Monday, February 05, 2007

Do Not Be Deceived-This Applies to You & Me

Last year I read a book by Shaunti Feldhahn called For Women Only: What You need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men. This was quite an eye-opening book that presented ideas based on a survey of 400 men. My husband and I talk very openly about issues in our marriage and in life, so I thought I had a pretty good handle on this topic, but I learned several new things. My husband read the book, as well, and was amazed how much insight the author had. He said every woman should read this book. Interestingly, I read where a church in Georgia purchased and gave every woman a copy.

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.

    • 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.
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.

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.


Kelly said...

Thanks for sharing this, Kelly. It is a great post that all women need to read. I, too, have heard these stats and I am astonished by the growing epidemic we face. Thanks for bringing this to the forefront.

Jane said...

Thanks for addressing such an important issue. by the way, I didn't realize you are a minister's wife!

Alicia said...

Thanks for a very pertinent post, Kelly. The stat on 8-16 year olds really did surprise me. So young. Scary that a parent could not even know. But there are a lot of things kids don't tell their parents (including pornography and sexual abuse). Good open communication and accountability is so important! I really want to keep learning how to best encourage our children to share these kind of things as they grow so that we can help them. I want to be preemptive.

Kim said...

Kelly-Excellent post and a topic of great concern! We have a fact years ago when we first decided to have a computer,we knew we would not have it in our home without a filter! I even had to get special permission9from our filter service) to have this blog. But it is the only way for us! None of us are immune to this horrible sin and men especially need to protect themselves.


Kim said...

One more thing--I am angry that in the name of free speech people have access to such terrible sinful things...these people view this stuff and then go after children and THAT makes me angry!


Deidre said...

This topic is such a huge issue even in churches today. Thanks for posting about this subject. I know that I haven't prayed for the men in my life (husband, dad, brothers) enough over this issue.

Susanne said...

Important important issue you have brought up! We have filters on our computers too!

I've read that book. I count it as one of the books that has changed my life. It was eye opening. She also wrote one on women for the men done in the same format.

Kelly said...

I know what you mean about life-changing. That book is so full of great info. I've also read the one for men--it is great. too. The newest is called "For Young Women Only" and is aimed at teens and college age girls.

Chris said...

I just received this book and the one for young women and men as well. I am looking forward to reading it.
Excellent post!
This is something that needs to be addressed head on. My husband and I have served in full-time ministry for 20 years and as senior pastors for over six years, this issue does not discriminate against Christians. WE must 1)Protect our families with filters on our computers 2) Place our computer in an open area where everyone can see what others are doing 3) Guard our homes with what is viewed in vidoes and television and 4) provide accountability for one another.
But most important we must pray for our husbands and sons. I have 31 days of prayer that I pray for my husband and on day 20 my prayer is: "I pray that my husband will yield his mind and thoughts to the Lord. I pray that he will not entertain immoral or impure thoughts, and that he will resist the temptation to indulge in pornography. Prov. 27:12;2 Cor. 10:5)" As wives we play an important role in helping our husband in this area. This can and will destroy lives! Praise God there is more and more help available for those who seek it.
And I agree with you, it is not just a man's issue.

Thanks for bringing this out in the light!

Michelle said...

Kelly ~
I started doing this study a couple of weeks ago and have really enjoyed it ~ I read ahead in the book and let's just say I blew it when I asked David about this chapter!
I am thinking about "maybe" doing this in our church for some of the soon to be married gals ~ I think it is very important that you know this stuff before you get married. We have been married 11 years and during the 1st week I was shocked about some of the things she mentions. Like, how even if a man is lost he will not stop and ask for directions. It is like a challenge for him to be able to find his own way ~
Thanks for sharing this post, I was kinda shocked at some of the numbers ~ I am going to print out and take to our meeting once we get to this section ! Thanks again

Lisa said...

A big AMEN to all you've said, Kelly! Just walking through the mall with my sons is a challenge, not to mention tv (the commercials alone!). As you have said, our enemy has quite a stronghold, and it is incumbent upon us to be diligent and proactive...

Kim said...

We went to a marriage retreat at our church 2 1/2 years ago and Clay & Renee Cross were the guest speakers. It was an amazing transparent testimony and we were forever changed. Not just in regard to pornography, but in what is required of us to have a *Holy Home*. So many things we don't even question and that we have grown immune to should be placed along side the Word of God. Clay made it perfectly clear. It isn't about sex, it is about sin. It starts there.

Great post!

Mike said...

Hmm. No comment here, lest I incriminate myself. :)

Seriously, what's the title of the book for men?


gail said...

My husband has that book and I think has given it to one of our daughters as well. He said all women should read it too and I know he thinks I should but I haven't yet. So maybe I should get it out and try it.
Good post.

Paula said...

Great post. I am AMAZED by the children between 8-16 have viewed porn. WOW!

I think starting now in prayer over our children is the right thing to do.

Thank you!

Jenn said...

Great post. It is an issue the church body needs to address. Purity does not come easily and it helps for us all to be informed. This issue touches many lives and can leave many homes damaged. Thanks for sharing.