Day 22: Regulators pt. 1 (STOP)

Being a parent is not easy. My wife summed it up yesterday and said, “It feels like you have to keep an eye on so many things!”. When my son was younger, I worried about his request for a phone. I knew all the temptations and traps, not just pornography, that can go along with being so connected to both the world and his social circles.

We started my son out with a ‘home phone’, a cell phone that lived at the house. It had next to nothing app-wise and he didn’t know any codes to change that. It was simply a phone he could use to call or text us.

Eventually, that phone went with him on sleepovers or to school if he were staying after for a game or something. While he was learning to tend to an expensive electronics device, I was talking with him about sex, girls, pornography, and how God designed us to live life.

As he showed responsibility and understanding in these areas, he eventually got his own phone. However, even then, he could not add apps without my password, and he had no internet browsing privileges. Slowly though, he got more and more access to his own phone. In fact, only recently for his high school graduation did he get a brand-new phone and was allowed some of the social media apps he’d been asking for.

Now look, I know that if he really wanted to get access to everything I didn’t want him to have access to, he could. He’s way smarter than me with technology and it’s very possible he was doing things with that phone that we wouldn’t approve of. However, I think he understood the point of the progressive allowance and learned what I was trying to teach him.

My point is that sometimes we can’t trust ourselves with access to something addictive like pornography and sexualized images, particularly if you are young or have a sin addiction you’re trying to break.

Eventually though, with maturity and understanding, you can become stronger in withstanding temptation and extreme limits may not be needed.


This is the principle of external versus internal regulators.


EXTERNAL REGULATORS were very apparent with my son’s ‘home phone’ . . .  no apps, no passwords, kept in the kitchen, etc.

There were regulations outside of himself that limited his behavior.

Now, he is currently living with INTERNAL REGULATORS. He has his own phone and while I still pay for it, I don’t look at it unless he agrees I need to. And we still have conversations from time to time about the things fathers should talk with their sons about.


There are a lot of external regulators when it comes to pornography. We’ll get into those in the coming days. But for now, I want you to understand this concept. Limits you employ now MIGHT need to be in place long-term. And for most people, it’s not possible to live completely detached from technology.

However, you may need to consider such, at least in the short-term given how you’re doing living a life free of pornography & lust. 


Thoughts to Pray/Journal:

  • In what areas do you need external regulators versus internal regulators?
  • What has God said to you about how you currently regulate your behavior? Have you asked?



Matthew 17:14-20

Acts 3:1-10