Ughhhhhhhh. I want to scream out in frustration!
My son came to me today while he was online (he’s learning to make websites, which is great and he loves it) and said he had seen an inappropriate picture. He closed the tab and came to get me. Phew. That’s the good news…and I’ll go back to that in a minute.
The terrible news is that I went into the history and looked at where he had been. He had been searching for an image of cardboard armor and had then stumbled onto an adult dating site. Well, the homepage for this site is a nude woman. Standing there with no clothes on, inviting you to try this site. I am SO sad for this. I am sad and disgusted that the first naked woman he’s seeing is a girl he will never meet in real life, and certainly not someone he will be romantically involved with. I am screaming inside. I’m so upset about it.
But….as I’ve had some time to think about it, I’m more angry. Angry that we live in a world that makes it nearly impossible to guard our children’s innocence. Certainly we can and need to be taking measures and steps to protect our kids on the internet with internet safety programs, blocking adult content, etc. But in the end, it is not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of WHEN.
Sigh, even as I’m writing this, I’m blaming myself. If we would just have had better security, maybe that wouldn’t have happened. And then I feel pity, my poor precious son, being exposed to something that he should never have seen. I feel discouraged and so, so sad.
But wait…..really, wait!!! I have to stop feeling like this and focus on something else- his response to it. This isn’t the first time he’s come to us saying he saw something inappropriate. The other times it’s happened, the pictures haven’t been so graphic, and as far as I know, this was the first totally nude photo. But he shut the tab and came right to me and told me. This is all I could ask for.
This has been a long, ongoing conversation we’ve been having with him and our other boys since they were young. We’ve told that girls are precious and their bodies are something private. We’ve talked to them about their own private areas and why it’s important to keep them private, and what to do if someone violates that privacy. I know we need to continue having conversations, ones that will be more intense as they get older.
So, in a way, I feel like we’ve prepared him for this moment. I’m just disgusted that we have to do that. Coming face to face with it isn’t fun at all. But I feel like my choice is to despair and just be upset. OR…..I can keep the conversation going with him. His dad is going to talk with him when he gets home from work tonight. I think his dad can ask him questions that maybe would be embarrassing for me to ask him….
I think I have to believe that nothing was ruined today. We’ve only just stepped in to an extremely intense, very real battle that was already raging. To think that my kids would be the ones who would somehow manage to escape the horrendously high statistics of children exposed to pornography, would be ignorant and untrue.
My kids will face this challenge and my hope and prayer is that they can do it armed with the right tools to be able to face it with honor and respect for women, and a desire to fight against lust and a lifetime of bondage to pornography.
I know it’s possible. I don’t like it and I wish we didn’t have to go through this, but I’d rather walk right beside my kids and get in the mud with them, than pretend it didn’t happen.
Below I’ve listed some of the books Generations of Virtue carries that address this issue of pornography and how to prepare boys for it. Some of these we’ve done already with our boys, and some we are going to do in the future, as they grow up:
For God’s Kingdom, and for His Glory.
– Annie Anderson
Author: Annie Anderson
Annie is the warehouse manager for Generations of Virtue and a mother of 5. When she’s not helping web customers or packing book orders, Annie homeschools her kids, hangs out at the hockey rink, and serves at her Mops group. A dedicated mother, Annie loves being surprised by the joy that comes from having children and raising them to love the Lord.