Question:

Hello,

Thank you for taking the time to read this question. I have read your replies to others in the past and appreciate the biblically based advice you give.

My father is a Christian man, married to my mom for over 30 years. Unfortunately, a few years ago, I accidentally discovered he has been watching gay porn. It caused a lot of pain and strained our relationship. It has also negatively affected my views of men and marriage in general. (I'm not married yet).

After consulting with my mom, I tearfully confronted my dad about what I had found. He repented and agreed to seek a Christian accountability partner. He also installed porn blocking software onto his computer. Recently, however, he has been acting suspicious around his computer. I believe the site blocking software subscription has expired, and I don't know if he still keeps in contact with his accountability partner. I suspect he is back to watching porn.

The thought of having to confront him again makes me very upset. As his daughter I hate having to be the one to keep him accountable. It's gotten to the point where whenever I see him using his computer (the screen is always hidden) I am filled with anger. I don't know what to do!


Answer:

I definitely understand. I daily talk with people about their problems. I can see them going the wrong way, I can point them in the right direction, and it is so disappointing to see the advice ignored and their lives spiral out of control. Yet, I do what I can knowing that some people do listen and their lives improve as a result. What I've learned is that I can't make people do right. They have to want to be righteous. I can only point them in the right direction.

Your father knows he is doing wrong. That is why he hides the computer screen. When I talk with people who have a pornography problem, one of my first statements to them is that I can't make the problem go away. The effort has to come from them. I can help them learn ways to manage the problem, but anyone determined to sin will find a way to do it.

For instance, if your father is not very computer literate, you can set the router to block pornography sites but using OpenDNS. Some routers have this feature built-in so that it is easily turned on. It is usually labeled as a Family Safety feature. A side-effect of this is that it also blocks many of the sites known to spread computer viruses. By the way, OpenDNS is free and doesn't expire. Thus, if you want to quietly reset his router when he is not home, then he won't know. The problem is that I've seen guys complain that the router is broken and get a new one without the filter. While it blocks everything going through the router, it won't block pornography access through a cellphone data network. In other words, if a person is determined, he'll find a way around it.

You could rearrange his computer so that the screen is viewable in the room, but he might just put it all back the way it was.

All you really can do is tell him that he won't make it to heaven by lusting after homosexuality. Perhaps he'll listen, perhaps he won't. It is unfortunate that your mother won't intervene. Since he already has ignored you, I would suggest going to one of the elders or preachers at your congregation and ask them to come help you talk with him (Matthew 18:15-17). In this way, it is no longer just you pointing out that he has a problem.

However, I want you to take a moment and think: Is it right to judge any group of people by the behavior of one? Just because your father is caught up in sin, it doesn't mean that all men are involved in the same sin. It isn't a fair judgment.