The Warrior Marriage
Summary: A podcast for those that want to Fight For, Protect, and Preserve MARRIAGE! It is worth fighting for. May this encourage and empower couples to build (and rebuild) a strong, HEALTHY Marriage! It is possible. It is worth the investment. Hosted by Dr. Corey Gilbert from HealingLives.com
Boundaries And Choices A critical dimension of our sexuality and sexual development are boundaries and choices. If those aren’t well established, we are at the mercy of our feelings, desires, and peer pressure. To live within boundaries requires us to step back, recognize the difference that results from living within these, and thankful for their protection. Ironically, it is these boundaries that give us freedom. When I graduated from seminary and began my life as a Licensed Professional Counselor. I was a single twenty-five-year-old male in a female dominated field. Ninety-nine percent of my clients were women and most of my friends were female. I was terrified. I had an ETHOS drilled into me from my family and my training regarding the importance of boundaries. I also knew of a few cases where one accusation of wrongdoing had sunk a person’s reputation and career. I set up incredibly strict boundaries. These were for my freedom. Within these boundaries, I had less to worry about. Later, I was working at a college and was told I needed to loosen my boundaries if I was going to work with college students. I was surprised. I was also quite confused by the suggestion and wondered if I should loosen up. I quickly realized though that I had more freedom by using these boundaries and I added more — like never eating alone with a woman who was not my wife. Boundaries are entrenched into your ETHOS at an early age as we learn from our families and absorb their energy and culture. As we begin to play that out in our lives, we free ourselves, adopting some of the constraints put on us by our families and dispensing with others. We — and our children — have the freedom to choose. Our culture speaks out of both sides of its mouth. On one hand we are told to be free and choose for ourselves whatever we want. But, on the other hand, if someone chooses to act with reservation, wisdom or within a biblical sexual ethic, they are ridiculed as if they made the “wrong” choice. Find freedom in boundaries, your choices, and in saying, “NO.” How To Say “No” Learning to say, “NO,” is a crucial skill. We are always saying, “NO.” In effect, every time we say, “Yes,” to something — we are, in turn, saying, “NO,” to something else. Teach your children to say, “NO.” Teach them to have the vocal and internal ability to stand up for themselves and have boundaries. Most of us are familiar with the concept of fight or flight. If we get into a sticky situation, we have a release of adrenaline and we are, in a sense, forced to expend that energy by fighting, or fleeing. However, there is another response — freezing — that has serious consequences since the energy built up by adrenaline and angst rarely gets resolved. When men and women that have been abused or violated tell their story, they usually regret not having spoken up, fought, or run away. Instead, they froze. However, despite — or maybe because of — freezing, they survived. They made it through. Now many remain stuck because the energy that was built up needs a place to go. It needs to be released. From this experience, they quickly learned to remain small and silent. Their ability to say, “NO,” diminishes. Example Lisaand Bretthave invested in their children with a vision for their children’s future success. They started young, teaching and training their children in a biblical sexual ethic. As they went into each year of life with their children they also knew that part of the bargain was trusting God in the raising of their children. Hope in things unseen. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Your faith must be in God and His work in the lives of you and your children. Hope breeds a peace that passes all understanding. Hope expects great things as well. Hope for the best things for each of your children. I want you to be able to place the most important thing at the top of your goals in the raising of your children. What is this most important goal? Dr. George Barnaspeaks of this goal in his bookRevolutionary Parenting. What is your primary goal? With the primary goal Dr. Barna’s research found all the other priorities we may have for our children will work themselves out. Hope for great things! Expect much! Be intentional at preparing them well. May your children become adults that are “Champions for Christ.” — this ought to be our top goal.  Barna, George. Revolutionary Parenting.U.S.A.: BarnaBooks, 2007. Managing Hurts, Failures And Disappointments As parents, we can do everything we are supposed to do and bad things can still happen. Paulis a twenty-two-year-old that was taught a biblical sexual ethic, but chose to take his own path. He decided he had to try everything out for himself. Learning the hard way is a reality for many people. We grieve their choices. We love them. We pursue them. But we must also remember that these are their choices. Juliannais eighteen and a survivor. She grew up in a great home with a loving, single mom that talked with her early, used micro-conversationsoften, and built into her daughter a solid sense of identity, strength, and a passion to live by a biblical sexual ethic. Her ETHOS was unshakeable. That is, it was unshakeable until her first boyfriend. She met a young man in college, and they began dating. By the end of their first year together she was a different person. He seemed to be sweet and caring, and said and did all the right things. He slowly nibbled away at her soul though with demeaning comments that she was not quite good enough. He would criticize her appearance, weight, intelligence, and decisions. Eventually, she had no resolve left and when he pushed on her boundaries physically, she had no fight left in her. She surrendered to his desires without a fight or a care. She did not realize what had been happening until it was too late. I have heard this story numerous times from young women. The behavior of these “men” is disgusting and heartbreaking. This is grooming, leading