The Warrior Marriage

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August 21, 2019  

Episode 19 - INTERVIEW - Second Interview of my Son Alex

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert has his son Alex join him again as they continue to discuss the importance of having regular conversations with your children on the issues surrounding sexuality and the importance of being part of a healthy community.

August 19, 2019  

Episode 18 - Homosexuality

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert continues to discuss the importance of a biblical sexual ethic. The desire for love, intimacy, security and to be known are God-given desires, but they must be stewarded.

In years past, the church reacted to sexual choices that were outside of God’s design with criticism and anger, not redemption and compassion. A lot has changed over the years. One of the consequences of the church’s growth in compassion and understanding has been that young adults now increasingly believe that everyone should make up their own mind as to what makes them happy and embrace it — whatever it is.

The goal is that parents will be able to equip their children so that they can address these complicated issues with compassion, biblical truth, and a servant’s heart. My hope is that we will raise a generation that knows that the hope of the gospel is for everyone and the power of the gospel is that it transforms us all to be more like Christ.

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August 14, 2019  

Episode 17 - INTERVIEW - My first Interview with my daughter Mylie

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert has his 9 year old daughter Mylie join him.  They discuss her interests and the journal that she has started sharing with her mom where they can ask each other questions and answer them.

 

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August 12, 2019  

Episode 16 - Questions About Gender - Femininity

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert continues to address how we address the issues of femininity and gender. 

How would you define femininity and womanhood? Would your description include their bodies, personalities, actions, or character? Do you think of cooking and cleaning, pornography, empowerment, or something else? Your definition matters.

My goal is to expose some of your ways of thinking as a mom or dad about womanhood and femininity, so that you can lead with intentionality and forethought. Much of what occurs today in conversation about femininity is not well thought through and is reactionary. Some is abusive and offensive. I am saddened as a father and husband by the narrowing definition of identity centered on their body. The church’s definition has not been much better when it limits women with a strict definition linked solely to a woman’s role as wife, mother, and homemaker.

How do we counteract this as parents of daughters and sons who will be marrying one day?

Think about your own story and how the lies you were exposed to and believed impacted how you view God, yourself, sin, marriage, children, emotions, and your circumstances. We want out daughters’ foundational beliefs about themselves and their bodies to be based on TRUTH and not the lies she may be tempted to believe.

We should educate our daughters on the complexity of the endocrine system and that the food she eats, her exposure to toxins, and the fluctuating hormones in her body will affect her mood and outlook on life. She will battle addictions, anxiety, and the comparison trap.

Your daughter’s social connectedness is a powerful tool—and it can be both an asset and a liability. Each of our daughters were uniquely knit in their mother’s womb. Some are impulsive, and others are compulsive. Some lean toward sadness or anxiety. Preparing your daughter to know herself and providing her with the tools she will need is a critical part of raising a young woman into adulthood.

You have approximately ten years to speak into your daughter’s life as her primary influence.After that, life changes drastically. Our daughters are vulnerable and many of us are unwilling to engage in the hard conversations needed before they are twelve or fourteen. By the time they are in their pre-teen years, they are much more interested in what their peers and the media say than what you say.

It is never too late, but your tactics and approach MUST change after they reach the age of eleven, though this varies between children.

Over the years, what you have voiced as beautiful influences what she will see as beautiful. When you complain about your body, its shape, or that of your spouse, your daughter’s opinions are being formed.

This affects what they see as negative, unwanted, or unacceptable. The discussions you have driving around town influence them. Have you ever heard your child making a comment verbally that sounds offensive — even downright mean — yet you immediately realize that they are only repeating something they have heard you say? That’s painful. They are little sponges and mirrors. This is why the micro-conversations we have with them PRIOR to puberty matter more than almost any of the others we will have with them during their teenage years.

I tell my children, even before puberty, that they are their own person, make their own decisions, and, thus, are fully responsible for those decisions. This matters as we prepare them to bear the weight of more difficult decisions and their consequences.

If they forget to take something to school or camp, and you come bail them out, what are they learning? Are they learning responsibility, or that others will cover for them? Do we let small mistakes shape them, so they can avoid the larger ones down the road? 

Prepare a list of the character qualities and skills you want to see in your sons and/or your daughters when they leave your home.

List ideas for how to prepare your child to meet these goals.

Have a conversation with your son or daughter about what qualities they (and you) believe are important in themselves, their friends, and the opposite sex. What boundaries in dating need to be established before their heart is involved?

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August 7, 2019  

Episode 15 - INTERVIEW - First Episode with my Oldest Son Alex

In this episode Dr. Gilbert has his oldest son, Alex, age 13, join him in discussing gender and modeling how to have these difficult conversations.

