Recently I've been bombarded with stories of people's marriages being hurt through pornography and affairs. Some of these are stories of people I've never met, but unfortunately some of these are people I know. Some of these are people I know well. It makes me want to throw up. It makes me yearn for a day when there is no more temptation and hurt. It makes me want to go toilet paper people's homes that create this trash that then goes into people's homes and effects their families. Maybe even egging their house would make me happier. Although I know neither of these are grown up ways of handling things, don't you just want to get them back like you did in middle school?!
But seriously I HATE the industry that puts out filth like pornography and I will even go as far as to say that I don't like Victoria's Secret. There I said it. I don't like them. I don't like to go in their stores. I don't want their magazines in my home. I hate taking my kids to the place where their store is for the images that they will see in their windows.
I talked before about ways that we safe guard our marriage, and I have more to share, but today I want to tell you a way that I'm safeguarding my boys in my home. I want to be more careful with what comes in our home that my boys could possibly see and expose them to more than they need to be exposed to.
I recently subscribed to a fitness magazine, and as the magazines started coming to the house I found myself very uncomfortable if they were just lying around for any of my boys to see them, my three little boys and y'all even my big boy, Aaron. It just made my stomach hurt to think of them being exposed to this. You might ask, what was it that they were exposed to that made me feel sick. It was just the skinniest, fittest, half-naked woman on the cover. It felt dirty having that lay around my house. I'm not opposed to bikinis. I'm not opposed to skinny. I'm not opposed to fit women. What I am opposed to is magazines coming into my home that could be used for harm against my boys, and I know I'm making a very bold statement here, but I think these magazines could be an entry way for little boys eyes to desire seeing more half-naked women in print. I have absolutely no data to back up my statement, but it's something I feel in my gut.
When I was in college I was going through my brothers closet looking for something and was shocked by what I found. He was a freshman or sophomore in high school at the time and apparently was stockpiling something that no one even knew was missing. I didn't find a stack of playboy magazines in his closet, but I did find a stack of Victoria's Secret magazines in his closet, that were all addressed to me. My magazines that I subscribed to were being hoarded by a 14-year-old boy. My heart sunk as I realized that this little boy was being exposed to half-naked women through a free magazine that was addressed to the female in the house.
I don't want this to happen to my boys. They are surrounded by propoganda all around them that uses sex to sell stuff. Every where you look there are half-naked women selling a product that usually has nothing to do with women or being naked. Sex sells. These images are everywhere and although I wish I could put blinders on their eyes, or move us to our own deserted island somewhere until they are all in their mid 30's, one thing I will do is be cautious of what comes in my house while these little eyes are around to see.
I am un-subscribing to this fitness magazine. Yes it's a magazine about fitness, and really at the end of the day the cover is certainly not porn by any means, but if I can stop my boys from being overly exposed, or exposed too early, to this visual means of satisfying their eyes with half-naked women than I will. I would never want to find these magazines under their beds or stacked in their closets, because it was the thing they could get their hands on to fantasize about sex.
I know this sounds crazy to some of you, but to me and my family I want to do anything extra that I can to guard my boys eyes.
Your boys won’t “desire” to see more half-naked women in print. They’ll have the internet for that. Your magazines promote a healthy image of women, albeit airbrushed, but they are healthy. You can’t control what they look at.
I’m so with you on this one! Any Victoria’s Secret coupons that come in the mail or ads go straight into the trash! I didn’t even realize that I had one still in a pile on my dresser….until I found my 5 year old standing there staring at it.
If the boys are shopping with me we don’t usually even go past the lingerie section in a department store and if I do, I cover eyes. The older sisters in this house will also make sure that the boys are looking elsewhere when we have to pass by that dept. I love that they are helping to guard the boy’s hearts and minds as well.
And have you ever once considered how society’s beauty ideals might affect your daughter? Because she is absent from this post. Your sons and husband aren’t the only ones who will notice pictures of skinny, scantily clad women.