to rape, even though there was no fight and no one said, “NO.” Jillgrew up with a dad that loved her and she was a strong confident twenty-five-year-old even though her mom had left them years ago. Her dad was proactive, engaging, funny, and raised his little girl the best he knew how. She had a strong biblical sexual ethic — an ETHOS — and was excelling in all areas of her life as a teenager. She went to a party though and had something to drink that had been tampered with. She woke up the next morning in a lot of pain and bleeding. She had been “roughed up,” and was unaware of what had truly happened at the party the night before. Now, at age twenty-five, she has grown in strength and resolve to help other girls never find themselves in a situation like that. She has a passion and calling that, when combined with her story, has propelled her to make a difference in a unique way that only someone in her shoes could do. Freedom From Shame Shame steals everything — life, joy, desire, and a future. For many of us, our default setting is to stay here — to let it take up residence and settle. My hope and desire for you as a parent is that you can find freedom from shame in your own personal story. I want you to be able to see that when shame enters the story, it is only there to steal, kill, and destroy. Sound familiar? The marvelous truth is that God is a redeemer. Rest in this. Believe this. Live this out. Face that shame. Recognize that it only sucks you into a spiral of self-hatred and hatred of others. Realize that it only steals your joy and any desire you might have left. Dr. Dan Allenderexplains in his speaking and writing how shame can be overcome. The unlikely source of joy is found in being broken. To feel sorrow and grieve your loss allows you to then find yourself in a place of gratitude with no room for contempt or hatred. You can now dance for joy. What does this dance look like? This freedom? This joy? It is being truly broken and then, as Proverbs 31:25 says:“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come” (NIV). What a beautiful picture of strength, grace, peace, and fearlessness that can laugh at the devil’s schemes as you rest in God’s perfect plan for your life. So, what is the task for us? First, we must address our story as parents.What are you holding on to? Where are you all tied up by the enemy?This can usually be found as you review your story.I would dare say that we all have places in our story that need attention, care, and honesty. Forgiveness Paulhad to try everything. He made his way. One of his biggest hurdles in finding freedom for himself will be forgiving himself for the pain he caused his family and others. Juliannadid nothing wrong. She knows that in her head, but doesn’t feel it in her heart. She will need to forgive herself for trusting him, even though there was no way she could have known. She faces the insurmountable hurdle of forgiving her ex-boyfriend. Jillbeats herself up for going to that party and touching that drink. She has found forgiveness for the guys that raped her even in the vagueness of some of the memories. Forgiveness is never saying it was okay. Forgiveness is loving someone in the way that God does — not giving them what they deserve for their actions or hearts. Truthfully, we all deserve one thing — and that is hell. By the grace of God, we are offered free, eternal life. Forgiveness is not something we do once we feel like it. It is a conscious choice of our own personal freedom. It is cutting the ties with someone that harmed us and still has a hold on us. This is so difficult for our emotions to grasp, which, if we are not careful, keep us captive. Forgiveness is freedom. Be free! Growth And Your Joy What comes from relieving ourselves of the burden of shame and resting in God’s forgiveness? We grow. We truly experience joy. We find freedom. We are who God created us to be — worshipers. Let’s look at this from another angle. Your son or daughter needs to learn about this process. They need to understand about the real world. They don’t need us only for shelter. They need us to prepare them. They need us to prepare them for the hurts and disappointments that will inevitably come. They need us to teach them to stand up for themselves and for others. I was driving home from a movie recently with my oldest son and talking to him about the difficulty of going against the grain with friends — standing up for someone that is being picked on, or calling out dirty jokes and conversations that are disrespectful of women or others different from themselves as unacceptable. It starts with one. He can be that one. Lead your children into parts of your story — your successes and your failures. This should be done carefully, taking into consideration their age, maturity, and discretion — meaning their understanding that some things that are shared within the family aren’t to be shared publicly. They will learn more from your failures if you will be honest and real about how these affected you, hurt you, and even hurt others. Face YOUR shame over past actions.Face YOUR fears of being found out and being unloved.Model for them how to live FREE.Share YOUR story.Enable them to speak up, to say, “NO,” to flee when necessary, and to change the world around them. You are the most influential person in their life from birth to about age ten. Around the age of eleven, everything changes. Remember, the teenage years do not have to be the nightmare that so many parents have with their children. They need to take more risks. They MUST learn how to fail gracefully.Let them learn this while they are under your watch so that you can show them how to get back up and try again. This is a beautiful part of our calling as parents that began on the day of conception. Prepare them to fail. Show them how to get back up.Prepare them to face disappointment with a faith in God that brings them back to life, but know that this doesn’t always happen overnight.Prepare them to face heartache with a trust in their God that He even has all those details worked out for their good. He is a gracious God. Rest in that as a parent. Pass that peace that passes all understanding on to your children early (Philippians 4:7, NKJV) — the earlier the better.
