Archives For Restoration

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I didn't really want to read the article that a friend forwarded to me.  But I am very glad I did.

As I read Matt Barber’s The Left's Push for Adult-Child Sex and the cited research, I was able to remember afresh why I must stay alert for my sons.... and my daughters.

Parents, we must be aware that our children are growing up in a culture in which some are openly affirming and practicing child rape, euphemistically calling it “intergenerational sex.”  #ImNotOpen to this!

The politically correct climate of homosexual rights has tried to mask the danger that is right in front of our eyes.

So my recommendation?  

Dare to read the article. Pray for your family. Listen to the Holy Spirit for wisdom in leading and protecting your own children.

And insist on proper protections in every place your child frequents. It is that serious.

Image: woodlywonderworks "spring time soccer game 2" via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

 

Today I want to answer a question I am frequently asked when people hear of our story of Kalyn's sexual abuse. (Welcome to our many new readers who have probably not heard our full story as recorded in Unmask the Predators.)

Here is the two-part question I hear:

1.)  When you discovered the problem with Kalyn, did you call the police?

2.)  And what happened to the sexual predator that abused her?

So here are the short answers for you.

1.) We discovered an $800 cell phone bill that revealed a secret relationship between our then 15 year old daughter Kalyn and a 46 year old man from our church. The opening scene of that discovery was not pretty at all.

Over the next season, she fell into a crazy mixture of depression, rebellion, denial, eating disorders and suicide threats. It was a nightmare.

And YES we did call the police. Once we realized what had truly happened, (which was confusing initially) we called our authorities (which in our case, was the sheriff's department.)

2.)  The perpetrator was eventually arrested on a felony charge. Three years later he was brought to trial before a jury, and  Kalyn and our family had to face him in court. He was convicted of solicitation of a minor which would have listed him on the sexual offender registry and resulted in some type of jail or parole sentence.

But at the sentencing hearing a couple months later, he had hired two new lawyers who discovered an error in how the jury was instructed at the trial. The case was sent to the appellate court for four more years.  When the decision came out, it was ordered for re-trial. The re-trial never happened. Then it was dropped.

The man was released from the charges as if the case never happened. No registry and no criminal records were recorded against his name. The last we knew he is still working at a Christian organization.

Obviously, it was quite shocking.

So why did we call the police in the first place, and would we do the same thing again?

We called our authorities because it was the right thing to do on every account! We are law abiding citizens so we reported the crime. We wanted the truth to be told so others would be protected. We knew Kalyn needed to understand that she was a victim and hear others, especially the authorities, acknowledge that a crime had been committed.

We want dangerous people marked so they do not show up in other settings to hurt others. And because pastors are mandated reporters, Doug made that call.

I have no anger or resentment with the law enforcement team. They were kind and helpful. They did the best they could with the limitations of these type of cases. They treated Kalyn with gentleness and respect, and earnestly believed her report. So I am glad we called.

At the same time, I hated the whole process. It was just as painful and traumatic for Kalyn as what you have ever imagined. And yet, in the end the reality of surviving having to face her abuser helped to set Kalyn free from her pain.

I sometimes cringe when I hear people talk about reporting sexual abuse as if reporting it will somehow solve all the problems. Oh, if it were just that simple! These situations are generally very complex and I, after living this nightmare, do not blame victims and their loved ones for being conflicted, worried, and confused about the issue of reporting.

Reporting is critical, but it has so many limitations that must be noted:

abuse cases are extremely difficult to prove

evidence is usually lacking

abusers generally manipulate victims and are good at hiding evidence

victims are often re-victimized by the whole process

courts processes are very slow and....

the odds of a conviction are stacked against you

In fact, it is estimated that only 3% of sexual offenders ever see jail time. (See Unmask the Predators for more statistics and facts.) Shocking, huh?

So why even bother to report?

Because it is the law, and it is the right thing to do!! And God honors us when we do the right thing. And it is very important that we continue to enforce laws that are still designed to protect our kids! (Even as we see sexual ideas about children shifting in this generation.)

So if you, your family, or your church face issues of sexual abuse, I urge you: Do the right thing! Learn your local laws. Report crimes and follow appropriate procedures. Have nothing to do with the deeds of darkness but rather expose them.  Ephesians 5:11  

I am so sad when I hear stories of people who have heard bad advice like...

....don't tell or you might wreck the family.

....he says he is sorry, so it will probably be OK now.

....I don't think it was that serious so let's just forget it ever happened.

 Hiding sin is deadly. It never prospers, and it causes lifelong wounds and destructions. Sexual abuse wounds that are buried alive cause terrible side effects. I find the devastating evidence in a trail of people who share with me their stories.

So that is why I am doing all I know to do to help all families PREVENT abuse in the first place! That is our much more hope-filled solution. We don't want anything happening that we need to report.

PLEASE get a copy of Lisa and Kalyn's book Unmask the Predators. In fact, if you cannot afford a copy, call us anyway. We want to help you!  800-213-9899

If you are in need of help with sexual abuse issues, click here for more information.  

Image:  Hartwig HKD “Monster and Angel” via Flickr Creative Commons
License: Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Broken Window

By Lisa Cherry

I hate broken relationships. They wreak havoc in your home.

It's no fun at all to be at odds with your child …who is someone whom you would die for  ...not to mention live your whole life serving!

And it usually is not even fair... well, usually.

