IDENTITY STABILITY

IDENTITY STABILITY

 Let’s talk for a moment about the process of isolation and lies as it pertains to sexual instability.

When a child faces sexual abuse or emotional trauma it affects their mind, body, AND spirit. After the event is over the door remains open in the spirit realm, which is why many never fully recover despite therapy or counseling. It is common for childhood sexual abuse and emotional trauma to be confusing to their underdeveloped brain. Sometimes the child deeply admires the one doing harm, and it confuses their heart. They love the person but dislike what’s being done to them. Other times a child is confused by the way the abuse made them feel. I am not saying a child liked being abused as their spirit is aware it is not okay, but sometimes the child values the attention being given and it confuses their mind. They associate affection and attention, a God-given need, with something that is twisted and unpleasant. The confusion and lack of clarity bring isolation and shame (something is wrong with me). If someone of the same sex violated the child, a spirit begins to influence the child giving them ‘evidence’ (lies) that they were created differently. It is essential when helping children process molestation, abuse and emotional trauma that we close doors in the spirit realm, as well so that the enemy no longer has a legal right to influence, harass and mentally torment.

Often people who struggle with their sexual identity will say they knew since they were at a very young age of their preference, yet a human body is not sexually activated until puberty. I, however, fully believe people who give this account of their journey because the enemy isolates and then whispers lies to children ALL THE TIME and their sexuality is not exempt. I believe it is a primary target of the enemy simply because of the profound isolation and shame it brings to the core of one’s existence. Never before have we seen such an epidemic of people struggling with the way they were born.

I have ministered to men who grew up in homes where their mom was so abused by the men in her life, she had a bitter judgment against the entire male race. Her son’s sexual identity threatened her, and she would attack anything masculine. The isolation is paralyzing for a young boy who doesn’t understand why being a boy is wrong and unacceptable to his own mother. The enemy isolates and then whispers the lie, “You should be a girl,” “If you were a girl your mom would love you.”

There is a girl who grew up in extreme emotional trauma (isolation) and would have paralyzing nightmares. She would go to her mom in the middle of the night shaking. Her mom would allow her to come in her bed, but she had to rub her back to stay. The girl began to believe that being comforted meant touching/affection with someone of the same sex. A friend was raped by a teen girl when he was just four years old (isolation). It opened the door in the spiritual realm to be harassed and tormented. He grew up with an unhealthy interest in private parts which was the evidence (lie) that he was born gay. He grew up in a home where his dad was physically and emotionally abusive (isolation), and when he was in the 3rd grade, a teacher called out in front of the whole class, “You will grow up to be a gay,” and then proceeded to instruct the entire class on what that meant (shame). From that day on, peers changed his name to a girl’s name.

If children aren’t taught by parents who they are created to be, the world around them will. Countless times I hear the story of a child who is born with gifts and talents that are different than the expectation of the parent such as a boy with a music talent or a girl who doesn’t like dresses and they are taught something is wrong with them (isolation) for their likes and interests. In isolation, the enemy whispers lie about their true identity. Their ‘evidence’ (lies) is that they must be born that way because they can’t deny their love and passion for their gifts and talents. This is inferior parenting, not something wrong with the child.

Many of you know my story where my mom asked me my entire childhood if my dad ever did XYZ in the name of sexual abuse. She never told me he did but asked me, putting the burden of discovery on my shoulders. The isolation of those thoughts tormented me every day of my life for nearly twenty years. It gripped me so deep, death was my only relief (lie). As I have walked out this journey, God revealed nothing happened with my dad. It was a lie. I began to process with God how in the world could a mother do that to her own child. What He showed me is PROFOUND. I pray that you have eyes to see what God revealed to me.

My mom had unforgiveness in her heart towards my dad through their failed marriage which is always an open door for the enemy to influence, but my mom saw a sexual spirit ON me, and the enemy put 2 and 2 together, but his math was wrong. My mom honestly believed my dad did something, but what she was really seeing/feeling was that I was exposed to porn from a neighbor and a sexual spirit was attempting to influence me through the shame of what I had witnessed. I was a girl who needed to be protected from that spirit, but because of the unforgiveness in her heart, the enemy influenced her with a lie that nearly cost me my life – literally.

The above story about the young boy who was raped by a teen girl is another example. The teacher SAW the sexual spirit on him, and because of his own heart, the enemy helped him to put 2 and 2 together that he must be gay, but the truth was HE NEEDED HELP! That precious boy was being abused and was in profound emotional pain, shame and isolation. He needed to be protected in private, not exposed publicly. He needed love, not shame; community, not isolation.

When Christians demand behavior modification when someone is struggling it only brings more shame and isolation. At the same time, I think the greater pain is when Christians move into apathy claiming, “We just need to love like Jesus.” It is NOT loving to hear the stories above and leave someone in their confusion, isolation or pain. It is not loving to accept the band-aids of those who have endured mental torment at the hands of the enemy because of what others have done to them. It is not loving to reject, nor it is loving to tolerate. Love looks like embracing those in our community who have walked through isolation so profound that the enemy has lied to them about the core of their existence.

