About Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas

Rick Thomas is the Founder and President of The Counseling Solutions Group, Inc. in upstate South Carolina. Rick has a BA in Theology, a BS in Education, and an MA in Counseling from The Master's Seminary. In 2006 he became a Fellow with the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, for whom he now supervises potential counselor candidates. Along with his counselor training he is a Professional Counselor and Personal Coach. Rick primarily blogs at RickThomas.net.

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103 thoughts on “5 Sure-Fire Ways to Motivate Your Child to Use Pornography

  1. This is excellent. Wish I would have done more of this when my son (step) was younger. This article is a real encouragement as I minister to other men at church bible studies and discussion groups.

    • Men use porn for multiple reasons, and it isn’t because they’re evil, addicted, twisted perverts. For starters, men lack the incentives today to fulfill their traditional role of breadwinner and head of household. Media mocks us, the courts are stacked against us, we enter marriages assuming most ( if not all) financial risk, should it go south. We’re told if we try to act like traditional men, we’re Neanderthals, yet if we act any other way, we need to ‘man up’. You see evidence of men bowing out of ,marriage, education, the workforce, pretty much everywhere. We’re getting less for working harder, diminishing returns on our investment in time, effort and money.

      Porn is often an escape for some men, much as romance novels and romance movies are for many women. It’s a poor substitute for an actual relationship, but when that is absent, where does one turn? Some will say God. Sorry, but God doesn’t fill that void. You also need to look at the inequities in the dating world. Men are still expected to fulfill the roles of the pursuer, we’re still expected to do the lion’s share of the wooing and courting, yet women are our equals. It’s inherently harder for men to date, and it’s not getting any easier. You have millions of men who aren’t dating, who have no outlet for their desires, be them physical or otherwise, and porn is the only thing left to them.

      Of course, this doesn’t address porn being watched by those in relationships, though I have married friends who watch it together, and assert that it has improved their relationship.

      For those who have someone who watches porn, such as a curious adolescent boy, don’t shame them. Don’t threaten them with the wrath of God, or treat them like a deviant. This will only send them in the exact opposite direction. Have some understanding.

    • After saying that 30% of women look at porn, it would have been nice to see a female pronoun regarding the porn addict, rather than the sole use of the male pronoun. Women can get addicted to porn too and it’s just as damaging. Also, there’s no discussion here of how many men end up seeking porn when their moves for intimacy with their wives are rejected. This usually starts with a lack of healthy communication and when a woman is self-centered about her sexual desires: i.e., she doesn’t feel like it, she’s not in the mood, she only wants to have sex once or month or never. Men feel intimacy with their wives when they have the chance to express that sexually. And usually, men who are satisfied and who believe porn isn’t good, would rather get their needs met at home. When they don’t, they tend to look for false intimacy in porn. They may not seek it actively, but once it’s there, they use it.

      It’s also not helpful to talk about men this way: “the putrid mind of the male.” Real helpful. Men are the way God created them: sexual. If you hate men, how do you feel about God, their creator?

    • This was an amazing article. It’s a great way to encourage better family relationships. I’d like to correct one thing though, addiction to porn is no way to weigh someone’s relationship to God. Porn is like any other addiction, and sin for that matter. There are plenty of God fearing people who are addicted to porn. It doesn’t make them any less Christian than you or I. That’s is what they need the saviours atonement for, and like them… You and i have our reasons/problems for needing the atonement. Like I said, great article. Loved reading it. Will use some thoughts from it, I just fully disagree with what you said there.

    • This is a very good article and was glad to see it.
      I would also like to see another post to help sufferers who have been accepting and putting up with this infidelity behavoir, that the fact is that porn IS cheating. It IS Infedelity. And to the Christian it is a sin, and an absolute, justifiable reason for divorce.
      I do not understand why on earth women ( or anyone) accept this, (unless they are stuck in a situation they cant leave at the moment.)
      I have read ridiculous excuses in the comments below, and these people are seroiusly so much if the problem that i can say with loathing confidence that Infedelity and adultery will never go away.
      when people take a stand, and create real and lasting concequences to pornography, maybe people might then have to start thinking about growing a conscience, since they have discarded the one God gave them with their own selfish desires.
      No one that practices selfish sex is regarding God, who created it, and definitly has no understanding of marriage,( God also created this) and honestly should do their ( i will refer to as) ” insigificant” partner a favor, & don’t filth Gods marriage arrangement with ignorance & blatant disrespect by getting married in the first place!
      These people have no healthy concept of love, sex or marriage and therefore are not suitable partners at all.

    • IF you are going to be against porn that is fine,, but maybe get your facts straight first. I will only give a few examples. First of all this was presented in a way that only men watch porn. Which is not true. Women watch porn too. Also whoever wrote this has obviously not watched porn. As a porn watcher myself I can tell you that anyone is “porn worthy” there isnt a specific type. In porn there are all ages and races and shapes and sizes. There is something for everyone. I blame women complexes more on Media and not porn. But women should be confident and not care what media says. And if a man isnt going to give his wife attrition… In this article you are taking responsibility away from the man. There will always be prettier women. Just walking down the street there might be a women that is prettier than his wife. Its the mans responsibility to not be a douche bag.

    • Hi Rachael,

      I’m confused. Doesn’t Rick say, “86% of the men and 32% of the women used porn. The percentage among women is growing”? It seems that he’s not assuming that women don’t use porn, but stating outright that they do.

      I’m not sure Rick is saying that “porn worthy” means a specific type of person and only that type, but that a man or woman should make his or her spouse the standard of beauty.

      I’m also not sure how Rick is taking responsibility away from “the man.” Can you point out where he does that?

    • I think this is a sensational attempt to get people to read an article that is really about the importance of building a healthy marriage for the sake of your children. This is important. But will it keep your child from pornography? A healthy family will hopefully model and propagate open discussions about temptations we all face: porn, alcohol, drugs, eating disorders, cutting or a myriad of other addictions. A healthy family enriches its children with the tools and love to battle the many sins which wage war on our lives. It teaches children to lean into Jesus when the going gets tough and that we have an opponent, the devil who prowls around like a lion.

      Raising children in a healthy family, however, is not a guarantee or an insurance policy. We are a fear based, blame-filled society and I believe this article fans the flame. What if you strive to do everything right as a parent or a spouse and yet it isn’t enough? How does this article impact the parent struggling with children already ensnared by sin? The burden of thinking that if only they had tried harder or done better their children’s lives would have been different is both crushing and unkind. Protecting our children from any sin just isn’t this easy or contrived, nor can it be broken down into “5 Sure-Fire Ways”. Per the writer “All a parent needs to do is implement the needed changes listed under each of the five points mentioned.” Really? My heart goes out to anyone who has been injured by the glib, careless content of this piece.

    • Hi Courtney,

      A few thoughts for you…

      1. Keep in mind the direction of the article. The article states things in the positive: “By training these attitudes and ideas into your kids, you set them up to be more drawn to porn.” The article is not stating the opposite: “If you do everything right as a parent, your child won’t look at porn.” I think you’re putting words into Rick’s mouth here.

      2. Some might say we are in a fear-based society. Others might say we aren’t afraid enough. I say we probably aren’t afraid of the right things as a society. Either way, to be fearful that you might be filling your child’s mind with lies that might set them up for years of heartache is not a bad fear to have. This article goes a long way to show that protection from porn is not merely a function of external blockades, but is a function of creating a loving home where children are nurtured and disciplined in a biblical manner. It shows the wisdom behind God’s methods. If a parent is provoked to fear because of reading this and it moves them to change how they parent, I say “Amen.”

      3. This article doesn’t help a parent with a child already struggling in sin, and if you want every article you read online to solve every potential problem that might ever be encountered, you will be sorely disappointed with every website. This website is filled with article for parents who are in that position. We have free e-books, guides, and articles for parents who are facing that. When I asked Rick to write this piece, he kept the topic deliberately focused. That’s not short-sited. That’s just good writing.

    • First off half of you making excuses to why porn is ok. You’ve been indoctrinated and want to feel it is ok.

      Two: Ladies are you seriously going to raise your hands when asked ” How many of you enjoy the thought of your man thinking of another woman while having sex with you”…….raise your hands now on how great that is to know.

