Question:

Hello,

I'm a young male, gone through puberty and the weird changes in your body. During that time I happened to come across pornographic material, but later felt guilty about it. It is as if I like this stuff and don't at the same time. What does this mean? I seem to have strange thoughts in my head telling me to look it up again -- revisited the material because I'm curious. I'm a normal guy who doesn't like trouble. I like video games and family. Is there any reason why these thoughts pop up in my head? I don't even like things of that nature. I just happen to come across it and have revised it by surprise. I need your help. I feel led to talk to you. I went through my body changes when I was between 9 and 17. All this time this has burdened me, leading me to think I was a pervert. I hope my question makes sense.


Answer:

What you feel is the burden of temptation. "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed" (James 1:14). Temptations can take subtle directions. You don't like what pornography depicts, but your body likes the sexual charge it gets when sex is on your mind, even if it is on your mind because you reject it. Actually, all sin is like that. Paul complained, "For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do" (Romans 7:15).

Because the mind changes during puberty, rewiring itself for adulthood, it makes a person particularly vulnerable to addictive sins. That is why we still have laws forbidding alcohol and cigarettes for minors. But it is also what manufacturers of those products want to make them appealing to young people. The pornography industry does the same thing. It hopes to get young people desiring its wares knowing that they will likely stick with it for the rest of their lives, and when older, pay for access to it.

It is not that you can't change. But one thing that can't be done is erase your memories. You can change your habits and with that change the memories will fade, being buried under newer memories. But that fading only happens if you stop refreshing them.

The first thing to do is make access to pornography, purposeful or accidental, less likely. I assume most of the exposure is coming from the Internet, so install a filtering program on your computer, like K9 Web Protection (which is free). If you are more computer savvy, you can install a block in your router so that all the computers in your home or any brought in are protected. See OpenDNS for this type of free protection. Both programs have the ability to be adjusted so that if there are particular sites which are a problem to you, you can add that to the block.

If email is a problem, most of the modern email programs include an option to not display images unless the person is in your address book. They also have filters to get rid of junk mail.

The basic idea is that just because trash is out in the world and there are people trying to push it into your home, it doesn't mean you have to accept it. None of these solutions will stop you from going to the trash if you are determined, but it does mean that you have to do it on purpose and you have to remove the blocks. That should give you time to think and hopefully stop yourself. As time goes by not looking at this junk, you will find the urge to "just take a quick peek" will fade as well. And since they aren't fresh in your memory, you won't have annoying thoughts popping up nearly as often either.