Andy Miller III
Talking to Your Kids about Sex with John Fort Talking to Your Kids about Sex with John Fort

Talking to Your Kids about Sex with John Fort

April 21 2022


John Fort is with Be Broken Ministries, a group that helps individuals and families move from sexual brokenness to wholeness in Christ. As a parent, I need more tools to help my kids think about sex, and this conversation with John was incredibly helpful to me. You can find a link here:

YouTube - https://youtu.be/rb_z9EDyfTA

Audio - https://andymilleriii.com/media/podcast

Apple - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/more-to-the-story-with-dr-andy-miller/id1569988895?uo=4


Here’s a great blog post John wrote called - A Family Digital Safety Plan https://2.bebroken.com/be-broken-blog/a-family-digital-safety-plan

You can find out more about John here:

bebroken.com

purelifeacademy.org

johnwfort.com


To see our list got to this link.

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Today’s episode is brought to you by two sponsors:

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Transcript:

welcome to the more to the story podcast i'm so glad that you've come along today.

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Andy Miller III: This is going to be a great show and something that has really made a deep impression on me and I can't wait to share with you, but first I wanted to tell you quickly.

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Andy Miller III: About a free tool that is available for listeners of this podcast if you go to my website Andy Miller, the third calm as Andy Miller, I.

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Andy Miller III: i.com you can find if you sign up for my email list we have a free tool that's available for preachers and teachers and as an exegetical tool that helps you move from your study of the Bible.

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Andy Miller III: To the place where you prepare to present god's word in a creative way, so I encourage you to go and sign up for my email list and we'll send you this for.

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Andy Miller III: Page PDF document i'll come to you, free and i'm so thankful to my sponsors who have made the mortis story podcast happen that is wp oh development.

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Andy Miller III: And William Roberts financial planning, so you can check them out in the show notes, we have information for them really appreciate way they've helped make them more to the story podcasts.

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Andy Miller III: Work and happen so today, I am delighted to have on the podcast with me, Mr john for john welcome to the podcast.

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John Fort: it's good to be here thanks for having me.

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Andy Miller III: So john is the author of it, but you know it's not a new to me it's not a new book necessarily a new and like.

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John Fort: A couple years old yeah.

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Andy Miller III: A couple years old and john you're with and we'll talk about here is called honest talk, but you're with a group called be broken ministries.

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Andy Miller III: tell us a little bit about that.

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John Fort: yeah be broken ministries exists to help men, women and families move from sexual brokenness to wholeness in Christ.

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John Fort: And to train others to do the same, so we have some direct care things for men and women and families, and then we have a lot of training for leaders to help them do so, for example, we are now working with.

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John Fort: church leaders in India and South Africa and Brazil, in addition to here, the United States.

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Andy Miller III: wow it's, so this is a variety of training and you, you have on your team if several other folks are part of this group to be broken ministries.

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John Fort: Right, we have Dan woke Shaw, who is the director of gateway to freedom and the men's thing we have GG who is Brazilian and she works with wives and i'm the parenting and family care specialist.

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John Fort: Okay.

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Andy Miller III: And then he.

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John Fort: doesn't doherty's the President and he just speaks about all kinds of stuff everywhere so.

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Andy Miller III: gotcha so even that title be broken tell me a little about that, like obviously you're emphasizing something with the way that you're describing.

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John Fort: yourself as organization that comes from psalm 51 a broken spirit and the contract heart God will not despise basically saying.

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John Fort: God wants us to come to him in a state of brokenness it is from a state of brokenness.

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John Fort: That we find relationship with him and we bring that into our work because within families between men and women.

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John Fort: Working from a state of humility and broken this is when you're doing something this sensitive with sexual integrity.

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John Fort: You have to start there, and so the be broken, does not mean broken as a sense of stay broken but approach this from a sense of humility and brokenness gotcha love it we.

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Andy Miller III: have some people who have followed our podcast for a while we've taken opportunities to speak into you know some of the denominational things that are happening within.

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Andy Miller III: The United Methodist Church and the Salvation Army and so we've spoken out clearly from an Orthodox position on the nature of human sexuality.

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Andy Miller III: But some might be critical that look okay we're just almost like taking a political sort of stance in this and that that's not the case at all.

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Andy Miller III: Like we also have this intense desire to make sure that people are becoming the people God has called them to be.

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Andy Miller III: And this starts as a state of brokenness so we're really i'm really glad to have you talked about the subject of your book here.

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Andy Miller III: Now those of you who are watching on YouTube you can see, as i'm putting a book up the screen there's kind of an interesting play on the title, it says the talk, but the word the definite article.

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Andy Miller III: Is scratched out and it says honest talk so again, just like be broken ministries there's a message behind your title and the cover art, so this is a book it's good, to judge by its cover right and.

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John Fort: yeah is is there's two things we're doing with there is emphasizing honest, because we want parents to come.

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John Fort: If you want children to open up, we have to come with their own openness and vulnerability and brokenness to but also we want to emphasize this is not a talk, we want people to talk with their kids all the time about these issues, not one time.

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Andy Miller III: mm hmm so this this subtitle, of course, is in a new perspective on talking to your kids about sex, so I mean some people might say.

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Andy Miller III: Honest like john are you sure we should we should be honest, like a vulnerable ourselves like what were the ones in authority, we have no problems, we need to make sure that that's clear, I mean we don't we don't want our kids become accountability partners help me through this.

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John Fort: So we.

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John Fort: We did be broken, we did a survey of Christian parents, a few years ago, two or three years ago and ask them why are you afraid to talk to your kids or why do you not talk to your kids about sex we didn't ask if you talk to say why do you not talk to your.

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Andy Miller III: Make the assumption that they're not doing it.

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John Fort: yeah no one corrected us.

