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Porn at College: Life at the Crossroads

Last Updated: February 21, 2014

by O.R. Leslie

porn at college the crossroads“O.R., can we go outside and talk in private?” the young man asked. He was in a Family Counseling class at a major Christian university where my wife, Brenda, and I had been asked to speak. As we went out the door, I put my arm on his shoulder, and he wept. “What you said up there, hit me hard. I can see myself in your story. I want to take my relationship with a girl to the next level. But I want my porn habit to be gone, because I know how the porn will affect our relationship.”

Brenda and I talked about this young man and his sensitive heart a great deal. We wondered…if someone had talked to me when I was in college, would it have made a difference?

I believe that for the porn user, college is the crossroads. The student is away from home for the first time and without parental supervision. They have freedom to make their own choices and sometimes make poor ones. Porn use frequently becomes a habit because it is most easily adopted when in secret and away from home. I don’t know for sure if someone talking to me in college would have made a difference. No two hearts are the same. Was my heart soft enough to be willing to listen to such a message when I was 13 to 21 years old?

In the Christian college classes we’ve taught, young ladies state, “Our boyfriends are pressuring us to either watch porn or make pornographic videos with them.” They ask, “Is there anything wrong with using a little porn and should we leave him if he won’t stop?” We are stunned.

They felt as if they were competing with the porn models and needed to compromise their values in order to have a relationship with the opposite sex. University deans and counselors have observed young men who would rather barricade themselves in their dorm room to engage in a porn fantasy than take a chance on a real relationship.

Why would someone trade interacting with a live human being for a fantasy? In a real relationship there are risks. Self confidence can be shattered when someone is turned down. But pornography does not bring anything meaningful into the user’s life. It never provides a true satisfactory experience for the user. Otherwise, the never-ending search for the perfect video or picture would end. True satisfaction can only be found in a real relationship with another person where intimacy can be experienced.

Parents, Christian colleges, and churches, need to make sure that our young people who are at this crossroad in life receive solid Biblical teaching about the sexual relationship. They need to understand how pornography is a habit that will continue to grow into an obsession, unless it is stopped early. They need to see the face of pornography for what it is. They need to see that it is a dead-end street full of despair, addiction, and pain. It neither fulfills nor satisfies. If a young man or young woman is not willing to stop a bad habit or addiction at 20, in all likelihood, unless something happens that is dramatic, he or she will not stop later on.

When Brenda and I tell our testimony about how pornography caused me to be incarcerated, nearly ended our marriage, hurt our children, blew up my career, and devastated our church family, they can see the face of pornography. They see real people who were profoundly affected in a negative way, but they also see that there is hope in overcoming an addiction. We hope young people will rethink their choices. We pray that they will.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/regentscollegelondon/

. . . .

OR LeslieO.R. Leslie and his wife Brenda are partners in Three Voices Ministry, assisting those who suffer under the weight of pornography. They conduct classes and seminars throughout the United States at churches to educate and assist leadership and members.

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