A Fence or an Ambulance by Joseph Malins (1895) -a poem about prevention.
“A primary reason for the growing problem of pornography is that in today’s world, words and images with sexual content and influences are everywhere: they can be found in movies, TV programs, social media, text messages, phone apps, advertisements, books, music, and everyday conversations. As a result, it is inevitable that all of us are being exposed to sexualized messages on a regular basis.” (Recovering from the Trap of Pornography, Dallin H. Oaks New Era Oct 2015)
Or how about this chart from Christian Teens and Porn: 10 Stats You Need To Know.
Ask this: How are you and your family dealing with pornography and other sexualized messaging in your home? Are you “building a fence” or “driving an ambulance?”
If the following statement is true–which I believe it is–our children will be exposed to sexualized messaging including porn. Our youth will either have sufficient “coping” skills and knowledge to successfully navigate sexualized messaging or they will not. And if not another youth will be seeing dr rick and being removed from the home etc etc … or some other serious consequence. 🙁
FACT: As we confront pornography and other immoral behavior, it is critical for us to shift our focus from “the ambulance of addiction recovery” to “the fence of wellness and prevention.“
Some believe that it’s too late! …Indeed, we can expect many of our youth to be wounded by the battle with porn addiction.” My response, No way!. This is ONLY true if we do not provide our children with the correct resources. If you think I’m just going to sit back while my children and grandchildren experience porn addiction – you are out of your mind! Clearly with the correct resources we can successfully resist “ANY TEMPTATION” including porn. And we can inoculate our children and grandchildren with the skills and knowledge to prevent pornography addiction and other immoral behavior. Without a fixed prevention plan, surely Satan will overpower us with sexual temptations.
FACT: There is an urgency to do something. We do need a “fixed plan” to porn proof our kids.
We know the effective components of a prevention program. We’ve done it for years with Alcohol and Drug Prevention. Effective prevention programs include factors like: enhancing protective factors-religious/spiritual activities; enhancing family bonding and relationships; addressing risk factors; improving the youth’s social-competence; skill building; etc etc (See: Prevention Principles, National Institute of Drug Abuse).There are dozens of successful Alcohol and Drug Prevention programs (See: Programs At a Glance section in this Communities that Care document). Communities That Care is perhaps the most effective and best researched. They claim their prevention program: “employs a proven, community-change process for reducing youth violence, alcohol & tobacco use, and delinquency – through tested & effective programs and policies…”
FACT: There are effective Alcohol and Drug Programs-that prevent alcohol and drug use and addiction!
If we as parents, grandparents and leaders wait until we see the “Signs of Addiction” it’s already too late!!! Waiting until the disease arrives -is like managing your child’s health during flu season by looking for symptoms: A 100 degrees F or higher fever; A cough and/or sore throat; A runny or stuffy nose; etc etc. At which point your child has the flu and it’s time to take them to the doctor! When this happens we’ve already fell off the edge of the cliff. Prevention would have the child: Wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub; Try to avoid close contact with sick people; Practice good health habits- Get plenty of sleep and exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food; Get vaccinated: etc etc
Did I tell you the story about the religious young man who had NOT been inoculated against porn addiction …
The active Christian family was court ordered to see me. Their 12 year old son was charged with a couple of felony sex charges for molesting his younger sister. During my interviews this young boy recalled his “weird feelings” (sexual arousal) started as he passed by a “big sign” (Billboard) of a woman in a sports bra measuring her breasts. He and his family passed the billboard regularly. As he experienced the new feelings of puberty he learned to masturbate on his own and became aroused by the roadside image. One thing led to another. In short, he was exposed to “a germ” of Satan’s misuse of sexual arousal. He had no immunity (skills or knowledge) to deal with this sexual message. He got “sick“. (Note: This young man had never seen pornography (picture of people with their clothes off), never missed church, the best kid ever …)
to overcome those temptations BEFORE they encounter them.
®2014 dr rick