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John Fort: They said, there was a list of reasons, and one of the very common reasons of both husbands and wife both moms and dads gay was I don't want them to find out my past.

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John Fort: And what's interesting is they and and, if you look at that lets us analyze that Why would you not want your kids to find out your past some might say, well, they might think it's okay to do what I did.

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Andy Miller III: But right.

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John Fort: I think more often it is I don't want them to know, I was not perfect, it actually is a selfish fear i'm afraid I will they will lose respect for me.

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John Fort: And when you really analyze that there is nothing godly about that fear of I don't want them to know my past.

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John Fort: Look at the Bible, it is full of stories of broken people and it teaches through broken this and how god's response to that is for us to present ourselves to our children's if we have no broken this intersexuality and never have.

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John Fort: Number one is completely artificial and unrealistic and makes them think well how can I talk to you, we also interviewed a bunch of Christian teenagers.

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John Fort: Okay you're later and we asked them anonymously, we were all sitting in a room and it could write what now day one, we asked them why do you not talk to your parents about sex and.

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John Fort: They there was about 30 something of them and they all wrote down only two things bear in mind, this is the song that they only there's only two answers one was.

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John Fort: i'm afraid i'll get in trouble for what I say even what I asked, I have a question about sex but i'm afraid if I asked you i'll be in trouble for even asking the question but.

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John Fort: Also i'm afraid my parents won't understand how I feel now look at those two fears the parents afraid that you'll find out.

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John Fort: My past the kid says you won't understand how I feel if the parent exposes their past mistakes, then the kid then those oh you do understand and actually it is that sharing my broken past that bond's the parent and child together and makes the discussion possible in the first place.

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John Fort: Because.

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John Fort: Again, you feeling broken it flips everything on its head and what we discover is over and over and over again we hear back from parents, when we started talking about this.

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John Fort: My relationship with my child suddenly became much deeper than I ever had been before even parents who had great relationships with their kids.

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Andy Miller III: Right wow yeah now you even in the book, you have several practical guides for parents to use I really appreciate that and one of the things that you talked about is even having even sharing in a way, like what you're dealing with now.

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John Fort: You.

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Andy Miller III: Talk you talk to me about that, like that's that seems a little scary almost for me as a parent to think about telling again like maybe they're not being your confidentiality partner but areas of the challenges that you're experiencing even developing scales that you could use.

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John Fort: It will give me a real story now, this is my story.

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John Fort: Okay, my family, I am not saying how it would work in your family and but i'm just going to tell you what worked for us, so my son, and I also, I have a son and a daughter, but my son and I started doing kind of.

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John Fort: what you might call sort of accountability, he wasn't my partner, but we still charge when he was 11.

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John Fort: Was 14 now at that time I wasn't working for be broken, but I was working for another sexual integrity Christian group i've been doing that, since 2008 so i've been doing this, a long time.

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John Fort: And so i'm teaching other people how to lead support groups and help help other people with this right and i'm supposed to have it all together right.

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John Fort: But we're.

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John Fort: we're human and I hope this doesn't freak out your listeners too much so i'm a theoretically a professional right.

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John Fort: But that week I had been having a lot of struggle with sexual fantasy i'd be remembered this this I don't remember what it was, but they were thoughts that were not about my wife, they were kind of rolling around in my head.

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John Fort: You know I wasn't doing anything about it, but they kept it, you know, and I just really since God saying you have to tell your son, he was 14 at the time.

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John Fort: And i'm like if I tell my son that still I sometimes struggle with temptation what is he going to think of me.

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John Fort: So we were out working in the yard and i'm i'm truly terrified I mean I really, really didn't want to say this, so I said I just think I need to tell you that i've been struggling with sexual fantasy this week.

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John Fort: And he stood up and you can just see his shoulders relax he let this long sigh out and said i'm so glad i'm not the only one.

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John Fort: Do you see how that works it's not about not not that one means sharing details, you know.

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John Fort: The fact that hey even as an adult you sometimes you're going to still experience temptation right.

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Andy Miller III: So how old was your son when that happened 1414 wow that is a powerful story I think it's helpful to bring that up.

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Andy Miller III: To be able to think about how we share with our own kids thanks for giving us that example and and your story to I know we don't have time to go into but you're someone who is his experience like walk through.

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Andy Miller III: Right having the same sort of like sexual integrity that you mentioned earlier right.

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John Fort: yeah my father was a pastor so I grew up in church um but he never ever talked to me about sex.

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John Fort: And I had a lot of influences to my sexuality from the neighborhood I lived in South from a very, very young age.

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John Fort: And that got me involved in a lot of really messy things I don't want to go, we did not time for school and today.

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John Fort: I always tell this when i'm speaking to a large group of Christian parents, I say now, I just want to be clear.

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John Fort: The reason i'm here is because my story is worse than all of yours put together if we can all of your sexual sins in this entire room got 200 people in here.

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John Fort: and put yours on one balance over here and put my sexual sins, on the other side, I would outweigh all of it, I promise you, and I can leave it at that.

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John Fort: Okay i'm the kind of person that people say that person is never going to get better right, and so, but God intervened.

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John Fort: And if you would have asked me when I was 20 years old, if I wanted to go into sexual integrity ministry, I would have laughed at you and said, the last thing I wanted to do.

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John Fort: I was a Christian, but the things that I experienced and just messed me up so bad and God, the reason I do this work is because, if God can turn me around he can turn anybody around and so that's kind of why i'm that's why i'm doing this in the first place amen.

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Andy Miller III: wow I love love hearing that and it's interesting like the reason I asked about your own story and think I know it must be hard to be able to say it so quickly, but you did such a good job with that.

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Andy Miller III: But I imagine your son is aware that you're in like of your job, and have your pass in certain terms, so for you'd be able to say that to him at the age of 14 in the backyard.

