The following is one of my more open and honest posts. This is a topic that I have struggled to write about but one that I felt desperately needed to be written. Interestingly enough, once I actually sat down and committed to writing this my thoughts freely flowed. I think the lesson I learned from this experience is that when fear holds us back from doing something we give it more control than it deserves. I challenge you to evaluate your own life, step out in courage, and release yourself from the power of fear. If we continue to let fear control us nothing will change.
THE GRAHAM CRACKER
I love graham crackers. I think they are a great snack. My kids love them too. They are easily portable, fit nicely in a ziplock, and can be broken into smaller crackers for littler hands to hold. I mean really, what is not to love. Oh, and who can forget the graham crackers claim to fame, the s’more.
Imagine my surprise when I recently discovered that this little snack was invented for an entirely alternate purpose. Hold on to your pantry doors. If you are anything like me you will be in complete shock.
While the graham cracker has become known to my generation as a beloved childhood snack, it’s creation was inspired by a preacher, Sylvester Graham, who has part of the 19th century temperance movement. Graham believed that a vegetarian diet anchored by home-made whole grain bread, as part of a lifestyle that involved minimizing pleasure and stimulation of all kinds, was how God intended people to live and that following this natural law would keep people healthy.
Are you wondering how this relates to the graham cracker? Keep reading, I promise I am getting there.
Graham thought that if people could just eat a bland diet, in other words stay away from spicy foods, they would be less likely to engage in pornography and masturbation.
The idea at the time was that foods that contained more spices were causing people to be filled with lust. So, if you removed spicy foods from the diet, and replaced them with something that was more bland, the lust would be removed from your heart.
It sounds so easy, right? Eat your cracker a day to keep the lustful thoughts away.
These perforated crackers came into existence with the goal of controlling your sexual desires.
Obviously the graham cracker did not rid us of our carnal urges and general evils.
Because I can’t sit on this information, and feel the need to share it with you, did you know that cornflakes were also invented for the same purpose??? I know. I know. I just totally ruined snack time and breakfast for some of you. You won’t ever be able to look at graham crackers and cornflakes the same way again.
THE IDEA OF THE QUICK FIX
The idea of a quick fix is nothing new. As you can see with the graham cracker, we as a society, for centuries, have tried to control our lack of self control with a quick fix.
Quick fixes don’t work. But they are highly profitable and marketable.
People would rather pop a pill, drink a shake, or eat a graham cracker instead of dealing with the issue itself. It is easier and not as painful to deal with a problem on a surface level instead of digging deeper and eliminating the problem at the root.
Just to give you an example, my social media feeds are filled with people selling and promoting supplements and remedies for weight loss. Everyone wants to be healthier, but the majority of people would rather go about it the easy way by taking a pill that claims to lower blood pressure, covert fat into liquid that you will eliminate out of your body, and leave you with glowing skin and a six pack.
Recommended Reading: 3 Biblical Reasons to Take Care of Your Body
I think most of us know that a pill isn’t going to magically make us healthier. But we so desperately want to believe that it will. A pill is simple. It doesn’t make us change the habits that led us to an unhealthier life, and it requires little investment of time.
THE HIGH COST OF PORNOGRAPHY
I wish that there was a quick fix to the pornography epidemic that is ruining our families and relationships.
I think it is easier for us to talk about sex trafficking and how horrific it is then it is to discuss pornography. It shouldn’t be, because one fuels the other, but I think it is harder because for some of us pornography hits closer to home.
Let me be real for a second. I hate pornography, it is vile, addictive, and not at all how God intended for us to view sex.
It amazes me that shows on television that are so popular contain scenes that are so pornographic. We have become desensitized to the problem. By allowing it into our homes as primetime entertainment, we have given the ok that this type of entertainment is acceptable.
We can do so much better.
As a parent to a four year old boy I know that he will be exposed to pornography. It isn’t if he will be exposed, it is a question of when he will be exposed. By all current statistics the average age of the first exposure to pornography is 11, but I have also read as young as 9.
Thanks to the internet, pornography that was once hidden has become readily accessible and is being consumed by the masses. I don’t want my kids to learn about sex by watching pornography and sadly that is what is happening to our youth.
The unrealistic expectations pornography creates about sex for both men and women is a problem that isn’t going away anytime soon. It has embedded itself into our lives and sadly it has done so with our own blessing.
By not standing up and speaking out against it, we have allowed ourselves to become part of the problem. As parents we know we need to talk to our kids about sex, alcohol, and drugs but we also need to bravely and confidently speak truth into their lives about the dangers of pornography.
For Josh and I staying silent on this topic with our kids isn’t an option. We know we have to be intentional with our kids now in order for them to value what we say later.
There is no quick fix to this problem. There is no pill, cracker, or treatment center that can cure a person who is addicted to porn. People have to want to change, you can’t change for them.
The cost of pornography is high. Porn affects the brain like a drug. Numerous studies have shown that porn, like cocaine, tricks your brain into releasing pleasure chemicals. Overtime your brain begins to rewire itself and will need more and more of the stimulant to produce the same effect. This is why once a person starts watching porn they will need more and more to produce the same arousal level. Porn addiction often leads to less sex and sex that doesn’t satisfy. Eventually this can mean preferring porn to sex.
Our world is a dark place and pornography is not some fantasy world full of pleasure and fun. The making of pornography is filled with drugs, disease, slavery, trafficking, rape and abuse. The women that are being glamorized in porn are often victims and were once little girls just like my daughter. It kills me to think of anyone looking at her or using her as an object.
Below are some resources my family and I have found helpful. Hopefully these can encourage you to start an open dialogue with your spouse and older children or be helpful in creating a plan on how to approach this subject later with your little ones.
Fight the New Drug – This website has great resources, relevant news, personal stories, articles, and videos about the real harmful effects of pornography.
Covenant Eyes – Covenant Eyes is an internet accountability system that monitors the websites visited, the search terms used, and the YouTube videos watched, and lists them in an easy-to-read Report that is designed to start a conversation about healthy online habits. Family accounts are available to protect your family with accountability and filtering.
The Talks – Every parent fears having “the talk.” But what many fail to realize is that one conversation isn’t enough. The Talks will help you to focus on 15 conversations that every family must have about sex and dating and lay the right foundation on critical issues with your younger children.
Sex, Dating, and Relating DVD Set Teen Edition – Josh and I LOVE Mark Gungor’s Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage DVD and this is the teen edition. If we equip our kids with the right information we should see better results and spend less time trying to untangle the train wrecks that happen because people continue to make the wrong choices.
The cost of pornography is high and a graham cracker isn’t going to fix this problem.