Home Youth Leaders Articles for Youth Leaders There’s Help for Overcoming Teenage Porn Addiction

There’s Help for Overcoming Teenage Porn Addiction

teenage porn addiction

Despite the damage that pornography causes, church workers are often unwilling or afraid to talk openly about the subject. This is especially true regarding teenage porn addiction.

I’m so tired of hearing about this! It breaks my heart when I see the grip that porn has on Christian leaders. And it’s so tough knowing that our youth groups are full of teenagers who are dying in this battle.

Every week, I meet with a small group of 10th-grade guys I love deeply. They’re great kids, yet I know every single one of them struggles with lust or porn. These teenagers are always one click away from a self-defeating spiral. The trap of teenage porn addiction has such a high cost!

Youth worker and Christian apologist Sean McDowell wrote an interesting post about “The Social Costs of Pornography.” He writes: “Today’s pornography is different from any in the past in three ways. (1) Accessibility. The Internet has made porn ubiquitous. (2) Quality. Today’s porn is much more hardcore. (3) Consumption. Porn consumption has increased radically with the advent of the Internet. 69 percent of men and 10 percent of women report viewing pornography more than once a month. 87 percent of men admit using it in the past year. The researchers conclude, ‘In sum, there is evidence that more people—children, adolescents and adults—are consuming pornography—sporadically, inadvertently or chronically—than ever before.'”

The good news is that help is available for teenage porn addiction. You and I can assist the awesome kids entrusted to our care. Their struggle with pornography doesn’t need to continue.

Take these 3 steps to combat teenage porn addiction:

1. Be educated.

If you yourself aren’t or haven’t been or won’t likely be tempted by pornography, that’s great. But recognize that you’re in the minority. Don’t assume that teenage porn addiction isn’t a serious problem. Don’t assume it can’t happen to your youth group kids. Get the facts. Stay current with what’s ensnaring teens. Do your homework. Know what’s happening.

2. Model accountability.

Dozens of great anti-porn software and filter options are available. But I love the software developed by XXXchurch.com because it promotes accountability. We’re only as sick as our secrets, and this software shares your “secret” with a friend. When you fail, the program forces you to talk about the situation. Check it out! For just $7 a month, this should be mandatory for all family computers.

3. Talk openly.

When my small group was in 9th grade, I took a risk. I said, “I’m just going to assume that pornography is an issue in your life. If it’s not, that’s great. But based on my conversations with a lot of guys, I’m betting you struggle with it to some degree.”

Wow, did that risk pay off! Because I dared to speak up, a bunch of great conversations followed. Guys signed up for filters and offered to provide accountability for one another. Now teenage porn addiction is an open subject in our small group. Knowing they’re not alone provides comfort as well as healing for kids.

A lot more could be written about teenage porn addiction. In fact, on my blog I’ve devoted a bunch of posts to what essentially became Porn Week. (Although it’s not as much fun as Shark Week, it’s just as dangerous!)

Question: What are you doing to help young people in your ministry deal with teenage porn addiction?

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dougfields@churchleaders.com'
Doug Fields has been in youth ministry since 1979 and former pastor to students at Saddleback Church in Southern California. He's the author of 50+ books, including the best-selling Purpose-Driven Youth Ministry & Your First Two Years in Youth Ministry. He's also the founder of Simply Youth Ministry, an instructor at Azusa Pacific University/HomeWord, and on the leadership team with Youth Specialties. You can connect with Doug through his blog at www.downloadyouthministry.com! More from Doug Fields or visit/subscribe to Doug's blog at www.dougfields.com