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Andy Miller III: wow I can just imagine that just.

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John Fort: updated my son my son is 23 he's married.

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John Fort: They had their first child this thanksgiving.

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John Fort: Okay, and he.

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John Fort: You know he's got his first job so he's working you know there's some place and everything and anyway, he is like an evangelist for this when he gets to know someone at work, these are not Christian people within 20 minutes he has some talking about their porn us.

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John Fort: wow and he and so he and then he and he talks about how that when he was a kid I helped him and to not get trapped in that.

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John Fort: He had some mistakes in there, but to this day, we still talk about that to this day, we still have covenant eyes and we get each other's reports.

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John Fort: wow you can saying is like we still talk about the he's extremely passionate about this and wanting, particularly to help parents help other kids.

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John Fort: be free be free, like he was he had me made mistakes, but he never was at a point where pornography ruled his life, which is almost unheard of today, even in Christian homes, even in homes at homeschool it doesn't matter you can't you can't keep this stuff away from your kids these days.

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Andy Miller III: yeah it was.

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Andy Miller III: kind of helpful piece for me or abby I read a book on.

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Andy Miller III: cell phones or smartphones sanity was the name of the book and it was kind of like a helpful tool for us to just to think about the fact that the reality of how prominent.

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Andy Miller III: smartphones are in kids lives, even if we are able to guard our home all together there's likely going to be.

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Andy Miller III: Access that people are going to be shown pornography at an early age, no matter what type of guards, you have it's like how are you going to respond when the time comes, like how are you going to respond.

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John Fort: To it most young kids first exposure to porn is almost never on purpose i'm.

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John Fort: playing a video game that that happens to be connected, the Internet and pornography gets into that that's how my son was first exposed it's you go to a friend's house at church and their kid shows your kid pornography.

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John Fort: These are real stories that happen and much younger than people think today.

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Andy Miller III: Now, one of the things that I found really helpful about your book was the way you talk about brain development and I, you have a background in biology, which was really helpful I think you're able to explain things.

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Andy Miller III: It really clearly in thinking about the movement of our emotions, and this was this was like the big imprint that your book made on me was like Okay, we deal with kind of the effects of what happens with our sexual desire pornography.

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Andy Miller III: Loss etc, but it's how we have emotions that lead to that So could you talk to me just about kinda like the emotional framework, and then we can get into kind of talking about some of the ways that that leads to problems in our sexual integrity.

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John Fort: So the number one reason that kids get does just take just pornography, but this is also true of any other problematic sexual behavior inappropriate behavior.

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John Fort: The number one reason they get involved in that is because they don't know what to do with their feelings, so let me.

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John Fort: The number, the number one reason they get exposed is because someone shows it to them or curiosity, maybe to go back at the beginning it's that kind of thing.

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John Fort: But very soon, what happens is when a person kid adult doesn't matter sees a sexual image like that their body reacts.

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John Fort: And releases dopamine and dopamine feels really good, well, one of the things built, I mean does is.

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John Fort: Its purpose is to make you focus on sex is designed for a husband and wife to make them.

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John Fort: When there's a possibility, because sex causes people to bond together it releases vasopressin dopamine and oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone.

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John Fort: That makes you want to stay together God designed sex to make couples want to stay together, of course, that's assuming they're being kind and selfless and you know that's a whole different topic, but.

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John Fort: Sure yeah but i'm be that design means when their brain sees a sexual image it's doing what God made it do is shut everything else off and focus on that that shutting everything else off includes turning off any negative feeling, you have.

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John Fort: So it gives you a positive dopa means that gives you a huge rush a hit of good feeling but pushes away all the negative feeling.

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John Fort: The kid doesn't understand any of this, but their body remembers this so let's say later on they'll say they're exposed to pornography or something a few a couple of times right.

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John Fort: And then mom and dad getting the argument and they run to the room because they're scared it's when when mom and dad get an argument that that's scary it can be.

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Andy Miller III: sure.

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John Fort: And then they are very anxious right now they're pacing the room and thinking I don't want to think about this, I don't want to think about this and the brain steps into rescue them and says hey I know something.

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John Fort: That will make you make this feeling go away.

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John Fort: They might fantasize him masturbate they might look at porn if they have a phone, but whatever it is they're doing something to get that don't mean back in their system push everything else out.

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John Fort: There not conscious of why they're doing is it's a way to escape a feeling when that becomes a habit, then what eventually happens is anytime.

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John Fort: Any negative feeling even starts to emerge their brain instantly starts thinking of sex.

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John Fort: And this is why you get teenagers they're like Why am I always thinking about sex it's because they don't know how to deal with their feelings any other way.

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John Fort: they've never learned how to talk to somebody when they have a feeling and they're terrified of all these feelings and they they're more afraid of the feelings and they should be.

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John Fort: Does that make sense.

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Andy Miller III: yeah absolutely so.

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Andy Miller III: Like if we're more afraid of our feelings, then we should be how, how can we help kids do their feelings at the start that.

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John Fort: We want to peel this way back 234 years old.

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John Fort: Five you start off with, and the first thing is emotional literacy is you teach them a lot more words, because when you start off, you know mad sad and happy or mad sad glad you know those three fields right yeah well let's say an eight year old to eight year olds.

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John Fort: find out that they were not invited to a party that all their friends went to.

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John Fort: One eight year old might be mad about that the other eight year old might be sad, in this case, when they say mommy or Daddy I feel sad or I feel mad that tells you absolutely nothing about what caused it.

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John Fort: Because what they feel was rejected or left or overlooked it see some people when they rejected to get mad, and some people so getting a bigger vocabulary of what really do you mean.

