This Porn and Purity post is adapted from an email I received and the answer I shared. My prayer, and that of the mom who wrote to me, is that God will use this information to help and comfort someone today.
My sons, ages seven and five, were innocently exposed to online porn today by an eight-year-old boy in my parents’ neighborhood. My 5-year-old started asking me if it was ok to say the word "sexy" and as I investigated, they led me to the sites they were shown. It was mainly pornographic videos (both hetero and homo) from YouTube. I didn't make them feel guilty; obviously, they were innocent here. My oldest said he felt inside that it might not be right. Praise the Lord for the Holy Spirit’s guidance there. I'm looking forward to being able to teach him how to "listen" to God through this. Any prayers and advice are appreciated.
I think you have already shown great wisdom in how you have handled things so far. I'm very glad you didn't "go off the deep end!" That was the Holy Spirit working in you, as well! And you are so wise in looking at this from the very positive view of being able to use this as a "teachable moment." If we can glean anything redeeming from this, here’s something: Now your boys know that they can come to you. Yes, these conversations are happening before you were "ready," however, now the stage is set for that "ongoing conversation" that will be so beneficial throughout the years.
Our boys are going to be confronted by the demon of porn throughout their lives, and the culture is making it more and more acceptable. As Christian moms, we have our work cut out for us. The conversation with your boys has already started, so just make sure it continues. Be sure your husband is involved, too.
Your sons may not even know how to process what they saw, but as you continue to talk through this with them, capitalize on the fact that the pictures/video/images they saw were wrong. They were not true examples of God's best. I once heard a speaker recommend that parents explain sex this way to a kindergartener: Sex is a special kind of love that husbands and wives share behind the closed door of their bedroom. (That one sentence covers a lot of ground! It is special, it is love, it is for husbands and wives, and it is private.) Tell your boys that God doesn't want people to misuse His special gift of sex, or to watch His gift of sex misused.
Let the boys know that the people who are in those videos are lost, and they don't know God or how wonderful His plan (for both marriage and salvation) is. Let them know by your tone of voice that these are people to feel sorry for--they don't know Jesus, and so they don't understand true love. I think it would be okay to express anger, as well--anger that this kind of thing is out there and so easily accessed, anger that the enemy uses sin to keep people far away from Jesus and His love--but my caution would be that your boys understand that your anger is not directed toward them.
Emphasize to your boys that, as godly young men, they have the responsibility to turn their eyes away from pictures and videos like this. It is wickedness, and it is a great sadness. God grieves over this misuse of His special gift of sex. Let them know this, and pray with them that they would listen when the Holy Spirit in their hearts gives them a warning like He did in this instance. Help them understand that boys who do not have the Holy Spirit (like the neighbor boy) will not be listening for Him, and they are going to do what they want to do and what the enemy tells them to do, not what Jesus wants them to do. There will always be a choice--every time.
Pray, pray, pray that God would be glorified through this experience. Trust Him that through this, you as a parent are going to be even sharper. Be diligent to continue to help your sons (for example, when you are watching TV together. Help them learn to turn the channel and turn their eyes away when scantily-dressed women are on. Even things like Weight Watchers commercials can go too far.) I would also pray about talking to this neighbor boy's parents. I think they need to know. If this boy is looking at porn regularly at eight years old, he is going to need help. As parents we are quick to give the drugs and alcohol talk, but we do not give our boys the porn talk like we should. It is just as addictive and just as destructive. If an 8-year-old had shared drugs or alcohol with your boys, you would tell his parents, right? I think they need to know this, too.
Thanks very much to the mom who gave me permission to share her letter. To see all the Porn and Purity articles, go HERE.
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