If you have questions, join my free facebook group the Family Launch Academy @

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August 5, 2019  

Episode 14 - Questions About Gender - Masculinity

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert addresses the responsibility we have to our children to address the critical issues of gender, homosexuality, and same-sex attraction from a biblical perspective with grace and compassion through micro-conversations.

Do you have a theology and framework — an understanding — that will allow you to share with your children the beauty and intricacies of masculinity, femininity, and gender?

Much of your children’s sexual ethic is established early on through observation of the world around them and personal experience. Be a source of intentional teaching and education for them.

I am not surprised by the gender questions that are filling the airwaves today. When most of us were growing up, some of these same questions were being asked by your peers or family who were beginning to buck traditional gender roles. 

First off, I want to clearly state that the idea of two genders — and only two genders — is not a mistake. It is by God’s design. What you believe about that will shape how you lead your child. We are born male or female. A small number of people are born with ambiguous genitalia and this creates a lot of difficulty for their parents and the young person in knowing who they are. These families need incredible support and biblical counsel. The decisions to be made are also never simple.

Others are clearly born either male or female and this is determined in the womb. How this plays out individually is a different story. How you personally relate to your masculinity or femininity matters. But even more important in our psyche is how we relate to the image of who we think we are supposed to be.

My personal development was filled with angst, confusion, frustration, and questions — with no answers. This led to disturbing self-beliefs and even hatred, and this is not uncommon. No one knew that I was struggling — I told no one. I’ve learned that as parents we need to engage in these conversations with our sons and daughters because they most likely will not bring it up on their own.

Our children need to know it is okay to process ideas they have heard elsewhere. You need to be a safe place for this to occur, or secure a safe place for them to ask these questions in a healthy biblical community, with a Christian counselor, or even a trusted mentor. Don’t do this alone, but remember that you are the one on the front lines with your children.

Where do these conversations start? With you. Do not wait for them to ask. Do not wait for them to bring it up.

Engage daily in micro-conversations that draw them to a healthy self-awareness, identity, and a biblical sexual ethic.

For many, when they think of masculinity, their experience leads them to associate it with negative stereotypes of foolishness or aggression. And it is right to challenge these stereotypes and their damaging expression in our sons.

What are your son and daughter being taught about masculinity in your home?

What can you do to intentionally teach your sons and daughters about masculinity?

The first thing we should do is teach them about pornography — its allure and danger. This is NOT a one-time conversation — rather, it is a thousand micro-conversations that plant the seeds and thoughts of an intentional ETHOS in our sons’ minds. If we do not have these micro-conversations, someone else will, if they are not already.

Limit video game play and encourage and reward real-world engagement.

Make sure they are employed as soon as they are legally able. Teach and model a healthy work ethic.

Encourage dreams, passions, and interests that promote them getting outside of themselves and into the lives of others. Video games are often a selfish escape to avoid relationships with others.

Teach them an ETHOS of time management, relationship engagement, and investment in others.

Dads — we need to be engaged with our children. We are the leaders, whether we want to be or not. Be a positive example in how you talk to and treat your wife. If you are a single mom or a mother parenting with a disengaged husband, you need to intentionally seek out healthy male role models for your son to spend time with.

So much of our children’s future is dependent on our sons having a healthy, biblically sound understanding of masculinity. It is NOT aggressive, but can be assertive when it needs to be. It is NEVER domineering, but is a servant leader.

Spend some time in prayer and studying Scripture for yourself to see the characteristics of a man that the Lord boasts of and teach and model these characteristics to your children.

Have micro-conversationsoften about the sort of man you hope he will be, or the sort of man you would want your daughter to partner with for life.

 

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August 2, 2019  

Episode 13 - Talking to Your Kids about Sexuality & Gender - Ages 11-17 (Middle to High School)

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert discusses how to talk with your teenagers about sex and sexuality.  He also discusses the crucial role of independence in your teenager's life.

If the teen years are entered into with complete freedom and no boundaries, there is a tremendous consequence to that child, their future, and society at large. If this stage of life and development is entered  into without the freedom to experiment and grow, they will also suffer consequences which, ironically, are often the same as the young person who had no boundaries.

Problems arise when parents fail to recognize and adjust for how their relationship with their child needs to change. They must be allowed more freedom and space to make choices. Every child is different and their unique needs and brain development will play into when this hits for your family, but be warned that it will come.

Adolescence does not have to be a nightmare. Paul David Tripp calls this life stage an “age of opportunity.” If this is true, why don't see those fruits? There are two key reasons that this might be the case: 

1. We continue parenting our teenager like we did when they were a nine-year-old.

2. We did not prepare them well. The truth is that in the pre-teen and teen years we are beginning to see the fruits of the kind of person who developed under our care.

By age eleven, most of our programming and beliefs are already set in place in our hearts. 

