8 Lies Your Kids Believe about Porn

Pornography is a hot button topic for me namely because I’ve struggled with it for so long.  I believe God has given me the victory over it, and I honestly don’t have a desire to look at it, but I have to be honest and also say there were moments in the past couple months in which I failed, and failed horribly in keeping myself from being curious.   I’ve used these lies on myself at some point in my life, and let’s not lie to ourselves.  If your child walks out of your front door, goes to school (Christian or Public), plays on a sports team, etc, he  or she will be exposed to porn at some point.   Don’t freak out on them.   Understand that porn is a now a part of our culture and something we have to be prepared to do battle with.  MEN, teach your sons to value themselves and women and to hold integrity and faith foremost in their lives.  WOMEN, teach your daughters they have value other then their physical features and to focus on faith and knowing that GOD values them as they are.   Parents, show your child unconditional love, and Youth Workers, be a resource for both.

8 Lies Your Kids Believe about Porn

The statistics are staggering. Nine out of ten boys and six out of ten girls are exposed to porn before the age of eighteen. The first exposure to porn for men is twelve years old, on average. Sixty-eight percent of young adult men watch porn at least once a week. The list goes on and on. Porn is ravaging our culture. And the accessibility of it is beyond scary. More than a quarter (28%) of sixteen-year-olds are unintentionally exposed to porn.

Porn stats are thrown around so often we are tempted to become desensitized to them. But I want to push back. As a man who struggled with porn for much of my teenage and young adult years (you can read about my struggle HERE), I know the damage this addiction can leave behind. I also know the lies porn wants you to believe. This addiction shouldn’t be taken lightly. Porn’s effects are often subtle. But subtle degradation can be very destructive. Like the man who develops lung cancer by smoking a cigarette every day for decades, pornography’s effects aren’t often visible. But they are present. And unless you tear down some lies, porn can become cancerous. Not like a cancer that physically ravages your body, but a cancer that internally ravages your heart and mind.

Here are 8 lies we believe about porn.

1.) IF I VIEW PORN “EVERY NOW AND THEN,” I AM NOT ADDICTED.

At work here is the destructive force of comparison. The first time I went to counseling for my addiction, the counselor asked me how often I viewed porn. I was shocked to hear some people viewed porn daily or multiple times daily. I wasn’t anywhere close to that. And having the counselor place my level of use on a scale led me to believe my addiction wasn’t too bad.

But frequency of use doesn’t define addiction. So, if you view porn for any reason, you have a problem that needs to be addressed. Your frequency of use might determine your method of treatment, but there is no such thing as a lesser or greater addiction to porn. Addiction is addiction. And all addiction prevents you from becoming the man or woman God created you to be. It prevents you from engaging fully in relationships. And over time, an addiction to porn builds a wall around your heart.

Addiction prevents us from becoming the men and women God created us to be.

2.) A PORN ADDICTION WON’T AFFECT HOW I SEE OTHER PEOPLE.

The lie in play here is compartmentalization. In other words, you think viewing porn is one area of your life, work is another, relationships are yet another, and so on. But this isn’t how the brain works (more on this later). When you view porn, people become objects to lust after instead of image-bearers to be loved.

For much of my life, I believed lust was natural. Porn had infiltrated my thought pattern to the point where it was impossible for me to see women as anything other than objects. Now that I am on the other side, I realize porn coerced me to believe a lie.

Lust is not normal or healthy, and it is not God’s design for your life.

3.) I CAN FIGHT PORN ADDICTION ON MY OWN.

This was the lie I believed for years. I thought I could will my way out of my porn addiction. In the same way I got into this mess I could get out of it. But trying to fight a porn addiction alone is like trying to get out of quicksand alone. More effort usually makes things worse.

As you try harder to defeat your addiction, you inevitably experience a let-down. The more you experience let-downs, the more you blame yourself. This creates shame. Shame pulls you away from God. And the cycle continues until you are completely broken and hopeless. This was my experience, at least. I wasn’t able to overcome until I agreed to see a counselor and allow other people to walk with me.

God created you to live in community. Even if the initial stages of telling others is hard, having a community walk with you might be the step you need to take to overcome your addiction.

