ichard was looking at a YouTube video one day with a friend, and the friend told him about a porn site. They looked at it together and searched several other sites.
His friend went home, and Richard continued to look at the sites. Before long, Richard knew he was hooked. Now 15 years old, Richard said, “The moment I first saw the porn, I wanted more. I continued to look up more, and more. It was a constant need. I was never happy no matter how much I saw. I’m trying to find a way to stop. It’s so depressing. I wish I had never seen it.”
Not every teen that looks at pornography gets hooked like Richard. We can say with certainty: All teens involved with pornography have less understanding about honoring God, relationships, and sexuality. The many other harmful effects of pornography on teens are well-documented. A partial list includes:
- Exaggerated perspective about sexual activity between men and women
- Decreased respect toward women (seeing women as sex objects)
- Increased risk of exposure to distorted information about human sexuality
- Diminished trust in close relationships
- Diminished sense of sexual self-esteem
- Abandoning the goal of having a monogamous marriage
- Believing sexual promiscuity is normal
- Believing marriage is sexually restricting
- Increased desensitization toward explicit and offensive material
- Increased risks for isolation, loneliness, and depression
- Increased risk for separation and divorce one day
- Increased risk of getting fired from a job
- Increased risk of developing sexually addictive behavior
If you are viewing pornography, you may have already experienced some of these harmful effects. It is inevitable that the negative effects will increase the longer you look at pornography. Remember one very important truth: Pornography is a powerful enticement to a lifestyle of lies and deceit.
[tweetthis]Remember one very important truth: Pornography is a powerful enticement to a lifestyle of lies and deceit.[/tweetthis]
If you have some pornography, you probably hide it. If you are looking at pornography on the family computer, you likely try to cover your tracks. If you enjoy pornography, you’ve possibly convinced yourself that you deserve some pleasure. You may have even told yourself that it’s innocent and no one is getting hurt. Nobody thought that the Titanic would sink either. A virtually undetected and underestimated “enemy,” the portion of the iceberg underwater, sunk the ship. The great lie today is that you can use pornography and not pay some profound consequences.
The lies of pornography
When you view pornography over a period, you begin to believe some of the following lies:
- Sex is nothing more than a physical or recreational thing.
- It is harmless entertainment.
- Everyone is doing it.
- Saving sex for marriage is unnatural, unrealistic, and old-fashioned.
- The most important part of a relationship is sex.
- Sexual relations with a stranger is better than with someone whom you love and are married.
- It is abnormal and strange not to look at pornography.
The last lie is one that therapists hear the most from teens and young adults. That belief is largely based on our living in an addicted society. Many teen and young adult males confess to their therapist about looking at pornography, “That’s what I thought it meant to be a guy!” There is nothing normal about exposing ourselves to degrading, distorted, or illegal information about sexuality. It is healthy and mature not to look at pornography.
Are you getting caught up in the prevailing lies of our culture? It is a battle not to be seduced by the frequently repeated deceptions of pornography. You are in danger, if you are saying things like this:
- I’ll do it just one more time.
- It doesn’t hurt anyone else.
- I won’t get caught.
- This doesn’t affect any other part of my life.
- I can stop any time.
What biblical integrity looks like
Psalm 15 is a great chapter in the Bible. It portrays the person who really knows God and lives a life of security and blessing. A key verse describes this person as “He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, and speaks truth in his heart” (Psalm 15:2).
The author, King David, goes to the heart of the matter. He describes the godly lifestyle as a pattern of integrity, a journey where all the parts fit. The person who is blessed consistently does the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. The core issue of integrity is “speaks the truth in his heart.”
Do you want to live as a person who really knows God? Do you want a secure, peaceful, and fulfilling life? You must realize that self-honesty disintegrates quickly when you are trapped in pornography. You pay a high price for your lies and deception. You become spiritually fake, persistently anxious, and distant from loved ones and friends.
The words of Nathaniel Hawthorne are piercing, “No man [teen], for any considerable period of time, can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the truth.”
If you think that you have a problem with pornography, you can get confidential help by calling 256-278-9188.