Raising Sexually Healthy ChildrenI am hoping that at this point your heart, passion, and desire is to lead your family with confidence and intentionality toward a biblical sexual ethic. There are many other aspects of our lives that matter as well, but they are beyond the scope of this book. Raising sexually healthy children requires commitment to a specific ETHOS.It then requires that we, as parents, learn how to pass that on in bite sized micro-conversationsas our children grow and receive information from the world around them. A key piece of the puzzle — for you and for your children — will be found in how you manage hurts, failures, and disappointments. Too many parents and their children are trapped in shame loops that are generational. Break the cycle. Find freedom. Find joy. Then, once you have found it, pass it on. Imagine looking at your grown children and seeing that they have made thoughtful, informed decisions that they can defend rather than emotional and impulsive ones. Imagine being proud of the young man or woman they have become. Imagine a sense of gratitude for the adults God entrusted to you who have made the decision to be godly change agents in the world. It Starts With You — The ParentJaredand Kendraknew that they both had rough lives growing up and they wanted something different for their children. With the birth of their first son, they began teaching him about his body, about sexuality, dating, and marriage. They continued this with each of their children as five more siblings were added to the family. They invited hard (and weird!) questions from their children and answered them the best they could. As a result of their honesty about their own failings, their stories of childhood abuse, and the role God played in their story, their six children avoided much of the pain and heartache that many unnecessarily face today. Their children did not all arrive at adulthood without drama or failures, but none of them had the excuse of ignorance or naiveté. As each of them walked through their adolescent years, they encountered struggles with pornography and dating when they were too young due to peer pressure. They knew though, without any doubt, what their parents believed, what their parents’ expectations were for them, and that they were responsible for their own actions before God. All six of Jared and Kendra’s children eventually married and they were joyous occasions. All six of them remain faithful in their pursuit of God in their adult lives, passing the same down to their own children. Even though they didn’t have one hundred percent success in all of their choices, they each knew their parents loved them. They knew that God loved them enough to die for them. And they knew that they could choose. Through the knowledge given to them by their parents, they were better positioned to make their choices. They could clearly see the destination each choice could potentially lead to and they could “choose” with wisdom. What a beautiful picture. Do you want that? This begins with your one-year-old, your two-year-old, your three-year-old, and so on.Start today, if you have not already. Begin by intentionally helping each of your children craft their own biblical sexual ethic — their ETHOS. Use short, meaningful conversations —micro-conversations — to plant seeds, and as you intentionally water them you will see them grow before your eyes. Helping Your Children Develop Their ETHOS So how do we pull all of this together for our children? Jeffis a seventeen-year-old young man who has been trained to live by a biblical sexual ethic. His parents prepared him well.He is respectful of authority.He honors women and avoids areas of temptation.He has struggled with pornography, but has chosen to die to those desires and fill his life with better things.He has a great relationship with his parents and his siblings.He has great relationships with girls his age and hasn’t dated.He has a healthy view of marriage, thanks to years of micro-conversations. Recently, they have led to longer conversations about the reality of marriage, its struggles, and its joys. Jeff is eager to leave home, see the world, and have new adventures. He has decided on a degree from a college that will set him up to have an income that will allow him to support missionaries, invest in ministries that change the world, and