GROOMING

GROOMING

This is from my friend.

“Please be aware: My kids told me about an app to search for good deals on toys. Today, I thought I would check it out and see what else there was. I pressed the ‘browse’ button and was appalled at the porn items that appeared. I told my kids I was deleting the app and asked them if they knew why. My eight and eleven-year-old both said yes. I asked them if they ever saw inappropriate stuff on it, and they said yes, that when searching for something else, the sex toys appeared, so they quickly closed out of it. Ugh!!! I don’t even know how they came up. So tired of porn everywhere!”

CHILDREN & PORN

90% of 8-16-year-olds have viewed porn. 80% of 15-17-year-olds have been exposed to hardcore pornography (bestiality, group sex, same-sex intercourse, child porn, sexual bondage). The largest consumer of internet pornography are 12-17-year-olds. In addition, 47% of children receive pornographic spam every day. For 91% of youth, first-time exposure was not sought out. Instead, it was accessed during activities such as researching a school project or surfing the web. Porn sites intentionally create website names that are one character off of sites children visit. Many young girls say they are viewing porn to know how to satisfy a guy. The average age of exposure to internet porn is nine years old.

HOLY SPIRIT’S HELP

Over the years, I have gone after making sure the kids know the following safety boundaries:

I share this often because I think it is VITAL. When my children sin/disobey/get out from under my instruction, 100% of the time Holy Spirit gives them a check or speaks to them. I want to teach them to obey HIM more than obeying me. When they were little and would hit, I would come to them and say, “How does your tummy feel?” and would help them to see that ‘bad’ feeling is Holy Spirit telling them that hitting their sibling is not good for them.

This generation NEEDS the leading of the Holy Spirit to maneuver through their world. Because we have already laid the foundation of these boundaries, when my children want to venture out into the world, I simply ask Jesus first and make sure I am feeling peace. We talk about the specific safeguards, and I send them out the door with confidence that Jesus has them, AND should anything come their way, they are prepared and empowered to handle it.

KEEPING EYES PURE

A mom told me that she started the Mommy & Me journal, where you go back and forth sharing journal entry-type messages. Her daughter placed the journal on the mom’s bed, and as she flipped the pages, she learned that her fourth-grade daughter was introduced to porn earlier that day by two classmates. She wrote that it was upsetting, so she told her classmates, “This is inappropriate,” and they stopped. I love that this little girl had no grid for porn, but her spirit knew it wasn’t okay, and she honored and listened to the voice within. I believe by her standing against it, she protected the other kids who were exposed but didn’t know how to stand up against it. I also love that she told her mom right away so that she didn’t need to carry this weight around with her.

The Mommy & Me journal is a beautiful way to keep connected to your children. Get a notebook or journal and write notes back and forth to each other. It can take you a day, a week, or longer to respond, and you merely put it on their bed when you have something for them to read. It is a great way to ask questions, give them space to ask you things that may otherwise be hard for a child to do in person, and connect with their heart. I have been doing this for years with my girls, and we all love it. May I encourage you to share this testimony with your children? Use language such as, “Hey guys, I read the most amazing testimony of a fourth-grade girl. Want to hear?” And then use it as a teachable lesson. For the littlest of ones, I would not introduce them to the word porn but would say it was something inappropriate, or you can begin to have conversations about private parts being private. For older kids, perhaps you will ask them if their classmates have ever talked about or shared inappropriate pictures. Leave space for Holy Spirit to lead you in talking to your children.

THE BEDROOM IS GETTING HOTTER

Yeah, I just said that. I love it when God ministers in themes. The theme of this post is the bedroom. Walk with me through these three powerful stories of God setting women free in the marriage bed. I am sharing with their blessing. 

Mom #1 – There has always been a presence of fear and unwanted violent sexual thoughts. She would have to manage these thoughts with great effort while being intimate with her husband. God showed us that doors were open in the spiritual realm through shame and hidden sin in her family line. We addressed it spiritually by closing the door and walking in our authority. All this time, she thought something was wrong with her for having those unwanted thoughts when it was a spirit. Shortly after, she sent me a message saying she was experiencing intimacy with her husband like never before. Yeah, God! 

Mom #2 – She mentioned that she was raised with strong legalistic views about sex. I explained that sex is good and God’s gift to be enjoyed thoroughly in the context in which He outlines. Attraction, puberty, coming alive, and falling in love are all GOOD and part of God’s original plan. To partner with extreme lack, shame and legalism are just as out of balance as sexual sin or perversion. While she wanted to enjoy her husband, she felt this separation from herself, almost as if she had never fully awakened in that area when she was younger. When we have an inferior belief system that is not God’s, we create behaviors that are not in alignment with God’s best. Every time we partner with that behavior, we strengthen the release of the wrong kingdom. She assumed all these years that something was wrong with her sexually, preventing her from fully engaging, but it was a spirit lying to her that stemmed from strong legalistic views. We broke the agreement with the lying voices telling her sex was dirty and shameful, and Jesus gave her permission to en-JOY her husband. 