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John Fort: And this, you see the feelings chart but the face of stuck up on the refrigerator and the kids go up and point I is so fun Is this a group of.

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John Fort: Christian families that we get together with all the time and I they've read the book and taught this and print that in the back of that book, there are some of those those pictures and you can download free pdfs of that big.

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Andy Miller III: A few of them on here.

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John Fort: We also did girls almost all I don't know if he knows this, but those you can get those free online anywhere but there.

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John Fort: So we had an artist make a girl version and the boy version because it's like well we're not all boys right.

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yeah.

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John Fort: So.

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John Fort: Anyway, um, and so it was so cute this is kid who's like three four years old.

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John Fort: And he walked up to his mom and the field of the sharks right there and he's like mom I feel overwhelmed and it's just like it just seemed.

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John Fort: How did this kid know what that means, but little kids can learn a lot more than you think so that's first is literacy just make a.

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John Fort: Second, is awareness is being aware, when they're having a field okay and there's some exercises you do with that.

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John Fort: And you teach them to talk about when you having a feeling and, finally, when they get towards late grade school middle school or high school.

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John Fort: Is emotional resilience and that is where they when they have they know what events will cause a feeling they know when they're having a feeling and they know what to do about it they're no longer afraid, let me give you an example.

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John Fort: My son was.

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John Fort: Again 14 and.

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John Fort: We were talking, we talked every week Jonathan doherty my.

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John Fort: head of be broken, he had us on to and they called a man meetings I didn't think of that and it makes sense, like that's a much better we just call them accountability meetings but man meetings way better for girl you call it, but anyway, but we got together and he said dad.

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John Fort: I I keep I noticed that I keep thinking about sexual things like fantasizing inappropriately when i'm walking home from school every day and I don't understand why.

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John Fort: We talked about it and talked about, and finally realized, he is an extrovert have a video of him talking about this when he was a teenager, by the way, but um.

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John Fort: He said I just realized that I don't like being alone, and he had a long walk home and he and he didn't know what to do with that being alone thing.

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John Fort: And so I said, well, what can you do, and he said, well, we talked about for so he decided, he would he had this he had a cell phone but it couldn't get the Internet at that we didn't he wasn't, even though he was ready yet.

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John Fort: But he could text or call and so he would either text or call me not when he started feeling alone, not when he started feeling sexually attempted, but just walking home, he says, I know, this can make me.

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John Fort: feel a feeling I don't know I don't like so i'm going to do something about it proactively.

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John Fort: And every single day on his way home, he would text or call and it didn't matter if I can pick up because I was still at work, just the fact that he could talk about his day and he knew I would read it, he knew talk more when he got home.

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John Fort: And that took it took everything nowhere feeling alone, no more fantasy on the way home from school you see how it all comes.

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John Fort: that's emotional resilience that's what you're working towards okay.

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Andy Miller III: So it's that feeling of being alone, I just want to very articulate what you just said is that feeling of being alone that generated the fantasy.

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Andy Miller III: I mean imagine that this is true not just for kids right, this is the same thing as we experience temptation later in life sexual temptation.

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Andy Miller III: That there is some feeling at the heart of it that we're not addressing like what is it that's going on in me much in our children to that we can help them express it same thing can be true right.

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John Fort: Right, and so what I tell people in the book and I tell my speak live is.

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John Fort: If you do this, starting at five by the time they're 10 1112 they will be more emotionally aware than you are because they grew up with it.

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John Fort: wow and you will speak emotions as a second language it'll be their first language, by the time my kids were 10 and 11 they were correcting my wife and I when we would do things that were not very emotionally where.

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John Fort: They did in the very appropriate way, let me tell you that that's you feel both proud and humiliated this.

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Andy Miller III: is interesting.

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Andy Miller III: So what if he talked about, then, is like when we become aware of their emotions is like when you deal with the challenges or preparing for the onslaught, I mean this is part of why I wanted to talk with you is like.

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Andy Miller III: People are just dealing with the reality of how present sexual temptation is in the world it's just like a regular reality that we're all facing but you know we look at what our kids are having to go through.

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Andy Miller III: Think Lord, how can they do it, but you talk about the importance of of cleansing conversations at various phases, what do you mean by cleansing conversations.

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John Fort: So I want to kind of walk back a little bit let's take.

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John Fort: A.

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John Fort: Closer cultures kind of all over the world and in the Bible, but they talk about this kind of purity idea right well water is something that we use to symbolize purity a lot of times, but as.

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John Fort: Scientists did you know that water never occurs in a pure state in nature.

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John Fort: Even a raindrop has a Speck of dust at the middle, because what happens there's dust in the air.

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John Fort: And when waters gets to the point where it's can condense, it has to stick to something, and so it has to stick to dust and then, then it can move more water and sticks to that, but there has to be something to stick to so every single snowflake every single raindrop has dust in the middle.

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John Fort: Always if you if it rains on your car, you might go out and look and see the little circles of dirt Okay, so I mean it's it's.

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John Fort: yeah how much dust, as are in the air, obviously Okay, so if you want pure water, the only way is to remove the contaminants.

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John Fort: Okay well we're the same by the time your kid is nine years old they're already contaminated a lot.

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John Fort: they've heard people say sexual words they may have seen things they may have seen something inappropriate and a friend did is all they heard a sexual joke.

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John Fort: there's all this stuff that we don't think about, even if they never experienced the Internet, based on a lot of contamination, maybe meant maybe somebody made fun of their body, whatever all this stuff is is contamination.

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John Fort: So we need to remove that and I use it as a bathtub analogy, if you have a kid that came in was all dirty with playing outside.

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John Fort: And you ask them to go take a bath and they come out and they're all squeaky clean, you would never say that's it you're clean you never have to take a bath again because they're going to get dirty again.

