I’m sure many of you are familiar with the Lifeline Minibooks series, with titles such as Help! I’m Depressed, Help I’m in a Conflict, Help! Someone I love has Alzheimer’s. I know many churches have a ready supply of many of these little volumes for emergency situations. They don’t pretend to provide the full solutions, of course, but they are excellent for helping people take the first steps in various crises.
The latest in the series is Help! My Kids Are Viewing Pornography. The author, Tim Challies, has distilled a decade of thinking and writing about this common problem into 64 small pages of first-class teaching and practical advice.
He summarizes the scale and seriousness of the problem, shaking parents out of a false sense of security. A brief theology of sex is then followed by his two-pronged challenge to parents: first, to teach their children the beauty of God’s plan for sex, and, second, to have frank discussions with their children about deviations from God’s order. All of this is set in a Gospel framework that moves both parents and children from shame and despair to faith and hope.
The second half of the booklet is a summary of Tim’s Porn-Free Family Plan which not only tries to guard children against online dangers but also trains them how to use digital technology in ways that please God. This section can seem daunting at first as Tim steps parents through all the safeguards they need to put in place. However, if this is a life-or-death battle – and it is – and if our children’s marital happiness and eternal destiny may rest upon this – and it does – then surely it’s worth a few evenings implementing this plan.
I commend the booklet not just to parents who are in the “Help!” stage but also to those who want to prevent it down the line.