There is a roaring lion out there that’s getting more and more powerful. Here’s what it is and how to start stopping it so you can protect your family.
This week I’m doing a 3 part series on something we wish didn’t exist, but does.
- The Lion That Wants to Devour Your Family
- Protecting Your Home From the Lion
- How to Cope and Respond When the Lion Has Been Let In
This is not a fun series.
This is not like a series about the best parts of motherhood or how to lose all your postpartum weight in 5 hours while eating a McFlurry.
This is tough stuff. Ugly stuff.
Tough ugly and, unfortunately, absolutely necessary.
“Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
I’m going to draw a comparison here for this series. I’ll need you to give me a bit of leeway, I know the passage above talks about the devil, not a “thing.”
But what I’m going to talk about is straight out of hell. It is evil, wicked, filthy, and threatens to consume those who come into contact with it. Just like fire.
It is called pornography. And it is a roaring lion.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, you say. What does this have to do with parenting and motherhood? A lot, actually. I’ll get there. But before you check out, I want you to do one thing for me.
One thing that we all need to do and none of us want to do. That’s a sign it’s the most important thing to do.
I want you to say the following phrase out loud (or out loud in your head if you’re in public)…
“I am an adult. I will not be naive. I will be grown up about this for the sake of my family. I will not pretend members of my family are above the things that tempt the rest of the free world.”
Why Porn is Like a Roaring Lion
In the past, a person had to seek out pornography to find it. They had to have enough balls (so to speak) to go into a store and buy a magazine or book. They had to pay real money to buy a video. They had to go to a strip club or massage parlor or wherever else it could be found.
Now… porn finds you.
You can be reading about substitutes for self-rising flour and BAM. Or your husband is catching up on his favorite football team and THERE IT IS. Or your son is doing an educational game on the iPad and HELLO.
- A roaring lion roams around looking for prey. The more unsuspecting the better. The way the internet and social media work nowadays, the lion (porn) finds you.
- If prey (your family) are unprepared and out in the open, you’ll be devoured.
- Lions (porn) are strong predators and very few animals (people) are able to defend themselves if caught unawares.
This is no longer an issue reserved for Perverts or Pedophiles. It’s something that can affect everyone. Christians included. It is not relegated to heathens or those who come from “bad homes.”
No. In fact, the founder of Adult Video News put it this way,
“Porn doesn’t have a demographic – it goes across all demographics.“
But, this post is not to scare you or make you paranoid.
Oh wait, yes it is.
The exact purpose of this series is to make you stand up, be aware, get out of denial, and mobilize yourself and your spouse to set up necessary measures to protect your family.
The next two posts in the series are going offer real, practical, and actionable ways to take up your role as a protector on behalf of your family. But until then, let’s talk about how big a problem this actually is.
The Prevalence of Pornography
Our society is, quite simply, rife with pornography. You can’t even go shopping without walking past a triple life size jumbo poster of a girl in her scivvies at Victoria’s Secret.
It is always right there, on the sidebar of a news website or on a pop-up ad that comes unsolicited.
Pornography in the World
Here are some shocking statistics from Covenant Eyes, the premier internet filtering company. Well, I say shocking, but perhaps they are not.
The only reason we’re shocked is because we all (myself included) prefer to live in Candyland instead of Planet Earth.
As you can see, your family is not immune to this. 20% of all searches are for pornography and now the majority of it is available for free. So the person seeking out porn doesn’t even need to be daring to get ahold of it.
It is freely available and, in many cases, comes to them before they’re even looking for it.
Pornography in the Church
You might think porn use would be less within the church. No. In fact, porn is a huge problem in our churches. First, because many feel guilt and shame regards to viewing porn, they often hide it.
Hiding an addiction in secrecy will only increase and fuel the desire to act out. Porn is rife in churches, even in leadership. See the below statistics from Covenant Eyes. (Psst, if you decide to sign up with Covenant Eyes you can get the first month free using this link).
Churches acknowledge there’s a problem, but many are not currently equipped to handle it. Some churches are catching on, however, and this is a good thing.
I’ve been in churches that had an accountability group that met weekly. I have a friend whose father is a pastor and every church he’s worked at for the past 10 years have had some type of accountability or support group for those struggling with a pornography addiction.
Porn in Your Marriage
You’re probably wanting to skip over this. I know. We’d all rather live in Candyland and imagine our husbands would have eyes for no one but us ever. But the temptation is real, the fight is hard, and we need to stop living in denial so we can help our families fight for purity. Stats below from Covenant Eyes.
Did you catch that part about how 70% of wives of pornography addicts have actual post traumatic stress disorder? We’ll come back to that at the end of the series. If this is you, there is hope.
Pornography Physically Changes Your Brain
This is key. Porn isn’t just some one time sin you must repent over. Repeated exposure and use of pornography actually rewires the brain. In a bad way. Fight the New Drug puts it this way…
“Neurons that fire together wire together. Just like other addictive substances, porn floods the brain with dopamine. That rush of brain chemicals happening over and over again rewires the brain’s reward pathway ultimately changing the make up of the viewer’s brain.
This can result in an increased appetite for porn.”
Ultimately, the repeated use of pornography dulls the senses of the user making them depressed, withdrawn, and more likely to seek out pornography for the dopamine release they’ve become accustomed to.
Young Sons are Not Immune
This is the scary part. Kids are being exposed to pornography at a younger and younger age. Because the lion seeks them out, they don’t need to be looking for indecent material to come across it.
According to a 2012 study done by Tru Research (these stats would be significantly higher today, you can read it here), teens between the age of 13-17:
- 71% have done something online to hide from their parents (minimizing browser, deleting history, blocking parents on social media, using mobile instead of family computer, using incognito browsing, lying to parents, etc.)
- 32% admit to having accessed pornographic material intentionally.
- 43% of these do so on a weekly basis.
I won’t keep listening the statistics because we’re already depressed today, but they get worse. And younger and younger. The average age now for exposure to pornography on a regular or semi-regular basis is 8 years old according to Focus on the Family.
Do Not Feed Your Denial
It is tempting to pretend this would never happen to our kids. That our sons would be disgusted by this. That your husband would rather die than look at another woman in that way.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news… but those are naive thoughts that’ll keep you in denial and will prevent you from properly protecting your family.
You can never fully protect your family (children or husband) from being exposed to pornography, nor can you control their every move.
But you can take certain measures, create certain boundaries, and forbid certain behaviors that will go a long way in helping prepare your entire family to defend themselves against the lion.
And that’s what we’ll talk about next…
Stay tuned for the rest of the series this week: