The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

I am a 13 years old. A week or two ago I watched an inappropriate movie with my friend. Yesterday and today, I looked at porn. Yesterday, I was so upset that I broke down crying and told my parents. Yet today, I did the same thing. As I am typing this, I am shaking from the guilt that I feel. I want to be forgiven, but I am afraid that I won't. I know that it is a good thing that I feel bad, but I believe it is only because I am afraid of going to hell. I really need your help to overcome this problem, and I also need you to help me be as good of a person that I can be.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Answer

I'm glad that you are willing to talk to me about your struggle, but I'm even happier that you've talked to your parents.

All sins can be forgiven, if a person is willing to turn away from their sin. That includes looking at pornography when you knew it was wrong. ""But if a wicked man turns from all his sins which he has committed, keeps all My statutes, and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; because of the righteousness which he has done, he shall live. Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?" says the Lord GOD, "and not that he should turn from his ways and live?"" (Ezekiel 18:21-23).

It is not a bad thing to feel guilty, nor is it bad that you are afraid of God's wrath. "By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil" (Proverbs 16:6). If it takes fear to keep you from repeating a sin, then the fact that you stay away from sin is a good thing for you. The problem, though, is if you keep repeating this sin, despite your fears, eventually it is going to fade.

As you are discovering, intentions are not enough to overcome strong temptations. That you can overcome it is a given because God promised: "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (I Corinthians 10:13).

There are so many things I would like to talk to you about, but it is hard to put it in an email. So, I'm going to do the best I can and ask that you write back about what you don't understand or what you want to know more about.

We need to attack this problem from two directions: one is to deal with understanding the temptation itself and why it is pulling you and the other is to make it more difficult to give in without thinking.

Why Is Pornography so Tempting?

It is natural to be curious about sex when you have sexual feeling coursing through your body that you did not experience in childhood. The problem is that pornography doesn't depict what sex actually is. It portrays corrupted forms of sex that are purposely designed to shock the viewer. The shock is wanted because of how the male body responds to sexual feelings. To get aroused, your heart needs to pump harder, your blood pressure rise, and tension is need to clamp the muscles that cause erections. Shocking a male with sexual ideas accomplishes these things. In other words, pornography is purposely crafted to manipulate you.

If you think about it, you should wonder why other people would want to cause you to have erections and possibly masturbate while looking at their pictures or videos. There has to be a motivation behind this, and there is. Because the body responds with pleasurable feelings to being aroused and ejaculating, many men seek it repeatedly. The male body, especially when young, has a need for ejaculations on a regular basis. Thus the young man's own body generates the desire to come back over and over again to get that sexual high. But repeated exposure decreases the shock, so young men look for something new or different.

The pornography industry understands this. They purposely spread pornographic around where it can be easily be found by young males. As the men seek out more, they offer it for a price. Thus they use a man's own sexual desires against them to make a profit. They really don't care that they leave a tainted view of sex behind, so long as they have money rolling in.

Because the body desires sexual arousal and pornography triggers arousal, it is easy to fall into the pit of using this sin to satisfy the body's desire. "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren" (James 1:14-16). It is the way Satan sells sin. His easiest sales job is when the "buyers" are begging for his products.

Because orgasm when ejaculating is such a strong feeling, what ever you are doing at the time that causes you to be aroused or to ejaculate then because strongly associated in your brain. It is very common to find men so locked into pornography that they come to believe they cannot ejaculate without first looking at pornography.

What you need to understand that what you saw isn't real and isn't how sex is supposed to be like. I want you to get so mad that people (and Satan who is behind this) are manipulating you that you decide to take control of your life.

The following are additional information on how pornography works and why it is wrong:

Why Do I Give In?

The desire to feel that sexual feeling again is an obvious reason, and that desire is one that isn't going to go away. But there is more to this problem. A big problem is that it is easy to access. I want you to think about why you looked again when you didn't want to. Was it because you were bored? Was it because you were fairly certain you wouldn't be caught?

I assume your parents are Christians since you have a strong desire to do what it right. What I would suggest is asking your parents to install a blocker on your computer. There is a free one that isn't too hard to install called OpenDNS. The set up is free for home use. An odd thing about this particular protection is that it won't slow down your computer -- if anything, it will make it faster. And it will also help protect your system from viruses. If this is set up in your home's router, it will protect all computers in the home, even ones someone brings with them.

An even better program is called K9 Web Protection. It is also free and does more than OpenDNS. However, every computer being protected has to have this installed on it. It even has versions to protect iPhones, iPods, and iPads, which means it will protect you even when you are not at home.

Can you get around these safety features? Of course. But the reason for having them there is to get rid of the impulse to go look at porn. You will have to think about how to get around the blocks, and I'm hoping that this extra thought will give you a chance to say "No!" to temptation.

Let me know how it goes and what other questions or concerns you have.

Thank you very much for responding to my question. What you said helped me feel better. I understand what you are saying about how porn sucks people like me in. The one thing that I struggle with is to resist that temptation. I think it through for a while, but always do it. The "parental blocker" seems like a good idea, but do you have any other suggestions? I would like to try to overcome this problem with my willpower, but I know it will be tough. Thank you again.

You are correct that it will be tough to do it completely on your own because you will be battling yourself. That is why Christians don't try to go it alone. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). A person who put Christ and his desires ahead of his own has a reason to resist. "Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God" (II Corinthians 3:4-5).

What might help is that when you feel the urge to look, I want you to leave the situation immediately. Go out of the house. Take a run or do push-ups and sit-ups on the back porch. Being out where other people can see you will dampen the urge. Working out will give you an outlet for that pent up energy. And then say a prayer of thanksgiving to God for something that He has done in your life to get your mind on a better track.

Beyond that, I can't say much more because I don't know what are the circumstances that trigger your lust for pornography.

Thank you for all the suggestions that you have given me. Last night I prayed to God thanking Him for me finding you, and for him to please help me with my struggle. I will try to do some things to occupy myself so I do not have the lust for pornography. If you would like, I could keep you posted on how I am doing for the next couple days, maybe weeks. Thank you so much, and God bless you

You are welcome to write as often as you want and about whatever issue is concerning you. I enjoy talking to people.