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Christian Teens and Pornography: How big is the problem?

Last Updated: February 18, 2019

Luke Gilkerson
Luke Gilkerson

Luke Gilkerson has a BA in Philosophy and Religious Studies and an MA in Religion. He is the author of Your Brain on Porn and The Talk: 7 Lessons to Introduce Your Child to Biblical Sexuality. Luke and his wife Trisha blog at IntoxicatedOnLife.com

Just how widespread is the problem of youth in the church watching pornography today?

Our friends Josh and Jeannie Yates who work in youth ministry at Gingellville Community Church were interviewed about their experience regarding young people and pornography. They also talk at length about why they use Internet accountability software and why they even “prescribe” it to the teens they work with.

This interview is from the creators of Willful Entrapment, an expressive short film about the cost of porn addiction. Make comments about this video on ScratchingTheSurfaceDoc.com.

Teens and Porn: 10 Stats You Need to Know

  • Comments on: Christian Teens and Pornography: How big is the problem?
    1. patrick

      My question is why imma tempted laways with porn? i thought that having a girl friend was a best idea to not see porn, having someone in my life. i pray on it and God answer me with a discouragement of having a girl friend and to be maried, i don’t know why may be imma not ready for i couple life. imma now 21 years old and i have had only 1 girl in my life when i was non christian. sometime i feel sooo alone and it painful to see all my friends christian and non-christain having girlfriend and me not.why i feel so alone? why God discourage me of having a girlfriend? and why i am tempted by porn? Sorry for the bad english but may be you can help me, thank you in advance.

      • Hi Patrick. These are really difficult questions for someone to wrestle with. Many people often wonder why God has not brought a wife into their lives. I struggled with that for years. I wasn’t married until I was 28. It is very difficult when you feel lonely.

        I highly recommend you read John Piper’s book, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, especially chapter 4. It might help to answer some of your questions about this.

      • Nestor Rodriguez

        The first thing you need to do is go before God. Don’t be mad at Him. Let Him explain to you why are you going through this process. Priority in life should not be getting a girlfriend, but praying to God to allow to meet the wright woman for you. Someone that is going to help you push your calling and/or ministry far. I think that if you spend more time with God, those thoughts will go away and peace will come to you immediately. If we become desperate, we make mistakes that later we regret. Avoid this by staying as closes as possible to God. Go to school, get an education, prepare yourself for your ministry and then, let God do the rest. God bless brother!

      • Hope

        Bro. Patrick, what you’re experiencing is common. As the Bible says, those that sow in sorrow shall reap in gladness. These are trials, don’t expect it to be easy. Pray for Grace, because if it were up to the strength of man, we would be consumed in defeat…

    2. Daniel Johnson

      Hello everyone. My name is Daniel Johnson, 16 years old. Been a christian for 5 years – so ashamed of saying that! From Jamaica. I struggle with Pornography and masturbation. I can’t play hypocrite any more, it kills me. I’ve went before God several times and asked him to help me and to deliver me – the urge will go away for a while then return.. I always watch pornography every time i visit my dad because he’s not as keen as my mom, hence I always love going to visit him or if it’s for other purposes. Since I don’t have a phone or a computer I love using his phone and computer to watch it.. Oh man, I really want to stop. I don’t want to die and go to hell, neither do I want for those who admire me – church members especially and associates whether at school or elsewhere in the future, to be surprised and turned off by my actions. I believe I might be addicted to this thing, since I’ve even seen the bad effects it has on us! I really need some prayer and help..Confession: i’m at my dad’s house right now he’s sleeping and before I became convicted to come on this site I was masturbating and watching porn. THIS IS URGENT!! I haven’t been serving God but the devil. thank you for reaching out. God bless you!!

      • Chris McKenna

        Hello, Daniel – we are now some days after you posted this cry for help, but I wonder if just the act of reaching out through the blog helped you overcome the temptation for a while. You know what needs to happen – there are practical things you can do to eliminate the access to the devices at your dad’s house. Maybe you need to tell him so that he can help you stay clean? There might be punishment, but there are always consequences, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You are at a critical time, at age 16, where breaking this cycle is so important. Otherwise, you will carry this into your future marriage. But, you can’t do it alone! Freedom requires Christ, daily commitment, and frequent community. God is for you! Read Romans 8:31-39.

        Peace, Chris

    3. Most of these comments were from 2016 but I hope to get a reply I’ve been watching porn lately I stopped I’m 15 by the way I’m a girl I don’t want to watch it but I can’t help I feel so guilty and dirty after I don’t want god to be mad at me does god understand it’s hard ? And that I’m lonely and when I get horny I don’t know what to do about it is he mad at me or does he know I’m trying not to ?

      • Kay Bruner

        Hey Kiki,

        I’m a therapist and a mom of young adults, so here’s what I have to say.

        First, God loves you, He made you, perfectly. God is way bigger and better at love than being mad at you when you masturbate, I 100% promise you.

        Second, your sex drive is a perfectly normal and God-given part of who you are. There is absolutely NOTHING in the Bible about masturbation being wrong. Nothing. That is completely made up by people, not God. Now, I personally don’t think that porn is a great thing, because it objectifies other human beings and often protrays a type of sex that is violent against women, so I’d try to dial that back if possible. But thinking that porn is unhealthy is completely different from rejecting your sexuality. I hope you can begin to separate those two things. Reject porn, accept your sexuality and celebrate it as a gift.

        Third, feeling shame (guilty and dirty) creates a need to make yourself feel better, and the quickest way to make yourself feel better, your body has learned, is by masturbation. So when you work to get rid of shame (like I talked about in step 2, normalizing your sexuality, and in step 1, understanding that God loves you without condition) you will lose the need for unhealthy uses of your sexuality.

        I know that many of us are taught that if we make ourselves feel bad enough through shame, we’ll then do better, but in my experience, that’s just the opposite of reality. It’s when we begin to understand that we are loved unconditionally, no matter what, like the Bible clearly tells us!!!, that we can begin to lose the habits that momentarily soothe our shame, only to create more shame in the end.

        I hope that helps,

    4. Bayo

      Hi I’m Bayo

      15 years of age, It’s been 2 years since I became a Christian and I was exposed to porn at the age of 12. I tried reaching our to my spiritual father (pastor) but he kept on promising help and support that I never at any point received so I thought I couldn’t reach out to anyone anymore but that’s when I started getting all the more closer to God but still had the issue of watching porn so since I’m a Christian Rapper and all I rap the truth of God and Things started getting better, stopped watching porn for a while but now that I wanted to testify of my freedom through my music that’s when I went back into it and watched yet again and so in this song that I’m working on I had already written the testimony (not recorded yet) But how can I continue rapping what God wants me to if I’m not sure I’m in the position to even finish the song off

      It’s not just about the song but I’m at a point where I feel like I can’t continue this path with God If I don’t get freed from this


      • Moriah Bowman


        Thank you for sharing your story and reaching out for help! The frustrating thing about porn is that it is so incredibly addictive. Even if we say that we don’t want to watch it anymore, we can find it difficult to actually quit. I am sorry that your pastor did not support you like you needed him to. Is there anyone else whom you can ask for guidance? Are you using Covenant Eyes? If not, I highly recommend that you establish an Ally to hold you accountable and walk alongside you as you seek freedom from porn.

        Above all, keep clinging to God. Put the necessary boundaries in place to make sure that even if you want to watch porn, you can’t. And pray! Ask God to change your mind and reverse this addiction.

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