New Series on Prayer and Communion with God Begins Next Weekend!

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Five Precious Diamonds Found in the Lord’s Prayer

Beginning next weekend, September 2nd, I will be launching a new series designed to increase our desire for and practice of communion with God in prayer!

Our Father
We will examine and enjoy Five Precious Diamonds Found in the Lord’s Prayer!

  1. Honor
  2. Hope
  3. Help
  4. Healing
  5. Health

If you’d like to prepare your heart to join me on this journey, then click the link below!  It will take you to a previous Lord’s Prayer posting that encourages reciting it daily!

http://disruptusrenovatus.com/july-prayer-journey-minutes-day-may-just-change-life/

Disrupting to Renew!

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Posted in Formation, Prayer | Tagged | Leave a comment

What Can a Man Do to Keep Porn Out of His Heart and Home?

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What Can a Man Do to Keep Porn Out of His Heart and Home?†

Tired of porn ruling your world, ruining your emotions, wrecking your home?

Tired of addiction consuming you, your spouse, your kids, your friends, and neighbors?

In this and the next few posts – I am going to outline a few simple ways any one, particularly men, can minimize the impact of porn!

I am not offering boundaries or a list of protective measures one might take in this effort. Establishing boundaries and developing guidelines for technology usage is crucial.  We, at Men Against Porn, have made such suggestions in other posts.

This post will dig a bit deeper.  I will be exploring the realities that drive our desires to distortion. I will be considering how crafting healthy relationship and deeply meaningful community can minimize – and potentially eradicate – the impact of porn on one’s life and in one’s home!

I believe that we all want to be known deeply and to know others in meaningful and life-giving ways. We long for human connections. The lack of human connections – significant and meaningful human connections – often create an internal space where our desires are easily distorted. In that place and those moments, we tend to seek out destructive activities to medicate the pain and soothe the angst. Therefore, the bulk of everything I say and/or write in this regard can be summed up in one simple phrase,

A full-bodied, interior sense of Personhood, Plac’dness, and Purpose (each of which is God – given) will minimize our proclivity to destructive behaviors and prevent us from developing habitual, pervasive and life-extracting addictions.

With that in mind, here are some Ways Any One, Particularly Men, Can Minimize the Impact of Porn in One’s Life/Family!

Beginning In the Home

Men, don’t you want to minimize the impact of porn in your heart and home?  Then I propose taking one, simple step:

  1. Spend Quality Time AND a Quantity of Time with Your Children

Spend quality time and a quantity of time with your kids! I know, it’s not rocket science. We often undervalue the power of the moments we seize with our kids.   I find that, as a man, I have to practice or cultivate the art of leaning into their life in life-giving and love affirming ways.  We are quick to correct or discipline but often slow to admire and enjoy our kids.

Careful DAD! These moments are not an opportunity for us to relive our glory days. Nor are they moments in which we run them ragged to accomplish all those things we wish we’d have accomplished! If, for some reason, you feel like a man in search of his past then pull out your vinyl LP’s and listen to Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen (https://youtu.be/6vQpW9XRiyM). That should be enough of a fix for you to engage your children’s life on their terms, their time and their ways!

  • Their Terms. Spend time doing what they enjoy doing.  If you don’t know how to do it, or don’t think you would enjoy it, that’s even better!  Why? Because you then give them the authority to teach, guide and/or introduce you to something new and exciting in their world.   Such moments are memory makers that last a life time and shape internal personhood, plac’dness and purpose in profound and life securing ways!
  • Their Time. Leave work early.  Take a random day off.  Don’t clean the house one day.  Stop the things that you deem important and get in on what they value during the time they value doing it!  Quit putting this off until you have more time.  Quit pushing it back to tomorrow.  Tomorrow never comes.
  • Their Ways. Let the moment be the moment!  Your kids may enjoy doing things in peculiar ways.  They have their own unique personality.  Enjoy how they enjoy doing things.  Sure, it’s okay to show them and guide them, but give them room to breathe in their activity time with you.  They care far more about the time you are spending with them than what you think you are teaching them during that time!  If they want to shoot hoops granny style, then let them for God’s sake.  Relax and enjoy your children.