(Except when the brokenness is largely caused by your own parental failure that you would give anything to rerun and change.  I know; I’ve been there. )

So what are parents to do when they find themselves in the midst of
    Broken,
      Strained,
           Bruised,
              Tense, or
                    Separated
Parent child relationships?

Here are 7 P's I have found helpful to restore them:

Perspective... When strife, pain or separation happens, it feels like the pain will go on forever. But this is rarely the case. Keep a time perspective. Recognize the last chapter of your family's story has not yet been written.  See Ecclesiastes 7:8

Purpose...  Remember the design or purpose of your relationship. You are a parent, not a pal. You have the opportunity to disciple your child, not just raise him/her.  Your Kingdom of God purpose is higher than the world will ever understand. And no lofty purpose is ever achieved without some struggle and battle.  See Proverbs 22:6

Passion... Rekindle in your own heart your goals. Let passion arise to achieve healthy relationships. Not just because healthy is fun, but also because healthy is fruitful. Decide you will never quit; you will never give up; and you will never give in.  See James 1:12

Pickle... Sour is never going to work. Get rid of the pickle in your own heart...NOW! Soften yourself. Add sugar to your tongue.  Get rid of the scowl. And watch emotions start to shift even when facts have not changed. See Proverbs 16:24

Play... Even during your toughest parenting seasons, there is still no reason to lose your force of joy. Let joy bring your family strength.  Remember how to laugh. Go back to how you know to play. Stir up memories of happier times and watch God pour out healing balm. See Nehemiah 8:10

(Re)pent…   Okay, I know this is not really a P! But do it anyway. Find your own error, even if it is only 5% of the total problem. Sow your own repentance as a seed to the Lord and as a seed of humility to your child.    Do not "pent" falsely over that truth which needs to stand, but trust the Lord to sort out the differences.  See Proverbs 16:33

Patience...  Wait it out. One day at a time. Praying and trusting. Resting and believing. Acting only when He says to act. Knowing He wants restoration even more than you can imagine.  See Isaiah 58:12

Our family is no stranger to the world of broken parent/child pain. I did not think it was possible to hurt so badly over losing my mother/daughter relationship. But I learned our God can and will heal our lives. To read our family's story, check out our book, Unmask the Predators

*  *  *  *

 On February 15 , my new book Not Open: Win the Invisible Spiritual Culture War will be released on Amazon.  You can read a  sample chapter of Not Open here.  And find out if you are open or not by taking this quiz.

Not Open ebook_SMALL

 

Connect with me on Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!  Find me on Twitter at @LisaCherry9.  Get email updates to my blog at Frontline Moms and Dads.

Gratefully linked to:
Fellowship Fridays
Heart-Filled Fridays
Thriving Thursday
Proverbs 31 Thursdays

Wednesday's Prayer Girls
Doing You Well Wednesday
Essential Fridays

teen girl eyes averted 4978095475_83fa257ffcBy Lisa Cherry

When Ron Luce’s post Top 10 Ways to Kill Communication with Your Teen hit my email inbox, it also hit my heart!!!

Ron is the founder of Teen Mania Ministries, and he knows teens.

I have been guilty of killing communication with my own teens, how about you?

 I appreciated this excellent reminder list. I hope it will help you as you work to open up the heart connections in your home.

Click over to Ron's blog and read his post here.

Image source

 

 

 

The DoorBy Lisa Cherry

Single moms, this is especially for you.  I heard from Misty Honnold, a frontline mom who is courageously leading her home without the presence of a husband. She leads Mountain of Myrrh, a ministry to single mothers.

Misty knows first hand what divorce does to children, and the risks it opens for them.

I was so blessed by her comments on my post Can We Divorce-Proof Our Kids?   Read on to learn what she does to prepare her children to have faithful, healthy, godly marriages. 

I wanted to share them you and with other single parent families. God bless you all!

I lead a non-profit ministry for single mothers. I have raised four children (the last one is 17) for the last 15 years as a single parent.  This has been something I have been VERY concerned about from day one of finding myself as a single parent.  

Because I understand the 'generational' issues that face my children (both their father and I come from divorced families.)

So, I have done many of the things you have suggested but as a single parent raising children who are now exponentially more likely to have marriages end in divorce, I have had to go the 'extra mile.'

Some additional things I have done:

1.  Let my children discuss openly the pain of divorce and the reality of the scars it leaves, and call them to something higher.

2.  Intentionally placed ourselves with families who have solid marriages and built friendships (I had to take initiative in this because the reality is that MANY families do NOT invite single parent families to their homes and functions.) So as I have opened my home over and over, built solid relationships with COUPLES and FAMILIES my children have been surrounded by examples.

3.  Had my children LOOK around. Who do they see who has a marriage they would like to emulate? What stands out? Dialogue about what their perception of a healthy marriage is.

4.  Tell them all they time as they have grown what a GREAT husband or wife they will make and what a GREAT father or mother they will make.

And I have told my children that if they are ever in the place of being unfaithful, of feeling they have a right to leave a spouse, I will be the FIRST ONE IN THEIR FACE...(jokingly of course)

But so many children who have grown up in single parent families because it is the NORM for them, leave divorce as an option, it's no big deal...

I have wanted my children to understand It is a big deal and it is not an option...So as they enter into marriage they have a real understanding of covenant, what GOD says and how HE feels about covenant.  

Image source: Brad Montgomery

Gratefully linked to: Marriage Monday   Marital Oneness Mondays  Modest Mondays