4.) IF I TELL SOMEONE ABOUT MY ADDICTION, MY LIFE WILL BE RUINED.

For years, this lie played a huge role in my silence. I was so concerned my admission would mark the end of my life, I chose silence instead. In my mind, remaining silent about my addiction was a better trade than telling others and ruining my life.

Porn conversations are taboo in our culture. Even in Christian culture, the church isn’t a safe place to admit a porn addiction. This must change.

Understand this…life as you know it might not ever be the same if you choose to let others know. I believe strongly, however, that remaining in an addiction is not a better trade. The effect of porn on your life is too cancerous to remain silent.

Secrecy and isolation give power to addictions and hidden sins.

When my wife discovered my addiction, I thought my life was over. But it turned out to be the moment that started my road to recovery. Secrecy and isolation give power to addictions and hidden sins. But once light shines on your addiction, the power Satan has over you is decreased significantly. Darkness can’t remain where light is present.

5.) PORN AND SEX ARE THE SAME.

Porn is fantasy. It’s a facade. And it destroys the gift of sex God has given two people who enter into the covenant bond of marriage. God created sex to be an expression of love. Porn is solely an expression of lust. God created sex to be physical, spiritual, and emotional. Porn is strictly physical.

Porn removes the divine and mysterious from sex. This explains why so many people are unsatisfied, jumping from partner to partner. As long as sex is primarily physical, the fullness of it will never be experienced.

6.) PORN WON’T AFFECT MY BRAIN OR QUALITY OF LIVING.

There is a fascinating, yet sobering, TED talk by Gary Wilson called “The Great Porn Experiment.” In this video, Wilson details the devastating effects porn has on the brain. Research shows ADHD, OCD, social anxiety, and depression are all by-products of viewing porn. Porn also numbs your ability to feel true intimacy. And the longer your brain is exposed to porn, the more hyperactive it becomes at the sight of porn.

In other words, the more you view porn, the more your brain desires it. It is a vicious cycle that ultimately erodes your willpower and self-control.

7.) I WILL NEVER OVERCOME MY PORN ADDICTION.

The next two points are vital. Here’s the reality about porn addiction. You CAN overcome. No addiction is too much for God. No stronghold is beyond his ability to destroy. You must, however, start by taking responsibility for your situation. Alcoholics Anonymous has nailed this. Tens of thousands of former alcoholics are now free from the grip of addiction because they decided to take responsibility for their actions.

Once you take responsibility, you must believe you can overcome. God has given you the power to control your thoughts (Prov. 23:7). As Dr. Caroline Leaf says in her book Switch On Your Brain, good thinking leads to good choices which lead to healthy thoughts. Whether you have been addicted to porn for 10 months or 10 years, you can overcome. Trust God. Shine light on your addiction. Get the help you need. Don’t look for an easy way out because there isn’t one. Never lose hope.

8.) MY PORN ADDICTION DEFINES ME.

Your addiction to porn doesn’t define you. Your relationship with God defines you. One of Satan’s greatest deceptions is to make you think your addiction affects God’s love for you. Long before you existed, God knew you were going to struggle with this addiction. And he sent Jesus to the cross anyway. Your actions don’t determine your identity. As you make the decision to fight your addiction, stand firm in God’s unfailing love. A love that sees my wickedness and your wickedness and still longs for a relationship with both of us.

The only way to experience freedom is to run to the cross.

The only way to experience freedom is to run to the cross. Allow the grace of God to be your strength. Let the Spirit of God be your guide. Trust the work of Christ to be your identity.

_______________

Porn addiction is destructive. And much of the power comes in silence and isolation. This is why I choose to share my struggle with the world. I want every person to know this addiction can be defeated. And if you struggle with a porn addiction, I hope you will stop believing the lies and begin stepping into the truth.

Darkness has no power over light. God has plans your life that are far better than an addiction to porn. And God’s love for you is more powerful than your sin. For years, I bought these lies. But, by the grace of God, these lies were exposed and destroyed. My life isn’t free from sin (far from it), but it is free from addiction. Your life can be free as well.

About Frank Powell

Devoted follower of Christ, college/young adult minister, husband to , dad to Noah and Micah, avid blogger/writer, sports fan. You can follow him on twitter here and read more blogs here!

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