Hey Jamie. I absolutely love reading your posts. We are on the same page in our home. We started very early on teaching Isaiah about the things his eyes should and shouldn’t be looking at. We used examples of modesty and privacy he could relate to. You wouldn’t want someone staring at Mommy in her underwear would you? Isaiah loves car magazines. As you know, these are usually filled with half naked women. He received one for Christmas from a family member and he immediately gave it to me without opening it. When the gift giver asked him why he had done that, he said, “she needs to tear all the women out. I don’t like to look at them.” I was so incredibly proud. Another time we were watching TV and a Victoria Secret commercial came on – I absolutely HATE these – he abruptly turned his head and looked at me instead of the TV. I didn’t realize what kind of commercial had come on. When I asked him why he was looking at me, he replied, “… cause that’s what Daddy does when the women come on the TV.” I had an even prouder moment. My son was following his daddy’s lead and guarding his eyes and his heart. Boys look to their dad’s example when it comes to how they view and treat women. I’m so thankful to have a husband that understands the importance of how he lives his life out in front of his boys. Thanks again for posting this. We need to be proactive in guarding our sons eyes and hearts. Love you, friend!
i completely agree! our boy is just a baby still but for the sake my husband as well as for my daughter’s body image, i have found myself uncomfortable with my fitness magazine covers as well. i always seem to be turning them over or making sure they are in my bedside table. i don’t think it’s ever too early to start guarding the hearts of our children-even in these small ways.
It terrifies me to think of the images my four boys will see as they get older. It’s funny you mentioned the fitness magazine. I also had a subscription to one and never really thought about it until my husband said something about the cover and that the boys could see it. It opened my eyes to what I was bringing into our home. I stopped getting the magazine as well. I had a guy friend in college that was addicted to pornography and the first time he saw it was when he was a little kid. His dad brought it in the house, hid it, and then he found it. He struggled with it for so many years. That’s also a huge reason why I’m super protective about who my kids can spend the night with. I won’t ever let them sleep over at someone’s home if I haven’t spent a lot of time there. I want to know first hand the kind of things they will see on tv, the kind of magazines/books that are left around the house, the music they listen to. I know that may sound crazy, but I don’t think we can be too cautious. I know I can’t control everything they see and hear, but I’m going to do my best at gaurding them while I can.
OH yes for sure I think about how this might affect my daughter. That’s a different post for a different day!
You’re not crazy in the least, Jamie! We don’t even have boys, but we want to guard our girls just the same. We want them to appreciate beauty in themselves and others, but to know that it’s God’s who designed it and it’s the enemy who perverts it. I used to get angry and disgusted (and still do if I think about it too much) with the sexual saturation of our world, but God shifted something in my heart to feel a sadness and a hurt instead…in a good way; a way that stirs prayers for my kids, my husband, myself and for those caught in the struggle. Thanks for growing your kids in godliness, Iveys!
From a fairly young age (10?) I noticed my son turning away from certain adds on TV or posters in store windows; he was obviously uncomfortable and I can’t help but feel that our sons and husbands are constantly bombarded by tempting images everywhere they go. Our daughters, too, are certainly impacted by these images, though in a different way. I hate it. Follow your gut, I say. Yes, they will deal with this as they move through life but we don’t have to strew it right in their path.
I totally agree with what you are doing Jamie. What is sad is that people can get on Craigslist and view personals that are posted there and some with revealing photographs.
i totally agree too! a mentor in college (has 3 boys.. all in college now) but when she would go past Victoria Secrets she would go in there and file a complaint. im not sure it did anything but she would explain she had 3 boys and a husband etc etc. i hate walking past that store too!
was just reading to the twins tonight The Princess Kiss.. (boy one too) but is awesome about purity and future husbands!!
Jamie, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how honest you are!!! As a wife who has been affected by pornography we are absolutely on board with how teaching our children to guard their hearts and minds, but guarding their eyes. Thanks for your honesty.