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John Fort: Right, the thing with our sexuality every one of us child and adult continually are exposed, we can click clean but we're going to give me again you clean the outside of the body of water you clean the inside, by talking.

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John Fort: So sharing what happened, so if something happens, whether it's your fault or not it's a common thing hey mom the same happen, I went over to my friend's house and this thing happen.

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John Fort: Or, I saw this thing or you're walking through the mall and there is somebody with almost no clothes on a picture of them on the wall and they see that and they talk about that.

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John Fort: there's a show or something and something comes by this way to escape you didn't realize it's going to happen and you talk about that.

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John Fort: You constantly constantly we talk about what we're exposed to, and the things that we did too, but just way more than just what you've done wrong, you know so yeah yeah.

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John Fort: So cleansing is by talking about what happened that's really all that means.

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John Fort: You talk it out right.

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Andy Miller III: And you said, this needs to be different out you go through different levels like younger middle and older age children, help us know that kind of big differences that.

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Andy Miller III: Between those age groups, and what we need to be doing, we have listeners at all levels.

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John Fort: yeah so with little kids I heard a parent in our church say that their daughter was at school and some boy pulled his pants down to show everybody, you know, like right there was.

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John Fort: And the school called all the parents right and said this happened just so you know I mean there's six years old, I mean that happens right and so she comes home and asked her daughter what happened today at school, oh nothing it's like I think something happened at school.

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John Fort: idea is that you just want them to talk about it, what happened and how do you feel about that and that's it, you know when they're really little it just.

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John Fort: That you're teaching them, you can talk about this, you don't have to keep this inside of you, if that makes sense when they get.

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John Fort: Older you start thinking about well, what do you, you might add on you know what do you think you know is that how we're supposed to behave is that you know.

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John Fort: messages about objectifying other people there's all this, the add more and doing they get to be teenagers, who talked about, you know how does this reflect on marriage in the future and.

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John Fort: Like, why does this, how do you compare the message, whatever you experienced what is that, compared to like what God wants marriage to be until you, you know, a sexual relationship and marriage and so you kind of just unpack and deeper each time as they get older ages.

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Andy Miller III: I know there's more detail, you can give like, for instance, like one of the when you're talking about the younger children, I thought this is interesting and now my kids.

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Andy Miller III: Are younger children more I think I have one that might still be there, so like, but I can find the book but it's like if you're old enough to ask you're old enough to be.

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Andy Miller III: to know what is it.

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Andy Miller III: yeah better phrasing that.

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John Fort: Yes, so kids younger and younger kids are hearing sexual things okay Okay, because the Internet is everywhere, and even if your kid is not other kids are being exposed important in the Internet and so.

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John Fort: Other kids will say things to them that they don't understand.

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John Fort: Like when I was nine years old, I heard some teenagers talking about masturbation they didn't use that word but they but but and I went home and tried to ask them what are they talking about and she got really upset.

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John Fort: So what I learned was you don't talk to your parents about sex and ask them questions right, so if a little kid asks you always give them a simple and a truthful answer but simple and they keep asking you have to keep answer.

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John Fort: Because.

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John Fort: If you let me tell you why, if you answer them until they got it what are they going to do they're going to go ask the older kid down the street, what does this mean and what that does or shows them is not what you want to happen.

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John Fort: wow this is preventing sexual abuse, by the way, if we answering your kids questions about sex helps prevent sexual abuse, I don't know if you knew this and the research that i've seen.

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John Fort: The number one age segment that sexually abused as children is 11 to 15 year old boys.

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John Fort: Not at all.

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John Fort: Not a don't buy a lot.

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Andy Miller III: And so curiosity just.

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John Fort: They are they're acting out what they saw online and they often do that with younger kids because that's less scary.

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John Fort: wow and so so so you do not want your kids asking older kids to clarify questions about sex you want them to ask you, and so the only way you're going to do that is you answer the question until they until they're they're done you don't over explain either.

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Andy Miller III: Like right right.

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John Fort: there's our babies made you can just set you don't have to you don't have to get into a just a guy i'm Jim burns is an author.

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John Fort: Okay, he has a couple of books for really young kids for exactly that purpose it's i'd have to I have them next door available, but there are some books that really your Christian books and they're really good at you that and dealing with answering those questions helping you.

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Andy Miller III: So you you, you can you go back through and you want to let them ask the questions until they stop asking questions or until you have a sense that they they get what the answer is right that's kinda like the goal for.

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John Fort: Particular some parents other parents, make the mistake and they try to keep going it's like because, like I don't we don't want to know those don't you don't want to do that either.

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Andy Miller III: I find that balance.

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John Fort: yeah yeah.

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Andy Miller III: One of the most interesting chapters to me was like it was your chapter on masturbation I know.

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Andy Miller III: People might Oh, they don't want to talk about this, or even the fact that we've already said that word.

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Andy Miller III: Five or six times on this conversation but it's so important, this is the question that comes up and I had, I had a debate and maybe this person who I debated.

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Andy Miller III: will be watching this I don't know but they're like they kind of thought they had a gotcha moment with me where they said well we're going to talk about same sex, you know LGBT Q.

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Andy Miller III: sins and these type of things, how about masturbation when are you willing to talk about that my ability to talk about it.

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Andy Miller III: Here I am right now willing to talk about it and i'm really I thought this was incredibly helpful because, again, it connected this idea related to emotions and like what leads you to that place.

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Andy Miller III: of doing it and thinking about the realities of of i'm thinking particularly boys, but i'm glad to have you address girls to what advice, can you give us as we talk to our kids about masturbation.

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John Fort: Any of these conversations and masturbation for some reason seems to be a little bit more so parents, sometimes react out of their own emotional baggage.

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John Fort: In other words, there are things that happened to them in the past that they heard in the past that is making them react in a hyper V.

