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Equipping Your Kids to Resist Pornography

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
August 15, 2022 6:00 am

Equipping Your Kids to Resist Pornography

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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August 15, 2022 6:00 am

Josh Glaser and Daniel Weiss describe why “the talk” about abstinence isn’t enough to guide your kids in our pornographic world. They offer wise habits and guidelines for technology use.

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We encourage parents normalize. This normalizes my talk to kids about finances.

You might talk to kids about good eating habits, going to bed, getting enough sleep all kinds of things that it impact their lives. This is something that should be so normalized that the kids don't blush and you don't blush when it comes up looking at a TV commercial and just think, what's the message here to make sure were not being deceived by something that's false. That's Daniel Weiss he's our guest on Focus on the Family along with his co-author, Josh Glaser and offer help for guiding your kids through the digital landscape. Please beware this program isn't appropriate for younger children, but be sure to download the podcast to the conversation on YouTube your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller edge on this topic can be really intimidating and my boys are grown up now and of course we did the talk, but this was no the regular touch base. How you doing in this area conversation then and I'm grateful it was normal. Typical. It wasn't perfect. I don't want to project that either.

But you have to stay diligent as a parent and that's the spirit in which we want to do this broadcast today 67% of young males and 57% of young adults view pornography and in this generation porn use isn't the exception. It's now the rule and we as Christian parents one we have to model it well how to not use it, and then to how to help our children manage this so stick with this. Don't turn this off I think it's going to be a great discussion, especially for parent and joining us in the studio are Josh Glaser and Daniel Weiss that they each have decades of experience working in ministries that promote biblical sexuality. Josh is the executive director of regeneration ministries and he and his wife Jamie have five children. Daniel is founder and president of the brushfires foundation and serves as Executive Director of the sexual integrity leadership Summit and Jim we should note Daniel used to work here at focus on the family were memorizing issues on sexuality in the family, and he and his wife Krista have five children be talking about a book that these German have written together called treading boldly through a pornographic world, and this really is a great guide for parents Daniel and Joshua welcome back to focus thanks thank you so much.

Such a formative time. My time here and got me back. It's good to see you and I would say thanks for leading the charge on this really delicate topic and you know, again with the data that were talking about were all familiar with. It's almost like we can't talk enough about this and get it out in the open so that people could heal and get on a healthier track when it comes to sexual expression, particularly in the Christian church right now that's actually true. And I think one of the messages we'd like to share with parents is if there was ever a time we can avoid the subject that's certainly not now, and we don't believe there's ever a time parent should be guiding their kids and discipling them in all elements of faith including her sexuality, but are not your fee is is an issue in your home whether you know it or not it's an issue because it's an issue in this culture, it permeates its alternates and everything and so whether your kids are actively looking at pornography are not yet in, or not at all their around all the other kids that are in that definitely shapes youth culture in a major way.

So this is a topic we we want you to to encourage parents to understand. Now is the time to start small to start and healthy ways, age-appropriate ways, but definitely if you haven't started.

You got a start because our kids need us more than that they actually want us in this conversation Dan and Altair focus. We got so many great resources. It's kind like drip irrigation, but let's go to the social acceptance of pornography and how that is changed over time. If I could double down on the question how how is violence and violent content become even more a part of that yet. I think when you mention the word pornography in a group or one-on-one setting of a lot of people's minds will go to.

I'm in is nave. Is it sounds like, look at calendar pinup you'd see in an auto shop or the cheesy 70s seen a pizza guy plot storyline movie ready the other showing sex but it's kind of story driven almost on that hasn't been the case since the 70s and the research that we cite in the book from 2007 showed that this research team analyzed 50 of the top selling pornography movies in the country the previous year and 88% of them had sexual violence in them. So pornography is not that the known people say I'm sex positive will.

Pornography is not sex positive pornography is violence and degradation and shame positive it's teaching everything. We don't want, not just Christian kids but any kids any adults to know and expense shaping peoples, especially our kids sexual templates they see this as real and normal in the act accordingly. Well, that's the damage done when it starts early which is why can we encourage diligence on the part of parents to be engaged in other child's environment what they're looking especially with online accessibility now in the anonymity of it.

