Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Just Feel Like a Failure



Yesterday I wrote a post about ungodly influences and a sweet reader shared this:

"I wish I could go back the beginning of the last school year and crack down on my daughter when she started to take out books like Twilight from the middle school library. Before we knew what was happening, all she was reading was about vampires, werewolves, witches, and other subjects like these. Most of the books in the teen area of the book store are similar. 

I read the Twilight books, because everyone was talking about their daughters reading them, and I wanted to see if they were appropriate. Huge mistake. My daughter saw me reading them, so subconsciously they were on her appropriate reading list. When we talk about appropriate reading materials, she becomes completely unglued, and the conversation rapidly spirals out of control. She thinks she knows what Truth is, but when she started reading these books, her outlook changed.

How do I fix this? She goes behind my back to read inappropriate stuff at school. She sneaks stuff home. And how to stop the conversations going crazy? I just feel like a failure."




Here is my advice...

Maggie, you are not a failure, that is what Satan would like for you to believe (he accuses the brethren). Remember, we are all learning in this great journey of obedience and NONE of us have "arrived". May I suggest the following steps:

1. Pray--You cannot endeavor upon changing the influences on your home without asking help from God. Ask God to give you strength for the battle, wisdom in how to handle your daughter, and perseverance to see it through to the end. Also, to give you spiritual clarity so that your judgment won't be clouded in case you are met with resistance and steadfastness to stand firm.

2. Bible Study--Do a Bible study as a family on what God's Word says about witchcraft, Satan, darkness, etc. and have a family discussion. Talk about how you want to obey Him as a family and that you need to make changes in order to do that. If you have been buying/reading them for entertainment, apologize to you children for not being a godly example and tell them you realized you were wrong (this is why we all need Jesus, point to Him since He is the perfect one and not us) and would like to make things right/repent now.

3. Remove books--Remove books AND other items from your home that do not have a godly influence. Pray and ask God to show you what they are, sometimes He will show you things that you might not even have thought of or reveal things that you did not know about.  You would probably never in a million years allow a witch/vampire to come to your house on a daily basis to teach your children--so don't allow others to do it through literature, movies, TV shows, etc. I shared about how we personally "cleaned house" here.

4. Replace--Now that you have removed ungodly literature, influences, etc. from your home be sure to replace it with good, wholesome and godly influences. If you need help, I suggest you start with my highly recommended booklist for daughters.

If you daughter is sneaking things around then be sure to check her things when she gets home. Remember, that you are the parent and that you are responsible for what comes through your doors. Be vigilant and don't give up, knowing that this is a spiritual battle for the hearts and souls of our children. There are strongholds at work here that we cannot see. Pray for your daughter's eyes to be opened and to have discernment.

Also, perhaps you could even let the teachers to alert you if she is reading any material she shouldn't if she is doing this at school.  I would also try to find out the source of where she is getting the books. Is it from the library? Friends? Bookstore? You will need to keep close tabs on this to make sure it does not happen again.

I would also look into her friendships. Are they the types of friends who would lead her to read these types of books? Into the occult? The Bible warns us "Do not be misled. Bad company corrupts good character." (1 Corinthians 15:33) I would warn these children too, in a very loving way, and let them know that your family is seeking to not read this literature any further. Remember, sometimes it takes one person to make a firm stand for what they believe in for others to follow.

Maggie, I hope this helps. Please know that there is hope for your situation and all is not lost. God loves you and can do a mighty work here and use it all for His glory. He loves you daughter too, even more than you.

Please keep us updated on your situation if possible and know we are praying for you both.


