CHILDREN AND SEXUAL SAFETY
CHILDREN AND SEXUAL SAFETY
PARENTING WITH HOLY SPIRIT
This was such a fun podcast to do with my friends Steve and Lorraine Ewert Box.
#015 Parenting with Holy Spirit… with Lisa Max – Out of the Box with Steve and Lorraine (steveandlorrainepodcast.com)
If the door to fear over your child’s sexual safety is knocking, rise up and declare, “Not in my house! You are not welcome here,” and then invite the Holy Spirit to come as their Protector and Defender.
This is a powerful video if sexual abuse has been in your past or if it is something you are dealing with currently. Even if it is not directly an issue, it is a great listen for additional tools.
We can help children deal with sexual offenses. In this video I give parents tools for helping their child walk this out with healing and wholeness. There is hope for children and parents who have endured sexual offenses.
Teaching about the birds and bees is different from sexual safety. I believe sex education should start in the home so that children have a solid understanding and do not learn it for the first time on the playground with mixed and twisted information. Over time, this is an evolving process that happens in layers as they age and mature. However, sexual safety is something that every parent must be intentional with and proactively equip their children to be safe. We teach our children how to keep their heads safe using bike helmets, their bodies safe by not answering the door, their hands safe while holding yours, and their mouths healthy using a toothbrush, but we also need to teach them about sexual safety. What age is this for? ALL!!! I cannot stress this enough. Unless your child is with you 24/7, and I mean 24/7, then perhaps they don’t need to be equipped, but if they go to school, have playdates, overnights, babysitters, friends, neighbors, and attend church, they need to be equipped.
We have a zero-tolerance for secrets in our house. When a child was caught telling or keeping a secret, I took it very seriously. My children have heard me say this often and know withholding information is a form of lying.
HONORING (FUTURE) HUSBAND
My daughter made a mistake by getting lured into an app that began to get pretty unhealthy. When it was exposed, it was revealed that the girls on the app were not talking to other girls but grown men with ill intent. It was gross and so deceptive and shook her up pretty deep. We worked through that, but a week later, we were sitting at church, and I felt led to ask her if she wanted to go for prayer afterward. She did. It was a powerful time, but I could tell she was still holding onto something. I pulled her aside and asked her what was still agitating her heart, and she broke down in tears. A while back, I took each of the girls out to buy a tie for their future husbands. Their sexual purity isn’t just about them. It is about honoring their future husbands. The tie serves as a reminder to pray for him. They are not saying NO to something. They are saying YES to someone. Through her tears, she said, “Mom, I know I did not do anything wrong (app) and that it was not my fault, but I feel like I dishonored my husband.” Her heart was pierced that her choices affected him (long before they had ever met). I told her what she was experiencing was called conviction, and that is a good thing.
LISTENING TO THE CHECK IN MY SPIRIT
I want to invite you into part of my personal journey in keeping my own children safe.
My daughter asked me one summer if she could get an app. After much dialogue, I agreed. The app was simply supposed to be a service for managing and tracking information. Fast forward to the present. I was away on a trip and noticed my daughter was not acting like herself. I called her numerous times and could just tell something was going on. I even FaceTimed her just to see her face. I hung up and said out loud, “She is lying. She is not okay.”
I came back from my trip and discovered a man was outside at night. Beer cans and bottles were left on different occasions in the same place; another night a pair of construction glasses were left behind. I felt a heightened sense of danger but could not for the life of me find my authority. Normally in situations like that, I rise up like Mama Bear and deal with it, but I was stumbling. It went on for a week. I discovered footprints outside my daughters’ bedroom window and one morning found evidence of someone in our backyard too. My fear was increasing. Clearly, they were not there to break-in, or they would have done it already. There was someone outside watching or worse yet, waiting. I was growing restless with concern. I met with the police and bought an expensive surveillance system. All the while my fear that there was present danger would not cease or back down.
I began to sense something so strongly in my spirit with my daughter. I would ask her questions, but her answers were not bringing me peace. She went to bed early one night, and my spirit was deeply agitated. An hour later I went into her room, turned on her light, sat down and told her I was not leaving until whatever this thing was broke. She lamented with great emotion that everything was fine and that she was not covering anything or intentionally lying.
Parents, sometimes we have to listen to our gut louder than our children. My spirit was alerting me, and it was to be heard, not ignored or dismissed. Yes, we want to respect their free will. Yes, they are becoming adults. Yes, we do not want to move into operating out of control. But if my daughter, who is still under my covering and authority, is struggling, in over her head or hurting, I cannot just turn from her because she resists me in the moment. It is my job to get involved.
Finally, I just started to pray out loud, pouring out my concern and sense that something was not right. I asked her again, and she said nothing. I continued to pray. “Jesus, what is this?” Finally, with great courage, my daughter mentioned that the app she got over the summer had private online chat groups (something that was NOT promoted ahead of time. One didn’t know about it until they were members). She began to tell me about the discussions from peers with instructions on how to pursue same-sex relationships and why kids should have sex before marriage. I asked what she thought about it and she said she knew it was not right. There was still something about this that was not matching the deep check in my spirit. I said, “Sweetie, you are right, that is not okay, but there is something else.” Her witnessing those conversations did not equal the danger I was sensing. She was adamant there was nothing.
I finally asked to see it and was MORTIFIED to discover my daughter was not talking with peers but grown men. Peers do not ask those kinds of questions and my spirit suddenly rose up like Mama Bear. The girls on this online chat were being deceived and lured. Because she violated my rules for safety AND ignored the warnings of the Holy Spirit she opened herself up to danger. And it was manifesting in the natural outside at night.
We walked through some serious repentance (she was horrified at the realization), deleted the app, rose up in our authority as a family and returned the surveillance camera.
God is serious about keeping our children safe, too. Holy Spirit put a check in my spirit that something was not okay. We have to get comfortable listening, honoring, obeying and responding to that nudge in our spirit and not talk ourselves out of it. My daughter had opened not only herself, but our family to danger and Holy Spirit was ON IT to reveal and expose it.
Have you ever googled a minor health symptom and begun worrying there might be something wrong after reading all the possibilities? We need to be clear about which kingdom we are releasing over each other and who we are allowing to speak into our lives.
Take a listen to this short podcast where I address what I call ‘Google Parenting.’ Google Parenting by Lisa Max – Let the Children Fly! (anchor.fm)