by Steve Benintendi/ October 15, 2015
In August of 2014, the Barna Group and Proven Men Ministries published reliable statistics that were shocking to church leadership. It indicated that the number of Christian men looking at pornography virtually mirrors that of non-Christians. Approximately two thirds of Christian men look at porn on a regular basis (at least once a month). Surprisingly, this issue is now impacting Christian women. One third of Christian women ages 18 to 30 look at porn at least once a month.
Culture is relentless in its pursuit to sell sex as a recreational sport. Porn is available anywhere to anyone and is completely anonymous. Our children are being exposed to images that are impacting their sexual development in very unhealthy ways. Like me, you are likely compelled to action. After all, God has put you in a position of leadership and you have to protect them. The question is, are you personally in a position to help kids in this area? Are you personally sexually healthy?
Healthy sexuality is not something that people talk much about in church. Yet, as someone that works with children, your own sexual health is absolutely critical. It is possible that you haven’t given this issue much thought. Perhaps you have not struggled with pornography or sexually acting out and have a hard time relating to the temptation. But, what if you are one of the many Christian men and women who regularly look at pornography or are hiding sexual sins?
Here are some principles that come into play when you hide sexual sin:
1. You unplug from the power source.
Working with kids today is a challenge. We need the Holy Spirit to give us insight and power as we minister. When you are looking at porn on Saturday night and standing in front of the kids on Sunday morning, you can’t expect the Holy Spirit to anoint you.
2. You lose your voice.
When you are looking at porn, you lose the spiritual authority to be a voice for sexual integrity. Your words will become hollow in your own ears and theirs. Kids have a special sense about how genuine you and your words are. After all, many of them are tuned into the Spirit themselves.
3. Your own guilt and shame will make it harder and harder to lead.
There is no such thing as lust-free porn. Pornography is designed to arouse you sexually. Jesus made it clear that we are to flee sexual lust. If you are using porn and then standing in front of kids you will feel a huge conflict between your message and your behavior. This conflict will create considerable anxiety. That anxiety will have you looking for a resolution. For some, the resolution will be to step out of ministry.As people that God has called to work with kids, it is time to take a hard look at our own sexual health. It is time to stop looking at porn and start walking in sexual integrity. The rewards are great. Don’t wait.