      How many of you women will ok with knowing your husband isn’t able to have a rise in his levis unless he’s looking at some porn book or video. Shouldn’t you feel hurt your not good enough to give him that rise all by yourself.

      How many realize how much of an addiction this is, and it can lead to other notions of little kids, how many of you realize half the time men look at porn ARE THEY LOOKING at women their age , They aren’t…..

      they are basically women in their early twenties, some check out little kids, I mean come on man this crap is sickening and it’s even more sickening when it leads to being turned on by basically a kid twenties or not.

  2. Wow, these 5 issues that put a child at risk of porn compulsion is insightful.

    I would also add that access is also a key issue. I suggest that the family computer be put in a location that can be seen by everyone. Having laptops and tablets with internet access at night is probably dangerous. At least cut the wifi at night.

    Hopefully more parents are able to be more watchful of their children. Especially as a large percentage of addictions and compulsions are formed in the adolescent/teen years.

    • I think that this is a good idea overall, but I promise you it will not stop a porn addict from getting their fix. When I was younger, my mom fought tooth and nail to extinguish my porn addiction. I can tell you right now that I found my ways around every roadblock I faced. Everything she tried to do to help me stop failed. I still struggle with the addiction today, and ALL of the above factors were present in contributing, but I have a plethora of other problems that I won’t go into detail on on here.

      I do think that what you mentioned could aid in the discovery of pornography, or rather preventing it, but I promise you once you’re hooked, you’re hooked … even if it means drawing the porn or making it up about people you know — even family.

    • The key thing is do not let your kids have their phones or technology items in their bedroom after lights out. Have a staging area for night time.

    • I totally agree…in addition to agreeing with what was said about parenting & children, just having curiosity piqued by an innocent search which brings back lusty busty images was enough to spark my 6 year olds curiosity which turned into a full on forest fire! I have since put a timed family security on the computer which limits the amount of time spent on the computer daily & the times he can use it. It’s just natural interest & curiosity…but soo much sooner than I expected to have “that” conversation!

  3. Great article! Just wanted to add one thought….all of these ideas are wonderful. My husband and I have tried to do all of them and, though we have failed at times, we have trusted The Lord to protect our kids through our failures. And yet, we have recently discovered that one of our sons has been viewing porn regularly. No “recipe” is foolproof in our human attempts. We are devastated and now trying to help our son overcome this addiction. Your last paragraph left the impression that following your 5 step plan would somehow guarantee a porn-free home. I just want to point out that satan is prowling around in every Christian home looking for an opportunity to devour our young kids. At some point your child may make the same discovery that our son did and then what? We are struggling as I’m sure many others are. Could we have done more to protect him? How do we protect our other two sons? How do we deal with extended family and friends about this issue? It’s a hard road.

    • Hey Mom,
      I’m encouraged by your desire to love your family and how you guys have modeled the things I’ve mentioned. You also raise a great point–even our best parenting is not a guarantee things will go well with our children.

      It reminds of of Paul Miller’s quote in The Praying Life, “The best parenting advice you’ll ever receive is to pray for your children.”

      That has really helped me in realizing no matter how hard I try, it is the grace of God which will prevail. Yes, we have a responsibility to parent well, but if our children love God, it will be by His grace alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).

      As for help and advice? I’m sure there are plenty of resources on this CE site. You’re welcome to come by our place too. It’s here: http://www.RickThomas.Net.

      I offer a Membership Site where I answer questions, coach, consult, as well as provide webinars, training, and over 1000 articles like this one, which targets over 250 topics, most of which are about marriage and family.

      Thank you for commenting. Thank you for caring about your children. Thank you for loving God.
      Be encouraged and don’t stop what you’re doing.
      rick

    • Great ideas but not fool proof or a fix all. I read a book once called He Restoreth My Soul. It was one of the best books which talked about both the spiritual and the physiological aspects of porn addiction. It really helped in our marriage. Porn CAN be overcome with Christ and with day to day choices that with time free the addicted brain. My husband helps a lot of friends and family now to the road to recovery.

    • Thank you for mentioning this. We have done everything good on this list yet our son still got hooked. He was introduced to it by a little girl on the playground at age 11. You can have a perfect home and it can still get in. The best thing to do is still love them, try to help them overcome the addiction if it starts, and let them know that God loves them too by encouraging them to pray about it.

    • Hi Wendy,

      So sorry to hear about what happened to your son. You are right. The article is about trends that will set your child up for being drawn to porn, not about getting everything right to secure a perfect child.

      How have you been able to deal with this problem?

  4. While I certainly agree with many of the points made in this article, it’s yet another nail in the coffin of the male-blaming community when it comes to marital problems, pornographic material and – in general – the degradation of the community, of society and of the marital bond.

    While I certainly and clearly understand that male pornographic use is the largest use, the focus – and especially the blame – should never be levied onto one party when you are talking about a team. In marriage you are a unit; you act as individuals but you function as one God-loving unit. To place the blame so heavily on men I think is a harmful practice that, on it’s own, sets men up with the mentality “If I’m being blamed for it before I do it, why not be guilty?”

    Love one another through God, and through one another love God; breath into the world through that love the ineffable beauty of marriage, love and family.

    • Very good point Andrea. The article says 1/3rd of women look at porn, but the whole rest of it talks as if only boys are susceptible.

      It also focuses most of the time on only the father doing things to prevent it. He needs to pursue, love, respect, honor, and cherish, his wife so the kids will see healthy romance – but the kids aren’t seeing healthy romance unless both their parents pursue, love, respect, honor, and cherish one another.

    • I agree with Andrea, I found many interesting points in the article, however I would have appreciated legitimate science to be included. One statistic that was not cited to my understanding does not lend itself to my agreement. That being said as a man who definitely subscribes to the classical belief of responsibilities within a home and a man who has existed within a home that met many of these criteria, I found the reasoning hypothetical and based on a summation of experiences rather than study and unbiased experiences. As a Christian this changes our perspective but does not lend itself to neglecting reason. We must appropriately strengthen our argument to meet the standards of research. Making points and submitting verifiable evidenciary support is a much more effective way to reach those among us that do not believe as we do. We use our principles, faith, and values while describing it in suck a way to protect our arguments. I do not disagree with any single point in particular but making references to valid psychological conditioning that has already been proven would create a more compelling argument.

    • While I agree that one party in a marriage is not solely responsible and am not about male bashing or male blaming. Scripture after scripture holds men responsible as the head. Men bear much of the weight and responsibility to their household and ultimately Chirst, as do we all. Our desire will be for our husband and he will rule over us. The reason their is a finger pointed at the men in this way, is because they are the head and by God’s very design. They bear the weight of that leadership role.

      More often then not, statistically, there is a higher percentage of men struggling in this area than women.

      I think this article is spot on and raising two boys I am quite thankful I came across it.

    • Andrea, I respectfully disagree. I am a woman who is a man respecter and lover and will openly leave friendships where there is manbashing. I honor men and thier roles and part of the sickness of porn addiction is that I have been blamed and blamed for what I DID NOT bring into my marriage. I have been very cognizent of my role in our marriage and communication and what my obligations and responses “should” be. I am and have been willing to grow and learn. Fact is, I did not choose this and the article is dead on in my case. I love that you talk about the marriage being a team! It takes both partners and when one is covering himself and discontinues being God-loving then there is serious hardship and please, please don’t discount the heartache and helplessness that we women are experiencing. It is certainly unfair and a part of what will keep us in super unhealthy relationships with no hope for something better. Shaming women for what they have not done is unacceptable.

  5. Hello Andrea,
    This is Rick Thomas, the writer of the article. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I do apologize for it offending you. It certainly was not may intent to blame anyone, but to point out a significant problem in our community, churches, and our homes.

    As a counselor, I deal with these things all the time and have seen much personal evidence to support the intent of the article. However, it was not my intent to offend, merely help. Again, I’m sorry.
    Rick Thomas

    • I think that we need to keep this in perspective, the man is the head of the home, thus carries a different role and responsibility. Just as Christ is the head of the church, Christ carries the load and responsibility of the church. Does that make us a women or the church not responsible? No, I am not saying that, but roles are clearly defined.
      These roles were not created equal.