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John Fort: emotional level right or they have certain biblical principles or beliefs that they've come to believe that may or may not actually be based in the Bible okay yeah and.

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John Fort: Then, and they they feel like for me to even consider thinking something different means I have to abandon my face we're not talking about that OK, but so let's just do this.

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John Fort: First, so so first of all let's just kind of be realistic, a second in the case of boys masturbation will happen right and about 50% of girls that happens.

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John Fort: Okay that's just that's just we're not going to change that okay that's always been true, I mean there are studies they've gone back to the 50s when they were the same results you want, and so this is not new, this is not new okay.

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John Fort: But let's also remember that sometimes masturbation happens by accident, they reach puberty and they don't even know what they do you know you're.

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John Fort: Right father and son, where the sun didn't know what he was doing what he didn't have them have a word for it.

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John Fort: And he.

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John Fort: He had no idea, he had no it just like well I figured this out, this is kind of cool you know i'm saying so, it sounds like there was no he didn't know what the word masturbation men does that make sense.

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Andy Miller III: Right absolutely strangely and.

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Andy Miller III: 16.

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Andy Miller III: That understood that myself.

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John Fort: yeah so so what i'm saying is is that that first of all, there is an innocence in accidentally discovering what their body can do, or whatever it's not always innocent but there can be an innocence, they don't even know what they're doing does that make sense.

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John Fort: Absolutely makes careful about.

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John Fort: About projecting onto a child something way more sexual than they're even thinking about it.

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Andy Miller III: Being right taking your emotions like what's involved like, with your own challenges in saying that that's what your 12 year olds going through.

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John Fort: Now this is something that I worked a lot with a couple of Christian groups and Dr Julie slattery to help me try to figure out how to talk about this so that chapter was highly influenced by a couple of other people.

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Andy Miller III: And gas on this podcast as well didn't go back and archives and find a nice conversation and Julie sorry sorry hey it's almost there.

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John Fort: yeah what she taught me is for a kid masturbation is better to think of it as an immature sexual behavior okay.

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John Fort: there's a whole there's a chapter in the book about this and I have much more expanded this about like what goes what happens to a kid during adolescence.

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John Fort: it's way more than hormones, it talks about changes and willpower the limbic system, the prefrontal cortex is all these things that work together.

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John Fort: That creates certain dynamics okay that affect the sexuality, as everything else OK, but so during puberty we're actually starting at age 10.

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John Fort: kids begin to grow their ability to feel emotions much deeper that comes from a combination of hormones when they kick in but also the limbic system which begins to develop at age 10.

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John Fort: By 15 that is at full strength so teenagers do not have higher emotions and adults do they have adult level emotions what they don't have is adult level ability to control them that comes from your prefrontal cortex which is not developed until the mid to late 20s.

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John Fort: So you have starting at you have this huge peak of very high emotions and very high sex drive, but the but almost but a.

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John Fort: 50% ability to actually control that are managed it now, we understand this when it comes to emotions, we know that teenagers are prone to temper tantrums they get angry.

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John Fort: Now that may be, they hold it in and gets you know, Stephen fume where they may you know yellow or whatever.

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John Fort: But we understand that, where that's coming from adults know that we all know that, and so we have a bit of empathy with a teenager who is really angry and we understand that.

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John Fort: Their emotions have boiled up and the part of their brain that that's supposed to calm that down doesn't quite work yeah we get that okay.

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John Fort: Somehow we think when it comes to sexuality that's different when it's not so masturbation is something that like anger is going to happen, a lot when we're at a certain age until they have the ability.

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John Fort: To be able to control that just like anger and the reality of it is so we don't like to talk about is adults, sometimes mastery to it's not that we're went away.

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John Fort: But here's the mistake people make the mistake people make is thinking that you can't you just don't talk about masturbation just don't do it.

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John Fort: Well that's that's like saying you don't talk about anger you just stop being angry, no, we know how to work with our kids on anger, you can, in the same way it's like.

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John Fort: This is me you don't have to agree with me all right, rather than think of masturbation is a sin, which by the way, it's not mentioned in the Bible.

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John Fort: Rather than it's better to think of as an immature behavior to learn to grow beyond if that me and so.

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John Fort: Rather than, say don't don't don't don't don't do it, it say is like your goal is to move to not need this anymore.

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John Fort: And most men that I talked to because be broken does a lot of more most of our work is actually with men who were.

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John Fort: porn addicts and sex addicts and this kind of thing and masturbation even though they're married is still a huge problem right and so we're helping them, learn and to to control it well, a teenager can learn to control it to.

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John Fort: That makes sense.

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Andy Miller III: yeah I hope so yeah I think it's a blessing.

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John Fort: But, but to expect it to just never happen is is unfair hmm that makes sense.

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Andy Miller III: yeah let me ask you something, this is, I I make i'm going to give you opportunity to critique me.

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Andy Miller III: So as a pastor.

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Andy Miller III: And i'm really glad for the critique and i'm going to be vulnerable here i'm gonna I don't know exactly can be broken, but i'm gonna do everything I can.

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Andy Miller III: When I would deal with teenagers on this matter when i've talked to my own kids but so it's not just related to how i've talked to my own boys about this, but.

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Andy Miller III: As i've talked to young men and as a pastor this is often something that comes up i'm always thankful that people are willing to put it on the table and pornography like I got to a place where.

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Andy Miller III: pretty much if a single any man wanted to meet with me alone 90% of time I figured it was had to do with pornography and then likely connected masturbation so.

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Andy Miller III: I, I would say, like the this is going to have particularly with teenagers is going to happen, but if it doesn't happen connected, the last June is going to happen during dreams.