I mean, your kids can look at things and you'll never know sometimes it's so easy to hide you. Really. Spyware doesn't always catch things and you know you learn that over time a bit, speak to that danger because again I think as a Christian community want one a projected goodness of God and what he's created here, but it's that distortion that manipulation that were trying to correct and the damage that's done. When that happens. So how do we help our kids at that developmental stage. The right developmental stage. How do we protect them and how do we help them in one of the things we have to do first and foremost is to start with God's positive design we have to know the real thing. Yeah the real thing is parents haven't had conversations like that and we we stress conversations are the reason feels much pressure part of the reason we struggle to have the conversations because we don't talk about it enough, the more we talk about markup we get more kids recognize that mom and dad talking about this kind of stuff. This is part of what happens in our family. If it feels awkward to you. Keep pushing through to feel less and less awkward limit can I interrupt you for second because it's so important. Some people are going to get a hold of us, and there can be very offended that we had this discussion that we talked about it and I would like to appeal to them in the best way to say things up in the light of day things on the table. It's important because the Lord I think in my belief can work with that. It's when it's hidden it's under the table. It's in the dark that it does such destruction in the other thing Jim is is for those parents out there that my we should talk about this, we have to understand the culture is not shy about talking to our kids about sex.

Nearly everything the culture saying is a distortion ally or something more malicious than that and said that's what shaping our kids.

And as you said, it just said don't have fewer conversations are one big conversation. We encourage parents normalize.

This normalizes you might talk to your kids about finances.

You might talk to kids about good eating habits are going to bed, getting enough sleep or all kinds of things that didn't impact their lives. This is something that should be so normalized that that the kids don't blush and you don't blush when it comes up in an instant looking at a TV commercial and just think of. What's the message here, let's make sure were not being deceived by something that's false. I mean, it's not always even about sex, it's just about how men and women are portrayed but but laying that foundational groundwork for understanding God's good design. That's how we can have open, honest conversation and I think that's so good if some parents have taught their kids that purity is really important which it is and that being a virgin at the time of marriage is kind of the key goal, but there you can also get some dysfunction in that if you're not careful and you guys write about that described that potential dysfunction when were locking it down lock and the down and then they come in with some problems. Yeah, I sure a story in the book and thankfully I can be open about this, but I I was a virgin. Technically, you have to understand that term now, but I was a virgin when I got married and was really proud of myself and I and I thought it was like I did it but I realize later when God, got a hold of me and some of my sexual brokenness I was dealing with lust. I had acted out sexually with other gals in college I had looked pornography countless times, so I was, as I said whole house was burning, but I was if I was glad and proud that I'd saved the front door and an incredible analogy. It's not about the oldest binary view of you are you are and I think that's will begin the trouble because that eliminates the quality of grace in this and forgiveness and none of us walk out our sexuality perfectly. Not one we all fall short in that's very scriptural. So let's approach it from that perspective and say let's cultivate positive healthy habits of the heart. This chastity idea where even a misstep like God is still with us were still moving forward to hate toward his good godly design for us which blesses us and allows us to thrive and that's something that's ever in front of us. It's not something behind us now that we've lost yeah this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and her guests today are Josh Glaser and Daniel Weiss and were talking about the content in their book, treading boldly and we certainly would encourage you to get a copy of this from us here at Focus on the Family. The link is in the show notes or give us a call 800 the letter a in the word family. Let's talk about technology you both kinda come at it a little differently so Josh starting with you. How do you approach technology in your home and how do you batten down the hatches if FFF and well that will do perfectly, but we took on early on we made a decision with her kids are grown up in a digital age and at some point there and they're all you have bones and skin up there and have digital devices in their pockets and an evening that navigate these things and so we decided progressively as they as they grew weird and trust with more and more responsibly have their own their own devices and the idea was a three to make mistakes. We want them to make mistakes in our home, if they're in a learn one thing learn in our home, so there there been ups and downs and things we tried things we've taken back and so we've on an early age when things we did was before kids run one of our computers and their doings in the online by the way like I grew up in.

