This article was written by Sharleen Patterson, wife of the founder of Ever Accountable. Their son was a young child at the time of this writing.
I found an article online that absolutely appalled me. Presented as a letter from a mother to her son, its message can be summed up as follows: “Dear Son, I don’t like pornography and I hate thinking that you’ve probably seen hours and hours of porn videos. However, since I believe pornography is now normal and accepted in our society, I’ll accept the fact that you view it and only advise you not to make false assumptions about what women want in relationships.”
What?! Since when do we accept something simply because we feel it has become rampant in society?
There is no question that pornography is easily available online. Even without having to run into it personally there are enough testimonials about innocent run-ins with images and videos to make that indisputable. Yes, there are those who may laugh at parents who think they can protect their children from pornography (through filters, education, communication, and accountability), and they may see them as old-fashioned or ignorant. But it is not anything new to find that standing up for worthy principles has opposition. It’s when we see all the opposition that we sometimes lose sight of the fact that standing firm in our standards and beliefs also has many rewards.
True science, I believe, is on our side in this case. Studies show that pornography leads to other harmful behaviors and desires. Science shows that the way porn affects the brain is similar to how drugs affect the brain. This is not okay or harmless.
And no, it is not ridiculous to imagine a life free from the bondage of addiction to pornography. Not one person has to let it rule their thoughts or their life.
As a mother, I want my children to know where I stand and empower them to stand firm as well. My letter to my son would read as follows:
I want you to know the truth about pornography, because the time may come when you have to decide whether to turn toward or against it. There are some who say that pornography is harmless, but science has proven otherwise. Pornography is harmful. It dulls the mind and senses, and it can and should be avoided.
Living a life free of pornography will reward you with a greater respect for women. I believe it will give you a greater respect for yourself, as well. Living a life free from pornography will help you to be more successful in all facets of your life, particularly in the relationships that matter most — your friendships, your marriage, and as a father.
If you ever find yourself struggling with pornography and want to fight it, I will be your biggest supporter.