support the family he hopes to have one day. Jenniferis a twenty-one-year-old young woman living on her own. She is watching her friends get in and out of sexual relationships, mocking marriage, and spending money like there is no tomorrow while they mooch off their parents to pay for their cell phone bill, car insurance, and miscellaneous purchases. She remembers all those uncomfortable conversations with her mom and dad that helped inform her about her body, her health, God’s design for sex, marriage, parenting, and even friendships. She is very thankful that she can easily reject the world that her friends are asking her to join. She wants a more peaceful life with less heartbreak, no scares of a sexually transmitted infection, no worries about pregnancy. She has financial stability and is willing to wait for a husband who will treat her with respect and as an equal partner in marriage. These scenarios are possible due to daily and weekly investment into our children’s ETHOS. Our intentional micro-conversationshave planted the seeds and paved the way for a confident, resilient, young adult. Will this always yield positive results? NO. Your children have free will and can reject everything you have taught them. This is also why I propose viewing this as the long game. You must do your part, but ultimately you are entrusting them to God and to their own decisions, since they are ultimately not your responsibility anyway. That is hard for most of us to grasp, believe, and live out. We tend to blame ourselves for their every mistake, but strangely enough, at the same time avoid acknowledging how we have been a negative influence. Be honest with yourself in this process. Be honest with them. You both will be better people because of it. Short, Meaningful Conversations: Planting Seeds These are what I have been calling micro-conversations. They are not lectures. Sometimes they are a dialogue and at other times just a few sentences to plant an idea or perspective into your child’s heart and mind. Remember that this is not about us waiting for them to ask a question and being able to respond. That is great and wonderful, if it happens, but is not normal behavior. The norm is to have zero conversations about these topics because children and teens will not bring them up on their own. So be abnormal and “go there.” Be abnormal and initiate hard conversations. Do not wait until your daughter has a boy over and asks if she can go up to her room to study and close the door. She should know long before that even happens that this is not acceptable. Do not wait until your sixteen-year-old wants to go out on a date alone and get serious with someone. Establish parameters, guidelines and steps that they need to take beforehand. Make these times early, helpful, and often — staying ahead of these crossroads where most teenagers and their parents collide. Stay ahead of this with micro-conversationsthat ultimately leave the decisions in their hands as they grow up, but leave your voice in their heads! Colossians 3:23 is a stern reminder to:“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people” (NLT). That is how we must see our work with our children—as for the Lord. Intentionally Watering Those Seeds As you go about your days, water the seeds you planted about pornography. Walk past the fifty-foot breast in the window of Victoria’s Secret in the mall and discuss its appropriateness there, what they are advertising, and how it impacts women and men. Use scenes in movies and T.V. shows to open dialogue that leads into further discussions. Use news stories to discuss perpetrators and victims. To discuss harm. To discuss shame. Use these to talk to your daughters about being aware of their surroundings and what she should do if she is ever in a similar circumstance. Consider acting it out in a mild manner, so that she automatically responds rather than freezing. Use family drama and the pains their friends experience to teach your children compassion, patience, and care for another in a difficult situation. Include all ages of your children. Listen to differing perspectives. Be willing to be challenged. Invite disagreement. Let them learn here with you, so they can leave your home confident, compassionate, and eager to be a positive force in the lives of others, without compromising the gospel, Scripture, or their faith.
