Question:

Oh man. I had one of my kids in the youth group I run move his computer out of his room because of porn issues, but he's looking at porn again. He is leading a small group within the youth group. But he's off and on with porn. The XXXchurch thing that monitors what you do doesn't work. Because he leads kids, I'm worried and because he takes it lightly then takes it seriously it really bothers me. He cared for about a month, then went back into his old ways. He's been looking at porn for a month or two again and now cares again. His parents can't be relied upon to help in the situation at all, even though his mom knows about the problem. I think she knows why I told him to move the computer out of his room. Whenever the family is gone, he is looking at porn. Since he is a leader, should I tell him to get rid of the computer totally or have his parents put passwords on the computer so he can't access the comptuer without his parents' permission? I dont know where to go with it. I can tell a kid he needs to stop, but the situation is a out of my hands. It really is up to his parents. The only thing I could think of is getting rid of his computer or getting it so he can't go on without a password from parents.


Answer:

The problem is that you are dealing with the wrong end of the problem. While making it harder to access pornography might slow him down for a while, it won't solve the problem because the problem is in his heart. "So He said to them, "Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?" And He said, "What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man"" (Mark 7:18-23).

As you are beginning to realize, program tattle-tales don't work because they can be bypassed and removed. In addition, such programs don't stop a person from visiting the sites. Putting the computer in a public area limits access, but it can't limit all access. Better would be an Internet filtering program, such as BSafe, NetNanny, CyberSitter, or CyberPatrol, to stop access before it happens. Even if you put perfect limits on this computer (and no filtering software will be perfect), it doesn't stop him from using a friend's computer or the computers at school or the computers at the library to do the same thing.

Like religions which try to regulate on a physical level, the regulations only give an appearance of control, but do not solve the problem. "Therefore, if you died with Christ from the basic principles of the world, why, as though living in the world, do you subject yourselves to regulations -- "Do not touch, do not taste, do not handle," which all concern things which perish with the using -- according to the commandments and doctrines of men? These things indeed have an appearance of wisdom in self-imposed religion, false humility, and neglect of the body, but are of no value against the indulgence of the flesh" (Colossians 2:20-23). The only thing that works is when the heart is changed.

When I have dealt with the issue of pornography, what I have found that works is to cover:

  • What are the physical and mental triggers for sexual desire.
  • The effects of sexual arousal on the human body and its effect on reasoning.
  • The nature of temptation, lust, and sin.
  • The techniques used in pornography to capture attention.
  • The falsehoods depicted in pornography.
  • How pornography skews, distorts, and corrupts the user's perception of the opposite sex, sexual relations, and marriage.
  • The motivation behind the pornography industry and techniques used to market pornography.

All the way through, I use Scriptures to prove my points. My goal is to show that God says pornography is wrong and to get the person to see why it is wrong. I want each person to see that his sexual desire is normal, but that people (lead by Satan) are using his body against himself so that they can make money off of him and that they don't care about the damage they cause in the process of extracting money out of his wallet. Satan, of course, isn't interested in the money. He wants to destroy righteousness, so I cover how pornography corrupts the person's morals both in the short term and the long term.

At the every end, I admit that I can't stop him from sinning. I can't stop him from telling lies. I can't stop him from looking a pornography. But he can chose whether he wants to go to heaven or not. He can chose whether he wants people to manipulate him or to make a stand against Satan and his forces.

But there is one thing you must do. The choice of dropping the pornography habit is his alone to make. But the use of this boy as an approved leader of other youths is not his to make. I don't know the circumstances of how you found out about his problem. If it was a private consultation, then tell him that he needs to resign if he going to continue to be a hypocrite. If it is something other people are aware of, then you need to go to the true leaders of this organization and recommend that he be removed until he gets a handle on the sin in his life. If you keep accepting him in his sin, he has no true reason to change. Only by putting your foot down and saying that he can't be accepted while in his sins will you provide motivation to change. "Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them" (Romans 1:32).