Training Your Toddler To Battle Porn

Today we have a guest post from my friend Michael Foster. Michael is a pastor and Managing Director of It’s Good To Be A Man, a ministry to extend God’s house & father-rule, by helping men to establish their own houses in strength, workmanship & wisdomHe is also the father of seven children.  
Follow him on Twitter @thisisfoster or on Facebook at facebook.com/mscottfoster.

The battle against porn starts while your son is still in diapers…

My oldest boy, Hudson, has developed a habit of requesting his dessert before he finishes his meal. This request always meets with a firm denial from me. And so my sweet little boy decides he will not eat at all.

I am careful to inform him that this decision is okay, but that he will not be eating his dessert either until he clears his plate. Often, he will then attempt to persuade me to reconsider my position with an oh-so-polite, “Please, daddy!”

But his manipulation only results in a much sterner reiteration of my earlier declaration. I do add a few qualifiers this time around. I tell him that I want him to enjoy his dessert. Desserts are gifts from God meant for our enjoyment—but they only come after meals, and not before them.

Sometimes my son listens to reason; sometimes he goes to bed with an empty stomach.

But this post is only kind of about desserts. It’s really about something much weightier than a popsicle. My dinner rules are actually a preemptive strike at the ominous threat of pornography, that shackles and pacifies the majority of our young men.

My son’s desire to have a popsicle before finishing his meal shares many similarities with the man lusting for fornication-on-demand—and it’s important to see what these are:

They both share a good gift from God that’s been perverted. There’s nothing wrong with dessert if it’s enjoyed properly. Similarly, there is nothing wrong with sex—it’s an amazing gift from God. He has designed men to long to behold and enjoy the beauty of a woman. But sex outside of a marriage covenant is a perversion of God’s intention. We are not to enjoy dessert before our meal; in the same way, we are not to enjoy sexual activity outside of a marriage covenant. There is an order to life that extends from the dinner table to the marriage bed.

Lust and dessert before a meal share the same trigger or source—an undisciplined appetite. My son lacks the self-discipline to eat rightly. He must learn to control his desires and not let them enslave him. It’s the same with the consumer of pornography. He lacks the self-discipline to wait until he wins a bride—or, if he’s married, until his bride is able to have sex (sometimes a wife and mother needs a night off from being touched). His appetite controls him. He’s a slave to his strong urges. He’s like a toddler demanding his dessert right now.

Both these disorders dilute and ultimately undermine the pleasure that comes from God’s gifts of grace. Dessert loses its sweetness if it’s taken out of the context of a meal. Likewise, pornography reduces “sex” to merely an impersonal orgasm instead of a rapturous celebration of a covenant.

The battle against pornography begins long before high school. 

It begins with not giving in to demands of pre-dinner popsicles, bedtime protests, and ignored curfews. It starts with the loving discipline of your child while he’s still in diapers. There’s a reason Proverbs 13:24 says, “He who withholds his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” Discipline will help spare your son from being enslaved to all sorts of evil—including gluttony, fornication, and mountains of credit card debt. The permissive parent does not love his children. He allows his progeny to drink the slow poison of immediate gratification simply because he’s too busy, or just wants to be a cool parent. Do not be this parent. Spare your children.

Take to heart the exhortation of Hebrews 12:11, “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.”


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Published by Timothy Reigle

I’m Timothy Reigle, the founder of Into The Wilderness Ministries. After overcoming a fifteen year addiction to porn and sex, I have made it my life’s mission to help other men break free from the bonds of addiction. As an author, coach, and chaplain, I work with men to transform their lives by renewing their faith, re-energizing their families, and restoring their masculinity.

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