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33 comments:

  1. This is great, but the link to the booklist for daughters isn't working! :(
    Thanks!

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  2. Something I might suggest is pointing out the OTHER negative influences in Twilight, Harry Potter, etc. besides witchcraft. I know from personal experience that children and teens will dismiss the witchcraft in their minds by telling themselves they don't practice it, never will, and that their parents don't trust them, are being paranoid, etc. You most likely will be blocked off when you mention it. But they cannot deny the other sinful acts throughout the story, which are numerous and are clearly condemned in the Bible. These are very clear and hard to deny- sensuality, impurity, explicit material, disrespect to authorities, disobedience to authorities and later reward for that disobedience, authorities seen as incompetent and portrayed as unfeeling/uncaring (which definitely influences teens), stealing, lust, lying, swearing, disrespect to others, etc. This list could go on, but you will find these acts are justified in the stories, and even praised as they go by the philosophy- 'The end justifies the means.' I could go on and on because indoctrination is very deep, but the point is, you need to go back to basics. Ask your child to put aside the story, and maybe discuss "Does God teach lying is wrong, no exceptions? Does God teach impurity is wrong, no exceptions? etc."
    The true danger of these books is that they teach us to accept sin because of a "good reason" namely emotions and feelings of love. Often, satan uses the obvious sin as a cover to the true evil he wants us to take in. He wants us distracted. Children who will not touch witchcraft may have a problem keeping pure, or submitting to parents...and these themes are all throughout teenlit nowadays.
    Anyways...I'm sorry to keep going on, but I was deep into this stuff myself, so it's such an issue for me now when I see other young women stuck in it. Thank you for such a timely post.
    The Girl in the Pink Dress

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  3. This is great and encouraging (challenging, too) but the link to the booklist for daughters isn't working! :(
    Thanks!

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  4. What to do when your husband allows the children to view R-rated movies, read ghost and alien themed books, and listen to certain music (heavy metal, rap) that contains ungodly influences? I am in this situation now and feel helpless. I spoke to my husband about it, but he said my fears are overblown and unfounded. My children are *very* enamored with these things despite my best efforts :(

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  5. Maggie, God has given parents clear instructions for raising, nurturing, and teaching their children. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is a great start. The public schools have an agenda and they do have a religion. It is anti-God and anti-Christian at every turn. The schools are happy that your children are reading anything that goes against the words of God and that leads them away from Him. It isn't just the books that are promoted by government schools that are the problem. It is teachings that there is no God, that you came about by evolution, that there is no absolute right or wrong, that all lifestyles are acceptable, etc. that break down children, lead them away from the Lord, and separate them from their family. Children see and rebel against the contradiction that mom and dad tell them one thing on Sunday but send them to a place which teaches them the direct opposite on Monday through Friday. Sadly, they are sent off to school with their parents' blessing which actually encourages them to follow the peer pressure and unGodly teachings. It is not too late to save your child. I agree that prayer is vitally important. But you need prayer with action. Let your daughter know that Christ and His teachings is what is most important in life. Remove her from the school system that will most assuredly destroy her and teach her from a Christian worldview.

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  6. The link for the booklist doesn't work, can you help with that? Thanks.

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  7. I hope to encourage you. I used to feel like a failure too and realize now it was a conspiracy against me by Satan to derail me.

    The way I got out of it was to read God's Word, stand on his promises and
    trust the Lord to uphold and be with me, because he will never leave us or forsake us.

    Change what you can now, don't feel sorry for yourself, move on. Pray, study the bible, remove and replace unwholesome materials from the home, be vigilant, and trust the Lord to get you through is good advice and I follow it myself.

    I'll be praying for you as well, don't give up. The Lord will strengthen you.

    Blessings, Mrs. J.

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  8. Very wise advice. This is similar to something I am dealing with right now as well.

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  9. Oh, what a wonderful answer to a tough question! We also went through this same ordeal 5 years ago when we became Catholics... it was a long, long struggle. However, we are all stronger for it and the kids KNOW and CHOSE to do good rather than blindly following the main stream media. That being said, I really wanted to see your list of books for girls but the link doesn't work. Can you please repost it?!?! Thanks so very much!! P.S. Watch out for music as well as books. It can be even more distructive.

