I apologize that there was no update last week. Kat was on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic and Denise and I headed to the beach for the week last Sunday. We had a great time.
Week 3 - Pornography
I am just going to cut to the chase here. Last weeks group discussion centered around the dangers of pornography. The good news is, John and I really do not see a problem here with any of the guys in the group. I love the fact that they KNOW it is dangerous and it is not good for their heart as men. The bad news is, they have all accidentally run across it online in one shape or another.
That is precisely why we try to facilitate discussions on pornography - because they do not have a problem and they need to know how to handle it when they do run across it and the damage it can create now and to your "future self". We had a very productive and serious conversation and I truly believe that the guys understand the dangers associated with pornography.
1. Isolation - A persons needs, desires or addictions can create a very dark space in your heart. The enemy wants to live and breath in this space. The enemy seeks to keeps your secrets in the dark. We encouraged the guys to not live in isolation. If they make a mistake or happen to accidentally run across something on the Internet - the best person to share that with is your mom and especially your dad. We want them to have an "accountability" relationship with their father and we want them to feel like they have a safe place to land if they find themselves in a dark place and feeling guilty.
2. Guilt - Guilt is never a good thing but it is a great way to take inventory of what making you feel guilty. Guilt breeds isolation and getting your actions and behaviors into the light will help keep your heart clean and your burden light. That is what Christ wants.
3. It is NOT Real - Pornography sets a false standard in the hearts and minds of men and women alike. It triggers chemical reactions in the body that are designed exclusively for marriage. We discussed how you are not protecting your "future self" if you allow yourself to travel down this road. Pornography is addicting and can single handedly destroy intimacy in your marriage. We want the guys to protect their hearts and the best way is to acknowledge that they must fight to protect their future self and their future marriage.
Certainly, the three items I have listed above are NOT the only dangers but it what we had time to cover in group. Last Sunday was not the first time we discussed the dangers around what they allow themselves to look at. It will not be the last and we will constantly be checking in with them to make sure they are maintaining the right guardrails to steer clear of pornography.
Week 4 - Boundaries
This week was a challenging week. As a group, we had a hard time getting into a serious conversation and sometimes...that is just going to happen. Boundaries (guardrails) is such an amazing topic of conversation. During group John and I wanted to steer the conversation toward boundaries around relationships with girls. We never got there. We have plenty of time left with your sons and we WILL get to that conversation in the near future.
We did have a moderately productive discussion on boundaries relating to your phone and screens in general. Interestingly enough, the guys really do not mind that you all check their phones and make sure their texts, SnapChats and InstaGrams are clean. They all agreed - if you get mad that your parents check your phone - then you are doing something you shouldn't. I LOVE THAT! It is so true.
We encouraged the guys to be proactive with mom and dad. If something happens or they receive something that your mom and dad would not find to be "good"...they should bring it to mom or dad and get that into the light.
Bottom line of the day...boundaries are good. They create a safe amount of space between you being in a "good" place and you finding yourself in a "dark" place. Boundaries protect our future self and they are designed to keep your heart clean, light and burden free.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please reach out to us. Have a great week and we love your sons!!