For many young people, “accountability” might sound like a code word for “my parents are spying on me.” But recently I heard from three students who expressed a very different perspective. Three of this year’s scholarship applicants relate their experiences growing up with accountability in the home, and the important role this plays in their relationships with God, family, and friends.
One young woman says the transparency provided by Covenant Eyes brought their family together, “I believe that Covenant Eyes has actually helped increase the unity in our household because nothing is hidden. We all know what is happening on every device.”
She explains further:
“Over the years, Covenant Eyes has trained me to self-censor everything I watch, and also helps me weigh the quality of content online. For example, I am not on social media because I feel that the temptations there are too many to avoid, plus I have seen what my friends say about the toxic influence of social media… I like to think that Covenant Eyes isn’t the only one watching. God is always watching as well. Will I let him down with what I am viewing? Or will I please him with my choices online?”
She recognizes the value of accountability extends beyond Covenant Eyes.
“I am part of a great youth group at church and we all hold each other accountable by discussing what has been going on spiritually and academically in our lives. In our friend group, we are challenged to listen to good music and watch wholesome TV shows. We all use the same Bible app frequently, and encourage each other in our spiritual walks as we finish Bible plans together and highlight verses and learn more about God’s Word.”
A young man writes:
“Trying to lead a life of purity has never been as difficult as it is today. All around me pornography is glorified and treated as a positive practice, so going against the grain is an everyday effort, but I have used Covenant Eyes to safely navigate the internet throughout my childhood. Thankfully, my parents were very proactive when it came to downloading Covenant Eyes, so I did not spend my middle school and high school years contaminating my mind with pornography.
He feels closer with his parents because of the accountability conversations:
“Not only does Covenant Eyes keep my mind clean, my relationship with my parents has also gotten stronger because they know that I have nothing to hide as they receive accountability screen shots from my computer and phone.”
Another young man, now a college student, describes the temptation he faced as a child:
“Before I knew it, I found myself looking over friends’ shoulders at things I knew were not meant for my eyes. When I got my phone, naturally the impulse to look for pornography myself was there as I had spent a few years feeding it discretely through my friends’ habits.
However, because his parents insisted that his phone be monitored, he was able to avoid bondage to porn:
“Covenant Eyes saved me from going down that same path my friends had so early in life. If my dad had not decided to install the Covenant Eyes browser on my phone, I can say with confidence that I’d have found myself deep in an addiction I was not equipped to handle.”
He continues, expressing gratitude for the role that accountability has played in his life since leaving for college:
I am incredibly thankful to my dad for having the foresight to put those walls in place. I wish my friends had those earlier in life so they could have avoided the damage that pornography has inflicted on them, whether they are aware of its effects or not. Because I had experienced first-hand how powerful your browser had been in directing the purity in my life, I was inspired to bring it up with the new friends I made during my freshman year of college. I challenged them to hold each other accountable, myself included, to put those boundaries in place and put those habits in the past. We’ve had varying success over the past year, but we consistently ask each other how we are doing and carry each other’s burdens in love. I would not have been blessed with this form of accountability if it weren’t for Covenant Eyes.”
For many teenagers, the thought of being monitored by their parents seems like an invasion of privacy—but it doesn’t have to be! These three students learned early on that accountability brings transparency and removes temptation, freeing them up to make healthy, God-honoring decisions.
Covenant Eyes helps parents and teens who want to build strong relationships based on openness and integrity. Covenant Eyes was made for families!
What a battle, seems impossible sometimes, especially when You live alone. God has blessed Me with 71 years on this Earth, and I still can’t do right in His Eyes. God Bless
Hi Steven! That’s a great point—isolation is one of the biggest issues when it comes to pornography. Living alone can make it harder too. That’s why we believe so strongly in accountability relationships. If you don’t have some strong accountability relationships already, please look into the Samson Society—it’s a great community of Christian men who seek authentic relationships and honesty.
Hello my children are getting older now I would like to se what I can do to protect them?
Thanks for your comment, that’s a great question. We’ve released 3 free resources to help protect your family. They provide helpful guidelines and practical steps for children of different ages. See here. I hope this helps!
Great question! Personally, I recommend using Covenant Eyes Screen Accountability, no matter what age your children are! It is important to pair the device accountability with regular conversations as well. Check in on your kids; ask them how they are doing emotionally, what is tempting them, and how you can help them to keep their eyes pure. If you attend a church, see if they have a youth group or young adult group for your kids to plug in to. Fellowshipping with other believers is so important!
As kids grow, they want more independence. I believe it’s important to give them some independence, while still putting boundaries in place (like Covenant Eyes) to hold them accountable and avoid temptation.