Girls Watch Too: Pornography and the Modern Woman
Wednesday, July 29, 2015 | Written by Luke Gilkerson
5 Ways Our Culture is Grooming Your Daughter for Porn
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | Written by Kristen Clark
Whether your daughter is seven years old or seventeen, our culture is grooming her for an appetite for pornography. If you have a daughter or know someone who does, listen up.
Millions of well meaning parents have a sincere desire to protect their daughters from pornography. They check their daughters’ Internet history and even install protective filters, thinking they’re in the clear.
However, if you’ve believed the lie that pornography is something hidden in the deepest corners of the Internet, you’ve been duped.
Long before your daughter is ever exposed to a pornographic site, she has already gone through years of soft porn grooming. As a woman not too far past my teen years, I know this first hand.
We often think of porn as being some form of intense adult content only targeted at men…but it’s not.
With your daughter in mind, listen to how the dictionary describes porn:
“Sexually explicit videos, photographs, writings, or the like, produced to elicit sexual arousal.”
Did you catch that last part? “Produced to elicit sexual arousal.” How many mainstream movies, songs, books, TV shows, and magazines are created to elicit sexual arousal? Try…a large majority of them.
If your daughter is the the habit of watching mainstream TV shows, secular music videos, reading magazines like Glamour or Cosmo, and shopping at the mall regularly, she is being groomed for an appetite for porn. Welcome to the 21st century.
Your daughter’s innocent mind is being slowly desensitized one day at a time. If you want to spare your daughter from a future porn addiction, you have to do way more than guard her from the “biggies.” It’s the little things that will get her today.
Here are 5 subtle ways our culture is grooming your daughter for porn:
1. Mainstream Movies
When your daughter is little, Hollywood tells her that true love is nothing more than butterflies and happily ever afters. But, when she hits her teen years, true love is portrayed as steamy sex scenes and one night stands.
Chick flicks are a huge culprit and they’re targeted at your daughter. Many of these movies are filled with glorified premarital sex scenes, steamy adultery, sexual innuendos, and nudity. “Eliciting sexual arousal” is an obvious goal.
Every time your daughter watches these so-called “innocent” movies, her conscience and sensitivity to purity and morality is weakened. Her view of sex is watered down. She is one step closer to viewing porn as a harmless pleasure.
2. Secular Magazines
I was chatting with a young mom recently who shared with me how destructive Cosmo magazine had been on her as a teen. She said, “I read that garbage and soaked up their worldview about love, sex, and happiness. As a result, I moved into my adult years with an extremely distorted worldview about sex.”
Magazines like Cosmo, Marie Claire, Glamour, and others are targeted at young single women. These magazines are filled with raunchy (premarital) sex advice, scandalous images, and dirty secrets. Nothing will groom your daughter’s appetite for porn quicker than reading this trashy material. “Eliciting sexual arousal” is an obvious goal.
The more she reads, the more her sexual compass is weakened. She is one step closer to viewing porn as a “harmless pleasure.”
3. Music Videos
Music used to be an experience for the ears. Not anymore. Music videos are now an extremely popular form of entertainment for young people. If you think your daughter is watching harmless videos on MTV or YouTube, think again.
Music videos aren’t about the music anymore…they’re about the sexualized dance moves and seductive clothing. If your daughter is a fan of singers like Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, and Rihanna, she is undoubtedly watching their music videos. And these videos are bad news. From total nudity to illicit sex moves, your daughter is being exposed to soft porn.
Every time she fills her mind with these raunchy and illicit videos, she is unknowingly building a craving for more. Diving headfirst into heavy pornography would not feel that extreme to her anymore.
4. Romance Novels
Girls are dreamers. We love imagination. We flock to “love stories.” Romance novels are written with the female gender in mind. They’re written in a way that draws the reader in and provokes her to vicariously experience what’s happening.
Secular romance novels (and some Christian) are written with the purposeful intent to “elicit sexual arousal.” I’ve heard it said many times that romance novels are porn for females. The recent mainstream acceptance of erotic books like Fifty Shades of Grey is as close as it gets to reading porn. If your daughter enjoys reading, there’s a good chance some of her friends have passed a copy of this terrible book her way.
