4 Easy Habits to Become a “Porn Free” Home

by | Sep 17, 2019 | Pornography | 20 comments

4 Habits to Become a Porn Free Home

Can you have a porn-free home?

I wish I could say, “absolutely!”, but I can’t. I don’t even like the title of this post, because it promises something I can’t deliver. I was thinking of “Porn Safe”, but that makes it sound like your home is safe FOR porn. Then I was thinking “Limit Porn”, but that makes it sound like there’s a safe time limit.

So here’s what I am saying: most of our kids are going to see porn. Most of our husbands are going to be tempted by porn. A large proportion of women are also going to be tempted and going to see it or seek it out at some point. Almost everybody is going to stumble across porn. There is nothing that you can do that will give you a 100% guarantee that no one will see porn.

But what you can do is create an environment in your home where a porn habit is far less likely to develop. And it’s the habit we want to avoid. And I decided that today, with Back to School upon us being a great time to institute new family habits, I thought I’d issue us our weekly challenge to create a home that’s far less porn-friendly and far more family-friendly.

The average age that kids are introduced to porn is quickly falling, to around 10. Teenage girls are becoming one of the fastest-growing groups of porn watchers. And most men battle with the temptation to look at porn. Let’s not assume that porn is something only moms of 15 or 16-year-old boys have to worry about.

We need to fight this fight for the sake of everyone in our family. That’s the environment we’re in. Now let’s look at the risk factors.

When do people tend to form porn habits?

When porn is easy; when they’re bored; when they’re stressed; and when they’re alone. If we can limit those risk factors, then we limit porn! And that’s what I want to stress today–have a game plan and limit those factors. So here we go:

1. Subscribe to Covenant Eyes

It’s a program that runs in the background of your computers, laptops, phones and other devices that can either filter what sites you’re allowed to go to based on each person’s profile, send accountability emails of searches or websites visited to an accountability partner, or both. And it’s not dependent on your wifi, so it goes with you, your husband or child outside of the house, too.

Look, if people know that if they search for something pornographic, an accountability partner will get an email, it reduces the risk that they’ll search. And often kids come upon porn sites inadvertently by searching for something they don’t realize sounds pornographic. Covenant Eyes makes sure that doesn’t happen.

Find freedom from porn!

Your marriage, and your thought life, do not need to be held captive to pornography.

There is freedom.

Beat porn–together!

2. Set Up a Technology Center in a Central Place

Buy a charging station where everybody can dock their phones, tablets or iPads. Then, make it a habit that at mealtimes, all devices go there so you can enjoy family time. And at bedtime, everyone’s devices return there to be charged overnight. No one has their devices in the bedroom with them! It’s late at night that teens (and adults) often start surfing the internet. And if the devices aren’t there, they can’t. Let’s get back to reading books at night or talking rather than being plugged in, since research has also consistently shown that using devices late at night makes you sleep worse, anyway–especially for teenagers.

3. Turn the Wifi Off at Night

You’re allowed to, you know. And when you unplug at dinner and unplug at night, stress is also likely to be reduced because everyone will talk to each other more, and turn to more social forms of entertainment. Create a culture in your home where the internet isn’t with you 24/7, and people turn to each other instead. It will never guarantee there won’t be problems, but it will help you build the kind of family where it’s less likely. And then you’ll also have the kind of family where if there is a problem–you’re far closer and better equipped to deal with it!

4. Talk to Your Kids about Porn and How Habits are Formed

This one’s a little bit scarier, so I’ve saved it for last. This is a conversation that you can’t ignore, because it’s important. When kids see pornography at a young age, it’s really a form of trauma for many of them. It’s horrendous. It hits them like a sledgehammer, and those images stay and they don’t know what to do with them.

And since most kids see porn because they stumble across it by accident or because other kids show them, you can’t eliminate the danger on your own. It’s better to prepare them for it.

I’ve recently found two great books that I highly recommend for talking to your kids about porn: Good Pictures, Bad Pictures. There’s a younger version and an older version–the younger one for kids around 4-6, and the older one for kids around 9-12. I was so impressed with both.

The younger one equips kids to know when they’ve seen a bad picture, and gives them a 3-word strategy of what to do (that includes telling you). The older one goes through what porn is, how it can become addictive, why we may become aroused even if we don’t like what we’re seeing, and how that doesn’t make you a pervert. And it gives strategies for resisting the pull of porn. But it does it all in a really safe way, without being too gratuitous or scary. It actually presents the science in an easily accessible way, so it gives the message of steering clear of porn without being shaming.

One of the biggest reasons kids don’t tell parents about porn is because they do become aroused and they think this makes them bad people. When they know they can tell you, and when you’ve already prepared them for that, then they don’t feel like perverts. It helps it become less of a big deal–something they can fight against.

Join Me in the Bare Marriage Weekly Challenge

And now I’d like to invite you to join me in our weekly challenge!