  6. I want to support Andrea Sanderson’s comments. Yes, that are many problems in marriages today and half fall on men. but my observation being a women who has lived 66 years, that women/wives/mothers are very different today than 40 years ago. Today a “stay at home” Mom means one that does not have a job outside the home, very few “stay at home”. And not that it is wrong to shop, have play dates, go to the library ,zoo etc, but then they seem not to feel responsible to cook, clean, have a “home ready for their husbands coming home”. How passe. To honor their husbands. Even many of the Christian comedians make fun of husbands/men! The wife/mother is glorified and poor stupid bumbling dad, needs to get home after leaving in the morning often before his wife even gets up. He has no nap with the kids and then there is dishes to do, put away the laundry, (his wife has had the hard job of putting them in the washer & dryer) homework to help with or even prepare dinner because his wife is exhausted with her play date, and computer time while her kids played (in their rooms). I think many pastors/Christian counselors are older and don’t realize how it is for young couples today. VERY different in roles. Often both parents worked and helped equally with the house work, then the wife starts to be a “stay at home” mom, and she still wants her husband to do half or more of the house work etc. NO honor or even respect to husbands.
    And I agree control of access is also vital, whether in their home or that of friends.

    • I have a question to Andrea and Women in Defense of Men: Is there something specific in this article that makes you believe that Rick is blaming husbands/fathers in particular? I’m genuinely curious. As a father much like the one you just described, I wasn’t offended at all by the article.

    • While I understand your desire to equal the playing field of marriage and not blame all marital problems solely on the man, I don’t think that was the intention of this article. Addiction to pornography is a VERY real problem that affects more people than we can even imagine. This article only serves to help us see some areas that we, as a family, can improve to hopefully help our children avoid this area of sin. And as far as marriage roles, you are right, they have changed from where they were 40 or 50 years ago. But we need to realize that the first and foremost example of a loving, nurturing, God fearing father will come from our children’s father. And likewise, the example of what a Godly wife looks like will come from us women. While society as a whole has changed, I think it is important to remain responsible for what goes on in our own homes and that includes modeling what a strong, Christian mother, father, marriage, parent looks like.

    • As a “stay at home” mom, raising and homeschooling 4 boys ages 3-14 I find this comment very sad. Not all stay at home moms are what you are making them to be, do not put the same blanket comment on everyone!!!

    • This is great insight. In many of the men”s bible studies I and others have been involved in complain about the same thing over and over. Their wives wont have sexual intimacy with them. When their wives do it comes after the man begs for it and it is very infrequent. The second point is that many wives will not let the man lead the household, they want to dominate their house. Is it any wonder when Gods order of things are not obeyed by the women that their husbands and sons are tempted by pornography. I listen to New Life Live on Christian radio and women will call in an are appalled when they discover their husband has been viewing pornography. They radio host then asks the wife how their sex life is, then she discloses that she hasn’t let her husband near her in along time. Is it any wonder why these things happen. Men want to be respected above all else and when a wife denies her husbands intimacy advances she crushes his ego and self esteem. There is so many books and teachings on this fact yet most wives will not admit to their sexual sin in marriage which is denying their husband of sexual intimacy. I don’t feel sorry for these selfish women when they get the consequence of their sin. Since the women believes she is not committing an overt sin because their is no action the her sin, but her no action is as egregious of a sin as her husbands pornography use.
      1 Corinthians 7:1-40

      English Standard Version (ESV)
      Principles for Marriage

      7 Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

    • I want to reply to Kevin. You’re blaming the WIVES? It is NOT the woman’s fault that a MAN becomes addicted to porn. It is his own choice to look at that filth, until he becomes addicted. MOST men who become addicted to pornography become addicted before they even meet their wives. I’ve heard that the average age for exposure is 8 YEARS OLD.

      Have you ever thought that MAYBE the woman stops receiving her husband because her husband has a porn addiction? Pornography is ADULTERY. How do you think it makes the woman feel, catching her husband in the act? He is CHEATING on her. “He who looks at a woman to lust after her commiteth adultery in his heart”. Honestly, knowing your husband is getting his kicks from FAKE WOMEN doesn’t make you feel very attractive or wanted or loved. IT HURTS. It makes you NOT want to be intimate at all. So PLEASE don’t blame the women for their men turning to sin to satisfy their carnal appetites. IT IS NOT THE WOMAN’S FAULT. EVERYONE needs to accept the responsibility and consequences for their own choices and actions.

    • Jen – You are absolutely right that no matter how odious a woman is in a marriage, nothing justifies a sinful response (such as looking at porn). A man need to own up to his own sin, not blame his wife.

      Woman in Defense of Men – I know the dynamic you are talking about and think your observations about modern home life are accurate for many couples. But I’m not exactly seeing the connection to the article. If things were more like they were 40 years ago, how would the dynamic described in the article be different? Can you clarify?

    • What kind of SAHMs are you referring to? Because its not the majority of us, who wake before our husbands and kids to get laundry going, breakfast made, and if we’re lucky, maybe some exercise. We then have to clean up poop, vomit, pee, and all other manner of disgusting messes, in addition to the housework, which YES, most of us do handle. All of that pales in comparison to the countless hours mothers spend *teaching* their children. That is our first and foremost job, and the emotional effort we put into giving our children the best life possible is quite a toll. So don’t bemoan the life of a man. Men and women work equally hard, and if either of them feel that they are working harder than their spouse, then that’s something they need to work out in THEIR marriage.

    • I don’t think that we live in a leave it to beaver kind of world any more. That is true and I’m not sure who’ s stay at home experience your describing, but something I’ve learned in my 35 years is you can’t live that persons marriage for them. My marriage is what I think is “conventional” I think the real issue is not who does what but that in love we consider each other more than ourselves being prepared to give up what we could be allowed to do in in public or private . out of consideration for the other. in the same way that jesus did not hold on to the right of Godhood but made himself as a vulnerable babe to be with us. That might mean that I wash fold and put away my husband’s laundry, or might mean he bath the kids at night if I work or not. And it might mean that we both strive to stay devoted to each other emotionally, mentally, and physicaly. And if we struggle with that we have the grace to know that no temptation has seized the other except that which is common to all men/ women and that yet not till the comming of our Lord will grace and forgivness not be need to be dished out with a soup ladle moment by moment.

    • Oh wow, let’s not characterize all stay at home moms this way please. I work from home with a full time job AND do the job of a stay at home mom too. I do more before noon than my husband does all day and he even says this. I think what you have pictured here is very rare and not prevalent in most of the stay at home moms I know!

  7. Admirable article.. this is eye-opening and earnestly provocative, more like this would be a welcome relief from some of the trashy pieces I see online these days.

    Freedom from sin* and guilt is better than “freedom” to commit foolishness without shame or sorrow and words of wisdom offered in kind are worth more than all the earths worldly treasures combined.

    *(sin being errors of human undoing)

    • I agree with Jen 100% in the fact that Kevin you have NO right to blame this on the wives. Like she mentioned, most addicts (if not all of them) became addicted when they were children. That means it was before they ever had a girlfriend, before they had a wife, and for most of them even before they had a clue what sex was. I believe wholeheartedly that in a marriage both parties need to do their best to be there for their spouse, support them, and love them. But regardless of what happens within the marriage, the man has no right to use pornography. It is the same as cheating. I know many ladies that are also wives of addicts, and they will tell you the exact same thing. I am in contact with hundreds of these ladies. My husband is an addict, and because of the therapy groups he goes to, he is in contact with lots of other addicts as well; and he will tell you the same thing. The wife has no control over the addiction, or her addicted husband. She didn’t cause it, and she cannot control it. And no amount of sex will keep the addict from continuing in the addiction. So the wife choosing to have sex with her husband more to keep him from acting out in his addiction, will always fail; she cannot control it. And like Jen said, a lot of the time the reason for why the wife is not having sex with her husband is because of the FACT that he is using pornography. The fact that he is choosing to live in his fantasy world with pornography, over choosing his wife. When it comes down to it, we’re each accountable for our own actions; that concept remains the same regardless of whether or not the wife will have sex with the husband. I love my husband to death, but being married to a porn/sex addict has been complete hell in a lot of ways. This addiction can completely destroy the wives because of the betrayal trauma that it causes (which research proves is similar to PTSD) Luckily my husband is getting help, and is working in recovery, but I wouldn’t wish dealing with this addiction on anyone. I’ve watched to many people’s careers, lives, families, marriages, etc. fall apart because of this addiction. It is so sad.