Episode 33 - Conversation #4 with Mylie - Two Genders
Episode 32 - Influences & Idols
Episode 31 - My 3rd Conversation with Mylie - Honoring Parents
Bullying Is your son or daughter a bully or being bullied?Were you bullied as a kid, or were you a bully? I know that these are not the only two options, but it seems like the case. A better question to ask of ourselves is whether our son or daughter is a leader or a follower. A follow-up question is, if they are a leader, where are they leading others — toward good or evil? If they are a follower, are they discerning as to who they follow and what they will do? No one wants to see their child bullied and most of us hope that our child will not resort to bullying, which is an indicator of weakness and immaturity. Instead, we want to teach them to be discerning in who they follow and in how they lead others. We should attempt to inspire our children to be defenders of the weak and voiceless, so that they will stand up for what is right, speak out against evil, and be change agents for good. Based on how our children manage social media, smartphones, and entertainment, we have a clue as to how they will handle this responsibility. A key role we play as parents is in how we treat other people in our lives. How do you respond when a coach doesn’t treat your child the way you think they should? Do you become belligerent and aggressive? Do you speak critically of other children, adults, or teachers in your child’s life, which they pick up on and then mimic your disrespectful tone and stance? Could they pick up on your prejudice toward minorities and act on that? Parents need to engage with their children on these topics before they become an issue. It may seem like you do not need to have this conversation, but many parents are shocked to find that the behavior of their children away from home or online is quite different from what they portray to their parents. Do not let yourself believe that your son or daughter would never bully someone else and so never speak to them about it.Don’t assume that your child isn’t being bullied because they don’t tell you. Be the initiator of micro-conversationsthat take place day after day, week after week, so that your beliefs have weight with them and they know they can trust you. Social Media Today, most of us use social media in some way. Many people, though, do NOT use this tool appropriately. It is a venue for posting lies, comparing experiences, and feeling jealousy and hatred toward themselves and others. Social media etiquette and ethics must be taught prior to our children having access.There should be micro-conversationsabout what one ought to post, and what is questionable. They need to be taught to distinguish between what is true and what might be a lie. They need to know that it can be misused, abused, and part of illegal activity. Many teenagers and parents do not realize that naked pictures of yourself when you are under the age of eighteen is child pornography. Period! Both the sender and the recipient may be liable for having these pictures on their device. It is critical that our children know this beforehand so that they do not have to deal with the consequences after the fact. It is imperative that you impress upon your children in your day-to-day conversations that anything posted online or sent via email or text, is public and can come back to haunt them in the future. The truth of the matter is that too many kids have killed themselves over what others have posted about them in a public forum or sent to them privately via social media. Social media has become another venue that a bully uses to harass your child. Teach them while they are young to think about the persona they are portraying online in ALL they do. Teach them to be alert for others that are being bullied and to be the young man or woman that stands up for those being harmed. Teach them to use social media as a convenient tool to communicate and to connect with friends. It can even serve as an extension of a face to face community where friends can share funny things. Keep it light. Help them learn to be careful about what they share — both in personal matters and about hot topics. A lot of false information is available online, and if they are going to be part of that world, they need to be wise to its ways. Smartphones Most adults and increasing numbers of teens and children have smartphones. I wonder if parents realize the power of the device they are entrusting to their kids.The computer behind the smartphone is more powerful than ALL the computers used in 1969 to get us to the moon. Isn’t that mind boggling? So, what are we entrusting them with besides a $500–$1000 device? We are giving our children access to everything — to the world. I call them “porn portals.” On a smartphone, you can open Safari, click on Google, type in “porn” or “boobs” or “sex,” click again, and you will find text-based results. At the top of the screen are two additional choices that, if chosen, will alter your child’s life forever. The choices: “images” and “videos.”Do you truly realize the implications of what our children are carrying in their pockets? I will be the first to say that this is NOT about keeping them from everything — and I say this as a homeschool dad! This is ALL about teaching them, training them, and permitting them to steward some choices for themselves. The earlier they are taught to do this, the greater the chance they will have a strong ETHOS as they enter adulthood. I have seen too many families that shelter their children and are then surprised when their child is getting around filters, seeking out videos and images they shouldn’t see, and deliberately disobeying family rules. Many have not been allowed to steward small things and now that they are older and MUST be prepared to steward greater things, they are ill-prepared. The key to preparing them rests again with hundreds of micro-conversationsover the course of time. Smartphones are not bad — they allow us to track our kids and keep in touch with them throughout the day. They allow our kids to stay connected with friends and call us if they are in need or danger. They can give a child a sense of security. They are great for taking pictures and sharing memories with friends. They are not evil — they are a tool. Alcohol is not evil either, but if they are not stewarded well, both smartphones and alcohol are dangerous. Who is talking to your kids about smartphones the most — you, or their friends and advertisers? Let it be you! T.V. And Movies Stewardshipis also critical when it comes to T.V. and movies because of the overwhelming choices that kids have access to. A lack of access leads many kids to seek out media elsewhere in ways that are more harmful. As you can tell, parents have a difficult task of maintaining the tension between free rein and lockdown. To do so, you must set a good example. First, are you managing this for yourself in a way that you can confidently say, “Watch me?” Secondly, what sort of micro-conversationsare you having about what they have already viewed? I took my kids to see a movie recently that had a few scenes that were subtly sexual. I talked separately with each of my kids about those scenes. I was surprised by what they noticed.My twelve-year-old son noticed the sexual and was uncomfortable.My ten-year-old son just laughed and focused on the guy that was hit in the crotch — he is such a goofball!My eight-year-old daughter thought the girl’s dress was beautiful. What did your kids think about that scene in the latest movie or TV show you watched as a family? I don’t know, I wasn’t there. They were thinking something though! Ask them. Let them tell you. Create a safe space to have those micro-conversations. Use specific scenes to highlight conversations about how someone was treated, about modesty, strength, power, friendship, and sacrifice. Use scenes to create dialogues about who they hope to be when they grow up, or what they would do if they were in that situation. The more intentional you are about having these micro-conversationsas you are viewing various shows / movies, the more your child’s ETHOS will be crafted intentionally to look like yours. Be assertive. Be ahead of the game. Start when they are young. Any cartoon or commercial can be used as a teaching moment and an opportunity for another micro-conversation.
