There is no dignity when the human dimension is eliminated from the person. In short, the problem with pornography is not that it shows too much of a person, but that it shows far too little. from The Theology of the Body (there are many different written versions of this like this one).
This quote from Pope John Paul II kicks off a chapter on Pornography in A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle. I warned you here that I probably wasn’t done referencing this book yet. If you have teens or tweens and haven’t picked it up yet, you definitely should. In it, the authors quote Christian apologist Josh McDowell as saying, “The question is not ‘Will my kids see porn?’ but ‘How will they handle it when they do?'” Frightening but true based on these statistics from The Covenant Eyes website:
*90% of boys and 60% of girls said they were exposed to pornography before the age of 18
*64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women admit to watching porn at least once a month.
*One out of every 8 online searches and one out of every 5 mobile searches is for porn.
*Pornography takes up 1/3 of the Internet’s bandwidth.
That last one knocked the wind out of me.
With all of this at stake, we are wise to turn our attention to the possibility that anyone of any age can stumble into pornography on any computer or smart phone in reach. There is help for the porn problem. That’s why I want to tell you about a couple of companies doing good work to help the conscientious protect themselves and their children from the dangers of the internet. Covenant Eyes, who provided the statistics listed above, provide screen accountability through monitoring, analysis and reporting for $15.99 per month on a family plan. Their services are secure, private and comprehensive. They offer customer support and a 30 day money back guarantee. Check out their website here to see what protection and peace of mind they can provide.
The second company helps parents like me to easily monitor the phone, tablet or computer activity of children. Before Bark, I checked up on my teen’s phone by occasionally intercepting it and scrolling through texts, pictures and social media apps. This was incredibly time consuming and inconvenient for everyone involved. And yet I knew it was my responsibility to keep her safe. Busy schedules and packed to-do lists often kept me from being timely and thorough. But Bark monitors her texts, emails, social media accounts, internet searches and videos watched. Bark claims to have the most coverage of any monitoring tool on the market. Their technology scans and sends me an email every day of concerning activity. And I decide what’s concerning to me. The software detects language and images of a sexual, perverse, bullying or depressive nature. I receive a snapshot of the infraction and then I decide how to address the issue. No more reading through long text conversations and pouring over instagram. My child has more privacy and I have more peace of mind. It’s only $9 a month for the whole family and you can try for 7 days before you buy. It is one of the best technology decisions I have made for our family.
Parenting in this age is hard, but there is help. Authors Stonestreet and Kunkle recommend opening our eyes to “the breadth and depth of the consequences of porn” by reading The Porn Phenomenon: The Impact of Pornography in the Digital Age, a study conducted by researchers from the Barna Group and Josh McDowell’s ministry. You can also visit the National Center on Sexual Exploitation’s website for more information. If you have questions about any of these resources, I would be happy to help in any way I can. Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And join me in praying for us, our children and our nation concerning the issues of pornography and internet safety.
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