I come across lots of young people who regularly view porn, yet they express that they don’t want to.
And when kids get caught, either by their parents or the IT department at their school, one of their first responses is that of frustration and anger – not at the school or their parents, but at themselves. They feel a frustration that this is something they’re battling, and they’re not winning. They feel trapped in a cycle of guilt and shame.
For those kids, getting caught was the best thing that could happen. They knew what they were doing wasn’t healthy. They knew it was effecting them. And being free of the lies and secrets and shame is so liberating.
But for whatever reason, they couldn’t come clean. Conversation on an everyday topic is hard enough at the best of times for teenage boys (let alone talking about a problem with porn!), and so most teenage boys won’t fess up out of nowhere. For girls, there is a far greater stigma and so being honest can be even harder for them. And so the issue festers.
For many young people who are struggling with (rather than celebrating) porn, having opportunities to come clean is vital. It means parents need to be starting the conversation early and keeping it going through the teen years. For schools it means addressing the issue of porn early on in appropriate ways.
You see, when we talk about the awkward and taboo openly, the taboo loses some of its power. Young people feel able to open up.
And when it comes to getting free from the grip of porn, coming clean is vital. Very few teens (let alone adults) will have the necessary self-control and discipline to fight this issue on their own. They’re going to need help and guidance and support. They’re going to need to allow the secret to be exposed.
So if porn is an issue for you and you want to get free, it’s time to come clean. It might be cliché, but you do need to admit you have a problem before there’s hope for change.
For centuries, Christians have called this repentance. It means to change your mind and turn around. It is to acknowledge what you’ve done before God and seek to change. It’s about admitting your need for God to step in and help, and resolving to change, because of God’s great love for you. This very old idea has incredible power.
So find a person you trust. Confess. Come clean. It’s not too late.