Reading this explicit material will pollute her mind and leave your daughter with a strong desire for darker and heavier content. Romance novels and erotica push your daughter one step closer to falling into a porn addiction.
5. Social Media
If you have a daughter over 12 years old, chances are she’s on social media.
I have personally, and unintentionally, stumbled across nude and highly provocative images on several of these platforms. I was innocently going about my normal business, clicked on an innocent hashtag, and wham. I was shocked.
If you think all social media sites are safe, think again. It’s extremely easy to stumble across sensual, sexualized and even nude images. All it takes for your daughter is a little exposure to create an instant curiosity and appetite for more.
By seeing these unhealthy images on a regular basis, your daughter is unknowingly taught that it’s normal to see naked/half-naked people. And if she’s “accidentally” exposed to heavy porn one day, she will have been well groomed to receive it.
Living in a raunchy, sensual, and over sexualized culture isn’t easy. Especially for those who are trying to raise children.
I hope you can see that it’s not just the “biggies” that you need to be concerned about for your daughter, but all of the many little things that groom her appetite every day. If your daughter has a personal cell phone with Internet access, that’s most likely where most of her unhealthy sexual exposure will come from. And before you write off you daughter as being “smarter than that” or “wise enough to make good choices,” check these out:
So with all of this information in mind, what’s the solution? Hide your daughter in a box? Keep her away from all technology. Make her wear a blindfold? Probably not. The solution starts with your relationship with your daughter.
She needs you to guide her and protect her as you see appropriate for her age and season of life. She needs you to proactively set boundaries for her and lovingly hold her accountable. She needs you educate her on the dangers of porn and help her build a worldview that’s in alignment with God’s plan for sex. She needs your tough love to put your foot down and say, “no, you can’t watch that movie and here’s why.” These are some of the best ways you can help your daughter avoid getting groomed for porn.
I would love to hear from you now. Do you have a daughter or know someone who does? In what ways do you see the culture grooming her for porn? What solutions have you come up with to protect her from this sexual onslaught?
The one thing you need to do to break porn habits forever
Monday, July 27, 2015 | Written by John Doyel
I wish it were that simple. One thing? If it were that simple then it would be simple, but you and I both know that is not the case. Certainly gouging out your eyes and cutting off your hands as Jesus mentions in Matthew 5 is an option, but not a good one…he is using metaphor in that passage, so please don’t take me literally.
Breaking porn habits is an extremely difficult task, as you well know. However, the freedom you desire will not be the result of a procedure, but found in a process.
Going into surgery is having a procedure. They go in and remove the tumor or appendix or tonsil…sew you up and send you on your way. Some things are fixed by a procedure. When I was four my appendix ruptured and I was rushed to the hospital where they cut me open, did what was needed, and I have had absolutely no problem with that anymore.
Two years ago I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. No procedure exists to end that. However, the process of eating the right foods and getting enough exercise is keeping it under control. I need to follow this daily process and all is good.
Recovery is not a procedure but a process.
Now, if I were to boil it down into one thing we need to do to begin the process of not using porn again, apart from the need to keep being filled with the Spirit and walking in the Spirit, it would be to…
Break the isolation.
I know you keep telling yourself that if you really wanted to you could stop, but you haven’t. There are moments of best intentions but when the loneliness sets in or your anger triggers are pulled, back you go with the promise that you will do better next time.
The reality is you are in a battle way over your head. You are aligned against …
Admitting you have a problem and creating an accountability team around you is where you need to start.
Luke Gilkerson’s book Coming Clean is a tremendous resource for you. So my best recommendation for you—that I do daily myself even after 9+ years of recovery—is to find two people you can trust and be honest with them. Tell them what you are struggling with. Ask them if they will be available to you for daily contact for at least 90 days. Then you initiate the contact with them via phone, face to face or e-mails/texts to honestly tell them how your day has gone.
Couples Using Porn: Does it increase sexual satisfaction?
