As  you’ve likely heard by now, Josh Duggar of ’19 Kids and Counting’ fame and formerly of the Family Research Council has confessed to having an affair and an addiction to pornography, in light of the data dump following the hack of Ashley Madison, the ‘dating service’ for married people looking to have an affair. Please excuse me while I get over the fact that I just typed that on my blog.

I’m not here to pass judgment on Josh Duggar or anyone else; frankly, it’s not my place. What I do want to talk about is something of a response to a thoughtful and well-written article by Jenny Rapson over at For Every Mom. In that post, she states that Josh’s pornography addiction and adultery are every mom’s problem. While I don’t disagree with that sentiment, I don’t think she went far enough. It’s not just every mom’s problem, it’s everyONE’s problem. Moms and dads, yes, but pastors too, at all levels, not just youth. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed by parents, family, friends, leaders, pastors, youth leaders, teachers, and anyone who has a position of influence in the lives of our young people.

We need to talk to our young people about sex. What it is, what it isn’t, where it’s appropriate, the boundaries that exist for the protection of everyone involved. We need to talk to them about pornography, and we need to be frank, honest, and open about it. The danger that it is. The addiction that it can become. That it rewires the brain, distorts perceptions, creates unrealistic expectations, exploits women, and carries consequences that are likely beyond what we even know or understand.

We need to be proactive about protecting our children and our young people. We need to understand that in this day and age, they don’t have to go looking for porn; it will find them. If you have kids, of any age, go download either a filtering or a tracking program. X3Watch has a great free tracker, and for a monthly or yearly subscription you can add features like blocking and allowing specific sites, and blocking pornographic content. Covenant Eyes is another solid option.

We need to be honest, with ourselves and each other, about our struggles. We need to stop sweeping the problem under the rug, and start dealing with it, frankly and head-on. If you’re struggling, know that you’re not alone. Talk to someone you trust, download one of the programs I talked about above, and start working toward healing. You’re not in this alone. You can win this fight.

We can win this fight, but it’s going to take EVERYONE working toward the same goal. We’ve ignored the problem for far too long, and that strategy hasn’t worked. It’s time to get real, and it’s time to fight back.

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