How Parents Can Defeat Pornography
Parents have two main missions when it comes to pornography. To borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, they must cut down jungles and irrigate deserts.
First, cutting down jungles. The main protection against pornography is defense. Parents must tear down gateways to pornography and prevent kids from encountering it in the first place. This includes strategies like installing Internet filters on your home computer (two of the best are Covenant Eyes and Safe Eyes); maintaining just one computer in your home and placing it in the most public area; being cautious of the movies and TV shows your children absorb.
This last strategy is particularly important. Most parents focus solely on pornography. But suggestive movies and TV shows can have a bigger influence on the way your kids view gender, sexuality, marriage, and love.
Media that glorifies promiscuous sex or the objectification of women can be a real gateway to pornography. The land of porn is often reached through many small steps—not large leaps—which means we must defend against the subtle messages passing through their screens every day.
Second, irrigating deserts. Prevention isn't the only solution. And it can’t be, for its hedge only extends so far. You can put Internet filters on your own home computer, but what about the neighbor's computer, or the library's, or the school's? You can control what comes through your TV, but what about the dozen other screens? We should do everything we can to banish pornography, to be sure, but we also must take positive, proactive measures.
Ultimately, we must form our children in the virtue of chastity. How can we do this seemingly difficult task? First by providing positive examples of love. We should highlight men treating women with dignity and promote the deep value of marriage.
To help with this we can turn to Pope John Paul II’s life-changing “theology of the body”. If your child hasn't been through a “theology of the body” study group, sign them up or start one yourself.
When it comes to pornography, we parents need both defense and offense. We must guard and fortify, dismantle and build up. We must vanquish porn with both a shield and a sword, literally purging the Hell out of our children while piercing them with the Lance of Love.
It may seem difficult, but you can do it. You have the wisdom of the Church, the prayers of the saints, and the Lord of All Creation at your side. So take heart; you’re not alone.
Cut down jungles, irrigate deserts, and love will quickly bloom.
This is from an article I wrote for the Bite-Sized Faith series.