Puberty hits soon. Are they prepared for the changes? Help them enter that stage without fear and with anticipation, ready to be a young man or woman that will steward their bodies, sexuality, and gender well.

Through micro-conversations and the confidence they gain, your teen can become a leader among their peer group. It is natural at this stage of life for our children to begin pulling way away from us.  

Dating standards, rules, and a biblical sexual ethic must already be in place by this age.Your child should know what you believe and expect, but also have been allowed to express and test their own ideas.

What kind of husband or wife do they desire one day? This sounds like a crazy question, but remember, parenting as you did when they were younger is over; and we must change our approach with them and even our ways of leading, conversing, and guiding them.

The truth is that for most of our children, their peers and media will have a stronger influence on them than we will from this day forward. Does this scare you? It should. This is why all the previous conversations matter more than ever. Ironically, this is the age that most parents are beginning these conversations - “the talk” - and it is already too late.

Your son’s masculinity matters. How he expresses his masculinity, however, is as different and unique as he is. Stand ready to offer advice, perspective and encouragement for the man God created him to be when his masculinity is challenged by peers or society.

Your daughter’s femininity matters. How she uses, expresses, and lives out her femininity matters. She is unique. She needs permission to feel in her own way, express herself, find herself, and become the woman God created her to be.

Our sons and daughters need clear expressions and boundaries when it comes to gender, its expression and limits. They also need to know we love and care for others that are different than we are — male or female.  

All that happens now in your child’s life is an expression of all that you have invested in them up until now. If you have been intentional in their early years, then this stage of their life can be an amazing time of growth and maturity.

I am often asked, “How do we handle social media and technology with our children?”It is a quickly changing field and parents are being left behind in the dust. We have a responsibility though to prepare our children to steward this tool well. I have found that if I think of a smartphone (for example) as a tool and not a toy, it helps me to put it in its rightful place.

Today, the new sign of being grown-up is to have a smartphone. And just like a driver’s license put us behind the wheel of a powerful machine, the smartphone puts the world — the good and the bad — at our fingertips. Researchers are now reporting more and more ways that smartphones and other forms of technology are detrimental for our brains.

We need to model integrity for our children. Online tools have minimum ages and we should heed that at minimum. Many Christian families lie about their children’s birth year to give them access to tools they are not ready to have.

Purposefully decide what your child needs access to — and when they should have that access. Be able to articulate “why” to your teenager. I have known many adolescents who were forbidden access and kept completely away from all forms of technology and this strategy tends to NOT play out well.

What you watch, whether streaming or a movie, are key opportunities — tools for these micro-conversations. Dive in. Use pivotal, awkward scenes as the springboard for deeper micro-conversations. Discuss what happened between the characters. Ask if they have ever experienced something similar. Continue to prepare and build into the young adult in your home so that they can make decisions for themselves, and learn boundaries with movies and what they consume.

The key word for success is “stewardship.” We are responsible for our children, but the responsibility begins to shift to our teen as they prepare to leave the nest.

Our role is to provide guardrails that keep them on the road.

Remember the goal of parenting is NOT just protection, it is about preparation, and your child’s heart. 

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July 31, 2019  

Episode 12 - Topics to Cover for Ages 6-10

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert continues to discuss the micro-conversations we should have with our children when they are between 6-10 years old.

Dating and Boyfriends / Girlfriends — Be intentional about developing a frame work of thinking about dating and relationships that they can own as they mature.

What is the purpose of dating?

What does boyfriend / girlfriend mean?

What is attraction, desire, and lust?

How do they manage these weird feelings?

Prepare them to say “NO.”

Prepare them to question a culture that deems them broken or same-sex attracted if they do not lose their virginity in their teens.

Inspire them with a desire for a marriage that will go the distance.

 

More Descriptive Anatomy and Human Reproduction Lesson. This is the time that you need to be sure your child has a good grasp of basic anatomy. They need to understand the human reproductive system so that they know the effect of bringing a penis and vagina together.They need to know the “why’s” and “why nots” of sexual activities before their hormones are raging and their decision making becomes further impaired.

Help them become protectors and leaders of a healthy sexual ethic. As they live amongst peers that have a very different sexual ethic, my hope is that our children would treat others respectfully and show themselves to be people of honor. This is a huge win!

Teach your daughters — and sons — about menstruation. Your daughter especially needs to know what to expect and what products are available to her. Your sons need to know that this is NOT something to tease a girl about and how to react when a young female peer has a clothing issue during their period.

Help them know how to process visual stimulation that is arousing by normalizing it. Explain to them that their thoughts and feelings should NEVER be their guide — this is usually unreliable data.

