“You are not a bad person because you are tempted.” -Dr. Lichi
Pornography is a multi-billion dollar industry whose revenues exceed the profits from professional football, basketball, and baseball combined. Within the world of pornography, marketing teams endlessly research ways to engage people with their products. Children as young as seven years old are exposed to pornography through the use of smart phones and computers. As Dr. Lichi says “They do not have to go looking for pornography, pornography will find them.”
Pornography activates the same centers in the brain as stimulants, hallucinogens, and barbiturates. The first experience of sensual overload can quickly move people from dabbling, to something more life controlling. And similar to those hooked on crack cocaine, or other substances, the next hit is never as good as the first time. It will always take more and more to produce the same effects as that first time.
When people get frustrated in relationships, become hurt, hungry, angry, lonely, tired, bored, anxious or depressed they start to feel that something is missing in their life. Instead of turning to Jesus to meet their needs, people may turn to pornography which is a cheap substitute. Substitutes such as drugs, gambling, shopping or pornography can only bring momentary relief. The relationship problem remains, but the situation is worse. Jesus came so we can be restored to God. He will heal and repair broken relationships if we turn to him instead of cheap substitutes.
If you are a parent:
Recognize the prevalence of pornography in our culture.
It is a multibillion dollar business. Materials can be downloaded for free from the internet.
There is a real danger of your child being exposed at a very young age.
Children are now being introduced to pornography as early as seven or eight years old.
Be vigilant about monitoring your child’s use of smart phones and the internet.
There are programs that can guard your child’s internet usage. Learn how to monitor their phone usage. We recommend Tech Savvy Parenting.
Talk to your children.
Warn your children about internet dangers in the same way you warn them about stranger danger.
If you are struggling with or tempted by pornography:
Remember - Being tempted does not make you a bad person.
Being tempted only means you are human. You are most likely to be tempted when you are tired, bored, anxious, lonely, angry or depressed.
Curiosity can quickly progress to a habit and then to a full addiction.
Addiction usually starts out as something small that grows bit by bit into something big, until it takes over our lives.
Model© EMERGE Ministries, Inc.
God is faithful. He will provide a way out.
God will provide a short period of time, between when you are first tempted, and when you act on the temptation. It is during this time when you must immediately use a healthy alternative behavior.
Turning away will strengthen you.
Each time you turn away from a temptation makes it easier to turn away the next time. The first time is the hardest, but God will give you a window of opportunity to escape. If you resist the temptation, it will pass. When you listen to prompting from the Holy Spirit you will be strengthened in your inner person for the next time you are tempted.
What you can do before temptation strikes:
1. Identify your triggers.
Triggers can be situations, people, or places. It is important to know the times, locations, circumstances, and situations where you might be tempted.
For example: Are you most tempted when your are alone? When you travel for work? Maybe you are a person who is triggered by emotions such as anger, stress, or boredom.
2. Identify alternative behavior.
Have a plan in place before you are tempted. When you find yourself tempted, immediately begin to do a healthy alternative that you chose when making your plan. Pick an alternative that will get you out of the situation.
A. If you are tempted when alone on a business trip, make sure access to pornography through your room TV is unavailable. Have an accountability partner of the same sex, that you can call if you are tempted.
B. If you are a person who is triggered by stress, be aware of situations that leave you tired, angry or worn out. Plan to do healthy alternatives, such as exercise, meeting with supportive friends, or activities that help you unwind and take you away from temptation.
Grace Notes by Philip Yancey
"Pleasure is at once a great good and a grave danger. If we start chasing pleasure as an end in itself, along the way we may lose sight of the One who gave us such good gifts as sexual drive, taste buds, and the capacity to appreciate beauty. As Ecclesiastes tells it, a wholesale devotion to pleasure will, paradoxically, lead to a state of utter despair" (31).
Words to Live By:
"But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it” I Corinthians 10:13 (NLT).
"And when he came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation” Luke 22:40 ESV.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world” 1 John 4:4 NIV.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” Isaiah 41:10 NIV.
Tech Savvy Parenting
“Our sinful flesh refuses to feed on Christ, leaving us painfully empty and ever more determined to find satisfaction in something or someone else. We stubbornly refuse to believe that Jesus is not only necessary, but that he is enough.”
Broken Windows of the Soul - Dr. Arnold R. Fleagle, Dr. Donald A. Lichi
Real People, Real Stories, Real God®