"When Their Eyes Glaze Over, We Know We Have Lost Them"

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"When Their Eyes Glaze Over, We Know We Have Lost Them"

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A close friend of mine is a teacher at one of the largest high schools in my area. This week he related to me one of his most difficult discipline problems.

The problem involves cell phones, an item which almost every student carries and cherishes. Occasionally a phone is misplaced or lost, and then turned into the school office.

During the first three months of school this spring, nearly one hundred phones found their way to lost-and-found at his school. When the office workers turned them on in an effort to return them to their owner, they found over thirty containing hard-core pornography as the screen saver. The teacher had to deal with about fifteen of his students who were owners of the filth-filled phones. He teaches 9th and 10th graders.

What is happening to our children? During the development years—which are so critical to successful maturing and proper development—an ever increasing number are indulging in what is likely the most damaging mental addiction of our modern times.

As we were talking I related to my teacher friend the effects I have observed over years of counseling men with a pornography addiction. Pornography erodes a person's ability to relate to other people, regardless of gender. Pornography is similar to opiates in that it is addictive and progressive. In order to get the same "high" a user needs more and more stimulation each time the drug is indulged in. They progress to more deviant and violent material. This can lead to "acting out" what they have filled their mind with. A high percentage of child molesters, rapists and murderers are found to be porno users.

Eventually a chronic porno user develops a seared mind (note 1 Timothy 4:2) and ends up living in a world of loneliness and fantasy, often unable to communicate in a normal way with others.

My teacher friend seized on this comment: "You are right," he said, "when we try to get through to them it is as if their mind is numb. When their eyes glaze over we know we have lost them."

Our society is losing far too many of our youth to this terrible scourge. It is a threat lying at the door of every home, school, and library in the country through the Internet and our modern phones that can send images electronically. Obviously, there is big money to be made—over three thousand new pornography sites are posted on the Internet every day.

Wise parents will do everything possible to protect their children from images and entertainment that can harm their developing minds. The Internet offers some excellent educational sites (such as ProtectKids.com) that help increase awareness of the grave dangers of this scourge and offer practical advice on preventing exposure.

In today's world children are bombarded with outrageous forms of pop culture. The immoral messages often portrayed on television, in music and by the entertainment industry can lead naturally into the use of pornography. What's a concerned parent to do?

As they say in football, the best defense is a good offense. Parents need to teach children to be moral, honest, respectful, and good. The Bible says to be relentless in this: "And you must think constantly about these commandments I am giving you today. You must teach them to your children and talk about them when you are at home or out for a walk; at bedtime and the first thing in the morning" (Deuteronomy 6:6-7, The Living Bible).

Parents who are too busy to teach their children morality will see the consequences of their neglect. And those consequences can often be heartbreaking.

I suggest that you begin by discussing a chapter from the book of Proverbs with them every day. Pause when you are reading to let each child tell you what it means to him or her. This will probably take only about a half-hour each day for one month. Repeat this every year. Proverbs is a treasure-trove of powerful advice and positive admonition.

Believe it or not, Jesus Christ directly addressed the core of pornography in the famous Sermon on the Mount. He said, "I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart" (Matthew 5:28). He continued, "If your right eye offends you, pluck it out" meaning that we need to remove and avoid those things that incite temptation in this way.