 The “M” Word — This is a real issue. My first word of advice is NOT to be a parent that fuels shame. Be a redemptive voice. Almost all boys — and even many girls — will engage in this behavior. Be ahead of the curve and prepared by talking about it. It is okay to express your feelings and opinions, but be careful to refrain from pure judgment. This subject is covered in greater detail in chapter eight of I Can't Say That!.

Help your children to set boundaries. The family system invites this activity continually. Conflicts between siblings and parents require the implementation of boundaries. However, we as parents often do not model appropriate boundaries. For some of us, we deem setting a boundary as unloving, when it is quite the opposite. When this activity is simply operating in the background of our minds — like an operating system — it is less helpful.

The goal is to bring this out into the open via dialogue. Express where appropriate boundaries are with different individuals. You will most likely see improvements in your own boundaries at home and elsewhere. Discuss options and make decisions about what to do when boundaries are crossed.

It is not too early to talk to them about pornography.  We discuss pornography at the dinner table and it comes up almost every day in some form or fashion. It is a normal point of conversation. We want to have talked about this so much that they have an almost automatic reaction when the door to porn opens so that they are able to close it. Expose it. Talk about it.

Help your son and daughter see for themselves why this is damaging to their future selves. You cannot protect them for long. You can try things like filters and avoiding all screens, but this only protects them if they are at home on your monitored devices and networks.

Pornography works. It sucks us in because we are naturally and healthily drawn to nudity and beauty. Create an ethic and ETHOS that is redemptive and not punitive.

Remember that the door to pornography, once opened, can rarely be shut permanently. I’ve often wondered why God chooses NOT to remove this temptation ten or twenty years down the road and have come to believe that it serves as a reminder of our humanity and need for a Savior. We cannot do this alone.

If your son or daughter has opened this door — and the average age is between six and ten — be a listening ear and a place of love, compassion, hope, and care. DO NOT punish or shame them for their behavior. Please do not do that. The voice of the enemy is already at work in your child’s heart telling them that they are dirty, broken, irredeemable—that no one will be able to look past this. That will need to be addressed separately. Prepare them for the REAL world they will face today and in ten years so that they can leave your protective nest and soar.

 

Sexual Identity — Many children between the ages of six and ten are beginning to question their gender identity because they hear what others are saying about them and they believe what they hear. We must be attentive as these questions tend to be internally processed and traumatic.

You can help them by painting a realistic picture of masculinity and femininity that does not tie activities to gender. Help them see that they are their biological sex, and this isn’t tied to the activities they enjoy or personality traits. The longer they linger on questions of identify the more they will question everything. 

For some children, this confusion often centers on attraction to the same sex and they are wondering what they are supposed to do with these feelings. For others, it is a personality quirk. This may become a battle for some as they get older and wonder why they have never had a date or even wanted to go out with someone of the opposite sex. This is real.

Many, many, many preteens and teens will question their sexual identity. Most will settle it quietly and without worry or concern. Some will struggle. Many will be severely affected by these emotions and thoughts.

Help them take these out of the mind — out of the dark — and process them out loud. Many will not want to talk to their parents about this either. This is a critical place to bring in a trusted mentor and friend with a similar biblical sexual ethic who is willing to have these hard conversations on your behalf and offer your child guidance.

 

Several books have been written that can be of help to youth pastors and teens as they navigate these troubled waters. Do not do this alone. Seek counseling from a trusted, trained Christian counselor. Become knowledgeable by reading the work of those committed to a biblical sexual ethic, or attending conferences or lectures. I highly recommend resources from Godly examples such as Mark Yarhouse, Preston Sprinkle, and Wesley Hill to families facing these issues.

Love them with the long game in sight. We want to raise them in the way they should go, but for some, we may not see the fruit today or in the next twenty years. This is a sobering reality.

Encourage them to always seek God’s will for themselves by knowing His word. Help them to separate fact from feelings and identify thoughts that are intrusive so that they can consciously and intentionally decide for themselves. I know this sounds like we are talking about a twenty-year-old, but I have had conversations with parents whose children are between the ages of six and ten and they are questioning themselves and their attractions and desires at this tender age. It happens all too often. Prepare yourselves (and them) for this possibility.

Dignity / Modesty — We are teaching our sons and daughters about modesty and dignity every day and we can be intentional as we make wise decisions. Teach your sons and daughters to honor others and themselves — this is dignity. Help your children grow up aware of the impact of ALL their decisions.

Teach your sons to be respectful regardless of what a girl is wearing.  Teach them that they are fully responsible for their actions and thoughts.

 Teach your daughters when they are young to think ahead. Teach them to honor their brothers with their choice of clothing. This is not popular, yet still so important. We choose how we decide to raise our sons and daughters regarding dignity and modesty, and how those are defined.

 Abuse / Trauma — Many parents — more than we realize — must deal with abuse and trauma in their children’s lives. The best parents, even those that are aware and involved, will miss something. Harm comes in all shapes and sizes.