  8. I too got the impression that most of Rick’s exhortations were addressed to men, particularly the first point about non-romantic marriages. The irony in my (former) marriage was that it was my wife who refused to be romantic in front of the kids, who was non-communicative (except to be critical), and who was critical of the kids. (I don’t think either one of us promoted instant gratification or a lack of consequences.) Perhaps it would be helpful to state explicitly that either spouse can be a source of these 5 problems.

    On a different tack, as one who has struggled with pornography, the only one of the five factors that applied in my home growing up was the critical atmosphere, which was true in spades of my father. I do think that contributed to my susceptibility, in the sense that porn was a route to some (imagined) affirmation.

  9. I thought the article was insightful and well articulated. I didn’t feel as if Rick was bashing husbands. I believe he was informing the marriage couple (as a Godly unit, one flesh) how to traverse the years ahead with the prevelance of pornography in our generation. I immensely enjoyed the article and thought it had some amazing suggestions as to how couples should be relating to one another. I also think he was guiding husbands as to how they might relate to their wives. God created all of us as unique individuals with different backgrounds, problems, spiritual levels, and personalities. Remember, only God knows the entire story. Whether someone is a stay-at-home mom, or works two jobs and comes back to serve her family, or a husband stays at home with the kids it is not our place to judge. Kudos to Rick for this wonderful article. God Bless.

  10. Andrea and Women in Defense of Men(“WIDOM”),
    I am in agreement with all of what you say, but I don’t understand at all how this article feeds that problem?
    Please don’t misunderstand, my wife does in many ways embody “WIDOM”‘s stereotype of stay at home mom, and I leave before she wakes every day. Our current “conservative” culture feeds it!
    (My church even feeds it to a minor degree)

  11. Rick,

    I would like to thank you for your article. As a mother of three young boys, ages 8, 7 and 6, this was a great eye opener for me. There are some things that we seem to be doing great on, but there were a couple that kind of slapped me upside the head too. My husband and I are missionaries in Ukraine and we try to model our love for God and teach our children not only to do as we say, but to do as we do. But there are some areas that we fall short in and this article was a great reminder of that! Thank you!!!

  12. Thank you, Rick, for this amazing article, so well expressed.

    I have been sober in SA since Oct, 2009, and have moderated an anonymous 12-Step SA program for men since the summer of 2010. As a sponsor I have counseled scores of men suffering from the Sex and Lust Addiction, which obviously includes compulsive porn use.

    The 12-Step approach involves getting down to “causes and conditions”, uncovering the “why” and “what” it is that makes so many men AND women choose to medicate themselves with porn or other self-destructive behaviors when confronted with the “stuff of life.” I have found patterns that concur with your article – not only are one or more of these 5 points missing, but estrangement from parents in ANY way produces a child, and eventually an adult, who has not seen by example the coping skills needed to deal with life’s curve balls with a positive, healthy attitude. Mostly, I have seen that obsessive resentment of parents and significant others because of real or imagined injustices, fills these men with such guilt and shame that leads to self-pity, self-hatred, and such internal pain where the only way to get through life is to turn their porn attraction into porn and sex addiction.

    However, there is hope, and through a 12-Step program hundreds and thousands of people with all the different addictions have been able to find freedom and recovery from their disease. I highly recommend suggesting to anyone ready to stop obsessive porn use, etc, to join SA and participate in a real active 12-Step Program, where one can learn the skills their parents didn’t teach or show them and find freedom.

    One last comment, if I may: Yes, we parents can try every recipe listed here, and others, to give our children the best emotional security, and empower them to make healthier choices when their peers tempt them with new and exciting ideas. However, don’t forget the “third partner” in the parenting of a child – G-d Himself. Recognizing and surrendering our will to G-d’s Will means that we accept His outcomes. If in His infinite wisdom He has determined that a child must grow into an adult with a specific set of challenges, then He has a plan for that person. They have a job to do in this world, and it might mean living in the depths of addiction in order to come out of it when He is ready, to have the sufferer recover and then turn to join the army of G-d’s soldiers helping others to recover.

    So no matter how far the young or adult child goes down the slope of pornography, give them your UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Build and nurture their healthy self-esteem, not their guilt. An addiction is NOT a “grab by the Satan” – it is beyond that, it is a disease, like cancer, that is NOT the child’s fault, and not the parent’s fault for having poor parenting skills either. With love, patience, and understanding, give your children the tools and time they need to grow out of this.

    And, above all, KEEP PRAYING for them, no matter what. As the 12-Step Program tenant says, that once we let go and trust Him with our lives, “G-d will do for us what we can not do for ourselves.”

    • Best response. Amen. Addictive personalities have much more to do with searching for self-medication to calm the self loathing , than just a desire to be naughty. Oftentimes , addicts are those with the biggest hearts who just hurt so much that they need to feel something else in a strong way to counteract the internal pain. If we learn to have a little compassion, healing and change can take place.

  13. This article is amazing, Rick. As a husband, father, and man recovering from 25 years plus of addiction to pornography, I feel that you have nailed the main contributors to porn addiction. I can relate to every aspect laid out and agree with your insight, because I have been through it. In no way do I feel offended by your words as a man. I am at a place in my journey of recovery that I can say with full confidence that the only reason I would not agree or understand your comments would be if I were still in denial and had more personal changes that I still needed to make. I do not say those words lightly or out of hate for others that don’t agree. I speak from the experience of having God fill my life with grace after years of struggling on my own, and I encourage any one still struggling (like myself) to keep fighting and keep praying.

    As far as this leaning towards men, why would you not speak to the ones who struggle with the problem the most. If you were a fitness expert, would you not gear your advice to people struggling with being over weight. If statistically the vast majority of people struggling with how to handle this addiction (because that’s what it is), then why would you not gear the advice to men. There was not one moment of blame towards men in this article, only sound advice for what can be done by men to turn this very real situation around.

    Now, this does not excuse women from the problem. They have their own role. It is a very important one. To hear that the number of women addicted to porn is growing is the most concerning part of this article. Men are the head of the family unite. Women are the heart. I know plenty of brain dead people that still make it in life, but when the heart stops pumping, the family dies. Men and women both share a part in fixing the culture and turning the current around in society. It is not an equal task. We have our own roles to play. I think the men’s role is very well stated above, but maybe not enough of the women’s. When women contribute to porn in any way, they hurt themselves, their own marriage and children, and the women that will come in future generations. So much could be said from this point, but that would be an article of it’s own. What it boils down to though for women, is not only that they experience a good role model come from their mother, but that their father plays the role in their life that God intended him to do. If young girls were loved the way the Bible teaches fathers to love their wives and children, there would be a lot less women willing to subject themselves to what other men get to enjoy through porn. Which brings us full circle back to men standing up and following what this article lays out.

    Thank you, Rick.

    • Thank you paul for your comment. I love my husband of 3 years and we have a wonderful godly relationship but he struggles. I have seen much progress in fleeing this particular sin and turning to God and his word. Ive encouraged and pray for him much. I recognize that he (as well as myself) is a sinful human being and will never be completely free from sin. I expect to be disapointed occasionally but know that he is stronger than he thinks sometimes. I will continue to pray and strive to be the best godly wife I can be. I know I cant take responsibility for his actions. I also know that he is the head of the home and i will respect him as such. That goes a long to to having a happy husband I think. Im glad he takes this role very seriously. Thanks again for your willingness to share and the truth that I stand for as well.

  14. I would propose the reason this came off as husband bashing is because the husband is told to pursue his wife romantically and say uplifting things to his wife WITHOUT giving the corresponding instructions to the wife. The article would have been more balanced if it had included that when the husbands pursue their wives romantically, the wives are to respond. I am sad to say that my wife does not like public displays of affection in the home or out. She does a little, but ends it quickly. The clear message is that she doesn’t like it.
    The husband is told to give his best words to his wife. This is true, but it must be reciprocated for it to work. Communication across the board his been generally painful in our 28 year marriage.

    It takes two. Yes, the husband is called to lead by initiating, but wives are also called to respond.

    • I know what you’re talking about. My wife is the same way. It’s a real struggle. But read the scriptures, or any personal development book, or any book on leadership, and it all boils down to one thing. As much as we want it to be, Marriage (or any relationship) is not 50-50. It’s 100-0. This has been a very hard lesson to learn for me personally, but we have to give 100% and expect nothing in return. Our reward will come later. But if both sides act this way, the couple will have the marriage they’ve always wanted.