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  10. Maggie, God has given parents clear instructions for raising, nurturing, and teaching their children. Deuteronomy 6:4-9 is a great start. The public schools have an agenda and they do have a religion. It is anti-God and anti-Christian at every turn. The schools are happy that your children are reading anything that goes against the words of God and that leads them away from Him. It isn't just the books that are promoted by government schools that are the problem. It is teachings that there is no God, that you came about by evolution, that there is no absolute right or wrong, that all lifestyles are acceptable, etc. that break down children, lead them away from the Lord, and separate them from their family. Children see and rebel against the contradiction that mom and dad tell them one thing on Sunday but send them to a place which teaches them the direct opposite on Monday through Friday. Sadly, they are sent off to school with their parents' blessing which actually encourages them to follow the peer pressure and unGodly teachings. It is not too late to save your child. I agree that prayer is vitally important. But you need prayer with action. Let your daughter know that Christ and His teachings is what is most important in life. Remove her from the school system that will most assuredly destroy her and teach her from a Christian worldview.

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  11. Hi June and your reader, I agree with what you have said in your advice but am just wondering if it is the case that the more we as mothers say 'No' then the more our children will dig in their heels and rebel further (hence the sneaking behind backs). I think I would be up front with my daughter and tell her what the Bible says about these things and then have a discussion with her, allowing her to be honest and say what she finds so interesting about these topics. If you give her the space to give her opinion, she must also listen to you and respect your opinion. I do feel though, that as parents, we can say that there are certain things we do not allow in a Christian home such as these books but we would appreciate honesty from our children and not want them to be going behind our backs. As always, being a parent isn't easy, but there are times when we just have to give guidance and allow the Spirit to work in their hearts!

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  12. These sound like good ideas, but I think one of the main problems here is a lack of trust and closeness between the mother and daughter. (no, I am not saying you are a bad Mom. This happens to all of us sometimes!)Work on showing your daughter that you care about her and build a bond so that she will trust your decisions and know you making them based on God's Word and a concern for her well being. Do things together, chat, go for walks, anything she loves to do, spend time with her! You will get to know her heart and learn how to guide her in the right paths. If you don't work on getting closer to her you may alienate her. (she will just think you don't understand her) Praying for you and your daughter.

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  13. Just fixed the link--it's working now!

    Many blessings...

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  14. Brooke, my daughter and I do spend a lot of time together, both at home, running errands, and going on special dates for just the two of us. I would say she trusts me to make good decisions for her, but temptation is great, and I have made some mistakes along the way in regards to influences. We are going to work on rectifying that now.

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  15. Good suggestions, June. I hope we all understand the common theme in them all: you MUST be proactive in protecting your children. Parenthood isn't for the passive. Blessings!

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  16. What do you do when it's dad brining stuff in? My husband is constantly playing Star Wars Lego on the Wii with my 3 and 7yo boys. It's all shooting. No blood or gore, but still inappropriate I think. We don't have cable, just took it out. He rents all the latest kids movies for them which are awful. I believe in setting a good example for the kids. But he watches netflix every night. The kids are in bed upstairs, but I know they can hear. Luckily since we homeschool, I think they don't really notice the bad language. I dislike them hearing all the shooting. I dislike DH and myself being exposed to all that and the inappropriate scenes that's prevalent in just about every movie. I want to guard our whole family's eyes, ears and hearts. I don't want to be a nag and try to be my husband's Holy Spirit and convict him. My DH is a Christian. I'm not really sure what to do, besides pray the TV, wii and blu-ray break or DH comes to the conviction that he does need to guard the family from this.

    Any thoughts? Prayers appreciated.

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  17. Can I be perfectly honest? I don't understand what is wrong with Twilight. I've watched the videos, read the articles and I'm still baffled. First of all, vampires don't exist.

    Satanists do exist, and I agree that promoting satanism would be wrong. However, because vampires don't exist, I don't see the issue.

    I really don't understand what we're afraid of, regarding these books. I'm honestly confused, and I'd like to know what I'm missing.

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  18. vampires aside, the kind of relationship Bella and Edward have is not one I would like my daughter to be in. He's a creepy stalker who watches her sleep, while wrestling with a desire to kill her. Delightful. Also completely unhealthy level of dependence on his presence. When he leaves Bella, she becomes depressed and suicidal. He belittles her quite a bit, and in addition to all that, it is written poorly.