How do we prepare our children? You do this by giving them a voice. By giving them tools.We also give them the awareness that even trusted people may not always do good things. This is a hard concept to grasp at this age. Prepare them with skills they need to fight or flee, so that they will not freeze when faced with danger. Run through drills.

It is key that you do NOT put too much emphasis on what your children say, since they will often tell us what we want to hear. However, we want to capture their hearts as that is what will ultimately guide behavior and the choices they make.

 

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July 29, 2019  

Episode 11- Talking to Your Kids - Ages 6-10

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert discusses how to talk with your children aged 6-10 about issues of sexuality. Between the ages of six and ten most kids are looking for answers and they are ready for those to be blunt and explicit. Give it to them. Be honest. Be casual, but remember that in every response you are helping them form their belief system about sex, sexuality, gender, and their bodies.

Your silence preaches. Also, the world is speaking loud and clear through movies, music, online videos and social media about its beliefs on these things. My recommendation is to begin at birth and have constant, continual micro-conversations so that your kids can say, “My parents were always talking to me about sex.”

During this age range, our children are absorbing the culture of the home, as well as the world around them. They begin to absorb the energy of a home at birth, but somewhere around age six it becomes more about the culture. Their vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds. Their opinions and personalities are not only being formed, but already becoming more solidified. Therefore, we must stay ahead of the curve regarding micro-conversations on sex, sexuality, gender and the various other issues they will soon face.

The average age a child in America views pornography is nine. Most of the parents I talk to believe that their child is the exception. I then talk to their children in college and those parents were wrong. Their children were normal, but were hiding behind shame, afraid of being exposed, living in fear and full of desire gone mad which is lust.

 

You MUST be the one to initiate dialogue, asking questions of your own. Keep the conversations short though so you can have them often—micro-conversations.

 

Be a constant in your child’s life.There are key areas that ought to be covered during this formative stage when most parents would prefer to ignore the fact they are soon to be young men and women.

Continue using the correct terms. It is very important that a discussion about masturbation occurs during this time of life. Are they ready? Prepare them for what they are about to feel, desire, and potentially obsess about if they are not careful.  

Focus on a more thorough understanding of anatomy— as well as what is about to change in their bodies and those of the opposite gender.

Prepare them to face the onslaught of sexual images they will notice at the check-out stands, in entertainment, and people they pass on the street. Be sure not to shame covered body parts. It is about dignity and modesty. These are not “dirty” words.

Establish a foundation regarding dating now.  Set the stage at home by discussing dating, the opposite sex, and attraction ahead of time — before they are even interested. Plant the seeds of understanding that other families and friends will expect a young boy or girl to date by thirteen or fourteen, but you want something different for them — something better — and this is why. Explain your ETHOS when they are still willing to listen to you and pray that they will take it in and adopt it as their own — for their success, health and future well-being.

Teach them about abuse more thoroughly — explain the real world. Help them see that there is evil in the world and that not everyone has their best interest at heart. Let them know that they have the right and power to choose, to say “NO,” and to stand up for themselves. Prepare them to fight back.

Help them to learn coping skills for disappointment and rejection. It is much better for them to face small hurts now and learn coping skills than to protect them from consequences and render them incapable of facing bigger hurts later in life.

Open the door for them to talk about sexual identity. Who are they attracted to? What should they do with these feelings? Is this right? Good? Okay? Biblical? Will I ever be loved or accepted or find that one person? I know that it seems like it is too soon. It is not though when you consider the culture and time we live in.

Discuss marriage on an ongoing basis. Use stories that you’ve heard, scenes in movies or TV shows, and occurrences around your own home to teach, train, and prepare your children to have a biblical sexual ethic. 

You want this ETHOS in their heart before they are making decisions with their body. You want them to have an ETHOS that is so settled and strong that when they are faced with a choice to make, it is a no-brainer for them.

 

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July 26, 2019  

Episode 10 - Talking to Your Kids about Sex - Ages Birth -5

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert discusses the importance of beginning conversations with our children earlier than we probably thing.  He has observed that most parents arrive at these conversations too late, if they ever get to them at all. When these parents have “the talk”, they find that it has little impact on their child’s beliefs or behavior as their sexual ethic has already been solidified. You MUST be ahead of the curve if you want to be influential. 

In their first five years, a child is investigating the world and absorbing everything around them. These years are a critical foundation for all that is to come. What happens, and what does not happen, in these years matters. Healthy touch matters. Vocabulary and ethic building occurs, even if very little language is yet present. During this stage of life, children are absorbing the “energy” of the home and environment

 

Here are some pointers that will make this very doable — even fun.Remember, you are shaping a future dad or mom, husband or wife, lover, leader, and adult — even at age two!

