This is an unfortunate feature of the world that we live in. And the reality is that a percentage of our children are going to find themselves ensnared by pornography. And because of the nature of the struggle, they will ultimately need help breaking free from its grip. And it's important that we as parents and as ministry leaders, as friends, and as family, that we have a general game plan and a strategy in which to help them. So I want to offer three practical strategies to consider when helping a teen struggle well with pornography. And so while this question is geared towards helping teens, these considerations are actually quite universal and generalizable to anyone struggling with a pornography addiction. So the three considerations are this, the three strategies are this: reinforce their battle; broaden their battle, number two; and then third, limit their battlefield.

First, reinforce their battle. What this means by reinforcing their battle is really recognizing that there's a propensity of your teen to struggle in such a way that brings about isolation. They're most likely going to feel overwhelmed and alone. There's going to be feelings of shame and guilt and despair, and maybe even hopelessness. You can help your teen in this battle by assuring or reassuring them that they are not alone, reassuring them that you are with them, and most importantly, God is with them. And the goal here is to incarnate Isaiah 41:10. So “Do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God, and I will strengthen you, and I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” The most tangible way to reinforce your teen's battle against pornography is simply by praying with them. And this can feel a little bit cliché or simplistic, but the act of praying together embeds them in relationship to you, and it embeds them in relationship with the personal God.

So the second strategy: widen their battle. Widening the battle is essential because your son or daughter will be tempted to make this struggle their spiritually-defining struggle. Their perception of the Christian life can all of a sudden become myopic. They can be tempted to evaluate themselves and their spiritual state on this struggle alone. And in doing this, they can neglect other aspects of trust and obedience other aspects of their identity and who they are in Christ. So by widening the battle, we want to remind them that the Christian life is larger than our sexual successes or our sexual failures. Our goal then is to help them see the bigger picture and fight the broader battle. We want to spur them on to love and good deeds in other areas of their life. We want to give them a vision for how loving their siblings or growing in grace and in mercy towards their friends or towards their parents is one of the best ways to fight this battle and to pursue purity against sexual sin. The result of widening the battle is a right sizing of this struggle, putting it in its proper place alongside the whole Christian life.

And then thirdly, limit their battlefield. So while we can't remove them from this challenge, we can help them make it more manageable. We limit their battlefield when we restrict access to questionable content. We limit the battlefield when we help them become aware of their temptations and when they identify where they're vulnerable. We limit the battlefield when we help them set up restrictions and we put up deterrence. And it's important to identify this is not weakness or resignation. This is wisdom. There is no need to test our faith or theirs unnecessarily. Wisdom is in fact doing whatever is in our power to minimize the unnecessary temptations and challenges. So while there's no cut-and-dry formula to assure that our children experience victory over this struggle, these are three important considerations that will help them. They are loving and helpful ways to come alongside them in this struggle.