The largest single population of Internet pornography users is teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17. It’s no wonder that more and more boys are becoming addicted to it. However, the good news is, you can have a tremendous influence in their lives that will help them reject porn and avoid becoming addicted. As men, God calls us to be Leaders, Protectors and Providers in our families.
This is our mission, and this is how we need to think about safeguarding our boys.
Let’s take a look at each:
First, we must lead by example. This starts with actively living a morally virtuous life. Boys will notice you striving to always do the right thing. You need to show them how you respect all women by not ogling them, or viewing porn or even sexually suggestive media. And always guard your eyes.
Through the process of observation and osmosis, your sons will grow into virtuous young men who respect women. Also be a faith leader in your home. Be proactive in leading family prayers and receiving the sacraments. It might not seem like your son is paying attention, but in the back of his mind, he is taking copious notes!
As the main protector of the family, you need to protect them from the dangers of pornography. This means using Internet monitoring software (such as Covenant Eyes) on all electronic devices used by every family member, even yours.
Any electronic device that can access the Internet is like a door to your home. If you’re not careful, anyone can enter!
Also be sure to monitor all other media that enters the home, such as mail, magazines, catalogs, and newspapers. Block any objectionable television shows or networks. Your home should be a refuge from the dangers of the world.
Let your sons know how important it is to protect the family from pornography. He will learn that a real man protects his family from all harm.
In addition, warn your son about the dangers of sexting. If he wants to be popular with girls, explain to him that all he needs to do is let them know that his goal is to respect them, and that he is not interested in sexting or using them in any way. Most girls are naturally attracted to men who will treat them like ladies.
Fathers are also teachers. When you teach your sons about the dangers of pornography, you are providing them with the truth that can help them resist pornography. Explain that many men struggle with pornography. This is why everyone needs to be aware of how dangerous it is and to avoid it. You also need to teach your sons about healthy sexuality. Chances are they already know the “mechanics” of sex.
What they may not know is God’s beautiful purpose for sexuality. This is what fathers need to teach their sons. I recommend reading St. Pope John Paul’s Theology of the Body for Beginners with your son. To help your son understand healthy relationships, simply modal a healthy relationship with your wife.
Show him how deeply you love, cherish and respect your wife. He will learn to treat women the same way. Furthermore, by teaching your son our faith, you will be giving him the most precious gift of all, a relationship with God.
When it comes to dating, I believe the minimum age should be 16, and that’s only if parents feel their son is mature enough to date. Before your son’s first date, you need to sit down with him and explain how a gentleman treats a lady.
If you have been modeling for him a healthy marital relationship, he should have no trouble knowing how to behave on a date.
Most of all, as a Leader, Provider, and Protector, you need to give your sons your time and attention. Make time to hang out with them and do fun things together. Take an interest in their lives and be active in them. When a son knows you’re on his side, he will be able to talk to you about anything, even the most difficult issues.
This will help you guide him through adolescence and into mature young adulthood.
No one ever said that raising sons would be easy; however, it can be a true labor of love.
Remember, we don’t raise children; we raise adults. The goal is by age 18 your son will be a mature, responsible and virtuous young man.
By being a strong leader, provider and protector, you can achieve this and have a lot of fun along the way!
- Raising Our Sons to be Leaders, Protectors, and Providers - June 12, 2018
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