Use every incident possible as a teaching moment.

Use correct vocabulary. When we use nicknames for body parts instead of using the appropriate term, we run the risk of creating shame around that part of the body. It is also beneficial to know the proper terminologyfor their body when they must speak to a doctor or if they are ever in a position to have to speak to someone about a traumatic event.

 Be honest if you do not know the answer to their question, but then look it up and tell them what you found.

Challenge the stereotypes — have your son cook and clean and your daughter learn to turn off the electricity and replace a plug or light switch. Help your daughters gain skills and strength and help your sons grow in sensitivity and gentleness. Do not let them miss the opposite of each of these either. Help them see the need society has for men that are strong, yet gentle, and women that are tender with incredible strength.

 

Remember that our children’s preparation is on us as parents.We must remain vigilant on the front lines for our children’s sakes. We need to remain current in our knowledge of what is being portrayed in the media and advocated for in public policy so that we will be prepared to address issues our children will be facing.

 The impact will be the greatest if you begin micro-conversationsin their first few years of life. This is setting the stage for what is normal. Will they still be awkward? Potentially, yes. Do they have to be? No. A lot of this will depend on our own comfort level, confidence, and conviction as we remind ourselves why we are having these hard conversations.It is because we want to be PROACTIVEin preparing them for what is to come.

 

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July 24, 2019  

Episode 9 - Anatomy

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert shares the importance of a basic understanding of human anatomy. 

We are a sexually explicit culture in our entertainment, yet, overall, we are woefully misinformed and continue to pass on myths and lies as though they were facts. We pride ourselves on not being a prude, yet we refer to a woman’s vulva as “down there” or a man’s penis as “his thing”. We cannot talk about sex in a serious context without embarrassment, and most people wouldn’t know if something were wrong with their body, their spouse’s body, or their child’s body since they haven’t educated themselves. Knowing the correct terms becomes critical when harm has occurred and they need to have the words at their disposal to describe what happened.

Do you remember middle school biology and how the reproductive system works? Where does the egg meet the sperm? How does it attach to the wall of the uterus, and what is required for all of this to go just right?   This process is nothing short of a miracle. Teach it to your children. Train them to be in the know. Make these topics a normal part of the family conversations.

Can you have a conversation with your daughter about her upcoming period and the purpose of menstruation? Can you help her be prepared and not feel fear?

 Can you have a conversation with your son about how their penis is made—that it is not wood or bone? They need to be taught what is normal for their testes — their sensitivity, and how sperm and testosterone are made.

Stewardship will be a critical part of conversations you have with your children. Learning to manage their attractions, desires, passions, and lusts will be of utmost importance. They always have a choice. 

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July 22, 2019  

Episode 8 - Love, Sex, & Neuroscience

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert shares how fascinating discoveries coming out of the fields of neuroscience and interpersonal neurobiology reveal God’s perfect design of our bodies and our masculinity and femininity. There are no mistakes. Why do you do the things you do in the way that you do them?

Did you know that there is one interesting cure and/or treatment for many of the physical and mental health issues many of us face? In his book The Brain in Love, Dr. Daniel Amen states that sex is an incredible healing force—a medicine. He says, “Making love on a regular basis improved mood, memory, and overall health.” He continues to drive home the point with a study that found that regular sexual activity “decreased the risk of heart attack and stroke by fifty percent.” He concludes: “Hold the medicine, give me love.”What does sex do to and for our bodies? It strengthens and lengthens our life expectancy. Sex positively impacts and renovates our immune system functioning. Sex can also be associated with more joy, a reduction in physical pain, and improved sexual and reproductive health.

Researchers have correlated sexual activity with a decrease in the two leading causes of death in the United States—heart disease and cancer. This should have you very excited right now and anticipating good times with your marriage partner. I hope so. Let us look at each of these benefits one by one.

When sex and sexuality are in the right place in a person’s mind and body, the experience of sex tends to help reduce stress hormones. This also leads to a reduction of anxiety and a decrease in a person’s violent tendencies and hostility. The research also found that they key to these healthy benefits of sex was found in thoughtful sexual activity with a committed partner.  

Matthew 19:5–6 describes the design in very simple terms, “And he said, ‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together” (NLT). Marriage is the only context for sexual activity. One man and one woman only. For life.

[1]      Institute for Sexual Wholeness. http://sexualwholeness.com

 

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July 19, 2019  

Episode 7 - A Theology of Marriage

Have you thought through your beliefs, or theology of marriage? What about sex in marriage?

How was this topic dealt with in your church, community, or home growing up?