O how the time does fly. So, dads (and moms), put your phone down, turn work off, stop doing the laundry (which is never, ever, done – by the way), turn off that episode on HGTV and go goof off with your kids.

Reflect for a moment: When is the last time you recall spending any meaningful moments with anyone of your children? Moments that take your breath away in which you are overcome with delight in the person they are now and who they are becoming?

Read a book together!

Take a walk together!

Play catch!

Listen to their music!

Do something they want to do, for a change.

Lean in! Lean in! Lean In!

Most of us want to help our children develop a full-bodied and internal sense of personhood, plac’dness and purpose (each of which is God – given). I am convinced that helping them develop this robust interior core is the only true hope of preventing porn (or any addiction). Cultivating the development of this ‘interior core’ means that we need to seize the moment and engage meaningfully in their lives right where they are, in any way you are able.  The old axiom, “More is caught than taught,” rings true when you are trying to cultivate young life into a flourishing, full bodied adult!

Start Where You Are

In today’s culture, parents and people are becoming more aware of and alert to porn’s devastating influence. This development is a step in the right direction. I find, however, that most of us neglect, overlook, or ignore the fundamental goal of securing our children in a robust sense of personhood, plac’dness, and purpose. When we neglect this, then all the boundaries in the world are not able to protect us!!

In my personal journey out of porn and into my truest self, I have discovered that much of the pain I was medicating with pornography stemmed from a lack of meaningful community and vital connection with others.  Recent studies into the science of addiction are discovering – now more than ever – that a deficit of essential and life-giving human relationships is a seedbed for the growth of distorted desire and destructive behavior.  I am convinced that if I would have developed an internal sense of personhood, plac’dness and purpose – or interior Shalom, as I like to call it – I would have been far less likely to have gotten caught in a porn addiction that dominated two entire decades of my life!

Start where you are.

Take a minute and commit to one simple action step you will take that will involve you in your child’s life!

If you come up with a wonderful way to engage in your child, then comment below so that your success might encourage others!

Disrupting to Renew!

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†Originally written for Men Against Porn.

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How Can I Prevent My Child From Seeing Porn?

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How Can I Prevent My Child From Seeing Porn?†

recent study conducted by the NSPCC ChildLine found that a tenth of 12 to 13-year-olds fear they may be addicted to pornography. That’s right, a whopping 10% of kids who just started 7th grade are saying they are already watching porn to the point where they are concerned and don’t feel like they can stop. Why is this happening, and why at such an early age? It’s all about accessibility and desensitization.

Children, it seems, are finding, absorbing and becoming addicted to porn at historically unprecedented rates.  Why?  Many reasons, I’m sure.  One reason is the sheer accessibility of porn through the web.  We haven’t seen the full assault of the outcomes this will produce in our society.  But already we are seeing that about one in five children ages 12 and 13 years old think there is nothing wrong with porn.  Studies show that many in the younger generation believe porn is more immoral than failing to recycle.  That’s right: throwing your plastic fork in the trash can is MORE immoral than watching porn.

Here’s the deal: your children will – at some point – be exposed to porn.  The question is, for we who are parents, ‘what can we do to help prepare them for and prevent them from getting addicted to porn?’  I have three children who, are at this time are ages 15, 16 and 18.  I know this struggle well and deeply.  I am going to give you a few suggestions that may help you in your quest to keep your kid and our world free of porn.

  1. Don’t over react. When you discover that your child has been or is actively viewing porn, take a few minutes and absorb the reality.  You will, no doubt, experience a wide range of powerful emotions.  I know my wife and I did.  Our oldest son was introduced to porn at the age of ten.  He was given pictures by a classmate during school.  We freaked out and that didn’t help.  Remember, your child probably stumbled into this or was introduced to it through no fault of his/her own.

