free them from a sinful lifestyle (John 8:34-36). They can't turn from sin on their own (John 15:5), but if they trust in Jesus, He can change their desires and give them victory over temptation (Philippians 4:13).
Pray with your children and teach them how to surrender their desires and lusts over to Jesus. As Ephesians 4:21-24 says, they need to "put off" these "deceitful lusts and be renewed in the spirit" of their minds. The next step is to "put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." (Romans 13:14)
Each time you take away something bad from your child, you need to replace it with something wholesome. Since they've been involved in evil activities, you need to provide them with good activities instead, Spend time with your boys reading and talking about God's Word, about Christ's love, about the heavenly home He's prepared for us, and about the great price that Jesus paid in order to make it all available .
Proverbs 6:23-24 explains that the Bible, if applied, will "keep thee from the evil woman, from the flattery of the tongue of a strange woman." If you teach your children to live by the Bible and they follow your godly example, if they have a real walk with the Lord, then they will stay away from porn. Take the time to talk with your boys and teach them right from wrong, but more importantly, show them by your example (1 Timothy 4:12).
tells us "Finally, brethren,
whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are
just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever
things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,
think on these things."
Whatever we fill our minds with will directly affect our character and moral
perceptions. Teach your children to behold Christ in their everyday life
so that they will be "changed
into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord."
Also, make sure that you plan and set aside time for family recreation, where the entire family can take part in pure and fun activates enjoying the beauties of God's creation or around the table. This will serve to bind your hearts together as family (Malachi 4:6) and your children will become your best friends! It's guaranteed to work, if you will allow the Holy Spirit to direct your time together and if you're willing to take the time needed for the restoration process. It's never to late to start!
Instead of giving them free time to do whatever they want, get involved with your boys and show them that they are a priority in your life. Above all, you need to pray and ask Jesus to help you be the parent that He would have you to be. Make Paul's prayer your own: "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). You need His wisdom (James 1:5-7) so that you can "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6)
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