 

The reality is that there are many influences that impacted the development of our ethic on marriage and sex in marriage. Some of the influences that tend to have the most impact are:

  • Our personal experience
  • Family history
  • Lack of conversation (the problem of silence) 

  • Biblical precedent (and/or interpretation) 


If we are not careful, our personal experience growing up in our homes and the surrounding culture will shape our beliefs about marriage more than the Word of God. Sex is now one of the most pervasive problems in marriage. If we step back, we can see its impact on many lives from abuse, pornography, and the objectification of women that affects the whole of society, degrading and impacting marriages as well. 

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July 17, 2019  

Episode 6 - The Importance of Sex Ed

Chapter 3 - Sex Ed for Parents

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert explains why it is important that parents develop a theology of sex.  We may say that we believe one thing, but our children can tell by our actions and reactions what we truly believe.  We cannot eliminate sexuality but in practice we act as though it does not exit when it comes to our children and conversations.  We must address sex and sexuality at every age.  Research tell us that 70% of teens have engaged in sexual behaviors and so we must prepare them beforehand with knowledge - with a theology of sex.

Nancy Pearcey's book, Love Thy Body, explores the origins of many of the troubling problems we are facing today.  Similarly, Christopher West, makes John Paul II's work, Theology of the Body, accessible to readers.  Both of these works lay out a theology of sex and sexuality that encompasses the totality of who we are as humans made in the image of God.

Dr. Gilbert shares scriptures to remind parents of the importance of developing a biblical sexual ethic for themselves and their children that honors God and treat others with respect. We honor God with our bodies through the discipline of self-control.  I appeal to you have celebration with chastity!  Sex is to be enjoyed within boundaries. It is important that while we teach our children that God has established boundaries that we also tell them that they were created with desire and desire is not sin.  Desire requires stewardship.

Your story matters.  God invented sex.  He love sex.  He did not mess it up - we did.  The Bible has a lot to say on sexuality.  Examine the scriptures for yourself and prayerfully seek understanding of what this means for your family.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8; Titus 2:2-8, 11-12; Ecclesiastes 7:16-18; Romans 12:1; 1 John 4:12b; Song of Solomon 5:16; Proverbs 5:15; 1 Peter 5:8

 

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July 15, 2019  

Episode 5 - The Student Has Become the Teacher

In this episode Dr. Gilbert encourages us all to be lifelong learners - especially in the area of basic human sexuality.  We MUST be willing to understand the basics of this complex subject from a biological, medical, social, and Biblical perspective so that we can pass it on to our children.  The alternative is that we delegate this responsibility to other people who may or may not have our child's best interest at heart.

Do you know God's word and what the Bible does and does NOT say on the complicated issues of today?

 

2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline”.  You can do this! You can be the teacher and the model that your children need as you lead with love.

1 Corinthians 2:16 “For, who can know the Lord’s thoughts?  Who knows enough to teach Him?  But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ

In surveying hundreds of college students over the past 12 years, Dr. Gilbert has seen that students desperately wanted to have conversations with their parents when they were living at home, but their parents would not engage.  Many parents wrongly assumed that their child knew "I'm an open book. They can ask me anything" and would come to them with questions or concerns.  Parents, you must be the adult and initiate the conversation.

We must prepare our children to recognize that there is danger ahead and that they will face temptation.  As they understand their own weaknesses, they can intentionally build community to come alongside them.  

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July 9, 2019  

Episode 4 - The Change Begins with YOU

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert encourages parents to go look beyond their children's behavior and ask questions that get to the heart of what they are really thinking, believing, and feeling.  Have you asked them hard questions about sexuality, gender, and pornography?  Have you discussed the current issues in the culture? It is imperative that parents recognize that they are always leading even if it is not always intentionally.  

To lead our children into a Biblical sexual ethic, we need to do three things: 1. We need to be willing to look at our own story, the traumas and regrets in our past, and acknowledge how it affects us.  2. We need to consider our own beliefs on the issues of sexuality and gender. 3.  We need to search God's Word for a proper understanding of these issues and for wisdom in how to love people for whom these things are more than just issues. 

Research that is being done on the neuroplasticity of the brain encourages us that we do not have to be stuck where we are and that we can learn new things.  Dr. Caroline Leaf's research on epigenetics  shows that our thoughts affect our genes and how they are expressed.  What we think and how we think about our work, our relationships, and our purpose determines much of our physical and mental health. 

Commit to being a lifelong learner.  Commit to be a person who thoughtfully builds their own ETHOS.  Be a person who understand the culture and the pressures that your children are facing.

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July 9, 2019  

Episode 3 - You Are NOT Alone

 

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert addresses that we are not meant to live life alone, but that we are meant be involved in community so that we can be supported in our times of need and then in turn support others.  In Titus 2: 3-5, Paul encourages those that are older men and women to come alongside those younger than them and model how we are to live in this world.  Are you involved in a community of believers?  Do you have others that you can go to with your questions or for prayer?  Do others know that you care for them?  By being involved in an intentionally chosen community, you put others in place to speak into the life of your children and you are able to speak into the lives of others.