      I’ll be praying for you and me both. :)

  15. Three and a half years ago, my husband and I met at a critical crossroads in our lives. We were both backslidden and living lives contrary to God’ Word. We mutually decided to leave everything, get married, and get our lives straightened out with the Lord together. I’ve kept my side the “bargain” so to speak. We now have 2 insanely beautiful little girls (not just mother’s pride – they are WAY too beautiful…) and I get no support in discipline, criticized and rejected physically and emotionally, etc. I more than realize than I am contributing to our problems by being stubborn and stuck in my ways. But of all 5 things listed here, there is not ONE thing that is being done right in our home. I’m trying! But I’m soooo completely lost in how to communicate the importance of protecting our kids from the garbage on TV, among many other things. Any help?

    • Lost Mom, your post lines up very similarly to my history. I will add you and your husband to my prayer list.

      We have four beautiful girls. The only way we have found to combat the messages on TV is to remove television from our home. We also keep online video and DVDs to a minimum and it has made a huge impact. We went an entire week a few months back with no video at all in the home. It was the most peaceful time we have had and are getting to the point we need it again for a reset.

      If you are not able to remove TV from the home completely, just turning it off and covering it up as much of the day as possible will make a huge difference.

    • I highly recommend the book, “Emotion Code,” by Dr. Bradley Nelson. He has a website (healers library.com) where you can also find people to help you through the process. It is effective for addictions, depression, even simple issues that seem to be holding you back. The book is not a book about addictions, though they are addressed–it is a book about healing and it is written for everyone and anyone! With proper tools there is no need to FEAR. The emotion code teaches how to find the root cause (in my view, this is most often because of the feeling of worthlessness–when we do not understand God’s intimate view of our great worth we feel darkness instead of Light). The book even addresses how to heal inherited weakness that may give certain predispositions to addictions and other issues. With practice, the Emotion Code can be used without aid of someone else, but I suggest using a practitioner initially to help guide you through the healing process until you learn how. But I love that the method teaches that we can all learn to use the method for free!
      Furthermore, faith and fear cannot coexist. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 Do not beat yourself up if you feel helpless and fearful. Faith needs to be exercised before it is mastered. The journey of acquiring faith is exciting and beautiful and the more gratitude you infuse in the journey even in your darkest hours, the more the darkness will recede. It just takes practice. Faith is a desire to believe. Exercise the desire and the belief/knowledge will come. Faith precedes miracles.
      God provides ways to help us heal. The Bible gives us the written guidelines, but there are inspired tools that can work with inspired texts for healing. Learning about healing tools that tap into our God-given intuition can give hope and faith, dispelling fear. We CAN heal from all sickness and we can begin healing NOW–in THIS life! Pray IN FAITH (not desperation), knowing that God can often only be heard and felt when we have peace and faith. Trust this way and the tools will fall into your lap. Fear will repel those tools and His inspiration. Faith invites Him–and He wants us to heal! (P.S.–you do not have to be religious to appreciate and use the book! The book has religious overtones, but is not a religious book. To maximize healing, I have the most profound effects when I use the Light-filled words of the Bible and powerful, peaceful, and faith-filled prayer and meditation to bring Light to my mind and to access the strongest Healing Energy in the universe. But the method works even without deep-seated religious beliefs.)

  16. Great article but there was a skew of continuously saying that men should honor their wives. Women should equally honor their husbands. To think that because a man doesn’t honor his wife alone is creating the attitude in a young man’s heart is very unbalanced. Young men who saw their mothers only nagging their husbands or making fun of them or putting them down could very easily grow up to disrespect women and treat them badly because of unresolved anger towards their mother. I am not a trained therapist, but I am a pastor and know that BOTH parents are part of the shaping of their kids attitudes towards loving relationship by 1) the modeling by the parents towards one another and b) the love expressed by each parent towards their children AND c) the ways that each parent teach the kids to honor their parent (let’s serve mom breakfast in bed or let’s mow the lawn for dad). Kids needs all of it to have a healthy attitude. It is not a one-sided street. Good job, Rick, but for every time you encourage men to honor their wives, you should encourage women to honor their husbands.

    • We need to keep our eyes on god at all times it’s not about us at all it what he did and does for us each day we only breath because he lets us we are to always give of ourselfs because he gave first its a transformation of our minds daily because we spend time with him in his word We have to teach our kids that we can’t do it for them that at the end of the day it’s there relationship with Christ that matters We only have them for a season and it is short pray for them and get together with friends and pray for each others kids pray pray Pray and give thanks to our lord who pours his grace out daily to each of us.

  17. As a recovering addict, I can tell you the number one thing (after prayer and asking for God’s wisdom in this matter) all parents should do, is remove ANY and ALL computers with internet access & web-cams, from the childrens AND teens rooms.

    Not just to prevent the viewing of porn but to prevent your children (particularly girls) from becoming participants in the porn. I can’t tell you over the years how many children I saw alone in their room in online video chat-rooms that were either asked to disrobe(and some did & more), or were exposed to by other men in the chat-rooms. Some parents think that if their child is in their room on-line that at least they are safe because they know where they are, but a lot of times nothing could be further from the truth. Parents need to smarten up big-time. Too many parents are either totally naive about what’s on the internet, or they just don’t care, and unfortunately that also includes christian parents.

    Regardless of what slant it look’s like Rick may have put on the article, the fact of the matter is parenting is an equal partnership. BOTH parents share equal responsibility for raising their children in a Godly manner. Yes, the husband IS the head of the household as Jesus is the head of the Church, and ultimate responsibility lies with him, but both parents must share equally in the responsibilities of raising their children..

  18. Just stumbled across this today. Thanks, Rick, for posting this. As a woman who has struggled with sexual sin, I can see each one of these in my home growing up, and am glad to be able to start sorting out some more reasons why. I know you probably don’t counsel many girls/women with these problems, but it often feels like those of us who are women who struggle with this are left out of the discussion. I’d love to hear your thoughts (or someone you know who might have more info) on this topic for girls/women. Just food for thought. Great article!

  19. Wonderful article! To those of you who felt you needed to “correct” it or finish it. Never does it say this is the complete end all and fix for every possible happening, just some really good advice to take in. As a woman I think one reason I was drawn to porn for a while was that I knew my dad had a calendar hidden behind a picture in the livingroom and he would show it to his friend and laugh, it was even just a joke calender it had a grown woman on the front and when you lifted the see thru page it was not what you expected to see. He would made remarks about women on tv too not always nice remarks but still remarks that got our attention. He was a good father and a good man but had no idea how strongly those things affected us, his daughters.

  20. “Porn training does not happen by volition. It happens by default if the parents are not attuned to the kind of home they have created. Kids are responders and they will respond to what the parent is providing them.”

    While I agree in many instances with your thoughts, I am troubled by the idea that we as parents can keep our kids from sinning. We can foster an environment of godliness, but ultimately our kids are responsible before God for their actions. I am troubled that the article seems to suggest that there is a “recipe” for keeping our kids from porn. Even when parents seemingly do everything right, some kids just go wrong. I do not want to teach my 4 sons that someone else is responsible for their sin. When they are adults and sin, I don’t want them to say that it was because of their home environment, because their dad didn’t show enough physical attention publicly to their mom, etc. That seemingly negates the idea that God died for our sins individually. There have been movements over the centuries that have provided “recipes” for keeping our kids in line. But scripture puts the burden back on the heart of the individual “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Proverbs 20:11.

  21. Porn addict here. It’s been about two months since I’ve looked. I’ve been addicted for about ten years. Only in the past six months has it gotten better. Why? I decided to do what it took to deal with it. Porn addiction has physiological causes; it literally causes changes in the brain similar to drug addiction, especially when combined with masturbation. Support is important, but I believe education is as well. I found the information I needed on yourbrainonporn.com. I have no intrest or connection to this site other than to say it really helped me to deal with it. Basically, it explains what happens to men’s brains when they look at porn, and explains how to deal with it. You just have to stop looking and pleasuring yourself to it. You have to remind yourself that there is nothing that says you HAVE to look at porn; the urge to look is just your brain’s reward system lying to you that it needs another dopamine fix. By stopping looking and masturbating, you weaken that urge over time. I am still not “cured”, but by forcing my body to “reboot”, I’ve never felt more free. I agree with this article that it’s best not to even start, but for those of us who are addicted, there’s hope. Just remember, porn causes your brain to lie to you.