Friday, July 24, 2015 | Written by Luke Gilkerson
Many people claim porn can increase a couple’s sexual satisfaction—making us excited about sex with our partner and giving us fresh ideas in the bedroom.
The fact that people watch porn because they find it exciting and pleasurable isn’t up for debate. But is watching porn really conducive to true intimacy and real sexual satisfaction?
Porn Use is the Norm
Among the rising adult generation, many men and women see continued porn use acceptable, even while in a longterm relationship. A study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found, among young adults:
For the majority of young Americans, pornography use—at least as long as it doesn’t become obsessive—is not seen as a problem for couples in a romantic relationship.
Spicing Up the Erotic Climate
In one sense, it shouldn’t surprise us that couples who use porn in the bedroom might have seemingly high levels of sexual satisfaction. Compared to couples that have different convictions about whether porn is healthy or moral, or compared to couples where one partner is sneaking around to look at porn, couples that use porn together are at least on the same page.
The research bears this out:
Bigger Orgasms ≠ Better Intimacy
However, when we investigate the matter of couples viewing porn together, we are often asking the wrong questions—or at least making the wrong comparisons.The question is not whether shared porn use bodes well for relationships compared to solitary use for masturbation. The question is not whether honesty about porn use is healthier than dishonesty.
A better question is whether couples watching porn together is optimal for real intimacy.
In other words, there’s no doubt communication about sexual expectations and fantasies is good for couples. There’s no doubt honesty and eliminating secrecy is good for relationships. Of course couples can benefit from being adventurous or keeping things fresh in the bedroom. But why is porn needed for any of that? Moreover, what needless side effects can be avoided if we pursue sexual vibrancy without the aid of porn?
According to a study of unmarried couples published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, compared to those who watch porn alone and those those who watch porn with their partner, those who don’t view any porn at all have much lower rates of infidelity—and this should hardly surprise us.
If we are using the erotic images of others to turn us on in the act of lovemaking, the focus of our attention is not our partner. As couples watch porn together, they only reinforce the notion that attraction to others is expected and even encouraged. Instead of working to cement a bond where your partner is your standard of beauty, you communicate, “I need someone more to turn me on.”
According to research from Drs. Dolf Zillmann and Jennings Bryant, regular exposure to porn—even over a short period—can produce the following effects in both men and women:
Better sex is not measured by bigger orgasms. The big O of sex is not orgasm; it is oneness. And we don’t achieve this kind of intimacy staring at pixels on the screen.
To the Wife of a Porn Addict: Letting Go of Anger
Thursday, July 23, 2015 | Written by Guest Author
I have had so many various emotions after discovering my husband was addicted to pornography three years ago.
But, the emotion that I feared the most—because it had total control of me, was anger.
I think almost every wife is angry when she finds out that her husband is hiding the secret sin of watching pornography. He is betraying her and hurting her in ways he may never fully understand. Sometimes the husband is also carrying this sin into real life and is having inappropriate relationships with women.
All of these things, when confessed, can be so freeing for the husband. It also helps start the restoration of the marriage. However, all of these deceitful acts add to the wife’s anger.
The reason that anger is so very destructive is because of how we act when we are angry. It feels like a power comes over us that we cannot control. We make decisions and say things that we would never do in our normal state.
I never considered myself an angry person. I was calm in many situations. I had no problem raising my four children with patience. Then, my life changed when I found out what my husband was doing daily on the computer.
Of course, I was very sad. I found that in my sadness I could calmly talk to my husband. I could express my hurts and feelings to him. I could also spend time with God. I could read the Bible or pray. I worked through the times of sadness.
But anger was something different. Anger started to eat me alive. I was angry at so many things.
When I fully realized that I didn’t like the person I was, I knew I had to change. Yes, my husband made the decisions to lie and break the commitment of marriage, but I was responsible for how I acted. Nothing my husband did could excuse the terrible monster I was becoming.
I had to surrender to God.
