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Christian parenting in today's age of pornography


As a mom, trying to raise children according to biblical principles in 2024 feels like juggling torches lit on fire while riding a unicycle across a tightrope over the Grand Canyon, all while fighting off swarms of attacking wasps. In this technology-saturated society, countless issues threaten our children’s well-being, but one of the most pressing is pornography. Pornography poisons the minds of our children.

The fallacy of pornography as harmless and victimless

I have heard the absurd argument that suggests exposing children to pornography is a legitimate strategy to prevent them from engaging in sexual activity or harmful sexual behaviors. As a mother who cares deeply about her children’s spiritual and moral development, I find this viewpoint starkly contradictory to biblical teachings. The Word of God reminds us to guard our hearts and minds, avoiding anything that defiles our purity and leads us astray. Exposing children to explicit content doesn’t just contradict biblical principles but also opens them up to engaging in harmful sexual behaviors. Just like marijuana is referred to as a gateway drug, pornography is a gateway to other destructive and sinful behaviors.

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Pornography does not depict a biblical view of sex. It does not reflect a one-man and one-woman intimate relationship that is sacred and reserved for husband and wife. Pornography paints sex as a grotesque and sinful act, often involving multiple partners, same-sex partners, and even children. Research consistently shows that early exposure to pornography can have profoundly harmful effects on a child’s mental health, relationships and overall well-being. It is our responsibility to protect children from such destructive influences.

The power of biblical education and living

Children’s hearts and minds are shaped by what they learn. In a world that is constantly throwing sexual content at our children, it is more important than ever to provide a solid foundation that is rooted in biblical truths of God’s design for sexuality, the sanctity of marriage and the importance of purity. This foundation equips them to make informed, Godly choices. Pornography cannot be used as a superficial, band-aid solution to keep our kids from engaging in premarital sex. Children must understand that their bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, created for His glory, instilling a moral compass to guide their decisions.

A call to responsible parenting

Responsible parenting goes beyond shielding our children from explicit content; it involves actively nurturing their spiritual, emotional and physical well-being. As parents, our children are our first and greatest mission field, and we are called to be vigilant in guarding their hearts, guiding them toward righteousness, and helping them navigate the challenges life throws their way. We can’t rely on the latest trends and parenting guides written by people who are born with an inherently sinful nature to raise our children. We have the Word of God, and it is always trending. We must prioritize open and honest conversations grounded in biblical truths. When our kids come to us with concerns or questions on uncomfortable topics, we must boldly respond with the truth of God’s Word, not cower and point them toward the lies of the enemy.

Teaching our children their value and responsibility

As parents, it is crucial to my husband and I that we teach our daughters their inherent value and worth as children of God and our sons the significance of their responsibility to respect and honor women. In a world that often objectifies women and reduces their value to physical appearance, we strive to instill in our daughters a deep understanding of their worth. They are fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image of God with a purpose that is far beyond what the world tells them. By teaching them to cherish their purity and respect themselves, we help them to see that their value is not defined by societal standards, but by their identity in Christ. This knowledge empowers them to make choices that honor God and uphold their dignity.

Our sons must also understand that their strength and influence should be used to protect and uplift, not exploit or demean. They need to know that real strength lies in self-control and that true leadership is demonstrated through servanthood and respect for others. This foundation equips them to build healthy relationships and stand against the destructive influence of pornography.

A call beyond parenting

As important as parenting is, the issue of exposing our children to explicit content demands a united front by the entire Christian community. It’s not just up to parents; it’s up to churches, educators, communities and lawmakers to come together and stand united on the foundation of biblical truth, ensuring that exposing our children to explicit content is never an acceptable solution or alternative. Instead, we need to prioritize biblical truth, open communication, and an environment that values purity. By doing this, we equip our children with the knowledge and understanding of God’s design for sexuality, empowering them to resist temptation and live according to His will.

As a mom, I believe it’s time to stand up, shoulder-to-shoulder, and speak out to protect our children through the unchanging truths of the Bible, not the changing trends of this world.

Heather Hefner is the Director of Communications for AFA Action, the government affairs affiliate of the American Family Association.

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