SEXUAL SAFETY – PART 1
Over and over, I have met with parents who had to experience tough things growing up. What made it traumatic was not the event but how those around them responded to the event. How you respond can be the difference between a hard event and childhood trauma.
If you are a parent, you NEED to understand what your child NEEDS from you in the moment of their discomfort. You have the power to stop an event from becoming lifelong trauma.
One reason why children look at porn is that their parents are not teaching them about their own God-given body and are too afraid (or ashamed) to talk about it with them, so they go to the internet out of pure innocence only to be exposed to the vulgar side of sexuality. Children need to learn about sex, sexuality, private parts, and body functions from PARENTS in the HOME!
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.
So many are in this odd, unfamiliar place, questioning if they are backslidden or have lost their faith. It feels awkward, confusing, and a tad scary. They feel like they are wandering around and unsure of which direction to go. As a watchman for families, I wanted to take 5 minutes to explain what I see happening. You will be able to partner with God so much easier when you flip your mindset from “What is wrong?” to “What is God wanting to make right?” Count it pure joy, my friend, that you are being called to transition.
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)
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.