Good Pictures, Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds by Kristen A. Jenson, published by Glen Cove Press. This book is beautifully illustrated, and it features simple text in a big font, perfectly suited to young children. It teaches children a simple way to distinguish good pictures from bad pictures, and a plan for what to do if they ever see bad pictures: “Turn, Run, Tell.” There is a valuable appendix at the back for parents, which gives useful information about pornography and guidance about how to help children navigate these dangerous waters.
In case you’ve not already noticed the massive problem of internet pornography, consider one small statistic: In 2019, the internet’s largest porn site (Pornhub) received 42 billion visits. That’s billion with a “b,” and all the trends suggest that this number will only grow.
This overwhelming flood of hidden sexual perversion is so enormous that we might be tempted to despair. But God has not given us a “spirit of fear, but of power and love and self-control” (1 Timothy 1:7-8). Confronting and defeating this massive evil is one of the most urgent spiritual wars for us to fight in the Spirit’s strength.
Given the scale of the problem, it can be hard to know where to start. Certainly, we must start with ourselves. If we have indulged the lusts of our own flesh by using pornography, we must repent, trust Christ for mercy, and fight tooth-and-nail in the Spirit’s strength to pursue holiness.
Our next priority, I think, should be proactively instructing our children in this subject. The average age at which people are first exposed to porn is 11 years old. This is a pressing issue for the children in our churches and homes. They are up against the massive power of sites like Pornhub, which is surely one of the most obvious strongholds of “this present darkness” ruled by “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). They urgently need to be equipped with the armor of God.
Thankfully, there are a number of books available that provide valuable help to parents and elders who are seeking to disciple children with respect to these matters. In this article, I will introduce four such books.
Tips for Talking to Your Kids about Sex (CanaVox, 2020)
This book offers suggestions for talking to children of different ages, from toddlers learning to talk to teens heading for college. The book is brief and to the point. The sample dialogue is not artificial or contrived. This is the kind of thing you could actually say to your children. It is also well researched, so that it actually deals with the issues that children are likely to confront: sleepovers for 8-year olds, puberty for 12 year olds, sexting for 14 year olds, and the complexities of relationships for 17 year olds. At appropriate points, there are specific suggestions for moms speaking to their daughters, and for dads speaking to their sons. I especially appreciated the section on “Sexual Integrity,” which shows that these conversations can go beyond awkwardness and serve as inspiring calls to true manhood and womanhood.