When I laid my anger down, I knew it would be hard. Things would come up or I would remember something and I naturally wanted to go into a rage of anger. However, I had to constantly remind myself of the commitment I made to let my anger go. I would talk to God and say,
“Lord, You know how much anger I feel. You know that if I don’t do something about it, I will just explode. If that happens, it will be very ugly and destructive. So, I am asking You, God, to remove this anger. Please, take it from me. Give me something else to replace it with. Let me not dwell upon it.”
Then I would get my mind busy thinking about anything else. Slowly, the anger would go away.
I have to remind myself of God’s plans in all of this. God can take the brokenness of my marriage and turn it around for something good. He can use my once destructive anger and use it to help other wives find healing from God after the crisis in their marriage.
The alternative is that I hold on to my anger. I can keep my anger and let it take control of my whole life. I can never have happiness and my relationship with my husband will never be beautiful. My anger will keep it at an ugly distance.
It is my hope that each wife will turn her anger over to God and see what God plans to do if she will trust Him with her life.
Game Changer: Kirk Cousins Talks About Online Integrity
Wednesday, July 22, 2015 | Written by Luke Gilkerson
Responsibly Warning Your Children about Porn
Tuesday, July 21, 2015 | Written by Sherry Allchin
“Help! I just caught my 10-year-old son looking at porn on his tablet he uses for games!”
“Checking my child’s phone for something else, I came across the sexual pictures she was exchanging with a boy out of state—at least that’s who she thinks it’s with…one she met in a chat room.”
“Our 12-year-old just tried to act out sexually with his little sister. Where did he learn such a thing? And how do we help our daughter now? How does such a thing happen to children?”
“My 18-year-old daughter just announced she wants to be a stripper! When and where did she learn that? How long has she been involved in a sexual world of which we knew nothing?”
Unfortunately, I’m often asked the question by parents of when and how to have “the porn talk” with their children after it’s too late. If there has been a communication breakdown for any reason between parents and child, these talks may have already happened in the locker room at school or on the playground or at a friend’s house—unreliable information at best, and a setup for sexual abuse at worse.
The “porn talk” is too important to randomly drop on your child without much thought, and one that makes many parents even more anxious than “the body development talk.”
Statistically, children are viewing porn younger and younger. It is easy to accidentally access porn websites when children are using computers for schoolwork or even playing games. Sometimes, friends share a cool link they’ve found introducing classmates to porn sites. I recently talked to a mom that pulled her daughter from riding the public school bus because a junior high girl was demonstrating how to give oral sex to a boy on the way home from school with most of the other kids watching and blocking it from the driver.
Parents, we are in a different world. Our children must be warned. Yet we must be extremely careful how we speak of those sinful things not to arouse curiosity that will entice immature ones into the forbidden. Ephesians 5:12 warns us to be careful not to speak of shameful and secret sins, but only to expose them to the light of Christ and His Word.
Start Early. Start Simple.
“But when and how do we begin?” is the question parents are asking. As with all learning, line upon line, precept upon precept is the key. A firm foundation of knowledge and trust has to be in place long before the topic itself is approached. If this foundation is not already in place when one day your child stumbles upon pornography elsewhere, the damage may take years to repair.
When a child is old enough to ask a question, be honest and give an age appropriate answer.For example, when my three-year-old daughter asked how the expected baby brother got into my tummy, an age appropriate answer was that because Mommy and Daddy love each other very much, God gave us a baby to grow in Mommy’s tummy. Though a simple answer, it began to lay the foundational understanding that the covenant of marriage was between a man, a woman and their God, and that children were the heritage of the Lord to be welcomed with joy into that family.
As she asked other questions, I gave answers that were honest, but on her level of understanding—enough but not too much information for her to process. We wanted to help her develop a Biblical view of her sexuality from early childhood. By adolescence, we wanted her to know that sex is good with the right person—her spouse, and at the right time—within the covenant of marriage. God created her as a sexual being not only to produce children, but to share this joy with a spouse, and that it is worth waiting for!
With two brothers in the house, I began to teach her early about body privacy and modesty. She could see that boys and girls were different, and we talked about how God created both in His image, yet male and female, for the purpose of becoming parents and having families to the glory of God. We were laying the foundation for her own marriage and family in God’s time.
