Why Avoid Pornography?
How frequently do you come across pornography by accident?
Where does this most often occur?
How do you respond?
□ I turn away immediately.
□ Curiosity causes me to look at it briefly.
□ I stare at it and even search out more.
WHEN your parents were your age, people who wanted to view pornography had to search for it. Today, it seems, pornography searches for you. Says one 19-year-old girl, “Sometimes I’m browsing or shopping on the Internet or even just checking bank statements online when wham—pornography pops up!” This is hardly unusual. In one survey, 90 percent of youths between the ages of 8 and 16 said that they had unintentionally encountered pornography online—in most cases, while doing homework!
In view of its prevalence, you might wonder, ‘Is pornography really all that bad?’ The answer is yes! Pornography demeans both those who take part in it and those who look at it, and it’s often a stepping-stone to committing sexual sins. But there’s more.
Viewing pornography can become a habit with long-lasting, devastating effects. For example, consider a man named Jeff who even after 14 years of being free of pornography admitted: “It’s a daily battle. The desire, although much more subdued, is still there. The curiosity is still there. The images are still there. I wish I’d never started down this hideous path. It seemed so harmless at first. But now I know better. Pornography is damaging, it is perverse, and it is demeaning to all parties concerned. Despite what its proponents may claim, there is nothing—absolutely nothing—positive about pornography.”
Evaluating the Situation
How can you avoid even unintentionally stumbling across pornography? First, analyze the situation. Is there a pattern to your encounters? Consider the following examples:
Are some of your schoolmates likely to send pornography via e-mail or cell phone? If so, it would be wise to delete their messages without opening them.
When you’re online, do pop-ups occur when you enter certain words in a search engine? Knowing that this is possible could help you to be more specific and careful in your use of keywords.
Below, list any circumstances that have led to your encountering pornography.
Is there anything you can do to reduce or eliminate those accidental encounters? If so, write below what you plan to do.
If You’re Already Hooked
It’s one thing to stumble across pornography by accident but quite another to look at it intentionally. What if it’s even becoming a habit? Make no mistake—breaking such a habit isn’t easy. To illustrate: Suppose your hands were tied together with a single cotton thread. You could probably break the thread by simply pulling your hands apart. But what if it were wrapped around your hands many times? Breaking free would be much more difficult. The same is true of people who habitually view pornography. The more they look at it, the more ensnared they become. If this has happened to you, how can you break free?
Understand pornography for what it is. Pornography is nothing less than a satanic attempt to degrade something that Jehovah created to be honorable. Understanding pornography in this light will help you to “hate what is bad.”—Psalm 97:10.
Consider the consequences. Pornography destroys marriages. It devalues those depicted in it. It debases the person who views it. For good reason, the Bible says: “Shrewd is the one that has seen the calamity and proceeds to conceal himself.” (Proverbs 22:3) Write below one example of a calamity that could befall you if you were to view pornography habitually.
Make a commitment. “I have made a solemn promise never to look with lust at a girl,” said the faithful man Job. (Job 31:1, Today’s English Version) The following are some ‘solemn promises’ you could make:
I will not use the Internet when I am alone in the room.
I will immediately exit any pop-up or site that is explicit.
I will talk to a mature friend if I have a relapse.
Can you think of one or two other resolves that could help you in the battle against pornography? If so, list them here.
Pray about the matter. The psalmist implored Jehovah: “Make my eyes pass on from seeing what is worthless.” (Psalm 119:37) Jehovah God wants you to succeed, and he can give you the strength to do what is right!—Philippians 4:13.
Talk to someone. Choosing a confidant is often an important step in breaking the habit. (Proverbs 17:17) Write below the name of a mature person whom you would feel comfortable approaching about the matter.
Be assured that you can succeed in your fight to steer clear of pornography. In fact, each time you avoid it, you have won a significant victory. Tell Jehovah about that victory, and thank him for the strength he has given you. Always remember that by avoiding the plague of pornography, you make Jehovah’s heart rejoice!—Proverbs 27:11.
“Deaden, therefore, your body members that are upon the earth as respects fornication, uncleanness, sexual appetite, hurtful desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”—Colossians 3:5.
Make sure that your computer is set to block access to pornographic sites. Also, avoid clicking on links in unsolicited e-mails.
DID YOU KNOW . . . ?
An obsession with pornography mimics the inordinate sexual fixation of the wicked spirits in Noah’s day.—Genesis 6:2.
To shield myself from exposure to pornography, I will ․․․․․
What I would like to ask my parent(s) about this subject is ․․․․․
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
● How does pornography degrade something that is honorable?
● How would you help a sibling who has a problem with pornography?
[Blurb on page 278]
“Before studying the Bible, I had experimented heavily with nearly every major drug. But of all my addictions, pornography was by far the most difficult to break. It’s only with Jehovah’s help that I’ve been able to deal with this problem.”—Jeff
[Picture on page 276]
Pornography has a cumulative effect—the more times you view it, the harder it is to break free