Each of us is exposed to and bombarded by – on a daily basis – an evil that is extremely enticing and appealing, so selfishly gratifying (temporarily), so completely unavoidably addictive, and so incredibly damaging to our lives, families, and society. It is a plague and modern day slavery that is slowly and subtly destructive, and yet it is justified by the supposed mass-popularity, innate natural passions within us all, and the wrongly assumed reasoning that participation in this evil is simply an expression of ‘freedom’ and ‘choice.’
Anyone addicted to pornography will certainly attest and declare that the fruits of this selfish, temporary self-gratifying evil, is anything but ‘freedom.’ Pornography is an industry that makes a few wealthy at the expense of destroying lives, tearing apart marriages and families, and essentially weakening the very foundation of our society.
And yet, one would naturally ask – ‘how can I avoid this evil when the majority of advertisements, websites, commercials, images, videos, TV shows, to the very clothes others wear (or do not wear), expose me to and entice me towards this very evil?’
Let me suggest 7 things each of us as individuals and families MUST do TODAY … and EVERY DAY:
1) The Dangers of Being Alone: Addictions to pornography usually start when an individual is alone, ‘surfing the web,’ watching a movie, viewing an advertisement, watching TV, etc. Thoughts then quickly spiral downward and result in regrettable actions. Curiosity, combined with idle minds and natural hormones often shamefully replace integrity and self-discipline. Guilt and shame accompany first glances, slowly followed by justification and eventual addiction. Thus, do everything possible to NOT be alone! And if / when alone, decide now to ‘look away,’ to never compromise integrity, and to put other important relationships (spouse, children, etc) above your own temporary self-gratification (gratification which ironically results in misery).
2) ‘Turn Away Immediately’: This is not just a nice catchy slogan, but it must become a habit! Regardless of how curious you are, how weak you feel, how alone you are, how shocking the image, and how enticed and excited you feel – ‘TURN AWAY IMMEDIATELY!’ Change the channel, leave the website, X out of that advertisement, turn your eyes away … and then the most challenging part – control and discipline your thoughts. Better yet, just turn off the TV, step away from the internet – and just have fun playing family games together. Do something different than allowing the entertainment of the world to influence you.
3) Discipline Your Thoughts: If an individual wants to avoid becoming addicted to pornography (or for anyone who already is addicted) – learn now to control your mind and develop the ability and habit to discipline your thoughts. Our thoughts lead to actions, our actions result in habits, and it is our continual habits (good or bad) that eventually form our character. When an image, commercial, song, show, or advertisement cause a thought to be placed in your mind that should not be there – ‘turn away,’ and immediately fill your mind with something else (read a book, sing a song, memorize a quote, go running, etc). It is extremely difficult to do this, and certainly requires daily action, but the ability to control our minds is the secret to success in anything in life!
4) You Must Establish Rules – and Stick to Them: No visiting certain websites! No going on the internet after a certain hour! No watching certain TV shows or movies! Etc. Whether they are personal or family rules – write them down, look at them often, and commit to them verbally and mentally – and stick to them.
5) You Have to DECIDE Before The Temptation or Image Ever Appears – That You Will NOT Look or Get Involved: I literally want you to DECIDE RIGHT NOW that you will NOT look! That you will ALWAYS ‘Turn Away.’ That you will NOT visit that website, not click on that advertisement, not watch that show, not rent that movie, not enter that chat room, etc. Decide NOW! Commit to that decision, as hard as it may be. In the moment of curiosity, temptation, and idleness, or when you have a rough day, are alone, or see a shocking image and say ‘I wonder’ – or even when you feel peer pressure from others – you will NOT give in because you have previously decided and are committed to that decision.
6) The Importance of Placing the Computer / TV in High-Traffic Places: Where are your computer(s) and TV’s? Are they in locations that allow one to seclude themselves and participate in chat rooms, view images, or watch programs without anyone else seeing/knowing? Now, I understand and respect the fact that we each need our privacy; however, privacy is fine so long as it is not used as a justification for actions that would destroy us personally, and our families.
7) If You are a Parent – Be Involved in Your Kids Lives, and Lead By Example: Do you know what your kids are doing, what they are viewing, or who they are chatting with online? Do your even realize that teenagers have an online language … specific lingo to use when parents are in the room? Love your child enough to both trust them, as well as talk to them and be involved. Rules are not a form of restriction – they are a necessity for protection, and an evidence of care and love. However, more importantly, do not expect or enforce anything on your children that you are not willing to do yourself. For your spouse and family’s sake – be an example in word and action and NEVER allow pornography to enter your home, for it will destroy yours and your family’s lives.
Never forget, however, that this is much more than not looking at pornography – this is about maintaining integrity, developing self-discipline, preserving our marriage or relationships, and doing what is best for our family. This consequence of this addictive plague affects everyone! When the temptation to look or participate confronts us, as it inevitably and constantly does, we must look away immediately! For yours and your family’s sake – do not look and do not get involved with this modern slavery that will only result in the destruction of your personal life, marriage, and family.