  22. Can I just say, the most alluring thing about porn for a religious child is the fact it’s “taboo” . I grew up in a very religious home and it was always portrayed as much of a sin as the act you’re watching. Being the curious teenager I was I of course had to see what it was all about. When I did end up going to a site it was…..no big deal. No lighting hit me, my bible didn’t burst into flames, didn’t spend any money, I didn’t even get a virus. I just watched then clicked it off. This may not have been the start of my doubts about Christianity, but it was certainly one of the major steps. Over time I figured out that pretty much every guy watches porn. Especially while deployed, everyone had “that” external passed around. What I’m trying to say is if you tell your kid not to watch porn, chances are pretty high they will. The biggest advice I could give is to say that it puts a certain strain on them in relationships. They will compare their partner to what they’ve seen and that’s just a pit they can’t really get out of. Stress that if anything. PS. The thing about removing computers out of rooms, while good natured, is an awful idea. The internet is the biggest source of knowledge at one’s disposal. Breaking them of this will hamper them in many aspects, especially social. You just have to trust your kid to do the right thing and in that trust that you parented them well enough to make those decisions.

    • I see it differently. Allow me to use an analogy. I grew up in a home where we were clearly told that drinking alcohol was not acceptable. It was not just that it was against our religion, we were told the negative consequences that came with it. And now that my siblings are all adults, most of us do not drink. It’s not a perfect track record, but in the middle of a culture where the vast majority of people drink, and where large numbers have a dependency on alcohol, that’s remarkable. Putting alcohol off-limits and educating on its consequences worked.

      I agree that making something “taboo” can in some cases increase its appeal – but it isn’t the fact that it’s off-limits that increases its appeal, but rather the fact that it’s off-limits without there being any explanation for why. Forbidding any discussion of it can further enhance the appeal.

      The solution is to make clear that the behavior in question is not acceptable, but not make it “taboo” by refusing to discuss it. Instead, be willing to discuss it and the reason for why it’s off-limits. You highlighted an excellent reason in this case: because pornography leads to a tendency to compare one’s romantic partner with an artificial ideal, which is highly toxic to relationships. When those discussions are held openly in the family, they make it clear to the children what is expected of them, without attaching any mystery to the behavior in question that may enhance its appeal.

      Also, one note on computers: they certainly can be made readily available to the children without being available privately in rooms. I know of many families who keep one or more computers available in public rooms in the home for homework and recreation. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn accountability for one’s behavior on the internet, and sharing if there are multiple children.

  23. Marriage Isn’t About Me Me Me. The Reason The Male Author Has Written About Male’s Contribution To This Issue Is Because Pointing The Finger At Women Is Self-Centered, Thereby Completely Defeating The Very purpose Of The Point He Is Making! Only A Self-Centered Person Will Read This And Automatically Seek To Blame Their Counterpart And Find This Article Offensive. The Author Can’t Judge Women. God Has Clearly Instructed Him To Educate Men On THEIR part. Everyone Offended Needs To Take A Step Back, Examine The Plank In Their Own Eye, And Completely Surrender To God Whatever Is Going On Inside Their Heart That Made Them So Automatically Seek To Blame Others Instead Of accepting And Dealing With Whatever responsibility They Have.

    • Is There Any Reason You Had To Capitalize Everything You Said? It Really Wasn’t Interesting Enough To Try And Make It Stand Out By Capitalizing It!

  24. I really appreciate these insightful points! As a mother of a young boy and wife of a of a great husband (who also has a past of struggling with these issues), it’s great to have some specific points to think about. Your article made me feel inspired and empowered about the things I can do to help protect my little boy.
    I realized, reading your article, another reason why it is so important to accept and even encourage my husband’s affection publicly. Also, the point about little boys tending to push the boundaries of honor and respect with their mother’s much farther really resonated. I realized that I am guilty of allowing my son to do this at times, even though we are a home that uses the Bible to guide our discipline. I feel more urgently that I MUST more firmly enforce the boundaries of respect and honor in our home. Thank you!

  25. I agree with everything mentioned. I’ve been fighting pornography for many years and I used to blame others for my sin. I blamed my Dad for saying if you’re going to look, don’t bring it home. Plain and simple, this struggle is attributed to my lack of discipline of the mind. I have allowed imagery to satisfy my insecurities of self acceptance and satisfaction. Why be offended? This is real. My parents were disengaged and I’ve had to learn that God is all I need and to pour myself into my marriage and love my spouse and communicate with my spouse of my struggles. I try to make every attempt to show love and support and have my spouse watch the internet. I’ve asked my spouse to be the imagery I seek. One day, the many years of imagery will be removed from my mind by God’s grace. It is a constant reminder of my need for my Savior’s forgiveness and love. This is so real.

  26. This is a hard thing, it is a strong hold. God says our weapons are mighty for pulling down strongholds. Jesus is the only Way, Truth and Life. Lord Jesus show us, teach us how ny your Holy Spirit. Lord, You will have to do it for us, we cannot do it.

  27. Thank you so much for the great article. As a young mom of 2, you bring up some great tips and share some insight that I think will help my husband and I guard our home from porn. Just a side not, I actually “pinned” this article to my pinterest board and it was removed because of the title. Multiple people reported it as being in violation of their policy because of inappropriate content just based upon the title.

  28. I know from personal experience that porn “kills.” Fully aware that the voyeuristic traits that are associated with it had its own realizations. I am a former addict, yet I am also aware that “former” means still battling. I live for and love the Lord. It is His conscious presence in my life that keeps me aware that I can overcome. I have made my stand publically about the threat, and consequences of pornography, especially where it plays out in a marriage. Even in a childless one.
    These five points clearly defines the process and helps to be able to fit many situations that include porn in them. Not just how it affects children but anyone. Our society is over run with it. But the healing for all must first come from the healing of yourself first. Thank you for this and I will share it as often as I am led.

  29. I’d like to add a few other thoughts. I investigated child pornography for many years as law enforcement, interviewing numerous subjects both young and middle-aged. Some common threads I found: Got involved in pornography early, used it regularly, had unsupervised access, thought they were anonymous, accessing pornography became need-driven, desired more extreme material to be satisfied, normalized or rationalized their behavior. The advent of cell phones with internet access and cameras have made the problem worse. Parents must take the responsibility, as once a child at a vulnerable age has observed pictures of videos of sexual acts, often of extreme nature, there is no taking them back, the child is can be affected for the rest of their life. Also, children are taking sexual pictures of themselves and sending them out, not realizing that once on the internet, they can never be recovered. I can’t say enough about parental control over all media. No computers or cell phones with internet access in the bedroom until late teens.

  30. I think pron is about +easy access. you don’t have to work, wait, struggle, deal with rejection. It is easier and instant in every way. It woprks together with the enticements of the mind and adds to them, making them deeper and darker. The best way to prevent is to not allow your children to watch too much television or computer stuff in general but specifically to eliminate any and all rated r or even pg 13 stuff, on television as well, there are sexual inuendos that plant seeds and images even in commercials. A child doesn’t understand them all all the time or pick up on them but there are many ways that sexual lust is communicated in inappropriate ways. My parents wouldn’t let me watch anything that showed a sex scene or nudity growing up and it helped a lot. I was not exposed to Porn at all and it was a friend of mine in jr.high who first showed something of it to me for a brief moment but I was too embarrassed to look at it for more than a few seconds and that helped me. It was also too explicit and shocking for me to think it was attractive, because I guess I had a romantic mind, either naturally or because of my upbringing. This leads me back to training, controlling, cultivating, shaping, supervising. My parents were both consistent on this, my father and mother both never watched or spoke of things like this but guarded us from it. We will still have our own person al moments of lust growing up but the important thing is having the background such as the one I mentioned and tools and counter issues and defenses instilled in you so much that they are natural to you, you will find yourself rejecting it because it is beneath you and you are ashamed. We need every weapon and tool. So I guess you can say innocence helps a lot up to a certain point where you are developed and strong enough to not be interested. Also proper dating needs to enfoprced and cultivated. No girlfriends, no dating, only friendship and chaperoned visits or excursions. Teach an train your young men and women to work be responsible and succeed early so they can get married early. Having a young man doing nothing but sitting in his room or not working in solitude will allow the devil to plant thoughts in his heart. No solitude but train your child to be sociable and open, active and involved, not locked in a room. This takes a comprehensive lifestyle and consistency with community of people who are like minded. For that our hearts have to be set for the Lord. Lord help us.

