Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Boy's First Exposure to Pornography

Statistics say that the average age of a boy's first exposure to pornography is 11.

I think because Caedmon is now running with a group of older boys, this has been on my mind quite a bit. 

Just today, I was talking with him about how God would desire for him to handle the situation, should another boy ever offer for him to look at pictures of a woman without her clothes on.

I talked honestly with him about how the temptation would be strong, because the devil would be behind it. We talked about escape routes, and what he'd say to the boys, should this be offered to him.

Sadly, we even talked about how there might be fathers who profess to be Christians who keep these magazines in their homes.

I shared with him how hard it can be for those images to be removed from a young man's mind, and how it's only by God's grace that they are.

He's such a fighter for truth and righteousness, that kid. He was very clear about what he'd say and how he'd run from it.

I was quite proud of him.

He's only 9, you know. :)

We then proceeded to go about our day...homeschool PE, lunch, and a quick stop by a swap shop because I'm in desperate need of new kitchen chairs. 

"New" is a relative term, you know.

We landed in this great little shop, full of fun antiques and gobs of beautiful milk glass. My sweet friend Marilena collects milk glass. I so wanted to spend every last penny I have to lavish her with some new pieces....and then I saw the prices!

I still love you, Mar, but don't be looking for a package. ;)

As we were walking out the door, Brennan just about barred herself against the entrance to the last room we'd be passing.

"Mommy! Mommy! Caedmon CAN NOT go in there!"

As I looked, I saw her...she must have been the spread for one of the original playboy magazines...spread out for all to see.

No dignity.

No modesty.

Just total and complete immorality, wearing nothing but an alluring smile.

My heart was instantly grieved that my little girl had seen this, and then quick as lightning I turned to Caedmon to tell him to walk away from that room.

"I've already seen it, Mom."

I kid you not, as I write this, I'm fighting tears.

He's only 9, you know.

I thought we had at least 2 more years!


And then, the sad reminder that statistics are based on an average, and my heart breaks.

As we hurried to get out of the store, the owner stopped me...blocking my way to the exit.

"I'll sell ya that table and chairs out there for $200."

Funny how that number kept coming down, the longer I was in his store.

"No thank you. We're going to leave now," I said.

"Why, you didn't find anything?!"

"No, thank you. We're going to go now."

"There's gotta be something here you need!"

By now, I'm D-O-N-E!

"Actually, I'm quite grieved in my heart over something we just saw, and I want to leave."

"What?! What was it?"

"It was a picture of a woman without any clothes on, at eye level for my children, my son to see."

And without skipping a beat, this foul-smelling, alcohol dripping guy says to me, "Well, maybe you shouldn't bring him in her anymore."

It took all I had not to retort, "You can rest assured of that!"

"We're leaving now," I said...still trying to get to the door.

"Where is it? It's art!" says my new found enemy, without even the slightest hint of what he's referring to.

"It's the world we live in. It's everywhere. Ain't nothing wrong with it," he continues, still not moving his carcass from the doorway.

At this very minute, a woman walks through the door. She's clean and well kept and wants to know what this is all about.

"There pornography at eye level for my children, and we want to leave," I raising my voice a bit in the hope that old man stinky will get out of my way so he can deal with his new customer.

Only thing is, she's not a customer...she's evidently his wife.

Now I've got 2 who are upset, but I'm finally able to work my way out the door with my precious cargo, and so I'm feeling like a caged bird who's been set free....I'm happy and we're leaving!

BUT IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT...he follows me out he door and to my van, still tossing his trash at me.

"He's gonna see worse than that on tv! That ain't pornography! Yack, yack, yack..."

"Get in the van, kids. GET IN THE VAN!"

I turn to the man, "I am done here! I am not talking about this with you! Leave us alone! I am DONE!"

I get in and shut the van door as he's still going at it. Finally, after I turn the engine on, he decides to go back into his store.

I had JUST been studying 2 Thessalonians 2 earlier in the day and so took that very moment to open up the Word with my kids, and read these verses to them...

7For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.
 8Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;
 9that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders,
 10and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.
 11For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false,
 12in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.

While it grieves me still, that this happened, I praise God that I was RIGHT THERE with both of my children when it did. They were in my hip pocket, and I could IMMEDIATELY bathe the situation in the Word of Truth, and in prayer.

We all sat right there in the van and prayed for that man's salvation, and for the minds of both of my children...that God in His grace would cleanse their minds from what they'd seen.

We talked about how that man didn't have a love of the truth, and we numbered the ways in which he'd tried to call evil good.

1. it's art
2. he'll see worse than that on tv 
3. by implication, there's nothing wrong with it
4. blame...just don't bring him in here....maybe you shouldn't come back

It was quite the object lesson.

