Here’s What 3 Teens Have to Say About Porn

We have received thousand of stories from people who have used Covenant Eyes to help them overcome porn addiction. Each story is unique, but all are incredibly powerful. As someone who has grown up using Covenant Eyes, my favorite stories to read are those coming from the younger generation—the kids who used our accountability software while living with their parents and now see the positive impact it has on their life as adults.

Today, I want to share 3 stories from the kids of Covenant Eyes. I want you to hear about their struggles and temptations, and how Covenant Eyes helped them remain accountable online. They have written these stories themselves, and I hope that it will spur you on to use accountability in your own home.

Meet Jonah.

“Some of my most memorable childhood experiences happened at that special place cherished by many people today: the movie theatre.  I was always very fond of going to the movies, and enjoyed being engaged by gripping stories and adventures.  One thing I never quite understood, however, was the presence of romantic scenes in these movies.  My Dad would often reach over and cover my eyes when two characters began kissing, or when they got into bed with one another.  The reason why my Dad covered my eyes at the theatre remained a mystery to me.

Growing up, however, my parents eventually taught me about that famous three-letter word: sex.  It would take years before the gravity of “sex” weighed in on me.  Eventually, however, I began to understand that humans were designed to be attracted to the opposite sex.  My parents began to “connect the dots” by explaining how the movies we watched in the theatre were taking this good idea of sex and twisting it into something evil.

They also explained that pornography was the visual depiction of sexual immorality.  They helped me understand the difference between attraction and lust: the former is natural, arising from the innate desires God has given us; the latter is sinful, arising from temptation to sexual immorality. I finally began to understand that sex itself was good, but that the exploitation of sex for personal gratification outside of marriage was immoral.

As a Christian, I began to understand what Paul meant in 1 Corinthians 6:18 when he said ‘FLEE from sexual immorality.  Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.’ I realized that pornography was exalted and even revered all around the world: in magazines and movies—but most prominently, on the Internet.

This is when my parents introduced our family to Covenant Eyes.  Because of this new system, our family could have new conversations about the danger of lust and the importance of accountability.  This new system has guarded my eyes from the perversity of the Internet, and kept me far from the raging river of pornography.

I have now had Covenant Eyes installed on all of my devices for years, and the impacts of this system on my life are manifold.  For example, it has created a sense of transparency between me and my parents, eliminating the need for me to be secretive about my Internet activity.  Covenant Eyes has also helped me personally: it has shown me that while I am accountable for my actions before my parents, I am most importantly accountable before God.  In short, it has helped me to develop a sense of self-discipline.

I don’t merely avoid pornography to please my parents, but to build stronger character and to ultimately please God.  Today, I strive to make my life consistent with Paul’s injunction in 2 Timothy 2:22: “flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace”.  Now I think I know why Covenant Eyes bothers filtering pornography and other explicit content—it is for the same reason that my father used to cover my eyes in the movies when I was a little boy: it is because of love.”

Meet Alyssa

“When I turned thirteen years old, a mysterious new app showed up on my device. With a bright blue logo and a single eye seemingly staring at me, this app was not easy to ignore. I didn’t think much of it, but I soon realized that this app would have a huge impact on how I use technology.

At the time, however, saying that I disliked the app would be an understatement. I was embarrassed by it and tried to hide it on the very last page of my phone so that my friends would not see it. When I would want to watch a YouTube video, Covenant Eyes would often block it. When I would want to download a new app, it would be blocked. I would complain to my dad all the time about this app; however, he refused to delete because he saw the good in it when I didn’t.

Covenant Eyes frustrated me, and I tried everything I could think of to get rid of it. It did not make any sense to me why my parents had to protect me so much, when my friends were free to do whatever they wanted on the internet.

As I got older, I began to get used to this app. I knew what I could and couldn’t look up and things began to get a lot easier for me. Although I was unaware of it, I began to develop a pattern of being safe on the Internet. I started to realize that what I was involving myself in greatly impacted my relationship with Christ.

This mentality of keeping my heart safe reflected in other areas of my life as well. I started to listen to music that was clean and wholesome. I also began to make friends with good morals and brought me closer to Jesus than ever before. Keeping my heart safe from the evil in the world made me a noticeably better person. When I let go of the worldly things that I desired before, Christ began to shine in me.

Although I was reluctant of the app at first, I am now incredibly thankful for it. I am a very curious person and had a rebellious nature as a child; I can’t even imagine how much Covenant Eyes has protected me from seeing. I would never be who I am today if my parents never put that bright blue app on my device when I was thirteen years old. I am also very thankful that my dad and fifteen-year-old brother have it.

I believe that Covenant Eyes has protected my family and kept us strong. When I head off to college, I plan to use Covenant Eyes because I now fully understand how valuable it is.”

Meet Marcos

“I was only seven years old when I saw a pornographic image for the first time. At that age, I had no clue how dangerous the material was, how pervasive of a force it was in society, or how deeply entrenched members of my own family were in it. All I knew is that the image I found on the computer raised my heart rate and created the emotional concoction of exhilaration, fear, and shame.

From that moment on, I wrestled with a severe inner conflict: confess to someone the turmoil I was experiencing and get help, or keep the struggle to myself and not endure the humiliation that comes from admitting my problem. I, unfortunately, did not find the boldness to be honest with my struggle. Instead, I began to experience deteriorating self-esteem and deep shame.

It was not until I was twelve years old when my secret was discovered. At first my mom thought all the material she found belonged to my father. No one suspected me, a seventh grader at the time, to be a porn addict. Finally, while sitting in the back of the car, my mother asked me a simple question. She asked, “Marcos, do you have something you want to tell me?” I stared into her eyes and time began to slow down. I broke down and wept hysterically until I was able to speak five minutes later.

For the first time in my life, I admitted my addiction. After that day my mom began to take me to therapy to deal with my problem. We put passwords on all the computer and I was given what was known as a “dumb phone”. I, unfortunately, was too clever for the restrictions put in place. I would always find some sort of way to access the Internet in order to feed my addiction since I had no hope within my soul of ever recovering.

There were times I would make progress but eventually I began to lie to my therapist since I knew confessing my back doors would result in sacrificing them. Although at the time I did not understand how profound my struggle was, it was that age that I decided to love porn more than I love God.

It was not until I was a junior in high school that I made a significant effort to quit watching porn. I joined a discipleship group at my church and I learned about accountability. I was taught to admit my temptation as soon as it came and to confess when I would stumble. The issue was that I would experience a short lived time of purity that always ended in a massive relapse.

These repetitive cycles became a part of my life and even followed me to college. I lived a double life as a leader of a ministry on my campus while simultaneously having a private struggle that got worse and worse. I became so depressed that I was almost suicidal. The struggle got as bad as it possibly could have and I almost destroyed all of the relationships that I had built during my first two years of college. I reached absolute rock bottom and I knew something had to change.

In my third year of college I created an accountability group with two of my closest guy friends that met once a week to talk about our struggles. Although we profited from having a structured group, we lacked discipline and often missed meetings or failed to have full transparency in our struggles. It was not until we all got Covenant Eyes that we were able to make serious progress in our respective battles.

We started using the Overcome 40 Day Challenge application as a basis for tracking our progress, as well as for discussion points in our meetings. We set restrictions on each other’s phones so that we are unable to remove the app and we all get copies of each other’s browsing reports. Installing the Overcome app along with the CE software was the turning point in my battle with porn.

Although I have had more downtime than ever due to the coronavirus, I’ve been walking in purity during these challenging times since Covenant Eyes and its supplemental resources have taught me strategies as well as the spiritual principles I need to say no to porn. My life has changed because of this newfound lifestyle of complete transparency.

In the last couple of months, many times my struggle would have to be fought in excruciating minute by minute battles. There were many days I had to call up my accountability brothers to talk and pray. Yet, since I knew the reward purity would bring me along with my spiritual identity in Christ, I was able to desire freedom more than I desired porn.

Don’t Delay Protecting Your Home

The 3 stories above are just a sampling from the many kids, teens, and young adults who have been affected by porn and found freedom through Covenant Eyes. Their testimonies of hope and healing are what motivate me to continue fighting against porn and using Screen Accountability in my home.

If you’re ready to protect your home from the “raging rivers of pornography”, as Jonah so accurately describes it above, don’t wait to get started. Porn lurks in every corner, and your kids are not immune.