The things McDowell says we should do are right and good but they must be based on the foundation of the Gospel. McDowell said that if you think you can keep your kids from view porn online you are fooling yourself. He said that if you home-school your kids and think that by doing that you will keep them from being exposed to pornography you are deceived. Your kids will see pornography at some point as a parent and as a leader must protect our kids yes but we also must prepare them or we will lose them.
While it is imperative that we as parents take necessary steps to protect our kids, we must never let ourselves fall into the false belief that the measures taken by us would prove sufficient to shield them from pornography. Using tools like Parental Control Apps to police their technology use and online activities sure does help, but it is far from being an absolute antidote to the problem. We must avoid this thinking that focuses us on what we do and how we can control the outcomes and trajectories of our kids lives.
We as parents need to take steps to protect our kids but we must never fall into this false belief that our steps to protect our kids are enough. We must avoid this thinking that focuses us on what we do and how we can control the outcomes and trajectories of our kids lives.
To keep our kids safe is very important but must always be secondary. The reason is we can get web monitoring software to protect our kids but we can not change hearts of our kids. We must not fall into the trap of living separate protectionist lives. The church has failed it’s families and it’s youth by failing to talk about the problem of Porn until it’s to late. Parents fail their kids with their blind optimism, thinking this will never happen to me.
When the church does tackle the problem of porn they generally go after external issues. They castigate those who produce the product as they should but they fail to look at the brokenness of their own hearts and desires as they should. The church and parents swing at porn with their warnings and actually end up painting sex as created by God with the same dirty brush that is used to decry porn.
Here is the problem sex is beautiful we pervert it. The problem with sex is not sex the problem is you and me. We as parents and pastors have to give our kids a higher view of Christ. We have to paint a more Glorious picture of who Christ is. In his famous essay entitled “The expulsive power of a new affection” Thomas Chalmers says this far clearer than I ever could.
In it Chalmers proposes that the best way to overcome the world is not with morality or self-discipline. Christians overcome the world by seeing the beauty and excellence of Christ. They overcome the world by seeing something more attractive than the world: Christ, “in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3) A man who owns an Acura is not interested in a Geo Metro. In the same way, Christian parents try to make Christ and his kingdom glorious. Their children conquer the lusts of this world with a higher passion: The moral beauty of Christ.
By contrast, defensive parents have little confidence in the attractiveness of the gospel. They think the world is more powerful. Fundamentally, they are not confident in the gospel’s power to transform their children from the inside out. They do not believe Jesus’ words, “take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33) They have little confidence in the world conquering power of the new birth.
Let us as parents and us as pastors never lead the kids in our care in a defensive manner simply protecting them by telling them to stop doing what they are doing alone, but rather that God would help us to make Christ and his kingdom glorious and that would lead us and them to the world conquering power of the new birth.