P_Word Conference | The reality of porn-use among young, male, undergraduate students
16489
post-template-default,single,single-post,postid-16489,single-format-standard,ajax_fade,page_not_loaded,,qode-theme-ver-11.2,qode-theme-bridge,wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-5.1.1,vc_responsive
 

The reality of porn-use among young, male, undergraduate students

The reality of porn-use among young, male, undergraduate students

Words by a Scotland based Church Pastor.

I’ve pastored in churches that contain a significant number of undergraduate university students, both male and female. In one of those churches, one of my colleagues approached me and asked if I would conduct a seminar for all the male students who attended the church since, in his pastoral care of them, he’d become aware that nearly all of those he met with had various degrees of addiction to internet pornography.

Over the following two weeks I set up 3 sessions to which over 30 male students attended in total. Those in attendance were excellent young men: bright, articulate, God-loving, personable, and normal. About 30% of them were in romantic relationships with young women at the time. However, when we broached the subject in the groups it became apparent that every single one of them – including those dating girls – had accessed porn of different levels of explicit content over the recent past. For some it was daily, others weekly, and others monthly. I was genuinely shocked!

As the sessions progressed a pattern began to appear. For most of them, their use of porn took place in the middle of the night in the solitude of their own room using either their laptop or tablet. For a good number of them, the lower their self-esteem and self-confidence, the greater the use of internet porn (those with a mild addiction of daily use generally viewed themselves as physically unattractive to women). Those with a girlfriend tended to have the lowest use of internet porn (some of the girlfriends new about their boyfriend’s use, others did not).

From these patterns a four-fold approach to help them reduce their use of internet porn crystallised over the two weeks. First, they were all encouraged to actively pursue spiritual holiness. Many of the classic spiritual disciplines have been lost in our current post-modern generation of Christians. Pray and read the Bible at night time when temptation is greatest (it’s difficult to watch porn & masturbate when praying or reading the Bible). Seek daily the filling of God’s Spirit and don’t get drunk with alcohol as this dulls the senses and conscience. Also take seriously the devil’s schemes against you by doing spiritual warfare prayer. Finally soak yourself daily in worship music.

Second, get into accountability groups with either male peers or older male mentors (possibly include dads). This has proved very effective for those who have pursued this. Read together books on accountable friendships such as The Accountable Man by Tom Eisenman. Download and use accountability software, such as covenant eyes, on your phones, etc. Choose flatmates carefully, ideally other Christian guys.

Thirdly, and crucially, develop a righteous hatred for the global pornography industry. Watch the documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. Join Facebook groups like Fight the New Drug – Porn Kills Love. Research stats and information on the global porn industry including the amount of sexual violence against women, children, babies, and animals. Finally, don’t lie to yourself that you’re not a part of the supply & demand chain. All porn use on the internet is demanding a service.

Finally, educate yourself on the effect of porn & sexual stimulation on the brain. Read scientific papers about the porn effect on the brain and the deleterious impact it has on developing romantic love (Russell Brand’s Vlog on his own experience is excellent!). Purchase and read books like Hooked: New Science on how Casual Sex is Affecting Our Children by Joe McIlhaney & Freda Bush.

In the months that followed there were a number of encouraging testimonies from some of the students that the four-fold approach had helped them to significantly reduce their use of porn. For a minority, they became completely free from it. I was pleasantly surprised and encouraged.

No Comments

Post A Comment