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Andy Miller III: Like a wet dream, and so I would didn't make the connection that are kind of similar things that you would say sex is meant to unitas to somebody, and this is isolated act that separated.

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Andy Miller III: Know generally is accompanied by lust, which is the sin so like the lust is a sin, and so, if you can move to a place of actually having a wet dream see that as a victory.

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Andy Miller III: see that as now that's what I want i'm really open to your critique like because, like, then you could so yeah that's that's what i'd love to hear your response.

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John Fort: interesting because he had be broken, we have to know what the Bible says about sex and what I find interesting is i've never ever seen a seminary or place it prepares pastor.

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John Fort: Talk about what the Bible says about sex, this is a lot more than people realize, so the Bible never ever mentions or refers to masturbation.

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John Fort: The, however, it mentions wet dreams twice.

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John Fort: And what does it say to do this is what I think is funny is Christians will have all this advice about masturbation but he said, what about weddings oh don't worry about them when the Bible actually gives advice on when.

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John Fort: You say i'm saying it's like wait a second So what does it say to do it says go wash in the river, it says, you have been contaminated you're unclean this that contamination has got in.

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John Fort: it's nothing you go clean yourself so like well we don't have the Jordan River by us, you know i'm saying anymore, but but but it's like I love the picture of.

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John Fort: Inappropriate sexual stuff went through your your mind and your body, because usually you wake up and you remember what's going on, or even if you don't.

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John Fort: You see what happened, you go maybe take a shower bath Clinton, why not go through kind of a ritual cleansing by God let's clean this stuff out of me is.

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Andy Miller III: Your same same thing yeah yeah yeah.

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John Fort: And so what i'm saying is is like the Bible says to do that, but right no I in my life never heard a single person talk about that it's like so to me masturbation would be the same thing if it happens, then you would do the same thing.

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John Fort: Does that make sense yeah you would seek a.

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Andy Miller III: cleansing from what what is that about yeah.

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John Fort: yeah now there are different people I do want to say this, there are some.

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John Fort: People who, who I respect who have more training to me that would say, you can have this little discussion with your boys, but then it's like that's between them and God you don't need to be talking bringing this up all the time.

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John Fort: That make sense.

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John Fort: yeah people who now most with my son.

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John Fort: We did when we met every week we say, did you masturbate and we're in it, if you did, did you fantasize while you're doing this, can we have.

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John Fort: that's in the book I think i'm not sure, but i'm so it's like i'm not trying to tell people what to do, but that helped my son and when he was able to leave that behind in his teenage years for the most part, and so.

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John Fort: way more successfully than almost anybody ever heard of I have met people that by 15 or 16 were able to completely stop but they had to some extreme.

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John Fort: You know, went through help just with God, but you know, then, but it took some kind of extreme things that they did for to make that possible but.

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John Fort: Anyway, so it puts you back to my criticism of me like.

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Andy Miller III: Maybe, but the idea behind the wet dream idea is that it's less it's passive in the sense that.

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Andy Miller III: You didn't bring it upon yourself.

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John Fort: Right now, where is that is most people would say that say stop masturbating and then, if you have wet dreams you don't worry about it, but I would say no don't do do go.

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John Fort: do some kind of cleansing thing from it don't don't know what the Bible says that to do something so let's do it, you know.

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Andy Miller III: gotcha so like in just and then a controlling the emotions lost in like trying to get now yeah that you can.

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Andy Miller III: Put yourself in a position to be more emotionally healthy is what's going to help with the challenges that come with that can you talk to me about the connection between masturbation and pornography.

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John Fort: Well, the problem with with those two combined is masturbation with dopamine it released, then so is oxytocin and you're creating bonds to what you're looking at.

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John Fort: So this is where fetishes and things like that come in, is that people.

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John Fort: start developing a sexual preference for a certain kind of thing that starts to happen it's somewhat arbitrary like whatever they happen to come across.

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John Fort: And then, from then on their game, you can compare that to their husband or wife, in the future, because they they've created a preference for something that's probably not what they're going to marry and that creates problems and so.

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John Fort: I mean, in what i'm saying is even if you don't look at the spiritual components of it there's some real, serious problems with this.

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John Fort: When you combine pornography and masturbation you're reinforcing everything you're seeing you're reinforcing that you treat people like sexual objects you with a lot of.

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John Fort: Pornography today as a lot of pain and forced sex kind of stuff so you're reinforcing the idea that's ideal.

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John Fort: you're reinforcing the idea that I get sex exactly what I wanted the way I want it that's going to prepare you this, that makes marriage extremely difficult to be anything good and all.

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John Fort: It trains people to embrace the opposite of what makes America marriage work yeah yeah and the masturbation just reinforces it kind of cemented into your brain what you're, seeing as good.

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Andy Miller III: So it provides that physical release that is on top of like the problems that already exists.

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John Fort: yeah it's not just the physical release or chemicals that are released in your brain that make your brain think that this is good, this is positive, this one, this is what sex is supposed to be like you see i'm saying.

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John Fort: It does more than just feeling good it actually creates neural pathways that are destructive.

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wow.

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Andy Miller III: Okay, thanks for that warning there of what what's going on in a lot of this is connected to the access that people have on their devices.

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Andy Miller III: Can you give us some of the kind of practical ideas I mean, obviously, I would just encourage people to buy the book to.

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Andy Miller III: write, but just give them a little taste of what they can do with their devices helping kids.

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Andy Miller III: work through how to use their devices.

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John Fort: and protect them so so be broken we're not experts on this stuff because it changes too much, so we refer to, we have other people like this.

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John Fort: Chris McKenna with protect young eyes, I think it is, and they they do.

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John Fort: He works part time for covenant eyes and part time for this, and he he keeps track of all the Apps and all the everything to help parents navigate that kind of stuff we don't have time to do that, so we look that's his job.

