One concept that was particularly powerful for me was the idea that men have a visual Rolodex of images. The author states that men literally store images in their mind--once it has been stored, can pop up at any time, even when a man does not want it. Eighty-seven percent of the men polled said that these "pop-ups" happen to them. Therefore, men are constantly put in the position to choose to look at the image or close it down, if you will. This has to be exhausting! Most women do not understand this--we do not store images in this way. And they certainly don't just "pop up" uninvited.
Given this idea, you can totally understand the problem our country has with pornography and the danger it presents to the men in our life. They are bombarded with images from every side and angle, and our lack of understanding on this issue makes it worse. My new blog friend, Kelly at Party of Five, shared about a series her church is doing called Pure Sex. This post along with an article on Clay Crosse, Christian recording artist who struggled with pornography, in the current Home Life magazine really got me thinking about the problem of pornography in our culture. Here are some startling statistics on pornography.
Whew! If that doesn't scare you, I don't know what will. I realize that this is not the world's problem. Do not be deceived, this is an issue that Christians must take seriously--it is an area Satan is using to gain a foothold and defeat us. Some statistics also showed that 51% of ministers have taken "just a look" at pornography, while 37% state they have a more serious problem. We do not like to hear these facts, but we can not ignore them.
- Pornography industry grosses $12 billion in the US, and $57 billion worldwide (more than Microsoft)
- There are 800 million adult videos and DVDs rented each year.
- 72 million Internet users visit pornographic web sites each year.
- 80% of 15- to 17-year-olds have had multiple exposures to hard-core pornography.
- The average age of first exposure to pornography is eleven!
- The largest consumer of Internet porn is the 12-to17-year-old age group.
- 90% of 8-16 year-olds have viewed porn online.
- 53% of Promise Keeper men viewed porn in the last week.
- There are 25 children's character names (like Pokeman) that are linked to porn sites.
As Christian women, I believe that we must take action. We must pray diligently for the men in our lives for the strength to resist Satan as he so aggressively seeks to destroy them in this area. I have been praying this already for my 8-year-old son, as well. In addition, we must not forget to pray for our church leaders. No one is "above susceptibility" on this issue. As a minister's wide, I covet the prayers of others for my husband as he serves the church.
Not only must we pray, but we must take this knowledge and make more conscious choices about the media that we consume. It is not just pornographic material that Satan uses, but images on television and movies. For goodness sake, it is a minefield for men to go through the check-out at the grocery store.
We must realize the importance of dressing modestly and teaching our daughters the importance, as well. We do not want to be a stumbling block for those around us. This is hard with many of the clothing choices out there. We desire to be fashionable and feel good about how we look, but must balance that with a modest approach.
A couple of other courses of action pertain to technology available. First, having a good filter on your computer is a must. Another resource comes from XXXchurch, a Christian online site seeking to help people break out of the bondage of pornography. They have a service that you can sign up for with other accountability partners. At the end of the week, a list of the websites you accessed is sent to your partner(s) to hold you accountable to what you are viewing.
In closing, I will mention that trends are showing more and more women falling prey to pornography. In the past couple of years, I have had an increasing number of the female college students I work with share about their struggles in this area, often through chat rooms. So we must stay on guard personally and pray also for our daughters and friends in this area, as well.