Christian Living

Spiritual Life

When Your Teenager is Involved in Pornography

A Christian couple seeks Dr. Don Dunlap's advice when they find evidence that their teenage son has been downloading pornography from the Internet. They ask Dr. Dunlap if they have failed as parents and they express their shock and disappointment that their son, who claims to be a Christian, would get involved in such sinful behavior.

Dear Dr. Dunlap,

We are desperate! Recently, we discovered that our teen-age son has been downloading pornography from the Internet. When we confronted him he denied it, but we were able to track the sites that he has visited. We are certain that he is guilty. Besides feeling like complete failures as parents, we are heartbroken. We are deeply disappointed that as a Christian, our son would get involved in such a thing. What can we do?

Although the Internet is an exciting, fast-growing medium, the sad truth is that it also is the largest provider of pornography in the world. Anyone can access it, anytime of day or night, regardless of one's age, or degree of computer skills.

Faced with the proof that you possess of his involvement in pornography, your son needs to admit his sinful behavior, and repent before God, as well as before you. The only way to cleanse his mind and spirit from the vile images he has viewed is to memorize large portions of scripture and spend time meditating on God's Word.

Ask God's forgiveness for not having protected your son more carefully. Then walk in His forgiveness and grace. God never tires of granting us new beginnings when we come before Him in genuine repentance. Satan would delight in convincing you that you have failed your son. Do not give in to the accusations of the Enemy.

Above all, do not give up on your son. Our hearts are corrupt and all of us are vulnerable to every temptation that exists. As his parents, however, now that you are aware of his destructive activity, you have the responsibility to do everything possible in the future to guard your son from the evil influences of the world.

There is a product on the market that goes the extra mile in providing real security for your family. It is called Net Nanny, and it works with the Internet, BBS's, and all of the online services, such as AOL, Compu-Serve, etc. Net Nanny runs as a background program, and monitors everything going out or coming in to your computer.

Let your son know that you will be faithfully and regularly checking his online activity. Set strict limitations on his computer usage time. Develop a plan to lovingly hold your son accountable for how he spends his time.

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