Join me in my 2nd conversation with Mylie about a story of Talia from the Lies Little Girls Believe.
Intimacy Challenged And Redefined Consider the impact of these video clips on a viewer’s understanding and framework for what is healthy between a man and woman in marriage. This assumes that a biblical sexual ethic is vocally being taught in your home. This is not successfully accomplished with lectures and the degrading of others’ choices, but through micro-conversationsover time that lead to your son or daughter making up their mind to choose God’s design for marriage and intimacy. Imagine how their intimacy will be affected after a few years of viewing pornography.Imagine the impact that the constant download of video clips into their brains over the course of years will have on them if they decide to marry.How will pornography influence their view of how they should treat their “love” and/or how they should be treated? This is HUGE! This is why it is SO important that we become the small voice in our children’s developmental years to create a healthy framework for marriage and intimacy. They need to be able to recognize healthy touch so that they can discern abuse in all its forms. This requires that we be willing to “go there” and have thought through our own beliefs on the subject. Is the use of pornography okay in marriage as a marriage aid? Is it okay to use sexual toys, dildos, props, sexy lingerie? Is it okay to engage in anal sex or mutual masturbation? Is it okay to “swing” with other couples? Where are the lines? Does the Bible have anything to say on this subject? It is important to know where you stand on these issues so that you can have micro-conversationsthat guide your growing children. The Lord entrusted them to you so that you can raise them up“in the way they should go” (Proverbs 22:6 NKJV). Sex Over Relationship A final aspect to consider is where pornography puts sex in comparison to relationship. Sex trumps relationship. Relationships require time, patience, managing differences, having conversations, and compromise. Sex requires almost nothing. A lonely future awaits our children if they buy into the belief that sex is “no big deal.” If you have ever watched video clips of porn or XXX movies, then you know that there is always something important missing in each encounter, despite the drama and cinematic wizardry. It is all “doing” and completely void of intimacy and relationship. This is a million miles away from God’s design. It is not about the bigger orgasm, longer foreplay, or the experience of ecstasy. Sex was meant to bring together a husband and wife to do three things — yes three things — provide pleasure, protection, and procreation. Scripture is clear about our hearts, our minds, our eyes, and our bodies.Here are a few samples: Job 31:1“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look with lust at a young woman” (NLT). Proverbs 5:18–20“Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth. She is a loving deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts satisfy you always. May you always be captivated by her love. Why be captivated, my son, by an immoral woman, or fondle the breasts of a promiscuous woman?” (NLT). Proverbs 6:32“But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself” (NLT). Matthew 5:27–28“You have heard the commandment that says, ‘You must not commit adultery.’ But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart’” (NLT). Matthew 6:22–23“Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” (NLT). Romans 13:13–14“Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires” (NLT). 1 Corinthians 6:18–20“Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body” (NLT). Colossians 3:5“So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world” (NLT). 1 Thessalonians 4:3–8“God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor—not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (NLT). Hebrews 13:4“Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery” (NLT).
In this episode, Dr. Gilbert and his son Alex discuss a range of topics from the ads/album covers on Spotify, to evaluating the lyrics of a song and the pornography inside of music videos. They discuss temptation, the importance of accountability, and the importance of knowing what your children are listening to and helping them to be able to make decisions about what they should view or listen to on their own.