No digital immigrant so I knew when I was online and I and I knew what I wasn't. I don't think our kids always know the difference between getting on a device in the online where kids would would get online.

Part of what we do that do this is to say, okay, if you see something appropriate. What you do when walking through your process.

There can run fire drills and as they get older they would have just more responsibility with that. We do this in filtering software on art under devices and and so we could see what they're looking at. We have all of our kids user device in public spaces and as they get older. If there demonstrating their being responsible. They're paying attention to things that were paying attention to then there there given more and more freedom so in our oldest daughter now has as a phone and she's like you know can I use in my room to wake up to end with and she talks to us about you now.

Not texting people late at night. I don't know that doesn't happen for me. That concept like okay next to him in college anyway so yes you Demanded that was a freshman right in high school but may be a senior. It's time to give that responsibility over at Daniel. What did you do differently or what are you doing differently, yet we did approach it differently and I and I want to say right off the bat that by us choosing a different path.

There's no part of me that says I think Josh and his family are doing it wrong and I really think that's important for parents to hear there's not a one size fits all solution here. This is very much a relational issue within the home and so in our home. We did as we set we try to keep our kids analog is much as possible for as long as possible, as they were growing up, so we didn't want them spending hours in front of the TV hours in front of the videogame system.

We do we do live on a in a rural part of the country on a family farm so we don't go out and climb trees go out and play with the animals and that was part of the what we hoped would be a gift to them. Now that I've that teenagers and some still are preteens technology to work in that that phasing into a little bit more of what Josh is doing teaching responsible tech use teaching how we act in the world needs to be the same way we act online so manors don't just get thrown out the window but but having those those normalizing talks about the reasons why were concerned about their tech use and what we hope they don't encounter because of that, and I think about people being an analyst here at Focus on the Family for so many years I got to see a lot of the research on just how impactful large-scale media use is on kids it don't be very damaging and that doesn't mean your kids messed up but statistically speaking, the kids that are on their devices a lot, just art doing more poorly in all kinds of measures. So knowing that research we wanted to to hold them off as much as possible.

But then introduce a gap of time that describe your threefold approach to technology I think is guiding guarding and growing so have had is that work yes so inour attempt to kind of encapsulate different areas that parents can think about. They're trying to approached all the stops of the kids so we guiding part is is just giving our kids some counsel walking alongside them, encouraging them along the way when things we told our kids. For example, is if you doing Internet search. The more specific you can be about what you're looking for, the less chance you can find something that you're not looking for so that if searching for hate data want to draw a picture of a bunny connect neck in a tapered bunion like picture of a bunny to draw from.

Try that you have that skill.

Advice guarding is these are we bring in because were older, wiser, we've been down the road we know some of the dangers are so whether it's Internet filters or its setting specific parameters and boundaries run when we can use our technology dynamics yet that's come stuff is that's guarding them with places that parents will run into. By the way, there is is there kids will say what why don't you don't you trust me and so when things like talk is what we absolutely trust you.

We do not trust the Internet rightly not been entrusted.

Yesterday I was on there so were not guarding them from you regarding you from them so and then growing the part that's just recognizing the role and in a process and so were not looking for perfection for kids in this regard, we want them to learn both from us. We all something to learn from things there discovering about themselves and things and even mistakes they make.

And so, so my proudest moments as it is a dad have been when my and I walking to the room.

I daughters on on her phone and she says that here she throws her phone to me and says I'm just not using it. Well today I go fantastic. You know what's an oxygen and in what might be happening in your no been sucked and more today than other times. This is her growing heart.