Bare Marriage Weekly Challenge

Become a Porn-Free Home!

Have a talk with your husband and decide if one (or more) of these habits should be instituted to help your home become porn-free. 

Don’t have kids? Talk about what to do with your devices at night, and have a frank conversation about whether temptation is an issue (for either of you!)

If you do have kids, make a game plan of how you will talk to them and what rules you will have for technology. Discuss these habits and which ones you may adopt. Above all, be proactive. This matters!

What do you do to help your family be porn-free? Do any of these habits resonate with you? Let’s talk in the comments.

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire

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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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20 Comments

  1. Lindsey

    It really is traumatic to kids. One day my two youngest sisters (who I believe were about 9 and 5) were on the computer going to a kid friendly site which they were allowed to do. I’m not sure if they mistyped something, but the older one came and told my mom that she needed to talk to my baby sister. My mom found her hiding in her closet and crying. She (my mom) never could find the web page they’d been exposed to, but it was really sad. I hate this evil. I’m glad there are options available now to help screen out mistyped web pages.

    Reply
  2. Cara

    We talked to our oldest son very early. An opportunity came up when he saw “Pawn Stars” (horrible name for a show) and there was a Playboy Bunny costume on there. He was around 10? I think.
    We decided to have a talk because he thought it was funny-he didn’t know what playboy was, thought the costume was a waitress outfit.
    We were clueless “how” to talk about this so we just dove in. We explained what pornography is and how once you look at it those images always exist in your mind. How it’s not real life-no woman can live up to those images-and it’s not fair to your future wife. And in fact is cheating her before she’s even had a chance. We reminded him that those women are someone’s sisters. Someone’s mother. Someone’s daughter. Then we used the names of HIS sisters and asked how he would feel if someone was looking at pictures like that of them.
    Then I kept talking to him. It wasn’t a one and done conversation. In fact, I think I’ll chat again today-he’s now 17. I’ve checked his phone and he’s not a techie so I don’t think he could hide it. He has his faults but he does seem to want to do right and for that I’m very thankful. His moral compass is outstanding from what I’ve seen. So maybe our talk helped? Or maybe we just got lucky!? He’s also had Jesus in his heart from a very young age.
    Now onto son number 2. He’s 9 but less mature as the baby of the family.

    Reply
  3. Phil

    We dont have a lot of rules in our house. But one that we are sticking with is no social media. That is a source of how porn is shared amongst young people. This happened to us with instagram a couple years ago with my oldest. I literally had just told him my story with porn and sex addiction a few weeks before and then I nail him looking at questionable crap on instagram. Social media is out at our house. My wife has a facebook account but it is left for limited use by her and sometimes me. Thats it. I will be taking the challenge and double checking the devices we have and the protection we have on each device. We have safe surfer set up. Good reminder thanks. .

    Reply
    • Natalie

      Agreed, Phil. Social media is out in our house too. And I was one of the first people who had a Facebook account when it was opened to high schoolers too. Deleted mine this past holiday season.

      I think talking to your kids about internet safety & how the internet works can also be applied to how their minds work & can be discussed in the same conversation: once you introduce something to your mind (like porn) or type/upload something anywhere on the internet, it’s there permanently. There’s no way to ever truly get rid of it 100%. The effects of what you saw/wrote/did can be lessened over time but never really gone completely. So choose your actions wisely because repercussions will/can be felt from something seemingly benign in the days & years to come, and can sometimes haunt you for the rest of your life.
      My husband is extremely techie, so he already has a whole plan on how we’re going to address growing up in this modern age once our kids are older (they’re babies & toddlers now). I’m not scared so much of that stage in their lives so much as I’m excited to guide them through it in wisdom. And it’s gonna take a lot of divine wisdom on both the parents’ and kids’ parts to navigate it effectively!

      Reply
  4. Matt

    Suggestion for Sheila: “Porn-Resistant Home.”

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, I like that! Thank you!

      Reply
  5. T

    These are really great suggestions! I think something that can really help is talking to your family about how God feels about porn and how it doesn’t meet His standard and why. Practical, physical suggestions are so, so helpful, but I think the base has to be a relationship with God and a desire to please Him/an understanding of why something makes Him sad or goes against His perfect design. I continued to struggle with my thought life/fantasizing until I confessed it to a mentor and repented of that to the Lord and was prayed for consistently by her. I’m not saying that we won’t still struggle with things if we “deal with them,” but I know that I personally would probably try “practical” tips without dealing with the root issue, if that makes sense, because that’s more comfortable.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I know what you’re saying, T, but we also need to be careful that we don’t shame people.

      If our main message is, “Don’t watch porn because it makes God sad/mad”, then they’re going to think that they’ve upset God when they used porn, and they won’t know where to turn.

