In my day a pornographic magazine stuffed under the jacket was a dead giveaway of teenage curiosity about sex. Today electronics are everywhere, in our homes, cars, back pockets and they are getting smaller and easier to hide. So how do we protect our children when we live in a world that is saturated in sex?

A couple weeks ago in the class that I taught a class to parents, counselors and teen advocates, Talking To Your Teen About Sex, we talked about the roots of desire — that our perception of desire is that it’s bad. But actually, I can’t believe that. The roots of desire are just a part of how we are designed AND our Creator intended us to experience desire.

The real choice is what does desire produce – seeds of life or seeds that choke out life?

For me, part of my desire is to create resources around sexuality and spirituality. Each day a portion of my work is scanning the internet, researching current tends and how they are impacting adults and teens. Daily, I engage with my desire and intentionally have to notice when even my well-intended desire can begin to consume me rather than being apart of my life-giving purpose.

Seeds of life or seeds that choke life?

I’m going to make a bold statement. Are you ready? Here it goes: There is not a teenager alive who isn’t curious and desiring to learn about sexuality!

So then, how do we help empower our teens to live with desire as part of their life? Something that holds the tension of potential for building good or creating destructive patterns?

Parents, we want to nurture our teens’ capacity to notice desire in everyday life. After we do that, we want to encourage our teens to learn how to take actions that create deeper strength in them — not actions that lead towards giving into every desire that presents itself.  Desire is not the enemy, but rather, desire is apart of being alive and learning to name this desire with our teens is so crucial. This naming of desire can be everything from food, clothes, travel or how one spends their time — noticing and naming where one’s desire is rooted, is apart of helping our teens find a language that translates into their desires around sexuality.

Yesterday, I happened upon this article When Children See Internet Pornography and realized that THIS is a great resource. It even includes some apps for electronics that help parents as they actively engage with their teens while learning the balance of equipping and empowering their teens.

Parents, you will have a series of “sex talks” with your children and the goal is not to shut down the dialogue, but rather to open it up and keep engaged with our teenagers and their own thoughts and perspective. Pornography is impacting our teenagers because they desire to learn about sexuality.

The deeper question how IS porn impacting our relationship with one another?

What desire is it revealing?

Does it create an opportunity or a wall?

Anyone else been following all the hype about the new book, 50 Shades of Grey? I’m going to blog about that next time!

Until then,

~ b