Let's get to seven really nitty-gritty questions. If you discover your child is viewing porn how do you respond is apparent and what a gift for the first thing is so counterintuitive first and you need to do is you need to step away and brief summary parents just want to just run in and and address it right away shut down, shut it down like let's fix this, but we we advise the parents actually need to to collect themselves for a bit and if they can for got an ally espouse some of the can just say this is what is happened yeah talking off the ledge something freaking out here. Otherwise, for don't do that will happen is is they'll go and they'll put their adult size parent size angst under kids and basically say a Medicaid until this is fixed. We want to do that we want to going in that moment and be present to our kids where they are as much as Poss now that's good. I think one of the things to is the shaming factor yet be really careful in the shame context because I think that could really especially you know boys demand for moms coming down hard on boys and I'm sure that's true for girls as well, but I just think again that connection to mom and and and son can really be ruptured. If she's not careful in that moment not have a story.

This happened my.we were watching a movie as a family and my daughter turns to me and says hey dad's something's not right and she had 20 minutes earlier friended someone on Facebook. She's one of the few teenagers that actually uses Facebook but she friended someone she thought she'd gone to school with. Turned out it wasn't this person and within a few literally a few minutes the guy was sending sexually explicit questions and basically trying to groom her actually know that term, and he was clearly older than her in his 20s. It looked like and she showed it to me and I did everything wrong in that moment, I freaked out. I freaked out at my dad's heart was like water you doing to my daughter that of course it came out and Michael and then I'm like why are you texting this guy ran and I did like I did everything wrong.

I didn't collect myself and had a lot of backtracking to do and and even the next few days I would check in with my daughter and say look, I am so sorry I reacted the way did I want you. I'm so proud that you brought it to me and I want to explain my reaction was not that I was angry with you.

It's that I was so furious someone would do this to you and inflict this on you but that's what we say for parents look, you're going to make mistakes we make mistakes.

This is a journey in a process rod but it is important to think about in advance and be prepared for some bad news to come at you in any will in every situation is a learning opportunity.

And if you're treating it that way actually are making ground yeah you know what it feels like is apparently going backward but you are moving forward. You have a story about Amanda.

I think her name was in the book where she had some difficulty with her dad and how would you say that that story plays out with the pornography issue yes to this.

This is later on so if you if you discover that is undoubtedly important, and if they are open to walking away from that getting some help in that Amanda fit that in that camp and she was actually seeing a therapist so she and her therapist begin to recognize there is a correlation between an increase in her temptation to to look at porn and her time at her dad's house and so she began to explore would what's going on there. Why is that happening in, and she realized that she she actually began taking it and doing feelings log writing that when my feeling around that time because were like like like a Salic pursuit of pursuing pornography is you're looking for something legitimate, but you're looking forward an illegitimate place and so she ended just treat with kind of curiosity and kindness. Like why am I more prone to that there, and she realized that she felt like a visitor in her dad's home and she felt lonely and so is she unpacked that with her therapist, you realize okay well I'm not at home when I go visit my dad them further with my friends. He's got a little tighter restrictions on my on my phone. Use your second beam does my friends that way is all those things kinda coalesced and now she's also writing that that kind of the center of dealing with the reality their parents are like no longer together, and she feels like a visitor at her dad's house and so she was looking to porn to try to bring her comfort to try to help her deal. Some of the sadness once she realized that she could go back to her dad and say I feel like a visitor in your house and this hurts.

Well that's I mean it's an interesting journey to peace those things together to validate at the surface they would look connected owner not now.

That's really good work on her part and mow and and again you should. She's an older teen. I think at this point, but most kids would need help processing and would not be able to probably go that deep dependent on their age and their maturity but but this is some of the important and beautiful relational work. The parents have in front of me not not the parents. The somatic yet either, but I think that it's just a great opportunity to get to know our kids better. Like if we were just thinking about pornography use as you doing something bad and you need to stop it. God's not happy with us on that happy with that said I want this in my house, you're missing an opportunity to to really explore, excavate and so instead of being like him in a private investigator looking for dirt you're helping your your son or daughter excavate what's going on inside of me that I'm that I'm going to these things. I mean it's going to be there all the truth is, be there, which is so good. Yet the Josh's were curiosity and that's something we don't normally associate curiosity and pornography.