      If our message instead is, “Don’t watch porn because God doesn’t want you doing something that hurts you. He meant you for something more. Here’s how porn hurts you, and here’s what God wants for you instead,” that’s a more empowering message. We can show that God cares about their good. That God has reasons that porn is bad. That God wants to help them defeat it. Do you see the subtle difference? What we’ve found in talking with teens is that the difference is really important. When we present God to them as someone who is mad at them, it makes it difficult to turn to God for help. When we present God as having real reasons for His rules, and as caring for our ultimate best, then it makes it easier to turn to Him when we’re in trouble. That’s what we’ve found with kids, anyway!

      Reply
      • T

        Oh, I think I may have said what I meant the wrong way!! I agree with you. I don’t think we should shame people either! I meant what you said…not that we should tell people that God is “mad at them,” but that He loves them and has so much more/better for them. (And that they can always come to Him!) For me personally, knowing that something breaks God’s heart makes me sad too, because I know He has better for me – not because He is “disappointed” with me or anything like that. Thanks for your comment, Sheila!

        Reply
  6. Cheryl

    Thank you! This is a reminder that can never be said too often to continue to safeguard your family. In addition to this, I attended a workshop this weekend at our church ladies retreat. They offered a program called Prevent It by Little Warriors – Taking action to stop child sexual abuse. Presenter is Denise Eger of Winnipeg. She also referenced this organization in the US https://www.netgrace.org/. Two books she recommended were God Made All of Me by Justin Holcomb and My Underpants Rule by Rod & Kate Power. Each adult needs to be aware and educate and empower our children in order to stop this cycle of abuse, porn, trafficking, etc. Thanks for your diligent voice!

    Reply
  7. Brent

    I subscribe to OpenDNS. It’s about $20 per year and does a great job at filtering out porn and other categories of websites on every device that’s connected to your WiFi network. I’ve been using this for years and love it.

    The only downside to this solution is you have to be able to change the DNS settings on your WiFi router to point to OpenDNS’ DNS IP addresses. This is possible on all routers, you just have to know how to do it.

    Reply
  8. Arwen

    I was reading comments last night on YouTube discussing the harmfulness of porn and boy the secular world makes you have a really low view of men. As i was reading further i was so glade to have Christian men on my side who held the same views and hated porn. The amount of angry men who vehemently disagreed with the video to the women who saw no problem with men watching porn as long as “he did it without my knowledge” was shocking!

    I saw another panel of where a married couple asked how they can improve sex in their marriage and every single person on that panel said, “watch porn together!” I hope that one day that couple stumbles onto your blog instead. So many lost souls out there man.

    Reply
  9. Nathan

    > > women who saw no problem with men watching porn as long as “he did it without my knowledge”

    A co-worker of mine had a husband who watched porn. She said she was okay with it as long as it wasn’t right in front of her. At the time, I knew very little of porn, so I thought that was okay.

    After he cheated on her (in the real world) for a third time, she left him.

    Covenant Eyes is a good tool. It helps a buddy of mine with his porn use (the main reason I found this site in the first place). He struggles, but he’s improving slowly but surely.

    Reply
  10. Nathan

    I also like the “no devices” rule for mealtimes and bed time.

    Reply
  11. Susanna Musser

    Sheila, are you familiar with this wonderful website? riseandshinemovement.org

    There can be overlap between exposure to porn and child molestation when it’s used by a perpetrator to groom a victim.

    Reply
  12. Lydia purple

    Yep social media is infested with porn. On Instagram most teens get send porn links almost daily. Grown ups often don‘t get those messages at all so often it seems like safe from parents perspective but teens are exposed to porn on social media. Some teens tried to change to set their age above 25 and the daily porn links stopped showing up in their inbox. It’s really sad that teens are targeted with this.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I know! I couldn’t believe it when I took a look at my kids’ feed one day. It’s totally different from mine.

      Reply
  13. Nathan

    > > we also need to be careful that we don’t shame people.

    Absolutely! If we go down the path of “Watching porn makes you a bad person and God hates you”, then healing can’t really happen.

    > > it’s not fair to your future wife. And in fact is cheating her before she’s even had a chance.

    Also very true. I’ve heard people justify their use by saying that they’re not in a relationship or that nobody knows that they do it. First, from what I’ve read here and elsewhere, my guess is that in many cases, your partner DOES know about it, they just don’t want a confrontation. Second, even if nobody on the planet knows about it, it’s been shown that extensive use of porn affects the way that you treat and act toward women and even men, also.

    Reply
  14. Cara

    Just had a check in with my son (17) because of this post!! He was glad I checked. He said he wants that accountability. ❤️ He also pointed out that when I walk up he lays his phone down FACE UP. I hadn’t thought about that but he ALWAYS does that.
    He said he also thinks it’s good that I don’t have a set schedule for when I check. It’s random. And when I ask he offers his phone to me.
    Just passing these tips on for other parents.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      That’s awesome! You must be really proud of him. Thanks for the tips!

      Reply

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