In this episode, Dr. Gilbert discusses why it is imperative that parens have conversations with their children, while they are young about what is and is not okay regarding nudity, images, and video. He also discusses how to handle a conversation with your child when you realize that they have been exposed to pornography.For many of our children, the first time they view pornography they will not see a naked picture like many of us did. They are viewing videos of gross and abusive scenes that most of us would consider horrifying. How can we limit the attraction and draw of this powerful drug? TALK ABOUT IT! Be honest regarding its impact on YOUR heart and relationships. Explain that it distorts love, intimacy, and peace. Talk about your own struggles when they are mature enough to handle it. I know that can be tricky. Be honest. Be real. Be candid.Pornography rewires the brain for novelty. It makes the ability to settle down with one spouse and find satisfaction nearly impossible. Today’s pornography is more shocking, abusive, and disturbing than ever before. It lacks true intimacy, yet the viewer is drawn in by the skin, bodies, and freedom that many wish for. Nudity has a place and a context biblically. It is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman. Outside of that protective relationship, nudity decreases in value, is cheapened, and erodes. Ironically, our culture sees this as freedom. It isn’t though. It is bondage. This is why it is SO important that we become the small voice in our children’s developmental years to create a healthy framework for marriage and intimacy. They need to be able to recognize healthy touch so that they can discern abuse in all its forms. This requires that we be willing to “go there” and have thought through our own beliefs on the subject.
In this episode, Dr. Gilbert and his daughter Mylie discuss the Lies Girls Believe and the Truth That Sets Them Free bible study that she has been doing with her mom and other mothers and daughters from their church. They discussed the "Girl Drama Quiz" from the book and other resources that accompany this one from Dannah Gresh and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth.
In this episode, Dr. Gilbert shares some ideas of what should you do if your son or daughter expresses they have attractions toward the same-sexHave conversations that are shaping of their worldview, but not demanding that they conform, or feel something they do not feel. The more that these feelings and attractions can be processed verbally and not in the subconscious operating system, the better. This could be with you, a caring Christian counselor, a mentor, or a teacher.What you and your child believe about love matters. Some people’s definition of love means that others cannot use their own discernment, make judgments, or question anything they do. This person will seldom see growth or maturity. Other people have a definition of love that allows others to use their own discernment, challenge them, and disagree. This person will experience growth and enjoy their relationships. Which of these is biblical? I would have to say the latter one. God loves us so much that He does NOT let us stay as we are, but expects growth, maturity, and sacrifice so that we become more and more like Christ every day. The first definition of love demands its own way and is looking out only for itself — not the other person.So, what does care and compassion look like? Think of it this way: You are playing the long game.They may not be willing to listen to you today, so remain in their life, listen, be compassionate, show genuine care for them.Playing the long game is staying “in relationship” so that when their life falls apart — and it does in everyone’s story — you are there and have been there as a constant reminder of God’s love. Be consistent in your love for them. Wait expectantly for an opening to enter a new level of relationship where they may listen to you for the first time. Be present, even if it is uncomfortable. Choose your battles wisely, ruled by God’s love for them, and with care and compassion. What is this compassion? It is a breaking heart for someone you deeply love. It is patience. It is endurance. It is the long game.
In this episode Dr. Gilbert and his son Alex discuss the responsibilities that come with having a smartphone, how their family approaches this topic, and the importance of communication between parents and children.If you have questions, join my free facebook group:http://www.facebook.com/groups/thehealthymarriage
In this episode, Dr. Gilbert discusses same-sex attraction. Some research points out that more than twenty-five percent of adolescents will struggle with their sexual identity during their teenage years. He addresses the common questions: Is attraction to the same sex a sin? Is arousal sin? How much weight should "attraction" be given in any of our relationships?For some of us, our children are going to go through this struggle. A word of caution — be careful about how you love and encourage them in this process. They probably already know your thoughts, opinions and judgments regarding homosexuality. They do not need that. They need space, questions, care, touch, and leadership.You will hopefully still have permission to lead them — at least somewhat — so take what you can at this stage. Prayerfully walk with them, offering guidance through these struggles and questions.I would encourage you to read the thoughtful books written by Dr. Mark Yarhouse and Dr. Preston Sprinkle for a compassionate Christian viewpoint.