My dad helped me be a "real man" and quit porn

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My dad helped me be a "real man" and quit porn

Postby evolution8 » Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:37 pm

FRI APR 04, 2014 11:17 EST

My dad helped me be a ‘real man’ and quit porn: now I’m a priest

I was a freshman in high school and had no idea what it meant to be a 'real man,' but I was seeking.

BY FR. RYAN O’NEILL

April 4, 2014 (Those Catholic Men) - I wanted to be a “real man.” I was a freshman in high school and had no idea what it meant to be a “real man,” but I was seeking. I had a vague idea that I wanted to be like my father, but not boring or old—like I thought he was.

My father played football in high school, so I thought, I’ll play football in high school too. I told myself that maybe being a good football player is what it means to be a “real man.” I was 108 pounds and terrible at playing tackle football.

I started to make new friends on the football team. I was moving away from my childhood friends and my parents, who actually loved me for who I was. But I was on a quest to become a man, and thought I needed to reject everything that had come before.

I stopped listening to my parents. I stopped spending time with my friends from elementary and middle school. I started spending more time with the boys on the football team who I thought were on the road to becoming “real men.”

Looking back, the guys on the football team didn’t really like me. They more or less tolerated me. They were bigger, faster, and stronger than me, and I thought, that is what it means to be a real man.

One day after practice one of the guys invited me over to his house. No parents were home. About five guys were hanging out, and though nervous, I wanted to impress them.

I wanted to fit in.

The guy who invited us over popped in a video, and after a few minutes I realized we were watching a pornographic movie. I felt uncomfortable and knew it was wrong. But I wanted to be a “real man,” and I thought this was it.

Watching pornographic movies became a habit with the guys. A bad habit. I soon realized I could view similar images on the Internet in my own basement.

Shrouded in darkness I was lost in the evil of sin. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I justified it by telling myself I was becoming a “real man.” What I didn’t see was that I was becoming lonely and depressed.

The irony about being depressed is that most times you don’t realize you’re depressed until something or someone awakens you to it. I didn’t listen to my parents. I didn’t care about my other friends who sincerely cared about me.

This became the darkest period of my life, but God was watching. The grace of my heavenly Father came through my earthly father to me.

My dad is a construction worker. He moves heavy things and puts things together with his hands. He is a big man. He also has a fairly predictable work schedule. He was usually out of the house by 7 a.m. and wouldn’t return home until 5 p.m. We ate dinner as a family around 6 p.m. every night.

Imagine my surprise when I came home from school one day around 3 p.m. and my dad was sitting at the dining room table. Mom was nowhere in sight and my brother was at a practice or school event.

As soon as I saw Dad I knew something was up. X-raying my conscience at bullet speed, nervous jitters ran through me like a locomotive. I got a glass of water and joined Dad at the table. I had no idea why he was home early waiting to talk to me.

Sin blinds us, especially our own.

Dad began to speak. He was calm, yet assertive. He didn’t yell or raise his voice. He sliced the silence. “Son, I know what you’ve been doing.”

At that moment I knew what he was talking about and my heart sank.

“I think I know why you’re doing it. It’s probably because you want to be a real man, but let me tell you that looking at those images of women will not make you a real man. Looking at those images will warp your own sexuality and destroy the dignity of every woman in your life.”

My dad had done a simple search on the history of our computer and found the pornographic websites I had been visiting. I felt terrible. I wanted to cry but couldn’t. I was guilty and shamed.

He continued. “I want you to go downstairs and erase all of the websites that you have visited from the history of our computer. Then I want you to apologize to your mother. She knows what you’ve done.”

I went downstairs and erased the websites, and then came back upstairs and knelt down before my mom seated on the couch. With tears in my eyes I asked for her forgiveness. She forgave me and raised me up and gave me a hug.

My dad gave me a hug and looked me in the eyes, “Now, don’t ever do it again.”

At that moment I felt strength of soul.

The strength was coming through my dad from my heavenly Father. I made a simple and sincere promise to myself and to God that I would never look at pornography again, and to this day, since I was fifteen years old, I have not looked at porn again.

Not because I “white-knuckled it” and resisted the temptations by my own will power, but because I had a dad who was courageous enough to talk to me, one-on-one, about sexual sin, which gave me the amazing grace to do what my heavenly Father told me to do: “Go and sin no more.”

Catholic men, talk about sexual sin to your sons or young guys you mentor. Don’t be afraid. Be “real men.”

If it had not been for my dad being a real man and talking to me about pornography, I believe one less Catholic priest would be serving in the world, and this article I would not have written.
evolution8
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Re: My dad helped me be a "real man" and quit porn

Postby Shelly palmer » Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:43 pm

Hey there, great to know. I am Shelly from Canada. I am living with my family and my dad is a real inspiration for me. Keep my family in your prayers...
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