The reason why this is such a heated issue between Christians and the gay community is that it IS a spiritual issue. We have failed to equip the Body with tools to help CHILDREN who are being sexually abused and in emotional trauma (isolation) and have only pushed in the wounds deeper by ignoring their experience and demanding they change their behavior. This breeds children who grow up to judge and rebel against those who failed to help in their time of need. 

HeartWork – I want you to crawl back into the story of the young boy who was raped by a teen girl and how the teacher responded. Ask Jesus to show you a picture of His heart for that child. Let Him align your heart to His.

BODYGUARD

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

Going after empowering my children to ask Jesus questions and how to discern His reply has been KEY and not only protected them in situations but prevented things ahead of time. 

HEALTHY SEXUALITY

Are you concerned about all of the gender confusion and what it means for your child? Does talking about it make you feel intimidated? Are you unsure of how to respond to those around you? Not only do we need to start conversations, but we also need to become empowered so that we can enter the discussion with our children to empower them to walk in gender stability. 

FALLEN WORLD

My daughter has woken up extremely crabby the last few mornings. Finally, after church, she asked if we could connect. Tears poured out of her eyes as she told me of her dreams at night. They were sexual and not something she desired. She said she would take authority over it every morning, but they would come back again the next night. I was so proud of her for telling me, and we asked Jesus to show us if any doors had been opened in that area, allowing the enemy the right to speak to her in her dreams. We took authority over it together. No child is exempt from this aspect of our fallen world. While we should guard what they are exposed to with all diligence, it is impossible for parents to guard their eyes in today’s world. It caused me to call a family meeting where we covered sexual safety again. I also ensured them that it was OK to talk to me about whatever they saw or heard that made their heart feel funny. I see the need more and more to be proactive in this area and make sure our lines of communication stay open. This is not a one-time teaching, but something we need to cover often to serve as reminders and empowerment.

THIS IS WAR

Have you figured out yet there is a war raged against the next generation? The name of the war is IDENTITY.

Matthew 4 outlines how Satan attempted to steal, kill and destroy Jesus’ focus, calling, and identity. I love Jesus’ response each time as He simply declared, “It is written…” The Word was the weapon that anchored Him in victory. Jesus didn’t have to ‘fight’ this battle. He simply declared, “Nope, Daddy said so,” and that was enough.

We already know the enemy is defeated but we must do our part as parents to respond as Jesus did to protect the attack on our children’s identity.

We learn from Matthew 4 HOW the enemy works to steal, kill and destroy identity. There are countless examples all around us of people who are losing or have lost the battle over their identity. But take heart, dear friends, because God, as always, provides us with strategy in the midst of the battle. He is looking for those willing to pick up the sword of the Word and claim victory in their family.

The enemy came to Jesus when He was ISOLATED. God puts us in a family for a reason. The church is called to be a place where the parts of the Body come together as One with Him at the center. This is the epitome of being seen, covered and known. When we are connected in family and community it is like a pack of lions surrounding the young. When the enemy shows his head, the lionesses arise. However, when families do not offer children a “You matter” and “I see you” type of community, the child feels isolated, even in their own home. Parenting styles that operate out of legalism, control and continued anger isolate the child leaving them open to the temptation of the enemy.

The enemy tempted Jesus with a WARPED VERSION of the very thing that He was hungry for. Jesus was hungry for His Father and denied Himself physical food so that He could spiritually feast on the intimate connection with His Father. The enemy attempted to feed Him with food that could not nourish His soul. There is a longing in the soul of man for his Creator, yet the enemy fills him with the tastes of the world that satisfy the flesh and leave the soul empty. The more one feasts on porn, addiction, drugs, phone addiction, alcohol, video games, anger, control, etc. the deeper the hunger for it grows. All of these things DO meet a need for connection and power, but it is a warped version of the real thing God has intended for us. People who are isolated (physically, mentally, or emotionally) have deep hunger pangs to be in community which is why they make easy targets for warped versions of the real thing. Have you heard of people in desperate situations where they are isolated and get so hungry, they drink their own urine? While it sounds extreme to us, it is survival to the one in isolation and lack. The enemy offers ‘urine’ and they are so thirsty they do not fully realize what they are consuming. God did not design our bodies to be nourished by urine.

The enemy then whispers seeds of DOUBT by attempting to give ‘evidence’ that God can’t really be who He says He is. Doubt comes wrapped in lies that may even look, sound or feel true, but are still false. The nature of deception is to cause someone to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage. The enemy gains advantage when the lie is embraced because it gives him an invitation to influence that person. It is like going to the front door and welcoming him in our minds. This is also why it is pointless to shout at someone, “You can’t believe that” or “That is not true.” To them, it IS true. Children who have a big Daddy are less likely to get bullied. The bigger our faith, the less we are subjected to the temptation or ‘evidence’ to doubt.