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  19. Awesome advice!!!!!!!!!!!! I will be praying for her and her daughter too!

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  20. Such wise words spoken so graciously. Thank you for your blog, June.

    ~Mrs. Q

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  21. To Anonymous.

    In my view it is what the vampires themselves represent. Along with werewolves and other fictional creatures of demonic nature. We know from the bible that demons and the devil do exist, and that witchcraft is wrong. Therefore we should shun everything of demonic nature, factual or fiction.

    Why would Christians put something before their eyes that God hates? Just like watching or reading books that promote other sins, such as impurity or homosexuality. Just because characters in t.v or books are fictional does not mean that the sins they promote are.

    Hope this clarifies.

    J

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  23. Very well said, June. You have to pray and ask God to give you wisdom and strength for your situation. In addition, I think it's so important to win their hearts through having a close, fun and confidential relationship with them (convicting myself as I write this!!!) so that they will want to please you in everything they do. Provide alternative fun things to replace the old things she is not aloud to do or read. In situations like this I always think of Matthew 12:43-45. What I get from it is that you must put something good in the place of the evil you take out so that the evil will not return and move back in with more evil. You have to proactively work on helping to replace the bad with the good. "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

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  24. I'm baffled as to why Twilight, etc., is wrong, but the C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia is ok, even though it also includes vampires, werewolves and witches, as well as half-man/half-animal characters which also denotes something unwholesome. Is it ok if we put "Christian" on it? The witches, vampires, etc., in Harry Potter and Twilight are not real, just make believe. My opinion. I enjoyed them and am not worshiping Satan.

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  25. C.S. Lewis did not "glorify" evil like twilight and Harry Potter does. In those books you WANT to be the killer and the "bad guy" because they are so "cool" and they "win"... and I beg to differ with those who don't believe there are such things as vampires. There is indeed a sub-cult that believes they can suck human blood and live forever. The human mind is capable of immense horrors and abominations and even more so of carrying them out. Horror movies and the like are just humans seeing how far society will let them go before stopping them. Abortion is the epitomy of evil... and exposing your children to any of these evils allows it into their minds that it's "okay" to let those evils run amock. One of the early posts by The Girl in the Pink Dress said it best.... besides the witchcraft aspect look at the rest of the sin and evil being propogated. There is where you will find if it's good or bad... C.S. Lewis VS Twilight.

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  26. Thank you for these suggestions and the reminder to be vigilant. I feel like such an ogre to not allow my kids access to such things when they ask but at the end of the day it is about teaching them to choose wisely and protecting our homes from spiritual darkness.

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  27. To Anonymous

    i think you should read the comments under the post "Ungodly Influences" (under this post on the main page). there is alot of stuff there about why Narnia isnt o.k as there is no such thing as good and bad witchcraft.

    Best wishes, J

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  28. Found them, thanks, J.

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  29. Twilight is banned in my house for no other reason than being poorly-written garbage. The standards in literature are rapidly declining, and it's showing. My mother struggled with this when I was a teen. The RL Stine and Babysitter's Club books were all the rage when I was a kid, but they infuriated my mother simply because they were badly written and kids weren't getting exposure to literature with any real substance behind it. So when I was in the 6th grade my mom threw away all my books and replaced them with classics from Austin, Dickens, Poe, Steinbeck and Orwell. It was the best decision she ever made for me. While I mourned my mother's "unfair" decision at the time, I have come to realize that part of being a parent is stepping up and making tough calls that might upset your child. YOU know best, not your child. Do your daughters a favor and stop buying them books that emphasize the importance of having a crazy stalker boyfriend and buy them some REAL literature.

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  30. This is familiar ground, must admit. Those twilight books and movies are no good at all. They seem bent on justifying wrong. I usually go through my daughters' stuff and found the movie. If you ask me, evil is so well camouflaged here. It is made to capture the minds of especially young girls then input evil vices in their minds. Parents need to be extra vigilant on their kids and continually ask for God's help in bringing them up.

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