Dear Porn: A Father’s Letter

I’ve been following the work of Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C, (see full bio below) for some time now … but when I discovered this piece I knew I had to share it with my readers. In his typical style, Forest flourishes his paintbrush across the words like few others can.

Actually, this is a teaser–an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Life After Lust, a collection of articles and stories aimed at those struggling with porn and sex addiction. I just finished reading the manuscript and I am SO EXCITED about it! What My Wife is Worth, which I recently re-posted on my blog, is also Forest’s work and is included in his book as well.

The “letter” below was originally published on ProtectYoungMinds.org, home of the Amazon bestseller Good Pictures, Bad Pictures by Kristen Jenson, one of my favorite resources for parents. 

Oh … and by the way … Happy White Ribbon Against Pornography (WRAP) Week–starting this Sunday! What are you doing to fight porn this year? Maybe just push the share button! Easy peasy.

~~~

Dear Porn,

pied piperI recall the first night we met. I was just a boy. Like the famed Piper, you played your tempting tune, and I danced blindly behind you, down your long, destructive path. For years my heart pledged allegiance to your ways. Each experience of escape only postponed my pain. I sank deep in shame.

Porn, how you must have mourned the day I closed my mind to your mantrasigning over my life to a higher calling. I sought strength in numbers, experiencing the reality of recovery. For the first time in a decade, you and I parted ways.

I look back on years of both challenge and triumph. No longer does your siren song echo in my ears.

Porn, our paths would cross again. Next time for nobler reasons.

When the Wolf Spots Our Young

wolfI peer up to the horizon and see you creeping forward. Like a wolf longing for lambs, your eyes descend on my little ones. I see you salivating at the thought of one young life lost to lust. As you calculate your move on my children, do not forget the force of an infuriated father.

Still, you start your assault.

Like a poisonous fog, you sweep silently among the vulnerable, infecting the world’s children in record numbers. Many remain unaware of your insidious influence.

May we rouse to the reality of your attack before we wake to the devastation of an addicted generation. You are in hot pursuit of our youngest members and we cannot stand idly by watching the carnage.

Count the Costs

Porn, too often your efforts are effective. Stories abound of those caught in your tempting trance. Faithful to your reputation, you always strike; your wounded victims left for dead. Cunning and crafty, you convince countless to exchange long-term intimacy for immediate intensity. I ask:

  • How many relationships have you ruined?
  • How many marriages have you mauled?
  • How many have deserted their purposeful path in pursuit of your mirage of pleasures?
  • How many have chased your promises of passion, arriving at the dead-ends of disconnection and depression?

Incalculable numbers. Such is life after porn.

Our sons and daughters deserve better.

As Their Father: My Plan of Protection

As you yearn for my young ones, I decisively declare that I will protect them.knight

  • As their father, I will wage war against you and your wicked ways.
  • As their father, I will expose you as my children’s enemy. I will reveal to them who you are and how you can harm them, from their brains to their beliefs. I will point out where you lurk. I will equip them to evade you.
  • As their father, I will be my children’s teacher. I will instruct them about the beauty of their bodies and the wonder of connected sexuality. I will contrast these great gifts to the cheap, corrupted counterfeits you offer them.
  • As their father, I will porn-proof my children’s home and their hearts. Putting safeguards into place, I will protect their innocence, limiting easy and accidental access to you.
  • As their father, I will model what I expect of them. Striving to stand strong, I will seek forgiveness in the face of my mistakes. I will care for myself in moments of pain, seeking connection over addiction. I will nurture my spiritual self, pursuing depth and dependence in that responsive relationship.
  • father child handsAs their father, I will plant in my children deep roots of connection. My hands will hold their hearts when they are scared and sorrowful. Creating an atmosphere of safety and security, I will respond compassionately to their strengths and shortcomings. Lavished in love, ours will be a home of hugs and honesty.  I will embrace them in their weaknesses, believing that when you tempt them, they will turn to me.
  • As their father, I acknowledge my imperfections as a parent. I choose to intentionally turn from a state of complacency to commitment.

Thousands of Fathers Oppose You

Porn, today I am acutely aware of your dangerous dance and I am joined by thousands of fathers ready to call your bluff. Most of us wounded warriors, we are turning a deaf ear to your once mesmerizing music. We now know it as the sound of suffering.soldiers charging

As we observe the children gathering at your gate, we are sounding the alarm, alerting others of your impending attack. When you skillfully strike, your efforts will be met with mobs of resistance. We are at the front lines, ready to fight.

Abandoning passivity, we battle for those living now and those yet to be born. We fight, not only for our own, but for those whose fathers are unavailable, unaware, or unwilling to join our unyielding ranks.The greatest gift we can deliver down to them is a legacy of love and freedom. As we charge forward on behalf of all sons and daughters, they will feel the infinite value you tried to tarnish.

father son sunsetFor us, Father’s Day carries profound meaning. It marks a moment in our year when we reveal to the world the worth of our families and the courageous measures we will take to protect them. Porn, as we passionately oppose you today, it is not for misguided motivations. Our opposition flows from hearts of devotion, because this is what it means to be fathers.

Bio & Contact Info

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Forest Benedict, 
a husband and father, lives in Fresno, CA. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider (SATP-C). Forest loves the work he does as the Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley and the Program Manager/Teacher in the SATP program at Mid-America Nazarene University. He writes numerous articles on the LifeSTAR of the Central Valley blog (http://lifestarcentralvalley.wordpress.com/) and also on his personal, faith-based blog (https://forestbenedict.com/). He loves writing about spiritual connection and recovery. Forest also writes and speaks publicly about protecting children from pornography.

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