Monday, November 10, 2014

To Filter or Not Part 2 : Is Computer Monitoring For Safety or Control?

The Lord asks us to never tolerate evil in any form, right? But what does tolerate even mean?
(I admit I had to look this one up and was surprised to find out I was wrong). "Tolerate: To allow the existence, occurrence, or practice of without interference; To accept or endure."

Elder David E. Sorensen says:
"The Savior asks us to forsake and combat evil in all its forms, and although we must forgive a neighbor who injures us, we should still work constructively to prevent that injury from being repeated."
How does one work constructively to prevent pornography coming into my home? Elder Quinton Cook says:
 "Parents must have the courage to filter or monitor Internet access, television, movies, and music."

Would you allow a loved one to shoot up heroin in your home? Would you allow a loved one to store heroin filled needles within easy reach of your children in various places like the cupboard, bedroom, family room, or on the counter next to your phones, and then turn around and say,  "I can't control my him, there's nothing I can do" OR, "It makes me feel too crazy to stop it coming in" OR, "He's going to find a way to shoot it up if he wants to anyway" OR, "I'm his wife, not his mother", OR "He should be the one to choose to get rid of the heroin for himself" OR, "His recovery is his recovery" ....?? -------  I'm curious if anyone would say these types these things if it were actual HEROIN?
Probably not. I think most of us would relentlessly keep that danger out of our home.

But, what if we don't know HOW a loved one is bringing heroin into our homes? What if the person convincingly told us they stopped doing it, but are now instead sneaking the drug in by hiding it in places we don't know about but stashing it still within reach of children? How do we know for sure they aren't bringing heroin into our home? How do we know for sure they are safe enough to be in our home. Especially after they have previously lied and lied and put our family in danger in the past? How can we prevent that danger??

Except in our situations it's not heroin, it's pornography. And pornography is a million times more dangerous to our souls than heroin could ever be. 

What are you willing to tolerate?

Our homes are safe havens from the raging storm outside. If our roofs started leaking, we'd fix it right? We wouldn't want our house to become flooded, RIGHT? But what if we didn't know where the leak was or HOW the water was coming in? We could try to soak up the water, scoop it with buckets, or fortify our homes with sandbags to try and prevent everything getting ruined. But until every possible leak is found everything will continue to slowly get wet, and in the end the damage to the home would be disastrous and could take lots of money and hard work to fix (if it can be salvaged at all).

Now imagine if we had a "leak" scanner that could scan our homes every time there was a raging storm, even hidden leaks we couldn't see. Heck, imagine if we could have a scanner that could detect ALL dangerous things coming into our home!???? What a wonderful and helpful preventative tool that would be!!

Magic scanner? Yes, please.

But I'll settle for the next best thing. God + Monitoring/filtering programs = Safer than I was before.

Therapist Dan Oakes said: 
“90 percent of the individuals that I work with who have pornography addiction started looking at porn provided to them by their parents in their home. The parents unwittingly and unintentionally provided porn to their child through unfiltered Internet access. This access was at the root of the development of their addiction. ...We all have many electronic devices in our homes, and they all must have limited access and filters on them. The key is to watch, guard and guide. In the age of the Internet and all things sexual, parents should be equally yoked and vigilant in carrying out the policing of the content that comes into their homes."
Unintentionally provided porn to their children!!!

I don't password protect everything and use monitoring programs to control the raging storm, or to control the "heroin addict", or even to control my husband or his journey to finding recovery. Its impossible to control my husbands addiction/actions. I can't stop him from acting out, he has his own agency. Just like I have my own agency to choose to prevent pornography from entering my home. And yes, he SHOULD be helping me keep our home safe after he used his agency to lie and put us all in danger. That should be his responsibility too!!!

 But in case my husband chooses not to, I cant put our safety into the hands of an addict and deny my family safety because of a "Should". Just like I'm sure most of us wouldn't trust the safety of a drunk driver driving us home. As part of my personal boundaries to keep me safe, my kids safe, and my home safe, I CHOOSE to use these wonderful "scanner" tools to help find weak spots in my home and to find HOW the unseen danger can enter.