Viewing porn has likely caused emotions to stir and desires to fire inside of them that they are unable to process.  In other words, they are already dazed and confused from the experience.  The last thing they need is a parental unit to double down on the reaction and drive them into a state of panic or emotional shut down.  By the way, if you have already over reacted, take heart.  Many of us have and do over react.  Just begin to implement some of the steps in this post and learn from others who have walked the road you now walk.  Take a minute.  Talk to your spouse or a close friend or family member.  Develop a strategy that is drenched in love and generosity.

  1. Keep lines of communication open. If we overreact, we shut them down.  If we under-react, we send all sorts of nonverbal messages that produce unintended and often unhealthy consequences. So, typically, Melissa and I begin by exploring what we find, discover or has been revealed.  This commitment to exploration is a great asset in building bridges of communication and commitment.  A commitment to exploring prevents false or partially true accusations and provides room for our children to develop healthy responses to situations that are beyond their reach, so to speak.

The goal is to build bridges, not erect walls.  Open lines or pathways of communication are possible because of the bridges we have built and are committed to building.  Communication requires engagement with our children and provides opportunities take joy in the lives our children are living.   Open lines of communication mean that we ask questions – often too many in their minds – and we create space to sit and listen.  Open lines of communication mean that we strive and hope to react with appropriate emotional responses.

  1. Establish fair but firm boundaries – or ‘safe zones’ – regarding technology. I would suggest that you develop – with your children – some mutually agreed upon boundaries even as you reserve the right to implement one or two from on high, as it were.  Boundary development will take time, energy, grace and fortitude (remember: once you implement them, you need to abide by them), but it’s well worth the investment.  Here are a few suggestions for you:
    1. No technology behind closed doors. Especially the bedroom and bathroom.  Have you been wondering why your thirteen year old spend so much time in the bath room these day?
    2. Lock social media apps at certain times during the evening. You also need to be aware of every app your child is using.
    3. Passwords must be shared with you and you are free to access the device at any time.
    4. No deleting of messages or history.
    5. _____________________________
  1. Be honest and transparent about your own struggles and/or use of technology. I got hooked on porn at a young age.  Even today, two decades into my life free from this addiction, I have accountability software on all my screens and devices.  My wife has access to everything I do and knows all the passwords I use!  When my children discovered my journey and the struggle I had/have, they became far more open to sharing their struggles and revealing their problems to both Melissa and I.  When they realized that I ‘play by the same rules’ they play by, they became more open to the boundaries and safeguards we instituted.
  1. Know your children’s friends and their friend’s family! This is crucial and often ignored.  Take time to get to know your kids friends and their family.  Have them over for dinner.  Meet the parents at the mall for ice cream.  Whatever you do, do NOT allow your children to spend unaccountable hours in the home of people that you don’t know and have no authority over.  When you meet a kid, if your spider senses start tingling, hit the brakes – you are probably right.  Have them over and invite them into your home a few times before allowing your son or daughter to go to their house.  This is basic parenting 101.  Talk about your concerns with your child and see if they have noticed something as well.  In all likely hood, they haven’t.  They will probably disagree with you and argue against your decision to hit the brakes.  They may say mean things, intended to harm you.  But you know what?  One day they will no longer be a ‘know it all teenager’.  They will – one day – be parents themselves.  Your decisions to act in the best regard for your child today is going to help them act in the best regard for your grandchild tomorrow.  Be involved!

Hopefully you will find some or all of these suggestions helpful.  I’d love to hear some steps you have taken in your effort to keep you kids free from porn.

On a final note.

Not to sound too terribly alarmist, but porn addiction is a global epidemic that is quickly approaching pandemic levels.  We cannot ignore it or wish it away.  The porn industry is well funded and highly connected to some of the most influential leaders in our country.  While you may not be a porn addict, we are a nation of addicts.

Engage in this battle.

Begin in your home.

Seek help to overcome your failures and share your successes with me!

I don’t know many things, but I do know this:

If we don’t end porn, porn will end us!

Disrupting to Renew!

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†Originally published on the Men Against Porn website.

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