Parents, it is vital to teach children that not every thought that crosses their mind is to be considered their thoughts or truth. We grab a hold of those thoughts that create arguments against God and toss them out.

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

NO SUCH THING

This is a hard truth to share but one that needs to be heard. There is no such thing as secret sexual sin. It may be kept hidden from their mind or eyes, but their spirits feel it. Pornography can be kept from children finding it, but it is impossible to open the door and not have the spirit behind it affect your children, especially your daughters. I have scores of adult women deeply affected by their dad’s porn addiction, even though they never saw a single image. Allowing pornography into your home is like opening the front door and inviting sexual spirits to come and influence your child’s identity. If you are entangled with this, know there is hope and help to get free.

SEXUAL SAFETY

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. 

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.

PURITY RINGS

I love the concept of purity rings, where parents purchase a ring and give it to their daughter over a meaningful weekend, inviting her to guard her purity. I think all parents should take their child’s sexual purity seriously. However, I began to see over the years that the purity ring concept was actually setting the child up for greater failure. When a teen fails to resist temptation, they build a wall with their parents because it isn’t just about their choice but about profoundly disappointing their parents, who had created such high expectations. Purity shouldn’t be a pass/fail but rather a lifestyle of good choices. I think it is wise to keep the bar high (really high) when it comes to teaching, equipping, and empowering our children with their sexual health; however, we live in a culture that is so flamboyantly sexualized. When we teach purity, we also need to be taught HOW to take our mistakes, failure, and sin and bring it to God. Fear, shame, and pride keep us in our sin, while confession, humility, and honesty bring restoration. Moral failure is a top reason why teens fall away from God. They feel like they have committed a fatal sin and are now separated from God. While it is true sexual immorality does have profound ramifications that affect our mind, body, and spirit, it is only God who can heal and restore what was lost. We aren’t expecting our teens to crash the car once they get their license, but it is wise to give them instructions on what to do in case of an accident so that they are empowered should they find themselves in that mess.

I once asked a girl in her young 20s what contributed to her choice to remain pure despite continuous pressure. She told me how her parents laid the foundation by teaching her the power of sex, attraction, and moral health and then presented it in a way that empowered her that her daily choices were guarding herself FOR something and not just AGAINST something. One is empowering, and the other one is merely obeying a command through resistance. Ex. For the person dieting, they will be much more successful if they make a choice not to eat the cake BECAUSE they have their eyes fixed on a higher goal of denying themselves now SO THAT they can fit into their jeans down the road. The JOY of the future is what helped them to say NO to the cake today. They wanted their jeans more than the cake. Another person diets simply by denying themselves in a self-condemning, shameful way of managing resistance, which only stirs up the desire for cake even more. It is rooted in willpower, “I can’t,” and rules. This isn’t a recipe for success, longevity, or real transformation. I was inspired to keep the concept of the purity ring for my girls but to do it FOR their future husbands. I took them out, and we talked about purity (not sex ed, but the purity of their mind, body, dress, heart, emotions, and relationships), and then we each picked out a tie for their future husbands. They are placed where they can see them daily and are reminded that he is a living human being on earth today. They pray for him, think about him, and some are even keeping a journal about him (wondering, dreaming, and praying for him). This establishes that they are guarding their purity FOR HIM. My daughter came home one day, expressing an interest in a boy at school. I asked, “Is that the boy you have been praying for?” and instantly, she realized, “NO!”

FEAR IS NOT PROTECTION

A mom asked to meet with me and began to share how she is deathly afraid that her children would be violated sexually. She won’t let them spend the night at a friend’s house, does not like for them to be outside alone, and worries about them all the time. We began to process with Holy Spirit, who revealed there was a sexual door open in their family. The previous generations opened the door through affairs, porn, and living a perverted lifestyle. Her mom (grandma) grew up with the tension and fear of the atmosphere. When there is an adult who is not managing their sexuality well and is making comments or jokes, welcoming pornography into the home, or acting in inappropriate ways, it causes children to feel unsafe and unprotected. The mom (grandma) partnered with a spirit of fear over feeling sexually unsafe. Because the fear, even if the threat was real, was never addressed and resolved, she carried around a fear of being sexually violated and passed that atmosphere on to her daughter. So while my friend was not abused in any way, she grew up with the fear of sexual violation through her mom. And now she was partnering with the fear for her children. 

Let me spell that out – one man’s choices affected his daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandchildren. I am so thankful for the blood of Jesus and the work of the Cross. I helped her forgive her grandparents for opening the door and her mom for introducing her to it, and she confessed her own partnership with the fear. We closed the sexual door and broke agreement with the fear. We invited Holy Spirit to be their Protector. She suddenly felt a deep peace because that spirit that had been following her around was finally gone.