  31. While the author of this article is Christian, and the intended audience of this article is Christian, I completely understand (being in ministry for around 12 years myself) wanting to preach against pornography. Pornography stands for so many things that are deemed a sin in the Bible that it only makes sense to want to avoid it.
    However, from a non-Christian’s point of view, many of the points here do not ring true at all and seemed forced as a way to sensationalize the dangers of pornography of the young mind. Let me first clearly state that I am not in favor of exposing young children to pornography. As someone who was first exposed to it around middle school, I understand that the habit-forming nature of it can distracting for young people. Exposing kids younger than that is sexual abuse.
    But sex is a natural part of humanity. Though Christians view sex through the words of God, non-Christians view sex as something we, not unlike animals, indulge in whenever we see fit. We are smart enough to realize that it is gratifying, smart enough to figure out how to do it without reproducing, and smart enough to learn how to do it responsibly, limiting the likelihood of contracting an STI. Of course humans “do sex” in many ways that is not responsible at all, because we are not all as smart or have as much discipline as the other. For these reasons, pornography “makes sense” for adults. The author clearly states figures that indicate most grown men participate in pornography and masturbation. And though I’m sure some Christians would like to blame the problems of a world where morals are in steady decline on this subject alone, do not forget there is a whole lot of other sin out there. Many of which has actual victims. So while I am somewhat vaguely making a point for it, my cause for posting here is to directly address some of the points made by the author, and debunk the myth that pornography is an evil that only destroys and reaps negative consequences.
    Let me also be candid so we are clear. I am no longer a Christian, I do participate in pornography regularly, and I have an extremely healthy sex life/marriage. Most of these points I understand to be false because they could actually apply to my life, if they were true. While I acknowledge that they may cause negative effects for others, I will argue that it is a problem for men, because they are already immature, shallow, involved in an unsatisfying marriage, incapable of restraint or discipline, and MANY other factors that keep them from controlling their behaviors/thoughts.
    1. Non-Romantic Marriage- The idea here is that pornography makes you only desire highly attractive women that are at your sexual beck and call. To be honest here, on a purely physical scale, I would rate my wife at around a 5/10. But I didn’t marry her for that and I am VERY attracted to her. Her personality is what attracts me mostly to her and I desire her despite my initial assessment of looks, which is an extremely shallow practice. If you no longer find your wife attractive after viewing porn it is a symptom of a deeper problem, a love based specifically on looks/sex. My connection is much deeper with my wife I desire intimacy with her no matter what.
    2. Instant Gratification – A man or woman’s sex drive can vary per person. People who claim sex addiction may have a higher drive than most. While I agree that instant gratification for most (especially kids) can be damaging (they need to learn patience and acceptance), an unmet sex drive is unnatural for the body and can be a huge distraction for a teenager/adult. Masturbation becomes a means of controlling yourself when biochemically your body can lead you to do things you shouldn’t. It allows you to think more clearly and make better decisions in relationships.

    Personally, my wife’s sex drive does not equal mine, so I use pornography/masturbation as a way to balance it. It DOES NOT give me whatever I want, whenever I want it. And it does not replace her or her worth to me.

    3. Non-communicative Couples – This is absurd. As if the only way a man will fail to communicate with his wife is because he is so obsessed with porn that he withdraws into his own world. Couples have lacked communication for years, and it’s mostly BECAUSE THEY DON”T KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE. A man/woman can become obsessed with ANYTHING and withdraw from their partner; this is a sign of something else. Again, my wife and I communicate wonderfully. We didn’t always though. From the beginning we had to work at it. We had to break down boundaries and learn how to express our feelings, share our thoughts, and not hold anything back. We had to become less selfish, more willing to hear criticism, and value the other person’s willingness to be a better person. These value are necessary, without them, couples are in danger of communication issues no matter whether pornography is involved or not.

    4. No Consequences for Actions – This is perhaps the biggest stretch. The idea that something done in private, alone has a bigger effect on others makes no sense. If you want to criticize it for something, don’t use this. Criticize the literal thousands of other things that you can do daily that affect others more directly.

    5. Critical Community in the Home – My home is filled with positive interactions. I love my wife, show her affection, spend a lot of time with my 2 year old daughter, we encourage each other. We love each other. We are normal, middle class Americans that go to work and pay our bills. The author would have you to believe that if a man is involved with porn, his entire family will suffer. This simply isn’t true. Maybe what the author should preach is being a well-rounded good person. It pretty much negates the weak points made here.

    Again, I realize the audience is Christian. Some of the things I have mentioned here are sins to you making them wrong by nature. But if you remove the Christian point of view for just one minute, you realize that there are so many other worse things in life that need addressed. Blasting pornography as a Band-Aid for other, more real problems is not good. And no, I don’t expect you to remove your entire Christian beliefs to understand me. I know, to you, that would be like asking you to accept an alternate reality. But I did seriously read this article thinking that this does not describe me or my family at all. It simply isn’t true for all people. And the people it is true for, have a whole lot of other problems that are the real cause.

    • Dave you should be ashamed of yourself. You are a pervert plain and simple, don’t try to justify it or dress it up as natural. You wouldn’t have the audacity to say such a thing face to face and if you were standing in front of me or my family or church you wouldn’t make that mistake twice. You want to talk about being a real man, then man up and bring yourself under discipline. Neither fornicators nor adulterers will inherit the kingdom of God. We are told not to even look upon another woman with lust in our hearts and so tell me how looking at people engage in sin, in fornication, in abominations of sexual perversion and all kinds of fornication and taking pleasure in those things, in their disobedience and perversion of themselves and society and being destroyers of innocence is something that is ok? You are taking pleasure in things which God hates and for which the wrath of God comes, you are taking pleasure in the destruction and corruption of others, you are rejoicing in evil and lewdness and trying to pass it off as natural. We are called to be above natural, we are called to be sons of God as Christians.You should be concentrating on carrying your cross, denying self and mortifying your lusts, not indulging them and growing them. You are a liar and the truth is not in you.

  32. I’ve been counseling people with the problems of sexual sin since 1979; spent the last 23 years, exclusively doing biblical intensive counseling for sexual sin with 1000s from around the US. This is the best thing every parent needs to know. I’d just add a 6th: The Lack of Male Leadership Leads to Porn

  33. Communication and openness from an early age are essential. My sons and I always have open conversations. They are not always easy, but they are always happening. That is why, when my son was in middle school, he told me he “ran” across a porn site. We talked and I did not feel I was best suited to handle the challenge. I had him go through a list of mentors who he thought could help and he found one. He always had an open door with his mentor, we never had to discuss his desire to watch porn, we had an understanding that when he needed to make time for this particular mentor, it was probably due to a sexual temptation. The problem was addressed and solved early on for him. My older son was not raised in a home that showed marital love, he was not denied things simply to “prove” he was not spoiled. He has an alcoholic father and both grandfather’s, so addiction is hereditary. But,he was loved, unconditionally and above all taught to respect others and communicate. He was given several male mentors throughout his life that helped him to grow and learn and discover what being human is all about. The same goes for my 9 year old. Fear mongering has to end in Christian communities. It turned my stomach to read this. I am certain you meant well, but there are so many home situations that you can’t control. Some men are not overt with their emotions. That shouldn’t be construed as a non-loving male. Nor should a male that does not use a lot of physical touch be labeled as one who rejects his wife and considers he “non-porn worthy”. And, honestly, do you really believe women relate their desire to get attention to being “porn-worthy?” Generally, the life of pornography exists due to a low self-esteem and measures of desperation. That is another discussion though.
    My 9 year old knows that daddy loves us and respects us so much because of all the acts of service he does. Because of the sacrifices he makes on our behalf. Because he makes us dinner. Because he gets us water and popcorn while we are watching a movie. Because he comes home every night. With all the education behind you, why do you present such a limited view of the differences in personalities? I think this is sad, because there will be many moms out there that read this, assess the failure of their marriage and become fearful that they are leading their children into a life of lust and high potential for addiction to porn. I think a little less focus on sensationalism might be in order.

