Betrayed by Technology
© 2007 Teresa Cook
Published in Alive Now Jan/Feb 2007
No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he
will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also
provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. I Corinthians 10:13 (NRSV)
My husband and I stared
at our eighteen-year-old son in disbelief. The last thing we ever expected to hear
from his lips were the words he had just spoken: "I'm addicted to pornography." We
numbly listened as Brandon explained how he had stumbled upon a pornographic cable
channel over a year earlier, a channel that was supposed to be blocked but was only
partially scrambled by the cable company. Watching the flickering images of things
he had never seen before, Brandon became hooked.
"I tried over and over to
stop," Brandon sobbed as we hugged him, "but I couldn't."
What once required a trip
to a sleazy movie house in a sordid section of town is now easily accessible, not only
to those who are looking for it but also to the young and unwary. Technology has taken
pornography off the back streets and brought it into our homes. Months after our son's
confession, I read about the Supreme Court ruling that allows cable companies to
continue the practice of "signal bleeding," broadcasting partially-scrambled programs
in a deliberate attempt to attract new subscribers. I felt betrayed.
Though we immediately insisted the cable company send a technician out to place a filter
on our line, ridding our home of the unwanted stations, we found it was not so easy for
our son to rid his mind of the unwanted images imprinted there. The problems of easy
access to pornography and the destruction it wreaks on individuals and society are not
something that can be dealt with solely by technology. Thus began a journey with our
son we never thought we would take?a trip of many uphill battles as well as deep valleys.
We have not been alone in our journey, however. Both a Christian counselor adept in
treating sexual addictions and a Christian support group for pornography addicts have
provided invaluable help. And God has also walked with us each step of the way. Though
our son will likely struggle to some degree with this addiction for the rest of his
life, God has promised never to leave nor forsake him.