Mom #3 – She confessed to me that her mental thought life was unhealthy. She shared how, as a little girl, these thoughts would often visit her while on the school bus and alone in her room. She has no history of violation or seeing anything with her eyes, yet the thoughts came often. While partnering with Holy Spirit, He revealed that her mom had undealt-with sexual violation and that the sexual door was left open, making her vulnerable as a child to these spirits. I kept sensing the word ‘parent’ while ministering to her, and she agreed that the thoughts met an emotional need and brought comfort (even though she never acted on them or engaged other than in her mind). Over the years, she had a hard time divorcing herself fully from the thoughts because they did bring her comfort, despite the price tag that came with it. I was so happy when she messaged me to say she experienced intimacy with her husband for the first time WITHOUT the false comfort of the thoughts. 

All three of these women encountered sexual spirits as a child yet assumed something was wrong with them because of it. While there are cases of addiction, lust, and poor sexual choices, these women were clearly dealing with it on the spiritual level, which required walking in authority to break it. 

CAUGHT WITH YOUR HANDS IN THE COOKIE JAR

Caught with your hands in the cookie jar. This phrase means being unable to resist forbidden temptations. You are told not to take any more cookies from the jar, but you can’t resist and help yourself. Crawl into this story with me. Let’s say your brother was caught stealing, and your parents were dealing with it. Their response was firm and strong because this wasn’t his first time stealing. A first-time offense is always handled differently than someone who is a repeat offender. It is hard to witness someone being dealt with for their sin. When this happens in your house, you do not want to be found holding onto your sin of stealing. Imagine what it would feel like to hear your parents discipline your brother, knowing you were guilty of the same thing. The parent’s heart is not to PUNISH their son, but to help correct him as his sin will not go well with him, lead to a fruitful life or attract favor and blessings. No discipline seems pleasant at the time but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:11. 

GOD IS EXPOSING SEXUAL SIN. Not only is He exposing it, but He is also moving powerfully, and no one can hide behind their bank account, fame, popularity, or power. When God deals with sin, we want to make sure we are not caught with our hands in the cookie jar. There are many in the body of Christ struggling with sexual sin. This is for men, women, and children. I firmly believe these issues are rooted in a greater unmet need or unresolved heart splinter, and just like the woman caught in adultery, Jesus cares deeply about the root (the why), not just the behavior. However, this is a wake-up call for those in the body – do not be caught with your hand in the cookie jar of sexual sin. God is bringing into the light what has been kept in the dark about sexual sin. We see this on a global, corporate, and high-end level. While many of us are shocked at the stories coming out, God knew about them all along. Nothing has been hidden from Him. He is allowing the covers to be pulled back and for the nakedness of sin to be revealed. Not because He is an angry Father on the warpath to punish, but because sin will not profit you, allow you to become the full expression of who you were meant to be, and enjoy the relationships around you the way He designed. Sin steals, kills, and destroys; that is not His heart for you. When God decides it is time to respond to a certain sin, we do not want to be found on the side of unrighteousness. 

If this is you, I encourage you to repent and get the help you need to overcome this sin that entangles many believers. If you have participated in or are engaging in any of the following: **emotional affair, **pornography, **adultery, **R-rated movies that are explicit, **allowing children to view sexual scenes in movies, **fantasizing, **sex outside of marriage, **unbroken soul ties from previous sexual sin, **repeat images on your mind from sexual sin, it is time to make this right and confess this to the Lord. You do not need to be beaten down by this sin anymore. Christ gave His life with you in mind, and there is nothing that isn’t covered by His blood. 

Confess – tell Him what you did wrong. 

Repent – turn from it and move in the opposite direction. 

Restore – ask Him to restore what was lost, stolen, or broken because of sin. 

For adults, we want to make sure we SHUT THE DOOR to sexual sin, but for children, we want to teach them how NOT TO OPEN THE DOOR in the first place. We do this by: teaching them about their body – including proper names, revealing the truth about God-designed sex and relationships (in layers and stages based on age appropriateness), not allowing R-rated movies to ‘educate’ them, putting boundaries around their sexuality (no man, woman, or child is allowed to look, touch, or take pictures – nor are they to look, touch, or take pictures of others), empowering them with the word NO when it comes to sexual safety, teaching them that secrets are not acceptable (surprises are, secrets are not), having connection be a core value of your home. 

