Today I Got Disturbingly Real With My Son

Today I got disturbingly real with my son. 

Because his reality isn’t pulling any punches, so I don’t get to pull them either. No, reality is out for blood. And as much as my heart aches to hold tight and protect, he refuses to stay in the nest.

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Because I will do everything in my power as a mother not to let my sons be part of the problem. This family will not perpetuate a rape culture in this society. We will speak a bold and ugly truth to unmask the poisonously sweet lies screamed in his face every single day.

Because pornography and jokes about sex aren’t silly and taboo. Flaunting “manhood” and objectifying women isn’t harmless and funny. And my 12 year old has been deceived into believing that moaning in class is a fun way to get attention. And “boys will be boys” isn’t going to fly in this house.

Because his under-educated friend dared him to click on that link, and those images are burned into his mind forever. So I had to be the one to tell him that those videos don’t portray some lucky girl having her deepest desires fulfilled. Those videos are of someone’s daughter. Someone’s baby sister. Someone’s mother. Those videos are of a girl who has been either bought or sold or deceived into believing she is not worth more than pretending to be an object of desire. Those videos are of a girl who cuts herself or drugs herself and hates herself and most likely wants to end herself.

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How do you know, mom? I know. Too well, I know.

Buddy, I tell him, if there was no more market for this junk, there would be no industry. But every click, every boy who doesn’t eventually learn it’s not funny, and every man who buys the fantasy perpetuates the lie that says women exist for no other reason than to fill some primal need.

Kiddo, I say, you have been given such a huge heart of compassion and love and mercy. You are going to be one of the ones to set these girls free and tell them they are loved and treasured and valued. You will not contribute to the problem, I say. You will be part of their life-changing solution.

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And one day, you’ll have the wife that God has been preparing for you. And she’ll be more beautiful and more perfect for you than you can even dream. And you’ll understand her value, because you will not have diminished women in the years before you met her. And you will have some of the best sex this life has to offer, because you will understand the full context of God’s design for man and wife. And you will look at her with love, not lust. And you will find it easy to be faithful to her in good times and in bad, because you will know she does not exist to fill some need in you. And your kids will grow up in the truth and change their world, too.

Emily, don’t you think that’s a little extreme? Friends, we have tried everything else. We’ve monitored and limited, rewarded, threatened, and punished. But like I said, our kids’ reality is out for blood. I’m not fooled as to who is our real enemy. Therefore I know the Truth is the only real weapon we have. Even when that truth is sickeningly real.

I’m devastated to have had this conversation with my 12 year old son. But we will not perpetuate the problem in this house. Not while I’m still living and breathing.

20 thoughts on “Today I Got Disturbingly Real With My Son

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  1. I just want to say – good for you for being brave enough to have the hard talks… Life is messy and rarely goes as we plan it, so rolling with the tides and handling things as they come is the best thing we have — We have had some tough talks in this family too. We’ve always gone the honest route too. If they have to know it, I want them to know the truth. (((Hugs))) to you – Good job mom!

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  2. Emily, I have the deepest respect for you. I’ve always admired your heart from afar. Thanks for the close up and very personal look inside tonight.

    I love your boldness and the stance you are taking. I’m only left to ask myself if I would have been so bold to do the same thing.

    Girl, your heart amazes me.

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  3. Emily- you are the real deal! You are raising amazing world changers! Thanks for being so honest & challenging to your readers! I am sorry your heart is aching. But I am praying for your sons & mine too tonight! What a powerful conversation! I love you tons friend!

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  4. Wow girl! Amazing courage! You are absolutely
    correct about how toxic our world has become! Only by the grace of God and our blunt hard core love will our kiddos be given the chance to live a life of some innocence! It makes me sad that your heart is aching, but God will use this to absolutely set your son apart for His purposes! The Lord will surprise him with a special young woman some day and he will blessed more than he thought possible! Good job Emily–you are a GREAT mom!

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  5. Emily,

    What a brave and courageous women.. Thanks so much for posting and talking about this issue. It really takes courage to bring this topic to light.. Thanks for your heart and determination.. I say press on my dear friend. I will be praying for your family and my boy as well. blessing on your family…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Had to stop and read this. What a tough conversation to have to have, but thank you for being bold and brave. I hope that I can have the courage to have this kind of discussion I with my son if we face this challenge. You are a great mom. God Bless

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  7. I wish that either my husband or myself had had this conversation with our son–we didn’t and both us as his parents and our son have paid a very high price. He is 3 months into an 8 year sentence for a crime involving pornography. He is 26 years old. He was still living at home. We had no idea. We assumed that because he was raised in a Christian home that he would not become involved in this. He knew better. We should have had the hard conversation with him. Perhaps he wouldn’t be where he is now. We are heartbroken and picking up the pieces. He is filled with remorse and shame. Our lives will never, ever be the same. Kudos to you for being brave enough to have that difficult conversation.

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    1. Jo, I’m so sorry for what you and your family is going through. Thank you for sharing your story. I am grateful for the opportunity to talk to him about these things while he’s still young, as painful as it is.This parenting thing is so hard… we need each other for support and encouragement. I know there is still plenty of time for God to write an amazing story for your son. He definitely wrote one for me. ❤

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  8. Ok so I created an account just to respond to this as a female friend of mine showed me it. I believe that as a college kid I am so far removed from your community there may be no way to reconcile our two belief systems. However I think it may be possible for us, or at least me, to understand each other’s opinions and positions. Would you be willing to clarify what rape culture is to you specifically? You talk about an enemy but never imply what or who it is. Can you tell me what this enemy is? Also I would like to know why you think the males are not brain washed but the females are? Please know that in no way am I being sarcastic and I am genuinely curios. I await your response 🙂

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    1. Hey “neva” 😉 Thanks so much for your comment. I’d love to share with you my point of view! First, the term “rape culture” is one I borrowed from the media (I think it links to a Washington Post article?) which basically describes the general acceptance of the sexual objectification of people (primarily women) by our society. It’s not an analysis of individuals, rather a general summation of popular American culture – i.e. music, movies, television, advertising, etc that could reflect an overall unspoken attitude held by individuals. Whether or not it is stereo-typically true, my point is that I will do my best not to let my children contribute. Second, I write from a Judeo-Christian perspective, so I believe in a spiritual reality outside of what we can see in our physical reality. In my point of view, the overall biblical narrative describes a conflict between God and Satan, where Satan’s goal is to interrupt mankind’s relationship with God, beginning in Genesis and ending in the Book of the Revelation. I’m purposefully vague, because I know not everyone comes from that perspective! 🙂 And even within Christian circles, there are nuances and extremes that are easy to get lost in. Overall, it’s a much larger conversation than can be had in a couple of blog posts or comments! 🙂 Finally, I’m not sure what you’re referring to with the males vs. female brain washing? But I certainly didn’t intend to suggest in anything that I wrote that females are brainwashed and males are not. We are all subject to deception as well as enlightenment, and it has nothing to do with our gender. 🙂 I hope that helps! Feel free to email me or contact me via Facebook if you’d like to chat more! 🙂

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  9. What a great post Emily! Thanks for being brave and writing about the hard things…we can NOT bury our heads in the sand given the culture we live in. I so respect you and your parenting–it’s lots “easier” to not do the hard things, but the reaping would not be great then either…or the blessings that will come from it! You go momma!

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