LESSONS FROM THE GREEKS
The chief aim of this resources blog is to provide a handy list of resources that Naked Truth recommend to those who feel that they are being severely impacted by pornography (whether due to their own use or someone else’s). However, we’re also aware that there are those who feel that porn is not a major problem in their lives. We encourage you to reflect on how even a glimpse of pornographic content may have an effect on your attitude to others and towards sex itself. Whichever group you feel you are in, we would like to offer the following principles based upon an interesting ancient Greek legend that you may find useful in setting healthy boundaries in your own home…
BEESWAX, BINDINGS & BETTER SONGS
In ancient Greek mythology, the Sirens were sea creatures that enchanted sailors with their beautiful songs. A Siren’s music was so alluring that captivated sailors would sail their ships closer and closer until they became shipwrecked and killed. To survive this fate, Ulysses (a Greek King) blocked his crew’s ears with beeswax and asked them to tie him to the ship’s mast so that he couldn’t steer the ship towards the Sirens and, therefore, into danger. Jason (another Greek hero) used a different tactic. He brought Orpheus, the best musician in Greece, on his voyage. When they drew near to the Siren’s enchanting song, Orpheus simply played a sweeter song which drowned out the tune of the Sirens.
STEP A: AVOID
By blocking their ears with beeswax, Ulysses’ sailors were able to avoid the temptation of the Siren’s song. Similarly, when it comes to pornography, we can help people avoid temptation by encouraging the use of filtering and blocking software and also to be alert to the times and places that they are vulnerable so that they can take practical steps to avoid temptation.
FILTERS AND BLOCKING
A filtering and blocking feature is often offered by internet service providers (usually for free) which helps avoid pornography on all computers, tablets and phones used in the home by providing a filter at the point of internet access (i.e. no software needs to be installed on each device). They can block advertisements, websites and other content depending on your preferences. Take a look at Internet Matters (www.internetmatters.org) for setup guides from each ISP.
In addition to this feature provided by ISPs, a number of companies also provide software to filter both computers and phones. Because the software is installed on the device, some of them have the advantage of working not only in the home but also when out and about. Some of these companies also provide ‘accountability’ options for those who would like to be supported in this area. We would recommend any of the following: K9, OpenDNS, Accountable2you, Covenant Eyes and X3 Watch.
TIMES AND PLACES
Whilst controlling devices is a very wise idea, the best solution to pornography addiction is for people to change their lifestyle habits with a view to making them less vulnerable and more accountable. Encourage people to pinpoint the times and places that they are vulnerable to temptation and then help them to put in place rules and boundaries to avoid it (e.g. always going to bed at the same time as their partner so that they will avoid late-night surfing in solitude).
STEP B: BETTER SONG
One of the keys to freedom from porn is to take the sole focus off of what people should stop doing, and instead encourage them in what they should start doing. Carving out time, spending money generously and making good choices are all examples of pursuing the better song.
Help people to make tangible plans to pursue the things in their life that have value and depth (e.g. family, faith and friendships). Encourage them to make a list identifying these things and then hold them accountable as they pursue them.
STEP C: COMMUNITY
We were made for communion with each other. Both Ulysses and Jason needed other people to help them as they set sail. Being truly honest and accountable with one or two trusted people is essential to overcome an addiction. Genuine honesty with others helps defend us from pornography’s most powerful punches: secrecy and shame. As a leader, it’s important to model this honesty and encourage your congregation to ask themselves, and each other, the tough questions. Forging relationships and community takes great effort, so spell out the benefits of these and encourage them to be honest in, and to work hard at, their relationships.