Four Starter Steps to Fight Porn In Your Home

Pornography is big business in America.  Approximately $12 billion annually is spent on pornography.  To put that in perspective, the 100 largest missions organizations in America received 3 billion in a recent year.  Porn is about equal to the energy drink market in the US.  Close your eyes and visualize all the energy drinks in all the gas stations, grocery stores & Walmarts in America… there you go.  (If you haven’t read my last post on porn, and how pervasive it is in our culture, there are more stats there.)

In the last few weeks, a study on pornography among young people by the Barna Group commissioned by Josh McDowell was completed.  The results were startling.  76% of young people who identified as Christians sought out porn regularly.   Perhaps even more shocking were their views on it.  To quote the news story: “…while 52 percent of young Christian adults ‘would say that not recycling is morally wrong, only 32 percent would say watching pornography is morally wrong.'”

In that kind of world, how do we protect our families, our hearts, our churches?

Here are four beginning suggestions:

1. Build technological walls between your family and sin.

No one in today’s world — NO. ONE. — should have an unsecured, unfiltered internet connection. There are multiple tools available to do this, at reasonable cost (or no cost!). Invest the time. Get them. Learn them. Use them. Here are my favorites:

  •  OpenDNS – this software lives on your wireless router (not the computer), so it filters every device connected to your network. Invaluable, and free. Slightly more complicated to install than other programs. Very dependable in blocking. Not as powerful in monitoring and reporting.
  • Covenant Eyes. Filtering program for computers and phones. No child should have a smartphone or tablet without it. Not free, but excellent.
  • K9 Web Protection – Good, and free.  Custom lists, forced SafeSearch, time restrictions, reports… I’m impressed they can provide this much horsepower for free.  Multiple platforms available.
  • X3Watch – Free phone reporting app, sends your browsing history to an accountability partner. Somewhat weak on what it catches, but free. Barebones option. Also has a paid version of filtering software for computers.
  • Purify – this web service (and Chrome extension) shows Youtube videos, and strips away all the sidebars, comments, suggested videos, etc. Excellent idea for those who need to use Youtube, but dislike the abundance of sensuality & vulgarity in the suggested video thumbnails.
  • Mobicip – A free version & paid version.  Mobicip has apps & filters for all platforms.  I’m currently test driving this one on my Android phone and my PC.

2. Pray like crazy.

While we may fight with digital means, the protection of our homes is fundamentally a spiritual battle. Fasting and prayer for your family simply can’t be replaced.

3. Communicate often.

Cultivate honesty & willingness to share about these things by starting early. Talk about it with your children.

Discuss it with your spouse.  Men, share this parable with your wives:
Imagine that the Scripture condemns eating chocolate. Not only does it condemn it, but it condemns looking at it, and wanting to eat it. Then imagine that everyone ate chocolate. There were books about it. 12% of all websites were about chocolate. TV shows featured it, celebrities discussed their chocolate lives on talk shows.  Popular songs discussed chocolate openly.  Magazines and billboards featured half-unwrapped chocolate bars. Now, how hard is it not to think about chocolate?

Ladies, “Is it really like that?” is a question you need to ask of your husbands. If he’s honest, he’ll say yes.  But the conversation you have after he does will be important.

And you’ll need plenty of this next principle:

4. Create an atmosphere of grace.

I’ll be honest. You can’t build walls high enough to completely solve the problem. You can’t have enough tech tools. You can’t check up enough to prevent the possibility.  Odds are extremely high that your husband, your child, will see something impure.  Perhaps even intentionally.  What then?

Be very careful how you respond.  You have two choices: Law and Grace.

Paul says the law is clear that “the person who DOES these things shall live by them.” (Romans 10:5, NKJV). But the opposite is also true. The person who doesn’t — will die by them. And if the atmosphere of your home is one of law; if you’ve created an atmosphere of law, fear, condemnation, ultimatums… then the threat of condemnation will add to the guilt of their conscience and keep them from coming to you.  They may try to repent & seek forgiveness from Christ, but they won’t seek you out.

Please take it from me as a man who has struggled deeply in this area, received grace from others, & come thru to victory: Grace is more powerful than sin. Law is not… but grace is.

Someday I’ll share my story.  For now — grace, my friends.  Grace.

The Porn Pandemic: Is Purity Possible?

I admit it — I love the Internet.  I liked it from the first time I heard the beep beep boooop of our first dial-up modem, and saw how information came streaming into our home.  Anything I needed to know, type it in… and there it was.

Today, it’s better, smarter, and way, way faster.  My smartphone is always connected.  Google Now learns what I like and search for, and automatically shows me news stories connected to my interests.  Google Drive syncs all my files, so I can retrieve any picture or document from anywhere and send it instantly to anyone.  Amazon lets me order & ship things directly to my door.  My sermons on Youtube have been viewed 5,000 times as of this writing.  I can find the lyrics to almost any song in seconds.

A friend told me once (and I’ve repeated it many times) “Without the internet, I am like any other mortal.”

So you know I’m pro-internet.

But… I have to say this:  Be cautious, friends.  The internet is like nuclear power.  Harnessed, it’s great.  Without proper controls, it’s deadly.

No phenomenon shows this more, or is more pervasive in our culture than internet pornography.

Consider the following statistics:

  • Porn is a $60 billion industry per year worldwide – $12 billion in the USA. ($32.8 million per day!)
  • Pornography brings in more than pro baseball, basketball, football & hockey combined… more than the combined revenues of ABC, CBS & NBC.  Statistically, sports is not “America’s favorite pastime.”
  • Porn sites comprise 12% of ALL sites on the internet.
  • 25% of all search engine requests are porn-related.
  • 28000 people view porn per second.
  • 372 users every second type words to search for porn.
  • In the year 2014, one of the largest pornography video sites reported 78.9 billion video views — 11 for every person on the earth.
  • 90% of kids by age 18 have seen porn on the internet.
  • Average age of first exposure for a child is 11 yrs, usually inadvertently.
  • #1 consumer of porn: boys 12-17.

Now, after you pick your jaw up off the floor, let me hit you with one more: A university attempting to study the effects of pornography, attempted to locate a control group of men who had not been exposed to it, so they could compare them with men who had.  They cancelled the study; they were unable to find men who had not.

In that kind of world, is it even possible to be pure? 

I imagine there were those who felt the same way when Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints…” (1 Cor. 1:2, NKJV)  I imagine they stopped, shook their head, and looked out the window at the towering mountain fortress of Acro-Corinth above their city.  The ancient writers say 1,000 temple prostitutes engaged in “worship” at the temple of Aphrodite.

How does anyone follow Christ and be holy in the shadow of the 1,000 prostitute temple?

But while it may seem challenging, He calls us to holiness nonetheless.

How do we protect our homes? Our children?  Our own hearts?

Filters?  Rules?  Make sure our kids never have computers?  Or visit anyone with computers?  Get rid of the internet?  (What?! How would you read my blog?!)

In my next post, I’ll be sharing 4 starter steps to protecting the atmosphere of your home against the rampant spread of pornography.

For now, I’d like to hear from you in the comments below, or on my Facebook: What are you doing to protect your home from the pornography epidemic?