A concerned mom, a teenager and porn

Posted on November 7, 2013 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Teenagers

One of our readers asked the following question:

 

“Any thoughts on what a mother can do when the son is trapped in porn and the father is reacting the exact same way as your “what not to do” example? I know my son needs a man to shepherd him through this, and I want so badly for his father to be that man. But my husband refuses to “see” the need to shepherd his son in this way, and I’m feeling helpless between trying to be respectful/honoring of my husband but proactive in helping my son.”

 

Here is the excerpt from the post that the mom is referencing:

 

“You just confirmed that your fifteen-year-old son, Justin, has been looking at pornography on the internet. You could be hurt that your son has embarrassed you in this way. You tell him in a loud, stern voice that this behavior will stop immediately and he will be grounded with zero privileges for months. You could also let him know that you are confiscating his computer, phone, tablet and any other electronic devise he has or ever will have. You could ask him how could he do this to you and his mother. You could tell him this is a terrible sin. You could say you are sorry to so angry, but you love him too much to let him do porn.“

 

Our reader both wants to honor her husband and help her son. She also asked if it is wrong to go over husband’s head and seek help from their church.  I have no doubt that  this situation is common to thousands of families in the Christian community.  There is a biblical way through this – let’s take a look.

 

This is not a behavioral problem, but a problem of the heart. This is true both for the dad and the son. It is possible that the father has had or may even now have pornography issues himself and has no practical clue how to help his son except to be angry. This is an issue that must be addressed quickly, because lust is a corrosive agent that infects the soul with guilt, shame, and a continual desire for more and more pornographic fuel. (Ephesians 4:17-19)

 

The mom’s first step should be to appeal to her husband that anger and harsh rules will not help their son. Only seeking repentance through Christ will help turn their son away from the power of lust and the desires that have formed.  According to Colossians 2:20-23 the imposition of harsh rules will only serve to drive their son deeper into lust. Mom and dad need to be on the same page. If there is not unity here, not only will the son not get help, but the marriage will suffer as well. 

 

If mom’s appeal is not heard, going to church leadership is not going over the head of the husband. This is merely following God’s plan for addressing sin. This must be done in love and respect. But it must be done. This mom should tell her husband that if he will not change his approach or seek help from the church, that she has no choice but to seek help for him and their son. This not violating her role of being a submissive wife, rather she acting towards her husband as a true sister in Christ who has found her brother caught in sin. (Gal. 6:1; Matthew 18; etc.) This is a loving response of a wife truly committed to her husband. There is no place for pride here. This mom must continue to honor her husband in all respects as she seeks God’s provision for help from those charged with care for their spiritual well-being. 

 

If this situation is left without resolution the entire family will suffer as a result. The son, without help, will carry his lusts forward into his marriage and this scenario will be repeated in the next generation. 

 

There is much more that must be said, but there is not room in this post to do so. I’ll do a follow-up post shortly. You can also go the shepherdpress.com site, click on the blog button and do a search for pornography for posts written to help address this issue. 


Jay Younts
Jay Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is the author of Everyday Talk and other materials on parenting. He has been teaching and speaking on parenting issues for 30 years. Jay and his wife, Ruth, live in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. He serves as a ruling elder at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and Ruth have five adult children.