And in my haste to bathe my children in the Word and in prayer, I hadn't yet moved my van.

Imagine my surprise when the man came back out of his store and started aggressively knocking on my window, fully expecting me to roll it down and engage with him again.

Yeah, I'll get right on that!

I looked up at the man, his shoulders braced in a stance of anger, and put my van into reverse...all the while he's still knocking on the window. I used my best tractor driving technique and backed that baby up, at the same time waving one arm at the guy to let him know by my body language, "THIS IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN! I WILL NOT BE ROLLING MY WINDOW DOWN! GOOD RIDDANCE!"

Caedmon, ever the thinker, said, "Mommy, maybe he was coming out to apologize."

"Maybe son, but very doubtful. There was no stance of humility in his approach, and he's full of alcohol. Remember Joseph? What did he do when someone tried to tempt him to sin?"

"He fled."

"That's right, honey...and we're going to flee, because your Momma is ready to sin!"

"Mommy, I'm scared. I'm scared he's going to hurt us."

"Oh baby, you don't need to worry about that! Your Momma would kick that old man's butt with two hands tied behind my back! I'd take him down so fast and so hard, he'd be crying for mercy! He has NO IDEA who he's messed with!"


OK, so I started out I said, I was DONE!

He's only 9, you know.

Love ya'll,


Laura said...

It is not by chance you had discussed this issue in detail with Caedmon. God let you prepare your heart for just such an encounter. Praise Him, you were freshly aware of the danger and Caedmon already knew pornography is wrong and why. He was prepared for you to reiterate what the Word says about it and why we should be on guard. Even in the Bible belt, Satan has his army.

You know we're all still praying here in AZ for you. Stand firm. Keep your eyes peeled for the enemy prowling like a lion to devour us.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that I have a son and I do not want him exposed to that sort of stuff either. I was raised amd am a christian too, but I don't understand why the man ahving the pic is wrong but you talking about him in the way you did, stinky, drunk, acholic...etc is ok...isnt all sin the same in god's eyes???or does your religon not believe that. why is it ok for you to diss him on your blog??? I'm serious about this, not just trying to start something.

chandy said...

Wow. That story is just shocking. I appreciate you sharing a fine lesson in how to deal with something like that. I don't think I would have been as equipped as you were. I'm sorry you had to face that.

I you suppose that because that man was so aggressively defending himself, could he really be feeling guilty for his sin?

Videogal said...

I applaude you for how you handled that situation. The man was clearly being a threat to you and your children. His body language, his speech and the fact that he followed you out to your van gave you every right to react the way you did. As for your description of the man, in my opinion, you were merely painting a picture of what was before you in order for the reader to understand. I found it interesting that he was in the condition as you described and his wife seemed to be quite the opposite, yet seemed to completely agree with him and his stance. Yes, sin is sin in God's eyes. There are no degrees of sin to God, even though we many times tend to describe them in "degrees." We are human. I personally do not feel you were "dissing" him b/c of his appearance, but simply b/c he was acting in a threatening way to you and your children. Mommas are that way when it comes to our kids! Just my two cents worth...

Heather said...

wow. My oldest boy is only 5 and it is sobering to think about something like this and yet I'm so thankful that you followed that nudge from the Holy Spirit to prepare your children for that encounter before it even happened.

Jes said...

Posting this for a friend who couldn't get it to post:

My heart goes out to ANONYMOUS who doesn't understand how you can hate sin so much.

Dear Anonymous Friend, GOD HATES sin. There are many references in the Bible which use much stronger language than Jesica used.

Read Psams 5: 5,6 The foolish shall not stand in your sight: You HATE ALL WORKERS OF INIQUITY. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will ABHOR the bloody and deceitful man.

Proverbs 15:9 The way of the wicked is an ABOMINATION unto the Lord….

Proverbs 15:26 [Even] The THOUGHTS of the wicked are an ABOMINATION to the Lord….

These next three texts are very similar: Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it is profitable for him that a MILLSTONE WERE HANGED ABOUT HIS NECK and that he were DROWNED in the depth of the sea.

There are many more places in the Bible that describes how God feels about sin and the man who persists in sinning. These few texts will give you a start on a wonderful study.

I pray God will bless you as you raise your son in God's love.

hammer said...

Thanks for giving us hope - that there are some parents who not only care, but are outspoken enough to teach their children truth and actively model godly decisions before their children. I don't know if I myself wouldn't make an excuse - "what can you expect from the world?" and take the bargain on the chairs. It's so easy to compromise on little things - thank you for your example and reminder to live and speak truth in all cirucumstances =)