100% agree!! I don’t know what it will take for our culture to turn around…maybe more moms like us? But I pray that we start respecting ourselves as women and treasuring the gift of our bodies and sex. You are not alone or crazy!
I agree with what you are saying and wish it wasn’t an issue we had to deal with. We currently live in Prague and there are a barrage of full size pictures of inappropriate skimpily dressed women all over town, not to mention the many adult shops that have naked pictures right on the windows. We are constantly having to tell our children, “ok kids look right for a minute” meaning that there is something we don’t want them to see to the left. I am definitely praying for purity for my kids as they grow up in such a harsh world.
As someone you has been affected by this, I just want to raise another issue/side: what about male responsibility? I understand the desire to protect your family (and especially children) but grown men, particularly husbands, are not helpless victims to what they see-they have responsibility. I think your comments were more directed to protecting your children, but sometimes I hear women say they try to monitor their husband. And that in particular bugs me because it takes the responsibility off the men.
Jessica – Thanks for your comment and it for sure takes the responsibility of the husbands, but I will admit that I try to help my husband out with this stuff. I’m not going to put something in front of him that would make him stumble. That kind of thing is what I mean by help out. We have a monitoring system on our internet for this reason. Yes men are responsible, but it doesn’t hurt anyone to help them out. 🙂
Oh this has been such a huge thing to me too. I HATE how we are bombarded with this stuff. I am constantly changing commercials, avoiding walking past stores like Frederick’s and Victoria Secrets, and even started to make sure I personally get my mail, because I’ve been sent porn before that was sent to some person previously residing at my address!!! Quite frankly, I have started to dread taking my kids through the check out line at the grocery store, not only because they see all of the magazine covers, but now they can read all of the titles! I know I can’t ever control all they see…but I sure will fight to guard them from it as long as I can, and pray EVERY day for them in this. I’m thankful that God is bigger than all of the influences we fight ourselves and for our children, and that He does make a way of escape! Thanks again for your wonderful blog and sharing your heart! Your a huge encouragement to so many!
Good for you! Too many women say “Who cares? They’ll see it at some point.” or “It’s not like its real porn.” Victoria’s Secret is a well known stepping stone for men, but many women don’t want to research or talk to their husbands about exactly the age it starts. Ladies try the age 5-8. Moms are unintentionally the common denominator for a young boy/girl starting early because magazines or other publications like trashy romance novels lay around and curiosity will always seek out what is not allowed or what mom is so interested in. Dads are to blame too, but they know what they are about and don’t try to pretend otherwise usually. When that little boy grows up and gets married should his wife suffer from his twisted idea of what women should look and act like? Will us mother in laws refuse to give her support because we refused to acknowledge the poison in our house and protect our sons from it? Just because women are not as a rule stimulated by half naked women is not a reason to pretend boys and men aren’t. My two year old has already recognized something is different about mommy as he pokes at my chest and than looks at his. In a few years he is going to want to know exactly what that different is and I’m not helping him out unless its a book on anatomy for young minds. It is better to keep our kids far from the cliff by building the fence far away.
I definitely agree with your points. Several years ago, I started receiving Victoria’s Secret catalogs in the mail, even though I never requested them. They actually were addressed to my husband. One day, it just made me so sick and I decided to call them. After a very long phone conversation explaining my frustration, I demanded to know where they got our info since we had never signed up. After the run around, I finally was told they got my information from Pottery Barn (a place I had previously shopped with my husband’s credit card- linked to the catalogs I also received from Pottery Barn). I was so mad that Pottery Barn sold or gave our information, especially to a company that doesn’t at all align with the same market. I asked for their information and wrote letters to both Pottery Barn and Victoria’s Secret requesting to be removed and shared my frustration and views. Thanks for sharing this post today!
I’m a little late to the game on this post but I just wanted to say thank you for writing it and confirming that I’m not the only woman/mother/wife who feels THE EXACT SAME!!!