Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a written by our friends at Abstinence Clearinghouse.
As all those who work with young people know, this generation is growing up in a culture saturated with toxic ideas and images. Marketing and entertainment media, and even health education classes, are confronting children and teens with explicit information and visual stimuli that can interrupt normal emotional and psychological development. Since children who acquire a healthy idea of love and relationships early in life are more likely to set goals and reach them as teens and young adults, a primary goal of the Abstinence Clearinghouse is to provide proven resources to parents and educators struggling to resist damaging cultural messages. While our first job is to protect innocence, we must also pass on the life skills that encourage self-discipline, empathy, and integrity in a challenging world.
The Abstinence Clearinghouse’s call to purity embraces more than simple abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage. We also strive to empower young people to create and maintain well-balanced, productive relationships with those who share their lives. Clearly, developing the attitudes that make saving sex a realistic goal also leads to good choices in other important areas.
Exposure to pornography, however, can quickly and sometimes irrevocably undermine all our hard work. Research repeatedly shows that male porn users develop a distorted perspective that humiliates and demeans women as fellow human beings. A female user’s self-image and understanding of the dynamics of a normal intimate relationship are similarly perverted. Though these changes occur quickly and easily, they are very difficult to reverse, both individually and culturally. Those afflicted and their families have recognized for years the highly addictive nature of porn, but only recently has medical science begun to explain the bio-chemical processes that physically change the structure and functioning of the brain.
For ten years, Covenant Eyes has been a reliable tool for families and individuals as they seek to maximize the benefits of the Internet while blocking the ever-present pornographic content. We like their two-fold approach—an effective filter and a weekly accountability report—because it offers practical help for parents concerned about their children’s Internet use. In addition, it has been a lifeline to many teens and adults who are startled by their spiraling attraction to porn and want to stop.
Covenant Eyes’ personal accountability report is a complete record of Internet use sent regularly to an accountability partner because Internet temptation is strongest when no one is watching. The Clearinghouse staff all use Covenant Eyes on their computers at work and at home. We appreciate the work they are doing to protect families from the damaging effects of pornography.