The power of pornography is removed in intentional healthy relationships and is often a root of a vacancy in relationships. For those entangled, I want you to know there IS freedom and hope. I have seen men get free from addiction. I have seen God reveal demonic sexual spirits behind the addiction stemming from sexual abuse in the family. I have seen women get free from the inability to engage in sexual relations with their husbands stemming from sexual legalism. I have seen secrets kept from entire generations come into the light. I have seen affairs end. I have seen countless people living twisted sexual lifestyles become sons and daughters. I have seen people in such sexual bondage they thought suicide was their only ticket to freedom become unchained. I have seen it all and give testimony that whatever you are battling, there is freedom waiting for YOU! It is time to clean the house of sexual sin. 

STRANGER SAFETY

I was talking to the children about stranger safety years ago, and Ellie, who was five then, said, “Don’t worry, Mom, I will kick him hard and run away.” That’s great, except she wasn’t factoring in one thing – the fear that comes with situations like that. Fear paralyzes everything within us. She needed to be empowered on how to respond to the fear. Sexual predators work with fear but also shame. Shame is so crippling, especially to young teens whose brains are still growing.

I found a video like the one below (I can’t find the original one), and after watching it, realized I needed to share it with my children to show them the ease of how someone gets entangled with online predators, but more so the shame that keeps them there.

When (not if) you see something come tell me so that I can help you. Do not give out your last name, phone number, age, address, or state to anyone without my permission. If you make a mess or cross the line, know I am here to help you. Keeping you safe is my number one goal. Not everyone you connect with online is who they say they are.

I encourage you to watch this and then decide if it is appropriate to share it with your children and talk about it together. #BeInCtrl – A Short Film on Online Grooming – YouTube

LET HIM WALK WITH YOU

I just spent some time walking with a father who is dealing with the trauma (and horror) of his pre-teen daughter being groomed and seduced by an online predator. Seeing him take every step with Jesus in the process has been breathtaking. Jesus is not afraid to do the messy and hard things with you. He wants to carry the burden, the grief, and the fear and has so much to say and give you in exchange.

SEXUAL ABUSE

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.

Sexual Abuse – YouTube

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD TAKES ON THE SEX INDUSTRY

We were at a store years ago, and I instructed the kids to stay by the cart while I ran down the aisle to get something. When I came back, Ellie, who was four then, said to me, “Mom, this is really bad.” I asked what she was talking about, and she pointed to the display of calendars. I saw things like Hello Kitty, cute puppies, etc. She kept saying that it was really, really bad. Finally, she pointed to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. What was so incredible was she had NO reference for sexual inappropriateness. We seldom have the TV on, and the movies they watch are highly screened. I hadn’t explained to them about inappropriate dress because it was never an issue then, and they are always with me, but her SPIRIT felt the atmosphere. Using it as a teachable moment, I pulled the kids aside and asked what we should do about it. One said we should hide all of the calendars so no one could buy them. I explained how that would be very dishonoring to the manager, who had a legal right to sell them. Another child suggested we buy all of them and throw them away, so I explained how that would only encourage the store to buy more. I reminded them that they had authority over the atmosphere (in this case, a sexual one) and could exercise it. Without skipping a beat, Ellie said, “Jesus, send Your angels to hide these inappropriate calendars.”’ Just then, a man passed us, and as soon as he got side by side with the calendars, his head flipped in the other direction. Then another man walked by, and the same thing happened. The THIRD guy walked by (by now, we were all watching), and the moment he got to the display of calendars, his head immediately turned in the opposite direction. While we all left with a bit of awe over how God did that, what was most important is that we exercised our authority on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven, women are not used for casual sexual gratification, so we had every bit of authority, and all of heaven backing us, to bind that up! When a four-year-old uses her authority in Jesus’ name, it is as good as if Jesus said it Himself. That’s pretty powerful! Could you imagine a generation of little ones who knew who they were and saw it for what it was – ‘bad’ and had the tools of heaven to do something about it?

SEXUAL SAFETY

We teach our kids bike safety. We teach them not to answer the door for stranger safety. We teach them “Stop, Drop and Roll” for fire safety. We teach them to wear a life jacket for water safety. But do we teach them sexual safety? Predators are looking for one thing – a child who has no grid for what is happening and has never been taught about sexual safety. When a child encounters things that are sexually unsafe, their spirit knows something is wrong, but they freeze because they do not know how to handle what is happening. They have been taught to obey adults, not to talk back, to never hit, etc.

#1. Children need to know the proper names for body parts – all of them. 

#2. Children need to know what to do should they ever feel unsafe. 

#3. Children need to know that they are never alone and can ask Jesus for help in ALL circumstances.