Dads need to explain to their boys why they still have sex with “mom” and what the big deal is; virtual women aren’t real women and virtual sex is not real sex. Put the phone down and go find a wife.
Here’s what Christian dads need to tell their sons about sex with their mom; it happens. And then they need to explain why. It’s a brutal conversation, but necessary.
Never before in the history of mankind has sin been so readily available at our fingertips. The images from Hollywood of “Red Light Districts” in which women dance tauntingly in the street-side windows have helped exemplify an environment of temptation for more than a century of film. The picture of a wholesome-looking young man whose eyes are pulled aside by the seductive dance of scantily clad women has created a stirring image of what we think it means to be peddled lust.
But this Hollywood image of prostitutes peddling their fleshly wares on the street corner in seedy parts of town underrepresents what it’s really like to be a grown man in modern America. Those 50’s-era dancing girls in the window were often modest compared to the women placed upon billboards in the nice parts of town today. Partial nudity is just a way of life everywhere we look. And temptation does indeed pull our eyes away from Christ and we need to be aware that proximity to sin is sometimes cause enough to entrap us.
The saddest story I’ve experienced in much time was a young man who I discipled for several years who left to go to Bible College in a major American city. And within weeks he had engaged in sexual immorality by patronizing one of the many ‘massage parlors’ in the city that massage more than they ought. It appeared to me to be a clear case of a crime of opportunity; he pitched his tent toward Sodom – which is any major city in the United States these days – and in short order, took up with a lifestyle of sin.
But even then when sin is patronized in such a way, a certain city must be driven to. A certain part of town must be visited. A certain building must be walked into. It takes effort for that, even though it’s the smallest amount.
Likewise, even though pornography has been a part of America’s sinful subculture for many generations, it was once difficult to obtain. It required a subscription that would be known by your bank as they watch the debits, or by the mailman who would deliver it, and once required walking into a bad part of town into a building with three large X’s upon it with the danger of people seeing you there. Then, it came into the convenience stores on a shelf behind the clerk. But even then, the clerk would know. You would have to look them in the eye and ask for it.
But now, sin is at our fingertips. Any number of sexual fantasies, any number of immorally contrived scenarios, any number of bad sexual ideas are available on the devices we hold in the palm of our hand. It used to be, if a man had infinite resources – and we see this in history with Kings and Popes – there is no limit to satiating a sexual appetite. This kind of girl that day, that kind of woman the next, and as temptation spirals, on to the same sex, onto children, onto beasts, onto rape and molestation all there at the privacy of your fingertips with no one to look in the eye. Even a pauper now can live out the immoral desires of the world’s richest and most profane only generations ago. We are a porn-saturated culture.
Let me repeat what I ought repeat more often; if you give an Internet-capable device to children without filter or oversight, you are foolish. If you give an Internet-capable device to young men, that they can take behind closed doors, there is a 100% chance they are regularly using it to sin. It is not a possibility. It is not a probability; it is a certainty, and you are a bad parent.
You can fight this. You can fight it with filters for your phone, snitchers for your web browsers, policies like “You will never delete your browsing history and if you do we will assume the worst and you will be punished accordingly.” We can fight it with policies like, “the Internet will only be used in a public room with the monitors facing public spaces.”
Without those policies in place, occasional lectures on chastity will not matter; it’s like trying to slay a dragon with a feather. Most importantly, you can fight it with your resistance to mobile technology altogether. I do not think it “insane” to give a gun to a minor assuming they’ve been properly trained to use it. But I think it’s absolutely insanity to give a smartphone to a young man and expect them not to hurt themselves with it.
14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.
Notice that technology does not make you sin. But it allows you to sin more easily and it does something even worse…it convinces you that you can sin in secret. But you can’t.
While you may not have to visit a red-light district or strip club to see naked women, and there appears no risk of being caught, you will be caught. And you will be caught by your wife, children, or employer.
Numbers 32:23 reads, “Be sure to know, your sin will find you out.”
And finally, let me add a bit of social commentary on this point:
In Japan, which is even more saturated and absorbed by the Internet than in the United States, it has become both common and acceptable for young girls (even minors) to “date” older men in their 50s, 60s, 70s or even older in exchange for gifts and affection. Although once frowned upon, the practice known as Enjo-kōsai has largely become more and more acceptable. The reason for this is that today’s young men aren’t interested in girls. They are too busy online living online lives to need the companionship of warm-blooded girls.
Do you remember back when young women had to clobber young men away with a stick? That’s quickly fading as young men are staying at home in their parents’ house, pleasuring themselves to a fake, two-dimensional harem on their computer than to go on a hunting-and-gathering mission to find a red-blooded lover.
The pursuit for companionship has historically been the driving force for maturity for boys. The desire to have and experience feminine companionship – and dare we even say –a sexual relationship has been the motivating factor for men to make something of themselves, to leave the house, to get a job, to present their best selves, and be successful because nothing attracts women to men like success. Success is the greatest aphrodisiac known to man; the ability to afford a home, provide food, and care for children has been the most attractive feature of men for women since time immemorial.
We believe that the opportunity for self-pleasure and – when necessary – the capability of ordering a woman to your room like a Pizza – removes the primary incentive for boys to grow up and, in doing so, they are not growing up. They are remaining man-children who can live their lives with the responsibilities of children but with the bodies and urges of men. But if the privileges of manhood come without the responsibilities of manhood, manhood will be stunted and immaturity will thrive.
Here’s advice: The moment you notice your son looking at girls in a different way than little boys do, take their games and their Internet access. Take their toys. And tell them that from now on, their life will consist of becoming competent and mature adults so they can go take a woman as their wife and have in reality what has caught their eye, so they don’t have to resort to only having it virtually. And it is the job of every husband and father to reiterate again and again to their sons how much better a real woman is compared to whatever image they can find on the screen or whatever harlot might swipe left or right on their Tinder profile.
Yes. Fathers should tell their sons that from personal experience they can testify, the love of a flesh-and-blood woman is better than masturbation. They need to be told that virtual can never be reality and cannot compete.
While that’s an awkward conversation, it’s no less awkard than the sounds or sights your kids have occasionally been exposed to by accident in the course of ten or fifteen years of healthy marital relationships. Your kid has probably more than once covered his ears after you thought he was already asleep. The elephant is already in the room that mom and dad have sex. At least explain to your son why his mother wasn’t discarded for cyber-babes or self-automation…it’s better.
Gross, right? Well, it’s not as gross as what’s on the Internet, so he can deal with it and not be emotionally scarred from talking it out. He’s already seen and heard worse online.
Boys need to hear from their dads that real is better than virtual, relationships are better than flings, and marriage is the relationship that will ultimately satisfy both the man and woman involved.