Sin Crouches at the Door: Protecting Children from Pornography

I’ve heard it said that in our culture today, it’s not a matter of if your child will encounter pornography, but a matter of when. In other words, the pervasiveness of these toxic images have made porn an almost omnipresent tempter that seeks the attention of everyone, even very small children.

I was eight-years-old when I saw my first pornographic video. The woman next door took me to a home where her friends had gathered to watch these films. My story is told here, but I know many others with their own tales of childhood exposure to pornography.

My prayer is that my children wouldn’t have their own stories to tell. I pray often for the innocence of their eyes and minds and for God’s mercy on them in a post-Genesis 3 world where sin is always crouching at the door (Genesis 4:7). God’s answer to prayer can come in various ways and in this case, His grace to my children can include my own prudent and diligent work in guarding and preparing them for the possibility of these “bad pictures.”

Below are some books my husband and I are vetting in our shepherding work. I hope that these prove helpful in your care for your own flock. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” as you nurture children in your home and community (Romans 15:13).  

Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr.: A Simple Plan to Protect Young Minds

Author: Kristen A. Jenson, MA (Illustrated by Debbie Fox)

Publisher: Glen Cove Press, 2017

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Why I love it: Good Pictures Bad Pictures Jr. takes the heavy topic of pornography and creates a simple safeguard for children (preschool to about 6 years of age) and their parents. The book uses the uncomplicated theme of “pictures” to help children distinguish between “good pictures,” (those we see in photo albums, books, and fun movies) and “bad pictures” (images that show private parts of the body). These “bad pictures” are defined as “picture poison for your brain” and the book goes on to give children a three-step strategy to guard against the poison: Turn, Run and Tell. This is a helpful tool in our Ephesians 6:4 nurturing work.

Good Pictures Bad Pictures: Porn-Proofing Today’s Young Kids

Author: Kristen A. Jenson and Gail Poyner  (Illustrated by Debbie Fox)

Publisher: Glen Cove Press, 2017

Good Pictures.jpg

Why I love it: Good Pictures Bad Pictures is the “big brother” version of the book recommended above. This second book is written to an older child (age 7 and up). The book follows the same “good pictures vs. poison pictures” theme but this thicker version includes 9 chapters -- plus an introduction and glossary -- packed with easy to understand research on the effects of porn on the brain. Each chapter ends with a notes section in which children can write their thoughts and lessons learned. The book also provides tips on helping the brain to “forget poison pictures” if a child has already encountered porn and like the Jr. version, older kids are given a strategy to help them defend against future toxic images. The book is a must in our post-Eden world.