Many of the people that are part of this community come from a broken sexual past. Our parents were divorced. Perhaps one or both committed adultery. Our stepfather, uncle or mother carelessly left pornography around the home, and so we were exposed at an early age. Maybe a family member or someone we trusted and loved intentionally introduced us to pornography. Perhaps we come from a background of sexual abuse. At some point, some of us probably learned to turn to pornography, masturbation or sexual experimentation to numb us to pain or to gain a temporary sense of power, control and pleasure.
If you’re reading this blog and if you are a regular part of our community at XXXchurch.com, then it’s likely that despite your past struggles with lust, pornography and sex, you hope to walk and live in purity. This broken past has left you with some present-day struggles, but you want to change, and you believe that your past does not determine your future.
If you’re a parent, then this hope for a better life pattern becomes even more important. Whenever I talk to individuals who had early exposure to pornography or who lived through their parent’s broken marriages and infidelity, those past sins can still reign heavy on their present perspective of those family members and loved ones. This isn’t to say that healing and restoration hasn’t happened, by God’s grace, in many cases it has, but it’s complicated. Little moments in life can take any of us back to that day when we first learned that a brother or mother or grandfather consumed porn. And many of us can remember that first mix of emotions: surprise, excitement, fear, confusion, interest and shame that we first felt when we too began to consume porn or another individual’s body through lust. For so many, this early exposure certainly had an impact on our own struggles, and it’s left us with a mixed-up memory of those we care about.
I was recently talking with a young woman--a senior in college--who, while on a trip back to visit her parents, discovered that her father was once again looking at pornography. She had first encountered his habit in high school. She noticed that he was always leaving meals early to go up to his office. He stopped watching TV with the family to do “work” in his office. She heard him shuffling around in his office in the middle of the night and then one day, she walked in on him looking at pornography. His consumption of pornography tainted her good memories and tried to deprive her from recognizing his many strong qualities as a father. I was thinking about this legacy of porn consumption when I happened upon an old article from Ann Voskamp, author of 1000 Gifts, titled “How to Read the Bible: Eat This”, in which she talks about her family’s daily tradition of “eating”, i.e. reading, the Bible together during their meal times together. I thought about this legacy, this tradition, of consuming the Bible and thought about what a wonderful discipline and example to set with my own kids.
This of course isn’t to say that reading the Bible together or engaging in other healthy family activities together will prevent you or your kids from struggling with pornography or infideity, but I do believe that it’s important that we remember that our kids are paying attention to our actions, and fighting daily to set a grace-filled, holy and pure example is something I want to strive for in my family.
One simple step you can take to help protect your kids and yourself from consuming pornography is to set up a filter and accountability software on your computer and all connected devices today (Check out our X3watchPRO). When we are skipping family meals, skipping out on family activities and depriving our husband or wife of our love and sex to consume pornography, it’s bound to impact our kids. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if more of us left a legacy of being consumers of those things that are good, true and beautiful to our kids, rather than continuing to leave a legacy of porn consumption?