Christ and consequences

Posted on May 8, 2014 · Posted in Parenting, Ruling Desires, Teenagers

Here is an example of a conversation with a dad and his 15 year old son. Dad has discovered his son is viewing pornography online.  The conversation is a composite one. It might take several talks to get things resolved as they are in this example. But the content and the responses are drawn from real life situations  There are consequences for the son as well as Dad presenting Christ. 


“Justin, we have to talk about the images you were viewing on the computer.”


“Dad, I really don’t want to and I am not going to – it is really none of your business.”


“I think I understand why you would say that. I didn’t want to talk to my dad about this stuff either. He caught me looking at a magazine once. He screamed at me and told me never to do it again. He said if I did, I would be in more trouble than I could ever imagine. He grabbed the magazine, stormed out of the room, slammed the door and never spoke to me about it again. Do you think that stopped me from looking at pornography?”


“You did porn?!?”


“Yes, Justin, I did, all the way into college. I couldn’t stop. I wanted to stop, I prayed about it, I felt guilty, but I couldn’t stop. I would always sneak out and buy another porn magazine.  I always felt awful afterwards but I did it anyway, for years.”


“Well, how … how did you stop?”


“I had a roommate my junior year at State who was a strong Christian. He noticed what I was doing and talked to me about it, much like I am talking with you. He went to his pastor when he was in high school to get help with his own porn struggles. We did bible studies together and we set up an accountability program so that I would be accountable to him for stuff that I read and looked at.”


“Wow, excuse me, but does everybody do porn?”


“Probably not everyone, but it sure seems that way. His pastor worked through some passages in the Bible with him to help him see that porn is really a nasty lie and it has nothing to do with sex in marriage. All porn can do for a person is to make them miserable and craving for more and more of it.”


“You got that right.”


“The problem with porn is that it looks good and seems exciting, but it is all a lie. Porn is really just lust, and it never, ever satisfies. My friend explained all this to me. We did several Bible studies together, but what made the real difference was being able to really know Christ through those studies. To know that he died for the sins of my porn and lust. That he could give me the strength not to trust my desires, but to trust him.”


“I’ve heard some people say porn and stuff is not mentioned in the Bible. Is that true?”


“Well, if they mean the actual words “Internet porn” are not mentioned in the Bible, that is true. But the Holy Spirit is way ahead of them. What is mentioned and forbidden is lust. Like I said, porn is just another form of lust. It’s nasty stuff.”


“Yeah, dad I know. It makes sick. I had no idea you would understand. I thought you would just get really mad. Do you think you could help me like your friend helped you?”


“There is nothing I would like more. But there is something that I have to say that you probably won’t like. Because porn is so powerful to get away from we are going to have set up a way for you to be accountable to change the wrong patterns you have been following. This is want made the difference for me.”


“Uh, what is that going to look like?”


“Well for now, in addition to talking together, I am going to install an accountability program on your computer and iPhone. It will send me records of emails and the places you visit on the net. It is called “Covenant Eyes.”I know it is not great but this is what is necessary to be done with porn.”


“Dad, before we talked today, I would have said no way. But I do want to be done with this garbage. I will work with you on this.”


“Great! I also need to ask your forgiveness for not helping prepare you better for the attacks of lust. I have been too preoccupied with work and other things and have not been there for you. With God’s help we can work through this.”


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.