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Monday, May 2, 2016

Bible can help lead people away from harmful addictions

Friday, April 20, 2012

She sat in my classroom, obviously upset and needing to talk. These conversations weren't new to us, but this one seemed more urgent, like the periscope had spotted the approaching enemy sub and the seconds were counting down. Only this wasn't naval warfare; this was a volatile domestic issue, like always, and, like always, she wanted to vent. It was the same story -- repeated for the past couple of years -- and to tell the truth, I was tired of listening to it. And angry.

Dad was addicted to porn. Mom screamed and threatened and stayed. Arguments followed. Nothing changed. The kids plugged in their earphones, hid in their rooms, occasionally posted something anti-parentish on their facebook accounts, and counted down the days until they could move out.

"How does your father defend his pornography?" I asked.

"He calls it 'harmless,'" my student responded.

"Harmless? Harmless?" My voice was rising, my neck veins swelling.

"Yea," she continued. "He says it's a 'victimless' crime."

"What if you were into porn and he were watching you?"

Her response told me she didn't get my point. "Oh, I would never do that! Geez!"

"I know you wouldn't, but someone's daughter is, and that's the daughter your dad is watching. Has he ever thought of that?"

"Probably not," she responded, now silenced. Short of banging my fist on the desk -- which, trust me, I wanted to do -- I made myself clear. "Well, maybe you need to remind him of that."

Pornography is an epidemic. One statistic says nine out of 10 children between the ages of 8 and 16 have viewed pornography online, and although many reported it was accidental, its early exposure, no doubt, has an effect. The big shock to me was that over a third of adult websites are visited by women. Even mail-order catalogues are enticements.

Look at a "Victoria Secret" brochure (actually, don't) which is nothing more than a sexy come-on to the buyer, and you will see what I mean.

Last year, in an attempt to impact the incoming ninth graders to make good moral decisions, my drama department created skits to present to them. My favorite involved two male characters, one on stage viewing something exciting on his cell phone while the other actor walked on stage. The lines went something like this:

A: Wow! This is unbelievable.

B: Can I look?

A: Man, I asked her to send me a picture, but I didn't expect anything like this! She's naked! Completely naked! (He hands his phone to character B who eagerly takes a look. His expression turns to disgust as he says...)

B: Dude! That's my sister!

Get the point?

In 1 Corinthians 6:18 Paul uses the Greek word "pheugo" to tell us how to deal with sexual temptation. "Flee." "Get away." "Scram." "Run and don't look back." Why? Porn numbs you. Starting with just a peek, its draw is a web that people choose to ignore until, like my student's dad, their insatiable lust for more can't be satisfied and they are tangled in a life of deceit and disrespect.

If you are one who has chosen this addiction, rationalizing that it is "victimless" like my student's dad, then please, please, read your Bible, learn how Satan works, and ask yourself who the bigger victim is -- the girl on the screen ... or you.

Patty LaRoche
Patty LaRoche: Face to Face