Dr. James Merrit gathered statistics from studies done in 2015. Newsweek, Time Magazine and Huffington Post discovered some painful facts.
- In 2015 alone over 4 billion hours of pornography was watched globally.
- The average age of first time exposure to porn is 11 years old.
- The largest porn consumers are boys ages 12-17.
- 90% of children ages 8-16 have unintentionally viewed porn on the Internet.
- Every hour pornography sites are hit over 4 million times. Yes, every hour.
Last year, I decided to ask my 9-year old son about this. He was in public school but had been homeschooled until that year. So I was pretty sure of the answer… until he mumbled, sinking low into his chair and looked out the window. Oh dear God, I thought.
I proceeded with caution, only asking ‘yes or no’ questions. I wanted to spare him the pain of trying to explain and save the “birds and bees” for a future camping trip with his dad. But I gathered enough to be mortified as I realized that his first exposure was 8-years old. We were on our way home from vacation that summer and he saw a magazine in a gas station. For an entire year, the enemy had been quietly using that image to slowly warp his little mind.
I would not have known if I hadn’t asked. Exposing this planted seed brought about truth and understanding in his little mind. I was able to explain that a woman’s body is a beautiful thing: a gift. Like Christmas, opening a gift too early is no fun. So – no peeking! I brought up Solomon 3:5, which states, “Do not arouse or awaken love until the time is right.” On the flip side (Christians will do this especially), we don’t want to influence our kids to see sex as shameful either. This belief will kill God’s plan for their future marriage.
Parents and grandparents, our children are stuck in a world foreign to us. Although sexual immorality screamed from the beginning of creation, it was not easily accessible. We did not have unexpected images popping up in the palms of our hands to rape our eyes. A friend of mine has a boy who was exposed to a single online image in 2nd grade by his neighbor friend. This image (tiny seed) led to his addiction today. He is 14 and raised in an incredibly grounded home. Parents, no child is immune to this problem.
We have to ask ourselves: Are we being an advocate or an avoidant? Are we too busy to notice, too tired to care? Maybe we feel defeated. However, James Merrit once said, “We are not fighting for victory. We are fighting from victory.”
Jesus already won at the cross. He already fights on the front lines of our war – if we invite Him. He’s a gentleman. He will not force Himself upon us. Therefore, we first celebrate! It may feel awful today but heaven is the final destination for anyone who believes in Jesus… struggling with pornography or not.
Is your gut stirred? Listen to your heart and you’ll know what to do. Much like an operating room, it may appear horrifying and bloody. But take heart. You will not make things worse, but better. You may even save a life. We need to expose this war!
“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:11-12)