Your Son Will See Porn

Illustration of a father and son sitting and talking on a park bench
Joanna Gorham

I had spent my adult life living in shame because of porn. When I confessed my addiction, I was the father of three sons who were 9, 6 and 2. Through counseling and an intensive program, I began to find healing and freedom. But I was worried for my boys' future. Access to pornography is easy and often unintentional. Should I get rid of our computers and our television?

Fear is natural, but eliminating televisions and computers won't guarantee protection from porn. You and I can live with confidence, however, if we educate ourselves on how to guide our boys through a world filled with sensual imagery.

Have conversations often

My oldest son is now 17. What he faces is much different from what my 14- and 10-year-old sons experience. "The talk" about sex and porn needs to be an ongoing conversation. This was awkward at first. But the more we talk, the more comfortable we become.

Share your own struggles

Your openness will help your son recognize that you're approachable. Initially, I thought this might be a mistake, but my sons respected my transparency.

Be an ally

Your son must know you're fighting for him, not trying to catch him doing something wrong. Part of this is safeguarding your electronics with parental controls and Internet monitoring software. As you explain that you want this for yourself, too, you earn credibility.

Give grace freely; offer trust slowly

If your son admits a mistake, offer grace without conditions. Then communicate the process of regaining trust. Maybe that means no electronics after 8 p.m. or a weekly review of browser history. This isn't to punish him but to give him a path to regaining trust. We can forgive his choices without enabling him.

Porn is only a losing battle if we keep it hidden. As you empower your son to confess his sins to you, you bring to your home the freedom found in the love and grace of Jesus.

Justin Davis is the founder of RefineUs Ministries and the author of Beyond Ordinary.

This article appeared in the August/September 2014 issue of Thriving Family magazine. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. Get it delivered to your home by subscribing for a gift of any amount.

Copyright © 2014 by Justin Davis. Used by permission.

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