Calling All Parents: Porn Watch Protocol May Be A “Modern Family” Necessity

In Marriage, Pornography, Uncategorized by Bizgainey2 Comments

Melissa and I are parents of two boys and a girl, all three well into the young adolescent season of life. We have, as a result, learned and experienced much as it relates to what we – in our home – have dubbed “Porn Watch Protocol.” Porn Watch Protocol (PWP) is our catch phrase (not a product for purchase) for an alertness which orients us toward helping our children guard and protect the treasures of their heart.

The term protocol is intentional.  In our home protocol is an agreed upon guideline/procedure designed to protect, create space and encourage the fullest development of the God-given treasure within our heart.  The protocol – though agreed upon – is often the result of deep reflection, impassioned dialogue and a broken heart or two.  It’s not a formula for they who desire the path of ease, but it is a pathway for we who desire life giving richness in the most meaningful realities of our life!

Before we give examples of how we stay proactive in our Porn Watch Protocol (how will be the subject of subsequent posts), we want to help you understand why we believe such protocol is necessary.  Hopefully by casting a broad and vital vision of why, you might be encouraged to consider and or adopt a similar approach.

The Top Three Reasons Why Melissa and I Believe a Porn Watch Protocol is Essential in Today’s Home

First, it is impossible to keep your children completely away from pornography! Pornography is a global, multi-billion dollar industry. It has wormed its way into every sector of our society and wields widespread influence. Your children will, at some point (typically by the age of ten), experience porn. Usually, their first exposure will be unintentional and will catch them unaware. An effective and preventive Porn Watch Protocol will be a great aid to your child. As a parent, I encourage you to resist introducing your children to personal technology devices too early. Hear me well.  Even with the greatest level of precaution in place, you may not be able to keep porn away from your children all the time – it’s a global epidemic.  An intentional Porn Watch protocol, however, can help keep your children away from porn!!

Secondly, porn is objectifying and, as such, dehumanizing. Pornography enslaves the soul of the person who is its object. Pornography also enslaves the soul person caught up in the addiction and consumption of porn. In all likely hood, I do not need to spend much time here. In the wake of our porn-saturated culture, often leaned upon to spice up a couple’s sex life, it’s wise to acknowledge a rarely spoken fact: porn harms, period. It doesn’t offer anything to you. Porn extracts from you. Porn extracts meaning from deeply human realities and experiences. Deeply human realities and experiences such as personhood, purpose, hope, and dreams.

Many young people see no harm in porn because so few adults admit no problem with porn.  It is not surprising that- in our culture – our daughters are stolen, raped and assaulted at an alarming rate.  In this unprecedented season of sexual exploitation, our boys grow both more violent and anxious with each passing day.  I recently wrote an article regarding the dehumanizing effects of pornography that explores this in more detail here, http://disruptusrenovatus.com/porns-disruptive-patterns-and-the-hope-of-renewal/porn-disrupting-desire/.

Lastly – and, in our opinion, most importantly – the treasures of the human heart are good, and God given. God has placed within us deep, eternal desires. Porn watching distorts and sabotages those desires. If our children consume porn and worship at its altar of destruction, they become less fully human and relate to others in unwholesome and destructive ways. Proverbs 4:23 encourages us to guard our heart – above all else – for from it flows the wellspring of life. God desires that we protect our heart, from which spring the realities of our world.

We believe it’s vital our kids know that porn exploits God-given desire. In other words, desire is from God.  Porn doesn’t create desire.  Porn is a counterfeit bent on corruption. Such knowledge contains life-giving power. Parents, in efforts to protect children and place appropriate boundaries around them, often overreact when they first discover its intrusion. In the moment of overreaction we might unintentionally assault desire. Such an assault can (though not always) leave the child in a cycle of hidden blame and shame. A game which holds one captive and alone. Desire stifled is life lost. A life lost would gravitate toward a tattered and broken experience in which hope becomes a vapor; a mist too easily brushed aside. Christopher West, in his excellent book, Fill These Hearts says, “When we’re starved for beauty, something dangerous happens. As with an unfed dog, our hunger can become ravenous.”

Porn Watch Protocol

One way Melissa and I strive to encourage our children and their God-given desires is to accentuate two important realities that porn seeks to distort.  The first of these is that the naked body is, indeed, beautiful.  God designed us in such a way that our bodies carry His beauty in and with us.  The problem is not the naked body, but the ways in which porn distorts and objectifies the body.

Secondly, married sex is a wonderful, ever-growing and captivating experience. Again, this is vital. Scripture refers to marital union as a one flesh union. In our modern world, we have detached the term flesh from term one. We say things like, “The two shall become one.”  We craft this convoluted phrase on beautiful stationary and send it to all our friends. Encouraging them to join us on our special day.  To celebrate us becoming one. To become one begs the question, One what? One tomato? One ideology? One unit? No wonder we are confused and conflicted in our idea and practice of marriage. That’s why it’s important to join the terms that graphically depict the one flesh joy of marital union. While becoming one flesh is no doubt multifaceted in its meaning, it never means less than the art of sexual union and intimacy.

In fact, the art of sex is the singular moment when we can – in an undeniably fleshy way – experience ourselves as one flesh. Beautifully, this joyous coming together enjoins the husband and wife in such a way that another one flesh is or may be the resultant reality. Indeed, our children know that marital sex is, simply put, mind blowing.  The art of sexual union in marriage is one of the deepest, most spiritual and fully human moments we experience while walking this planet.***

Punctuating these two realities allows space for us to discuss the fact that porn offers a counterfeit god that can never, ever deliver on what it promises.  Porn Watch Protocol doesn’t stifle or starve desire, but helps protect the heart so that our desires might be God directed, honoring and good for us and those around us!

My next post in this ‘Calling All Parents’ series will incorporate our Top Five PWP components for your parental or grand-parental consideration.

Disrupting to Renew!
Biz

***Melissa read a rough draft of this blog and insisted I incorporate the specific ways we seek to direct our children’s desires in regard to the human body and our experience of sexual intimacy in marriage. I am thankful for her input and hopeful that she will work with me on a series of posts related to marital intimacy and the hope such intimacy provides. Hope for the family as well as the larger cultural context and settings in which we live.***
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Comments

  1. This statement (albeit honest) carries a bit of selfishness…I do not envy being a parent/grandparent in today’s world!

    Worked most all my life in Human Resources, erroneously boasting “I seen, hear, nothing thrown at me is shocking anymore” Lord, was I naive!

    First, it is impossible to keep your children completely away from pornography! Pornography is a global, multi-billion dollar industry.
    What’s frightening, sad. and sickening the EASY accessibility to it all.

    Pornography enslaves the soul of the person who is its object. Pornography also enslaves the soul person caught up in the addiction and consumption of porn.
    Had I read this blog a few months ago I would have thought perhaps this is exaggerating…little did I know that due to our younger niece pornography problems with her husband, the above paragraph is 100% correct!

    God has placed within us deep, eternal desires. Porn watching distorts and sabotages those desires.
    AMEN!

    ***Melissa read a rough draft of this blog and insisted I incorporate the specific ways we seek to direct our children’s desires in regard to the human body and our experience of sexual intimacy in marriage. I am thankful for her input and hopeful that she will work with me on a series of posts related to marital intimacy and the hope such intimacy provides. Hope for the family as well as the larger cultural context and settings in which we live.***

    KUDOS for bringing Melissa! As a woman, wife, and above all, mother her input will be masterful. Looking forward to it!

  2. I’m on board so far as to the why. Looking forward to the why.

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