THE PARENTING DARE BLOG
I love, love, love mothers.
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THE PARENTING DARE BLOG
I love, love, love mothers.
Join our community!
The enemy is in a turf war with you. He wants to claim your home and more than that, he wants to overcome and claim every person in your home.
What Satan doesn’t understand is that God Himself fashioned our mother hearts. They are soft, yes. But we are also fiercely protective. In this post I will show you the war and then I will give you a workable solution in the form of a challenge. (I love challenges!)
It’s time. Let’s take back our turf!
I am so grateful to live in our diocese. The last weekend in March was Safe Haven Sunday. Our bishop asked every priest in the Wichita diocese to address internet safety to the parishioners. (Safe Haven Sunday is a national initiative.)
I knew this was going to happen and I was looking forward to it. By the way, I belong to The Church of the Holy Spirit in Goddard, Kansas and we are blessed to have Fr. Matt Marney as our priest.
On Safe Haven Sunday, the first thing Fr. Marney did was invite all of the little people to another area of the campus to hear a supervised alternate message. I loved that. Fifth graders on down to preschoolers were invited to go hang out in the gym and watch what had been prepared for them.
I love how our priest began with something that we often overlook: God loves sex. He created it for our pleasure! Sex isn't the issue; it is how we misuse it that causes the struggle!
Then Father Marney gave the stats. He gave the science. He explained how pornography has become an epidemic and how it is crippling us as people.
Now here's the deal. I know all of that. I give presentations on this topic. I know the stats. I know the science. I expected everything that Father said.
What I didn't expect was how I felt while sitting in that pew next to my husband and five (of our eight) children.
I was mad. Not at Father. Not at the initiative. I couldn’t quite figure out WHO I was so mad at...then I realized that I was mad at Satan. And not just a little angry, but Mama Bear Angry.
WHY IS PORNOGRAPHY SUCH A MASSIVE PART OF OUR CULTURE? HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?
Now, I don’t know about you, but I never knew that porn education would be part of my mothering. In fact, that was NEVER in my contract.
Porn was never EVER mentioned in my contract. I didn’t know. There is a raw, honest part of me that just wants to disconnect from this particular issue. (If I ignore it, surely it will go away!) And if that is you, I urge you to keep reading. We are better than that. Our children are worth our engagement.
Satan is the great deceiver. He is the father of lies and his only goal is to separate us from God. He is TICKED that we have a Savior that has amended the Garden Scene and restored our capacity to have Divine Life.
Satan cannot touch God because God is too powerful for him.
So he wages war with us, the creatures that God loves the most.
And Satan has found the perfect way to separate us from each other and from God: through pornography.
Why is this the “perfect way?”
Well, first of all, because it’s naturally distasteful; there is a perversion involved with porn and so parents, especially mothers, avoid the topic.
Second of all, because mothers know what they see. And when they look at their son or their daughter, they see the outside. They see the child they have created (or adopted) and loved and nurtured and it.is.good.
The issue: the son or daughter also know what they see.
Many children are exposed to way more than the parents know about. Let me be frank with you. Statistics show that the average age of first exposure is 8 years of age and by the time our children are 12 years of age, 90% will have been exposed to hard core porn.
That doesn’t mean they are seeking it, but it does mean they have been exposed.
And it changes them. And it.is.not.good. So they hide it.
Let me give you a real life example. My son Eric is sitting with me today. I would like to go back to when he was in third and fourth grade. You know what I saw when I looked at Eric? A confident kid with lots of friends. He was an altar server. He loved people and life and making people laugh. I saw my kid. I knew my kid. And it was all good.
Eric: Yes. And that’s also around the time that I started noticing how cute the girls in my class were. Now we had totally unfiltered internet and one day I got on the computer and googled “Beautiful women." I was curious. OH MY gosh I found way more than I intended to.
There was something exciting about it, but I couldn't put it into words. I guess I just liked what I saw. As I kept searching over the next few months, I put in different search terms and pushed the boundaries with what I was comfortable seeing. I was hooked.
Lori: See, Mama, what I saw: a great kid that was safe and sound in my own home was no longer the reality.
Satan, the great deceiver, had divided us through the different things we were seeing.
Eric: Because I knew how my mom and dad saw me, I made sure I kept up with the perfect son image. I basically lived a double life.
Lori: Do you think you were the only kid doing that?
Eric: At first I thought I was. But then I’d hear guys making comments and joking about it. Naturally I had to fit in so I’d throw in my two cents. It was just common knowledge that everyone had they 'two cents'. Everyone I knew looked at porn.
Lori: So the parent still sees a great kid…..
Eric: Yeah, but here’s the weird thing. In addition to the double life with you and Dad, I also created a double spiritual life. What I mean: I eventually learned that looking at porn and masturbating were sinful so then I’m make all of these promises, telling myself that I would stop. But then I wouldn’t. It got to the point where I couldn't even trust myself.
You know, that was a really shitty place to be. I was trying to become me, to grow up and find who I am, all while being buried alive by this silent shame and despair. I was trapped and no one really knew.
(On our podcast Eric goes into more details; I invite you to listen to that to get a fuller appreciation of how it felt to be in the addictive cycle from the child’s point of view!)
Lori: Moms, I know this is kind of overwhelming, so let’s get to the solution part of this post. We created The Parenting Dare as an all inclusive course where you can walk through with your child before they’re even exposed to pornography so that you can get them on the right path early on. But let’s get to the right now: this moment. This post.
First, if you hate this topic and you want to ignore this problem, have compassion on yourself. Your reaction is totally normal.
Get quiet. Reconnect with your own heart (which is what I HAD to do). Go back to when your child was born. Think of how sweet and pure and innocent your baby was.
Remember how you felt whenever your baby got into a dangerous situation, like an open staircase? There was that feeling of “Wow, she crawled all the way over here,” mixed with “This world just got much more dangerous.” And you put up gates to protect your bambino.
Remember how you felt the first time your son went into the boys’ restroom by himself? There was an odd pride of “Wow, he is growing up,” mixed with “If there is a pedaphile in that bathroom I will tear the doors off every stall before I rip the pervert’s heart out” kind of thing going on.
Those fierce feelings are there for a reason. You are the mother. If anyone messes with your child they would have to go through you first.
Reconnect with that part of you.
We are the first generation of parents that have to deal with the dangers of internet pornography. So let’s give ourselves a bit of grace. This sucks. Since you are still reading I know something about you. You have what it takes to be a massive influencer in your child’s life.
Next, because of the internet, we now have an addendum added to our original Mommy Contract.
It says: There is a new danger out there. You must protect your child from internet pornography in your home and give them the tools to be able to reject it when exposed to it.
Satan wants to invade your turf. I mean, let’s call this what it is: A turf war. Evil wants to invade your home and your children’s souls. He wants to do it in the way he always works: in the dark.
It’s time to turn the light on, Mama. It’s time to see.
Because I know this is overwhelming and I know how busy you are and how easy this is to ignore, we have created a simple yet effective “Not In MY House” Challenge for you to implement right now.
We don’t just list the steps. This is a video course. We walk you through three basic steps as well as one optional bonus step (where you can bless the hell out of your house, literally!)
It’s free. We simply ask you to pass this on to others. How? Share this post! Share it on social media. Share it via email.
Evil has infiltrated into our world. I am calling all mothers. It’s time.
Take the "Not In MY House" Challenge. Let’s take back our turf, Mamas.
I'm Lori Doerneman
Wife. Mom. Catholic.
Idealist with 8 kids,
keeping it real.
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