This post has been updated as of January 2021.
It’s a dark, moonless night. You’ve been asleep for hours. A strange sound jars you awake and you rub your eyes, listening for the sound again, a deep feeling of apprehension rising in your heart. There it is again; a bump, a rough scrape.
It’s coming from the living room.
You rise, frantically looking for something with which you can defend yourself, should things get ugly. As you crack the door to your bedroom, you notice the beam of a flashlight penetrating the darkness down the hall.
We’re being robbed, you conclude.
Tiptoeing down the hall, the golf club in your hand cocked back, you peer around the corner into the living room. There, stooped behind your big screen TV, is a burly, muscle-laden man. You don’t know what to do. You don’t want to take the chance that you can make it back to your room to get your cell phone without making noise. You decide that the only thing you can do is confront the man. You decide to bluff.
“I’ve got a gun pointed at the back of your head, so don’t you move,” you say.
You see the man tense as he slowly emerges from behind the TV. His stubble-covered face reveals a soul without conscience.
“What’s the big deal?” he asks, seeming truly perplexed. “It’s me.”
“I don’t know you,” you interrupt. “Stay where you are.”
“Sure you do,” he answers. “I’ve been living here, right under this roof for years.”
“You’re crazy. Don’t move”
“Look,” he says, as he rises to his full seven-foot height, “You’re the one who let me in here in the first place. Could you put the gun down?”
Though it seems impossible, something deep inside tells you that his words are true. You did let him in, though you can’t remember doing it.
An Unbelievably True Scenario
I know, that’s an unbelievable scenario, but it’s sadly true of many Christian families today. The intruder is pornography, and you may have invited him into your home long ago, without even realizing he was there. His only goal, like that of his master, is to steal, kill, and destroy the people most precious to you, and the Christ-centered home you desire so much (John 10:10).
How did you let him in? There are a variety of ways—entertainment choices, reading materials, unguarded conversations—but the most hidden and the most deadly is through the internet.
The Reality of the Problem
The 2016 census reports that 82% of households in the United States have internet access. Smartphones and tablet devices (iPad, Nexus, Galaxy, etc.) make the average American’s access to pornography through the internet even more accessible.
Just like you wouldn’t allow a felon to live in your home right alongside your spouse and children, you shouldn’t allow unrestricted access to pornography through the internet. It’s crazy to do so. It’s asking for a slow poison to be fed to your family.
My Experience in Counseling
I have personally counseled one family whose ten-year-old son was given an iPad for Christmas. They didn’t even think about the possibility of him accessing pornography with it. But one night, with a friend staying over, he was introduced to images that will forever plague him. He now fights a life-long battle against the salacious nature of pornography. It’s a battle he should never have had to face at such a young age.
My wife and I have counseled a couple, married and serving together in Christian ministry for over 20 years, whose marriage was almost wrecked by the deceptive nature of pornography and the double-life it produces. I’ve seen the havoc the temptation of pornography can wreak on men and women alike. Marriages are taken to the brink of destruction; families are destroyed.
But you can do something to protect your family and avoid those disastrous results.
Scripture Instructs Us About Such Things
“The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” (Proverbs 22:3)
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
For your family to continue as you are, without unfiltered internet access, would be foolish. It would be refusing to take the way of escape that God provides.
- Talk openly about the wondrous, beautiful things sexuality and sexual relationship are, when kept within the boundaries of marriage, as God intends.
- Let your children know that you, as a family, are committed to living life as God intends.
- Ask them to describe the kind of life they want to live before God.
- Talk about pornography and sexual temptation openly in your family. Help everyone understand the devastation and pain it will bring if it is given room.
- Let your love guide you in how to warn those you love.
- Don’t allow unfiltered internet access to exist in your home, or on any internet-able device you own. Doing so would be foolish, especially once you realize the danger it presents.
Take action—for Christ’s sake, and for the sake of your family.
Carey Green is the founder of Christian Home and Family, a ministry dedicated to helping you build a legacy of Christian faith in your family to last for generations. Feel free to contact him through his website.