What Can a Man Do to Keep Porn Out of His Heart and Home?†
Tired of porn ruling your world, ruining your emotions, wrecking your home?
Tired of addiction consuming you, your spouse, your kids, your friends, and neighbors?
In this and the next few posts – I am going to outline a few simple ways any one, particularly men, can minimize the impact of porn!
I am not offering boundaries or a list of protective measures one might take in this effort. Establishing boundaries and developing guidelines for technology usage is crucial. We, at Men Against Porn, have made such suggestions in other posts.
This post will dig a bit deeper. I will be exploring the realities that drive our desires to distortion. I will be considering how crafting healthy relationship and deeply meaningful community can minimize – and potentially eradicate – the impact of porn on one’s life and in one’s home!
I believe that we all want to be known deeply and to know others in meaningful and life-giving ways. We long for human connections. The lack of human connections – significant and meaningful human connections – often create an internal space where our desires are easily distorted. In that place and those moments, we tend to seek out destructive activities to medicate the pain and soothe the angst. Therefore, the bulk of everything I say and/or write in this regard can be summed up in one simple phrase,
A full-bodied, interior sense of Personhood, Plac’dness, and Purpose (each of which is God – given) will minimize our proclivity to destructive behaviors and prevent us from developing habitual, pervasive and life-extracting addictions.
With that in mind, here are some Ways Any One, Particularly Men, Can Minimize the Impact of Porn in One’s Life/Family!
Beginning In the Home
Men, don’t you want to minimize the impact of porn in your heart and home? Then I propose taking one, simple step:
- Spend Quality Time AND a Quantity of Time with Your Children
Spend quality time and a quantity of time with your kids! I know, it’s not rocket science. We often undervalue the power of the moments we seize with our kids. I find that, as a man, I have to practice or cultivate the art of leaning into their life in life-giving and love affirming ways. We are quick to correct or discipline but often slow to admire and enjoy our kids.
Careful DAD! These moments are not an opportunity for us to relive our glory days. Nor are they moments in which we run them ragged to accomplish all those things we wish we’d have accomplished! If, for some reason, you feel like a man in search of his past then pull out your vinyl LP’s and listen to Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen (https://youtu.be/6vQpW9XRiyM). That should be enough of a fix for you to engage your children’s life on their terms, their time and their ways!
- Their Terms. Spend time doing what they enjoy doing. If you don’t know how to do it, or don’t think you would enjoy it, that’s even better! Why? Because you then give them the authority to teach, guide and/or introduce you to something new and exciting in their world. Such moments are memory makers that last a life time and shape internal personhood, plac’dness and purpose in profound and life securing ways!
- Their Time. Leave work early. Take a random day off. Don’t clean the house one day. Stop the things that you deem important and get in on what they value during the time they value doing it! Quit putting this off until you have more time. Quit pushing it back to tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes.
- Their Ways. Let the moment be the moment! Your kids may enjoy doing things in peculiar ways. They have their own unique personality. Enjoy how they enjoy doing things. Sure, it’s okay to show them and guide them, but give them room to breathe in their activity time with you. They care far more about the time you are spending with them than what you think you are teaching them during that time! If they want to shoot hoops granny style, then let them for God’s sake. Relax and enjoy your children.
O how the time does fly. So, dads (and moms), put your phone down, turn work off, stop doing the laundry (which is never, ever, done – by the way), turn off that episode on HGTV and go goof off with your kids.
Reflect for a moment: When is the last time you recall spending any meaningful moments with anyone of your children? Moments that take your breath away in which you are overcome with delight in the person they are now and who they are becoming?
Read a book together!
Take a walk together!
Listen to their music!
Do something they want to do, for a change.
Lean in! Lean in! Lean In!
Most of us want to help our children develop a full-bodied and internal sense of personhood, plac’dness and purpose (each of which is God – given). I am convinced that helping them develop this robust interior core is the only true hope of preventing porn (or any addiction). Cultivating the development of this ‘interior core’ means that we need to seize the moment and engage meaningfully in their lives right where they are, in any way you are able. The old axiom, “More is caught than taught,” rings true when you are trying to cultivate young life into a flourishing, full bodied adult!
Start Where You Are
In today’s culture, parents and people are becoming more aware of and alert to porn’s devastating influence. This development is a step in the right direction. I find, however, that most of us neglect, overlook, or ignore the fundamental goal of securing our children in a robust sense of personhood, plac’dness, and purpose. When we neglect this, then all the boundaries in the world are not able to protect us!!
In my personal journey out of porn and into my truest self, I have discovered that much of the pain I was medicating with pornography stemmed from a lack of meaningful community and vital connection with others. Recent studies into the science of addiction are discovering – now more than ever – that a deficit of essential and life-giving human relationships is a seedbed for the growth of distorted desire and destructive behavior. I am convinced that if I would have developed an internal sense of personhood, plac’dness and purpose – or interior Shalom, as I like to call it – I would have been far less likely to have gotten caught in a porn addiction that dominated two entire decades of my life!
Start where you are.
Take a minute and commit to one simple action step you will take that will involve you in your child’s life!
If you come up with a wonderful way to engage in your child, then comment below so that your success might encourage others!
Disrupting to Renew!
†Originally written for Men Against Porn.