  34. I agree with this article, but just because a parent does all these things isn’t a guarantee. I was crushed to find out that my teenage son had been viewing pornography. We are not perfect parents, but we have been very clear about our expectations, we have a loving home, we have computers in common areas, and a lot more. Sometimes kids make bad choices despite the valiant efforts of their parents. It’s very sad, but we’re all doing the best we can now.

    • I hear you Emily. We are dealing with the same thing. We have a very nice and loving home. I know we have done and are doing the best we can. I am not sure what to say but we are sad. Availability and friends played a great role in this issue.

  35. I did not read all the comments so unsure if somebody mentioned this. The number one thing that bothered me about this post (and the comments I actually did read) is the assumption that only men struggle with porn. This line of thinking and teaching is dangerous for our young women as they think “well I’m a female so I can’t become addicted”. Yes, a large number of those viewing porn are men but women are also at danger. If we want to truly help our children steer clear of pornography we MUST include women in this..if only for the sake of our daughters.

    • Hy Anonymous,

      Rick says in the article, “86% of the men and 32% of the women used porn. The percentage among women is growing.” How would a woman walk away from this article thinking women aren’t impacted?

  36. I don’t dispute the wisdom, but my heart is heavy with the burden of not measuring up for our children. Our marriage has been struggle with nearly all of your points and now my kids are older and two are involved with pornography. Though they say they are not doing it right now, there is no peace of mind as I never know when or how it is accessed. It isn’t available just at home and I cannot be with them or monitor every moment. The insights shared seem helpful to young couples beginning their parenting. This left me grasping for hope but finding little. I fear my own inadequacies have set their sins in stone. Teaching purity and trust in God seem to still leave me so lacking that there is nothing I can do to help. Saddened and discouraged. Wish advice had been offered for those with teens and older and not just how to start out. This is a nightmare and the future feels dark, where I once only saw so much light and potential. My boys are responsible for their choices as I am for mine. How do we move forward and heal?? How do you get them into a 12 step program when communication is already so closed off on the matter? Feeling lost.

  37. Hello [Disheartened),
    This is Rick Thomas, the author of the article. Thank you for commenting. You are correct in the demographic targeted in the article. It was preemptive/preventative, not for those who are farther along with their marriage and children. One of the restrictions to blog articles is they cannot be all-encompassing. Books have more space to cover more relational real estate.

    Here are a couple of recommendations for your real and acute concerns. As a parent of older children I totally understand your struggles.

    1. You can find help on our website for all kinds of issues, esp. what you’re describing. The LORD has positioned me to spend my life coaching parents (et.al.) through situational difficulties, this article being one example. You can learn more here: http://rickthomas.net/join

    2. If you are part of a local church, I would recommend you talk to your pastor and/or whoever gives immediate oversight to you guys. This is a long-term solution for care.

    3. Let me be a little more personal here. When I was 15 years old, I was in jail for breaking and entering and stealing some things. Being a juvenile, I received two years probation. I was also doing drugs and porn.

    I say this to encourage you. The LORD is greater than our sin. Today, He has given me a global outreach to care for people. Who would have thought such a thing could happen.

    Please reflect over the last two paragraphs. They are powerful pictures of sin and grace.

    Good parents do not make good children. Bad parents do not make bad children. The grace of God is what shapes us and makes us who we need to be. Do not beat up yourself for whatever things you may have done. Also, don’t forget how the grace of God is greater than all our sin. I’m a testimony of this, as all of us are.

    Your job is to imperfectly model Christ before your children. I say “imperfectly” because that is the best any of us can do. Then trust the LORD to do a good work in their hearts.

    I’m so glad you commented here. I appreciate your transparency and your desire to love your kids.

    Take care,
    Rick

  38. This is a wonderful article. My parents taught me all 5 of these ways of living and “loving.” I am currently in recovery from sex addiction. Though porn is only a part of my acting out, it has played a terrible role. I love that this article shows the negative, and teaches the positive. God is using my recovery to restore me and help others. Articles like this will be resources for my young marriage as we grow and start a family together.

  39. I just want to quickly point out two things:
    First, the objectification of women our culture greatly lowers to a young mind’s defenses to porn. Teach your children to respect women, and point out the world around you when it does not.
    Second, girls can be addicted to porn too. It’s a lot more common than you think. They tend to seek different types than boys do, but curiosity is a powerful motivator. It is so easy for them to look up the “answers” to their questions. And that’s how it starts. So be sure to provide them with an environment that invites questions. If you express your “christian” intolerance in disgust at homosexuality, pornography or immodesty, for example, your children will never come to you with their feelings or questions on those subjects, fearing your rejection.

  40. i am a child of a sex addict. when i was in college, we found out that my dad was a sex addict. my siblings and i were devastated, especially my sister and i, as women. but i wasn’t shocked. none of the things written the article were present in our house. my parents were romantic with one another; my dad had a good job so we got most things we wanted (instant gratification); our parents DID NOT communicate; we would get “grounded” but never had much follow through (no consequences to actions); and our home did not feel like a safe place or a safe community (i think mostly because we never saw good communication happen between our parents, so we didn’t know how). i have the most amazing mother, truly amazing. but i don’t think she had the energy to do these things while she was trying to save her marriage. we found out soon after learning about my dad that my brother is also addicted to pornography.

    to all the people who have said that pornography isn’t destructive or that is doesn’t affect those around you, because it is something you do when you are alone and no one else knows about, i say this to you: pornography and sexual addiction destroyed my family. not just after we were told about my dad when i was in college, but my whole childhood was dysfunctional due to my dad’s addiction, and i didn’t even know about it. my sister and i have always struggled with self-esteem, we’ve both struggled with eating disorders, our hearts ached for our dad to see us as beautiful and to encourage us as young women, my brother continues to battle is addiction, but it started when he was young. whether you’re a christian or not, pornography destroys eventually. it took 21 years for my dad’s addiction to obviously manifest itself and tear apart our family, but it was slowly eating away at each of us and at our family all of those years.

  41. I don’t think this is useful. Having a healthy interest in sex is great, but these are not ways it encourage it. If this is really a concern I would go to the doctor and see if they have a hormone imbalance. Children at puberty will natural become interested in these things, they do not need encouragement or training.

    • Not sure I agree with you, Ed. Sex is not the problem here. Teaching kids about sex early is wise in today’s age, especially since it is common for kids to stumble across porn online or be taught about oral sex on the playground. Kids may not have a natural curiosity about sexual intercourse right now, but the world is very interested in telling them about it. Parents should be diligent to speak first.

  42. And the sixth (and most effective) way to ensure your kids will use pornography is to let them inherit a Y chromosome.
    All of the points in your article are good, but I think that they more about raising healthy kids in general, not so much about avoiding the natural urges of the male human to want to procreate. Virtually all males are going to be exposed to pornography, but their mental health, which is affected by the five points in your article, will determine whether they become dependent upon pornography.

    • Of course these are general parenting principles, but on a blog about Internet dangers, this was the spin Rick gave the article. The fact remains that porn is very common but its allure can be diminished greatly with good parenting.

  43. Great thoughts here. I really appreciate how you place the family culture and the training of the child at the center of the issue. It’s so easy to talk about porn as merely a behavioral issue, when it is really a symptom of a deeper issue. Thanks again for your insights here.

  44. #6. Read “Mommy Porn.” I’m appalled at how many Christian women have read “50 Shades of Gray.” Kids imitate their parents’ reading habits.

  45. Let’s shelter our children from the world, let’s curb their desires and teach them their impulses are wrong. Let’s teach them shame for natural bodily desires, and let’s teach them to pass it on to their kids too. Let’s let them discover the world through our eyes, not their own. If they do give in, let’s convince them it’s not the same as drinking coffee or eating candy – this is an *addiction*, the same word we use for adults who have a chemical dependency on something. Something that can kill them. And porn, porn can kill, can’t it?

    Let’s treat their sexual discoveries the same way we would treat them for trashing the kitchen and tearing down the curtains – inappropriate behavior. Let’s teach them to be scared of sex and yet covet it, to suppress their desires until the proper outlet is there – and let’s hope they don’t jump into this too quickly, simply for the fix that’s been denied them.

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