Right. That's what we don't want kids being curious and looking for porn, but I think with these wounds and these are the relational longings it's good for parents to guide their kids into place of curiosity and we have other stories, and in the book as well like feeling rejected by friends might be a trigger that leads you to go find some solace or consolation in this content that gives a temporary relief. So the more we can be curious about that. I think we can get to that point of truth.

At the core of our being and then begin to untwist those things that have been twisted and you look at Scripture generally and that is that is the destiny idea like a king. David and I always start with the fact that he committed the two big ones, and the Lord said he had a heart after him. Seriously, Lord house that it's that same kind of concept, though, that nothing goes for loss in God's economy like he's gonna teach you when you fall and we don't have good tolerance for that in the Christian community were expecting perfection. And you know when things Jean and I often talk about is you know, older Christians, we kind of project that are teen boys and we expect them to behave like we would behave today and I was always a good reminder to say okay what were we thinking about it.

16 and 17. However, we behaving back then and it it's hard because we expect so much out of our kids and that can be so damaging. Let let's end with this, as we close.

How would you encourage parents who are discouraged and worried and you know they're full of fear and the world is eating my children spiritually. I mean all the steps coming at them and I can't contain it all and I don't have enough spyware to protect them, then I'm overwhelmed and it's happening in. You can just spiral out of control.

How do you get a grip on all of that and say okay Lord, what I do.

I think it's important for parents to understand as much as they love their children. God loves their children even more.

And so God really is for them, but part of that is God is for the parents as well and and we devote part of the book to this. It's parents are on this journey.

They need to be present with their own past and present their fears, their concerns and be fully present with God in those places so that they can find some healing may be some forgiveness. They haven't had before some reconciliation with their own past, but that's how they become more present with their kids and our kids really need us. It's not our rules.

It's not our words. They really need us on this journey and so we see this whole book. The treading boldly concept is we believe this really challenging situation so many families are facing looks like a an opportunity for fear and withdrawal but it's action opportunity for God to reshape your family in some amazing ways to have the conversations you been afraid to have open up and talk about feelings and relational challenges, and we just have nothing but hope hopefulness for families going through this process because they're doing with Christ, who so desperately desires for families to be healed and I think the enemy takes us to that place of catastrophism nation.

I can use that newly coined word. I mean it just really you know it's it's catastrophe. And the Lord will use all these things to mold and shape each of us like you're saying as a parent and then as a teen or a child, and I think that's the big Longview we need to have us take that deep breath, get some space, get some oxygen pray and then engage and know that the Lord is with you in this things and do it with the spirit of humility, not anger. And this been good. I mean this is such a great discussion. I hope people have been inspired and certainly the book treading boldly through a pornographic world outside the Bible.

I can think of a resource. A parent needs more than something like that right now. So thank you for the diligence in putting it together in all the years of experience. You guys have a plowed into this. I hope you get in touch with us and we were here for you. We are of marriage and parenting ministry. So we want to stand in the gap for you if you can make a gift of any amount monthly gift at one time gift will send the resource as our way of saying thank you you can afford it. That's not the issue will trust others will cover it. Just call us tell us you need it and will get it to donate. As you can when you call 800 letter a in the word family were checked. The program notes for all the details and I think we mentioned this earlier, but we do have caring Christian counselors here, and if this is something you're struggling with personally or as a parent, you really challenged by what you need some further encouragement contact us and let us set you up with a free consultation with one of those counselors beginner number 800 letter a in the word for Josh and Daniel. Thanks again for being with this is been really good. Thank you so much ravenous as our pleasure to be here will join us next time. As we hear an uplifting message from Sherry Rose Sheppard I and my Masters degree in acting and my doctor generally in denial.

We women specially ask questions we've mastered acting thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and John Fuller inviting you back next time. As we once more help you and your family thrive here asking people how they could both begin and I don't know. Maybe. Love you both give and get love through that. It's also possible with a charitable gift annuity you get a secure source and fixed income and a charitable tax deduction giving a charitable gift annuity to Focus on the Family helps families thrive for generations to come. Find out more good and spoke as planned

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