Imagine a large plate of freshly baked cookies set on the table. Say you were a 5-year-old, it’s just before dinner, and those cookies are for your older brother’s birthday party at school tomorrow.
What would you do?
Even though you know you shouldn’t have a cookie, you might just sit by the tray, taking in the chocolatey aroma. If you sit there long enough, you’re bound to see a few stray crumbs (that’s not a cookie!) and a chocolate chip or two that broke off batch. Maybe you’ll even find a broken one that clearly would not be suitable for your brother’s party, so that one must be OK to eat.
You pick it off the plate and decide it needs milk to go with it. After pouring a tall glass of milk, you enjoy the broken cookie, but still have a lot of milk left. What’s milk without a cookie?
Since you can’t have the yummy cookies on the plate, you do what any self-respecting 5-year-old would: you raid the cookie jar!
By the time your glass of milk is gone, you’ve ruined your appetite and Mom will be angry when she finds out.
That plate of cookies represents pornography. While there is nothing wrong with eating cookies in the right circumstances, in this scenario that was not the case (i.e. it was too close to dinnertime and the cookies were meant for someone else). Had the hypothetical 5-year-old glanced at the plate, recognized it wasn't the right time to eat cookies and walked away to play outside (and think about something else), no cookies would have been consumed in this story.
Likewise, seeing one pornographic image probably won’t cause you to go out and have sex. But staring at picture after picture will eventually entice you to make decisions that betray trust and emotionally kills your appetite for a healthy relationship.
The above parable came to mind when I was discussing a video with my daughter. Science tells us that it's incredibly hard to sit and look at something constantly without wanting to at least taste it. But science also tells us that it is possible to resist temptation.
The moral of the story is: if you are tempted to do something wrong, don't sit there!
Do you think pornography is a problem, or do you think it's been made into a bigger deal than it is? Let me know in the comments!
I write about, with, for, and around kids all day. (Well, maybe I do the dishes too. Sometimes.)