The beauty is, a monitoring program doesn't have to be checked every day, every month, or even at all! I worked hard to seal up all the leaks in my home and now the monitoring program is there as a backup, JUST in case if I ever get the prompting from the Lord to check it. I am forever thankful for the monitoring programs, they have brought me much peace and comfort in my life (even if a little chaotic at first ha). I know God always eventually brings truth to light, I fully believe that without a doubt, but I feel I must also do my part to help myself in my situation by helping the Lord be able to communicate more clearly to me. I don't want the Lord doing all the work to find a way to tell me how my husband acted out in a way I understand (which is extremely hard to decipher sometimes in the chaos of life). He simply has to say "Hey, check the program". It made the Lords warnings SO much more simple, straight forward and clear.....and simpleness, truth and clarity are huge blessings nowadays :)

 "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men (and woman) do nothing"

Sadly I know first hand the dangerous effects of pornography on a child, it negatively effected every aspect of my entire life. I will protect my home and my children from pornography entering at all costs, and by teaching my children the proper necessary skills to avoid it. This may not be right for everyone, but this is right for me. It may be a tiring cause to fight for. It frankly sucks having to do it. But hey, whatever it takes, right?

"We must also act to protect those we love. Parents install alarms to warn if their household is threatened by smoke or carbon monoxide. We should also install protections against spiritual threats, protections like filters on Internet connections and locating access so others can see what is being viewed. And we should build the spiritual strength of our families by loving relationships, family prayer, and scripture study.”
Elder Dallin H Oaks


Steps to filtering and protecting your computer (including resources):


  1. As the addict in my home, I also agree. I know that the wives of addicts are said to go overboard and if they have monitoring programs and filters on the computer they can make the addicted husband's life a little crazy. I say GOOD, HOW DOES IT FEEL!?!?!?! haha, but seriously, the wife has been living with the consequences of the husband for who knows how long,and now she has the ability to check and make sure nothing is going on, she's going to be checking it every day or even every few hours at first. The husband addict (I believe) should submit to this. Because, lets be for real here, he's dangerous. Is he physically carrying around a broadsword and stabbing the wife and children when no one is looking, no, not literally. (and who knows, maybe in some cases that DOES happen.) But pornography is more dangerous and deadly than a sword. It's more deadly and can be more easily caught than the common flu. We all know how fast sicknesses spread in the nursery at church, this is just as quick. It taints everything just as fast. Do you all remember that old seminary video about the clean 80's style pure white house,and these people come in dressed in black, and whatever they touch leaves oily black sludge and smears? Its COMPLETELY like that. That movie freaked me out, and its sad to think that I am one of those tar people. I don't conceder my wife's monitoring to be an infringement on me. I was the one who was supposed to keep the home safe and secure, and I let the monsters in. I gave them piggy back rides and carried their luggage, it wasn't a simple mistake of leaving the door unlocked. So should I have the right to remain the protecter of the home? My wife doesn't trust me, (and has good reason) and I failed. So should she do all she can to protect the home? Absolutely. Even if we were divorced and I was gone and she wasn't dating or didn't get remarried, she'd still be monitoring what came into her home,and thats her right and she has good reason. I'm also the child of a porn addict. It was brought into my home before I can even remember. In fact, I don't remember a time when it wasn't in my home in one form or another. My parents got divorced and we moved away. We got cable and my mom set up a guard on it that wouldn't let me watch rated R movies or anything worse. Did porn still enter the home? Yes. My older brother brought it over. I could still find it on TV in various forms. When I was getting ready to go on a mission and moved in with my mother again, she had a computer with internet access. I'd never had full access before. What did I do? I ended up looking at pornography online for the first time. I didn't even mean to at first. How much would filtering have helped? for the ignorant/innocent me in the beginning? I'm not sure. I was already addicted so I would have eventually found a way around it, but guess what else, my mom and sisters used that computer too. Was it alright for them to run into pornography to because I'd searched it so much that it pop ups would explode out of nowhere? No. It's not.

    1. Me again, got something to add......sorry.....
      So yeah, put those filters up. And what if my mom had a monitoring program and could look and see why this was happening. Could she have influenced my life for the better by finding out what I was doing and confronting me about it, or at least telling my bishop? I'm not blaming my mom at all. I don't hold her at any fault in this. I chose to look at it and chose to continue looking at it. But for the teen, the young adult, and those who might be just starting into this drug, isn't it our duty to protect them, even if it causes eye rolls and muttering when they cant go to some website, or download all the apps they want? YES. So forget about the husband. I mean, I believe you've got every right to monitor your husband just because he's an addict and you can't trust him, but lets just dump him to the curb and think about your children, think about YOU. This is for YOUR benefit. This is for your children's benefit. That's just me

  2. This was a great take on this ! Was very helpful. I appreciate the comments also from a male addict perspective . There is a very highly paid marriage counselor who actually ( SHOCK !) feels strongly there is nothing wrong with monitors on any device a spouse uses. His statement is if there is nothing to hide why are you bothered ? I don't know that I would want him to read all my mail , but then maybe that would be very healthy. At least to be fine with who and when . Thank you for speaking into this delicate and controversial topic.