When our children leave home, if we have simply used the years they had with us to "protect" them from the world, then they are not prepared to make choices from a Biblical sexual ethic when they are confronted with issues like sexting.  Our silence on these issues is deadly.  We need to be willing to enter into the difficult micro-conversations and disciple our children when they are still willing to listen to us.   We need to be honest about our mistakes and seek forgiveness when necessary.  

George Barna's excellent book, Revolutionary Parenting, details the research he conducted and the conclusions he came to on the "secret" to raising children who were still walking with Christ as young adults.

 

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July 8, 2019  

Episode 2 - Taking Inventory

TAKING INVENTORY

 In this episode, Dr. Gilbert speaks to parents who are walking with their children through "normal" developmental issues as well as more complex issues such as gender, sexuality, and body issues.  Deuteronomy 6:6-7 instructs parents on the importance of having regular, consistent times of instruction with their children on the as they are going about the routine schedule of their day.  Much of this instruction will be planting seeds that take root as they listen to our words and observe our own behavior.  When the time comes for your children to make their own choices, will you have prepared them to make a decision from a biblical sexual ethic or will their decision come from what they have been taught by peers and the media they consume?  

Parents, our children are watching us all the time and they are silently observing they way we relate to work, interact with other people, engage in a higher purpose, and take care of our physical and mental health.  We must first take inventory of where we are in relationship to these things so that we can be a model of consistency and integrity.

 

 

 

 

Your Health

            Are you taking care of yourself?  Physically, mentally, emotionally? 

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July 5, 2019  

Episode 1 - “I Can’t Say That!” Book Outline

In this episode, Dr. Gilbert outlines his new book and workbook that equips parents to learn and instill in others a Biblical Sexual Ethic.  Having "The Talk" with our children is often too little too late, but engaging in hundreds of micro-conversations can be life changing.  

 

Chapter 1 - Your Story: Taking Inventory
Why Is This Book Different?
Why Do You Need This Book?
My Promise To You

Chapter 2 - Stop The Chain Of Ignorance
You Are Not Alone
The Change Begins With You
The Student Has Become The Teacher!

Chapter 3- Sex Ed For Parents
A Theology Of Sex
A Theology Of Marriage
Love, Sex, And Neuroscience
Anatomy

Chapter 4 - Talking To Your Kids
Birth To Age Five
Kinder To Elementary Age (6–10)
Middle School To High School (11–17)

Chapter 5 - Questions About Gender, Homosexuality, And Same-Sex Attraction
Gender Questions
Homosexuality
Same-Sex Attraction

Chapter 6 - What My Child is Facing Today
Pornography
Bullying
Influence And Idols

Chapter 7 - Raising Sexually Healthy Children
It Starts With You—The Parent
Boundaries And Choices
Managing Hurts, Failures And Disappointments

Chapter 8 - Singleness, The “M” Word, And Trauma
Singleness, Sexuality, And Dating
The “M” Word
Addressing Past Trauma

Chapter 9 - Building Your Personal Ethos
Building My Personal ETHOS
I Have A Plan
I Commit To Living By A Plan

Chapter 10 - The Power And Importance Of Community
Reminders And Challenges
Community
What’s Next?

 

 

 

Go Beyond the Book with the WORKBOOK where you can benefit from a walkthrough of Scripture and the book "I Can't Say That!" to build YOUR Biblical Sexual Ethic and prepare to lead and teach your children intentionally and with a plan.

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July 1, 2019  

Intro - Family Health Podcast with Dr G

I am a Licensed Professional Counselor and college professor. One of the best parts of my job is talking to young adults who are away from home and on their own for the first time.  In our conversations, I find that many of them have had little to no instruction from their parents on sex, sexuality, or the issues that surround these topics.  As a result, they are making decisions that take them down paths which lead them further from the goals they have for their future.  

By the time most parents get around to having "the talk" with their children, it is too late.  Their sexual ethic has already been formed by their peers, media, and what they silently observed in their home. I want to encourage parents to have multiple conversations - "micro-conversations" - that go beyond "the talk" and equip their children to make choices from a biblical sexual ethic.

When families realize that they are in crisis mode with a child or in their marriage, the cost of counseling is often a barrier that prevents them from getting the help they need.  The Family Launch Academy membership is is an affordable alternative I have created for parents that want to go beyond "The Talk!" The membership site includes training videos and other resources for parents. You will also find access to coaching, counseling and community with other parents that want the same for their children.    

 

Find out more in my free facebook group at http://www.facebook.com/groups/familylaunchacademy

Dr. G 

 

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