Editors Note: This article is written by BCC Counselor Jim Lang as part of our series on “Helping Teens.” In this series, our counselors are unpacking how we can all care for teens who are facing different types of trouble.
*We understand that it can be difficult to have conversations with teens about pornography. Please feel free to share this article and use it as a way to start conversations with those who are struggling.
Most teens in 2021 think porn is no big deal.
In fact, porn is not a big deal to the majority of today’s culture. It’s everywhere and readily available. The world we live in has normalized it. After all, porn has been around since 1896, so what is the big deal anyway?
It has been looked at, shared, and laughed about for a long time. Could the world be right that porn is no big deal?
The statements below are actual quotes from men who used porn, and they all experienced consequences to one degree or another. Some have reconciled their relationships with friends or rebuilt their marriages, but others were unable to reconcile. They all hope that sharing the impact of porn on their lives will be helpful to others.
“Porn is no big deal if you:
- have no hope for a life of peace without shame.”
- long for isolation.”
- want to pull away from God.”
- want to destroy your God-given desire for purity.”
- want to wreck your future honeymoon and subsequent marital intimacy.”
- long to waste countless hours in a fantasy dream world that will never come true.”
- look forward to escaping life’s stressful issues by locking yourself in your room trying to feel better by escaping reality.”
- don’t mind missing your potential children’s important events while in your fantasy world.”
- wish to participate in fornication and adultery on a regular basis.”
- don’t mind getting fired from your job.”
- are not afraid of arrest or worse, doing jail time.”
- don’t mind getting blackmailed.”
- don’t mind contributing to the sex slave trade.”
- want to hurt your future wife immensely.”
- want to destroy your future wife’s trust.”
- want to contaminate your brain with images.”
- hope to destroy your future wife and marriage.”
- want to damage your heart’s ability to connect with others.”
- desire to engage in sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, and envy.”
- want to lose love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
- want to lose a true and healthy sexual education.”
- want to damage your faith, causing doubt.”
- don’t want to deal with emotions and life’s struggles.”
- want to waste enormous amounts of time.”
- desire lack of intimacy with God and with people.”
- desire deficits in clear thinking, loss of attention, distractibility, impulsivity, over focus, motivation, poor emotional regulation.”
- desire reducing the opposite sex to objects, not people.”
- want sex with self to be your goal.”
The men who provided these quotes have all found that this habit was very hard to break, and they all discovered that breaking the habit alone never worked no matter how hard they tried.
Concealing Is Not the Answer
Many people struggle with porn use for years, and in some cases decades, until by God’s grace they were caught or confessed the sin in their lives.
Each one of them would tell you that they thought they could stop on their own, and looking back they realize that this sin is so powerful that without God’s grace and other people in their lives for support, the outcome was bleak.
Many believe that if or when they get married, this problem will go away. It never works that way. In most cases, this habit gets worse after marriage because no wife can measure up to what was watched for years.
In many cases, the trouble starts on day one in marriage when arousal has been conditioned by more and different porn. Many young people find the honeymoon boring when compared to the history of using porn.
The Word of God explains why our past porn use leads to intimacy disappointment in our future relationships. Whether that relationship is work, friendships, family, or spouse, James 1:15 tells us that our heart’s lustful and sinful desires lead to the beginning of sin and ultimately lead to death.
If you or teens you know are struggling today with porn and sex with self, then seek help starting with your youth pastor or church counselor. Biblical Counseling Center has counselors who understand the powerful draw of this sin. They have had the opportunity to help those struggling with sexual sin for many years.
Many people in the church, including myself, have struggled in this area believing they were/are alone in this battle. That is a lie from Satan himself. There is great hope in the gospel.
Our heavenly Father knows us intimately and He has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11). He adopted us before the foundation of the world, and He knew that we would struggle with various kinds of sin, and yet He chose us anyway (Ephesians 1:4).
Thankfully His grace is amazing and new every day (Lamentations 3:23). His word is full of help and support. One thing God tells us in His word is to exhort each other daily (Hebrews 3:13). It really says that in Hebrews!
Those who struggle with sexual sin need open and honest connections with close friends. Without it, they are people on an island living in shame trying to survive alone.
Hebrews 3:13 – But encourage each other daily, while it is still called today, so that none of you is hardened by sin’s deception.