But most important, we as parents became her source of information. We wanted open communication about any and every topic she questioned. When classmates talked at school, she wanted to talk to us about their discussions to see if they were correct. That openness paid rich dividends so many times through their teen years as all three of our children came to us with their questions and concerns.
When they were tempted, the foundation was in place to know God’s perspective on the issue. That made them less vulnerable than children or teens with little understanding of their own bodies and their sexuality. Even as young children they knew there was an appropriate familial “yes” touch and an inappropriate “no” touch. They understood that body privacy meant they didn’t show their private parts to others and they didn’t look at others. They knew they could say “No!” to anyone who wanted to violate that privacy, and that they could talk to us about it. As they matured, they understood that pornography is the abnormal and is a violation of those privacy issues we talked about when they were children. Line upon line, precept upon precept.
As soon as children are using electronic devices (which seems to be younger and younger) there must be guards, guidelines, and boundaries in place. Having a filter or parental controls is absolutely necessary! Talk to them about why these guards are necessary. Warn the children about the possibility of inappropriate pictures popping up and what to do if that happens—have a plan in place.
This conversation must take place so that they understand any violation of the plan must be handled as a serious matter. An accidental pop-up that was immediately shut down by the child is handled quite differently than when he searches out those sexual pictures. Children need the accountability of knowing parents are watchingand aware of what they are seeing online until they reach moral maturity and are choosing moral purity consistently, whether in thought, communications, or actions.
Parents, even if you assume your child won’t get into porn, don’t assume everyone else’s child won’t! We are warned in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 that the last days would be treacherous for us and especially for our vulnerable children. We may have control and influence over the very young, but as their world expands, the influences on them may be disastrous if they are not thoroughly warned (1 Corinthians 15:33). This conversation may be too late for some by age thirteen, so we must lay the foundation throughout their childhood as we teach and train them, yes warn them, to guard their eyes, their ears, their friendships, their bodies, their hearts and minds.
In Scripture, the established model for change is through the renewed mind (Romans 12:1,2; Ephesians 4:17-24). Parents who both teach and model holy living are helping their child to think biblically and to put off sinful habits and to put on Christlikeness. The flesh is drawn to sin in general, and to pornography and all sorts of sexual perversion in specific. Children must be trained to resist wrong thinking that opens them to wrong actions, wrong choices. If any person is to put off pornography or any other sexual sin, he will only put it off and keep it off if there is a righteous replacement. In other words, he must put on a biblical view of his sexuality.
A Vision for Moral Purity
That is why I stressed in the beginning to start those conversations early, to teach them about their bodies as a reflection of God’s holy image, to teach them about God’s plan for families, and to teach them about moral purity. Then pray, pray, pray! Let them know you are praying for them to make wise choices as they grow up. Pray for them and with them about any and all of their concerns. Take time to listen to their concerns, and to just enjoy them as your children. This time is an investment into their lives that will pay rich rewards as they mature into godly young adults.
They will thank you for guiding them into moral purity as they stand at their own wedding altar some day.
The One Thing SUCCESSFUL Porn Addiction Recovery Has in Common with AA
Monday, July 20, 2015 | Written by Jon Snyder
“Hello, my name is____ and I’m a _____.”
Have you ever talked with someone who has been through AA or a similar program and has been sober for a while? I met a man recently who struck up a conversation outside a quaint Italian restaurant. One of the first pieces of information he volunteered about himself was his name and the fact that he was an alcoholic with ten years of sobriety.
Later I pondered why so many people who have been through AA start conversations in such a similar fashion. In fact, if you find almost anyone who has been through an addiction recovery group, you’ll find that they introduce and identify themselves in a similar way. Why?
These people aren’t just making chit chat. They aren’t overly candid. They aren’t coached to tell people that they are sober for however long it may be. The answer is deeper than that. The answer has to do with identity. People who go successfully go through these behavior groups take on the identity of a person who is walking in sobriety. To violate that behavior would violate their new identity.
I’m not advocating this as the goal for a Christian to find freedom. But the commonality is this: in order for behavior to change, identity also has to change. So whether it is a secular help group or the Bible’s model for change (which I think is far superior), identity transformation is at the heart of lasting behavioral change. You see, you will never act in a way that is contrary to your core beliefs and self-perceptions.
What you DO flows from who you ARE
We wrongly think people take identity from what they do. We think if we change the way we act, we will change the way we feel inside—and that may have temporary effects. But eventually, behavior always reverts and follows a person’s internal beliefs no matter how many tips, tactics, and twelve steps are employed to control one’s actions.
The Bible makes this clear: the heart, a person’s internal core beliefs, is what drives behavior. Proverbs doesn’t say that “as a man acteth in his behavior, so is he.” Rather it says that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he” (Proverbs 23:7). Jesus said the same thing in many different ways:
Proverbs again states, “Out of the heart flow the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23). That means that it isn’t your issues that are affecting your heart but the heart that is fueling your issues.
I see so many men who come to our ministry discouraged because they’ve tried this and tried that but eventually fall back into sin. They feel confused and hopeless, jaded to the very idea that real freedom even exists. The truth is that they’ve done things to change their behavior but haven’t submitted themselves to a process where God can change their identity. If you want real, lasting change, your heart, your core identity must change first.
Identity Change was Critical in My Transformation
Something profound happened to me as God began leading me out of a lifestyle of pornography addiction: I began to see myself differently. Prior to that, it was as if a cloud of shamehad followed me everywhere. I was always under the weight of it, always feeling as if I was somehow “broken” and not right with God. I lived out of that reality; and I thought that I had to get my act together and stop sinning before God could truly accept and love me. The opposite was true.
As I really started to seek the Lord for freedom and help with this porn addiction with a confidence in His love, I began to see myself as a son of God. I started to believe the truths that the Bible said about me. I began to trust in Jesus’ righteousness in me rather than believe that somehow my sin was bigger or more influential in how God saw me than what Jesus had done to bring me into fellowship with Him.
Something amazing happens when you begin to believe that you are pure, beloved and righteous: you start to act that way.
Something amazing happens when you begin to believe that you bring God pleasure: you want to bring Him more pleasure.
Something amazing happens when you have self-love: you begin to treat yourself as a person of value, not degrading yourself. What’s more? You begin to have love for others and not want to use them as objects.
A New Creation
God doesn’t just clean up the old man when we get saved. He creates a completely new man. This is so important to realize because it is the foundation that gives us real power to change. You see, in Christ, we don’t fight for purity, we fight from purity. Pure is who we are. Pure is how Christ made us; and our dirt doesn’t make the Holy Spirit dirty.
The Bible’s truth is that we are already set free. We need to walk in that truth until it becomes a part of who we are. This is a far better identity change than what AA or any ten step program can give. We are sons of God. We are the righteousness of Christ. We are new creations. We are pure. We are beloved and accepted.
I tell the guys who come through our ministry, “Your starting point will determine your outcome.” ‘
If you start your journey to freedom with the core belief that you are a slave to sin despite the fact that Christ has set you free, there is nothing more that Jesus can do for you because it has already been done; and in your heart you are rejecting it.
But if you start your journey with the confidence that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it” (Philippians 1:6), and with the confidence that freedom is inevitable because it has already been purchased on your behalf, then you are in a great position to receive all that God has for you and to begin to walk in the steps that bring about this identity change and true lasting freedom.
So maybe it is time for you to embrace the truth that the Bible has to say about you. If Jesus is your savior, then with confidence you can say, “Hello, my name is ______, and I am not a porn addict; I am a son of God.”
If you need additional help, my book, The Mighty Man Manual, may be a great resource to guide you through the steps in Christ for real heart change and lead you into a relationship with God that brings about true and lasting freedom. Visit www.mightymanmanual.com for more information.
Myth: It’s My Fault My Husband Looks At Porn
Friday, July 17, 2015 | Written by Luke Gilkerson
Women often ask us, “What should I have done differently in my marriage so my husband wasn’t drawn to pornography? What’s wrong with me that he likes this stuff?”
In this video, Matt Fradd explains…