The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hello,

I'm 13, and I will eventually have to confess to a priest that I watched child pornography. I made child pornography that only included myself because I was tempted to do so. Nobody else was in the video. I fear that if I confess to a priest, they might call the cops on me. I'm scared and worried.

I also watched some sexual videos on YouTube that included teens kissing or doing other things. Again, I was tempted to do so. I don't want to get arrested. I know it was my fault, but I couldn't help it.

Is there any hope for me to avoid getting arrested? Or at least something to make me feel better?

Thank you very much.


Answer

My job, if you will, is not to make you feel better -- at least not directly. My duty is to get you to do better in life, then you won't have to feel bad about the things you have done.

Making a video of yourself masturbating is not the right thing to do. Private matters ought to remain private. Videos have a strong potential for getting distributed and once they are out of your hand, you can't control who sees them or copies them. What makes child pornography wrong is the distributing the sexual images of a minor. I would like you to erase every copy that you have and not make any more videos like this.

While the desire to ejaculate is really strong when you are young, and it is tempting to experiment with new experiences, you are wrong when you say you couldn't help it. That is a lame excuse. In both cases you had the ability not to make the video and to not click on the sexual videos on YouTube. You did these things because you wanted to and it sounded better at the time than doing what you knew was right. "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).

The things you did were wrong, but they are not things that the police arrest people for doing. Apologize to God in your prayers for breaking His laws. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (I John 1:9). Then stop doing things because you want to and start thinking about whether things are right or wrong before you do them.