Do you have what it takes?
If you use the Internet, expect that sooner or later you will encounter some type of pornography. “You don’t even have to look for it anymore,” says 17-year-old Hayley. “It looks for you.”
Pornography can tempt even those who are determined to avoid it. “I told myself that I wouldn’t let my guard down, but I did,” says Greg, 18. “You can never say it won’t happen to you.”
Today, pornography is easier to access than ever before. And with the advent of sexting, many teens manufacture and distribute their own pornography.
The bottom line: You face a greater challenge than your parents or grandparents did when they were your age. The question is, Do you have what it takes to reject pornography?—Psalm 97:10.
The answer is yes—if you choose to. But first you need to be convinced that pornography is bad. Let’s consider a few myths and facts about the topic.
Myths and facts
Myth: Pornography won’t hurt me.
Fact: Pornography does to your mind what smoking does to your lungs. It pollutes you. It degrades something that God created to be a powerful and lasting bond between two people. (Genesis 2:24) In time, it can even cause you to become callous to what is right and wrong. For example, some experts state that men who regularly view pornography are more likely to have a callous attitude toward violence against women.
The Bible describes some people who come to be “past all moral sense.” (Ephesians 4:19) Their conscience becomes insensitive to the point that they no longer feel pain over doing bad things.
Myth: Pornography can teach you about sex.
Fact: Pornography teaches you about greed. It reduces people to mere objects and implies that they exist solely for your selfish pleasure. Not surprisingly, one study concluded that those who habitually view pornography are less likely to experience sexual fulfillment after marriage.
The Bible tells Christians to shun “sexual immorality, uncleanness, uncontrolled sexual passion, hurtful desire, and greediness”—all things that pornography promotes.—Colossians 3:5.
Myth: Those who reject pornography are just prudish about sex.
Fact: People who reject pornography have an elevated view of sex. They see that it is a gift created by God to enhance the bond between a man and a woman who are married and committed to each other. Those with that view are likely to experience greater sexual fulfillment after marriage.
The Bible is up front about sex. For example, it tells husbands: “Rejoice with the wife of your youth . . . May you be captivated by her love constantly.”—Proverbs 5:18, 19.
How to reject pornography
What if you feel that the temptation to look at pornography is too powerful to resist? The worksheet “How to Reject Pornography” can help you.
Be assured that you can reject the temptation to look at pornography. You can also learn to stop viewing pornography if you have already started. You have everything to gain by doing so.
Consider Calvin, who admits that he developed a habit of viewing pornography at about age 13. “I knew it was wrong,” Calvin says, “but I just couldn’t overcome the temptation to look at it. And after doing so, I would feel just horrible. Eventually, my dad found out—and to be honest, I was so relieved! Finally, I was able to get the help I needed.”
Calvin has learned to reject pornography. He says: “Getting involved with pornography was a big mistake that I’m still paying for because the images replay in my mind. And at times I’m still tempted to think about what I could see if I were to look at things that I shouldn’t. But then I think about how happy, how clean, and how bright my future is when I do things Jehovah’s way.”