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John Fort: An overall thing.

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John Fort: I would personally never give anyone under 14 a smartphone.

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John Fort: Because they they they don't have the ability to restrain themselves, they just don't have it.

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John Fort: They can have a phone, you can either get them a regular smartphone and you call your your carrier whoever it is.

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John Fort: yeah and say I want a data block a data block means that the phone can text and call but it can't do anything else I can't can't access any Internet if you put an APP on it wouldn't work that kind of thing.

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John Fort: They will tell you they can't do that they have to by law, so you have to argue with them for a while, but eventually put a block on it.

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John Fort: Or you can get there's a thing called gab wireless and why his phone or to.

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John Fort: A tankless is with makes a thing called wise phone and gab wireless does phones and things and these look like smartphones but they have no access to the Internet.

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John Fort: And so they have a few little Apps like calculators and calendars and then you know stuff that you can use and they can take pictures and they can call and text, but they cannot access the Internet.

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John Fort: So this is a really great solution as a way to give any age kid we gave our kids flip phones that didn't have Internet access, when they were nine this who wanted them to be going to call them tell them to come home.

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John Fort: You know, because when I was a kid everybody had a landline and you knew where they were you call that that family and say send them home but.

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John Fort: It you know, no one has those anymore.

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John Fort: Right Okay, I want to be able to call my nine year old say come home, you know i'm saying so he had an Internet both my kids had phones that were not ended it capable.

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John Fort: And then, when they're 14 you start off with no Apps for a while and and get get something like they recommend bark PA rk bark that you you're the best one for kids covenant eyes will even tell you that, so that covenant eyes, no longer suggest their stuff for yet for younger kids.

351
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John Fort: And, and then you do when you introduce an APP study it protect young guys try to figure out help the kids decide you get to follow their that their whatever they're doing and.

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John Fort: You see how they manage that, before you and do another one, so you set the parental controls, where they can't add do at they can't ask.

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John Fort: You can use parental controls to control when they can have an Internet you don't want them to have any more than an hour hour and a half per day on the Internet.

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John Fort: Did they recommend two hours Max absolute Max for any of these ages, because any more than that it's just bad for the brain forget porn it's just bad for the brain.

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John Fort: And then um but also remember it's your phone not theirs.

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John Fort: Right hey remember that don't get in arguments about that this my phone and when you use it you're not paying for it.

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John Fort: No devices of any kind in the bathroom or the bedroom.

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Andy Miller III: Right.

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John Fort: The problem with that is that goes for parents to is not okay to tell your teenager not to bring your phone to the bathroom if you do.

360
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John Fort: Okay you're doing that I haven't really sorry but you need to get the magazine and said.

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John Fort: it's just not okay to tell a 15 year old you can't take your phone in the bathroom if I do.

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John Fort: Okay, and what we did with our phones, there was a place for they all charge at night out in the front room and after they went, if you if kids sneaking out and getting them, then you keep them somewhere else but.

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John Fort: No phones at night, no phones in because basically say is it's not fair to us to expect us to control ourselves in a really private place like that so we're just not gonna we don't have to worry about we won't do that none of us will right.

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John Fort: And we can say you know look hey we have temptation to so we're all doing this together right.

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Andy Miller III: yeah it's great.

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John Fort: And then um but remember this by AJ team, they need to be in full control of their devices.

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Andy Miller III: Right okay.

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John Fort: You do this is the this is what's hard is there are some parents who want to give kids stuff too young and that ends well.

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John Fort: But then there are other parents who neverland do anything to the right team and that doesn't end well, either because they go out and just.

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John Fort: So when our kids were 17 last year at home, they still had covenant eyes on their phone to kind of switch the Covenant eyes and later teen years.

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John Fort: And we still got their reports and they had by that time they had to have somebody outside the family, like my son chose a youth pastor for some reason didn't get his reports and so um but.

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John Fort: They had the administrator password so they could unblock if they went to a site that block they could unlock it now, I know, but you see him saying is that is it because, when they move out.

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John Fort: They really want if you're going to make a mistake, I want us if you're gonna if this is an all blow up, I want to know now so you've got between 14 and 18 to slowly give them more control.

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John Fort: Right and it's just so that that's the and then expect them to have a time when they really mess up bad okay.

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Andy Miller III: Are you sure john.

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Andy Miller III: Is it it's it's hard it's like as as my kids now are entering I mean this is the phase, I mean it's so helpful to me to hear you say this and.

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Andy Miller III: And the challenge to me, too, I mean my wife and I know we need to take these this same considerations and you know we they see us like trying to train ourselves like we have access to each other's phones I gave each other's passwords were but.

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Andy Miller III: We certainly take our phones into our room and I will admit take it into a bathroom I hopefully it's not too too R rated here for people, but like I need to stop so I appreciate that and.

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Andy Miller III: For the kids to do the same thing if i'm going to ask them to do that.

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Andy Miller III: Man what it what a great challenge I love I would love, if you guys, who are listening again we're talking to john for here who's the author of honest talk go back and listen like write down those points and maybe we can find some links to some articles john that you've.

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Andy Miller III: Written that where we can share that.

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John Fort: yeah yeah, so this is this is hard reality, we have to think is.

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John Fort: The truth is none of us God did not design any of us to be able to do very well in the kind of hyper sexual culture we live in.

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John Fort: Is and teenagers it's completely unfair that they have to live in this culture it's just gonna it's just not fair, they don't have the ability to resist these things Okay, and so.

385
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John Fort: it's kind of like when.

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John Fort: Daniel and all them got captured by Babylon and taken in there, they talk about the food the certain things they didn't do, but they were still surrounded by a culture that was.

387
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John Fort: Just completely off the rails compared to where they came from from and they had the limited they didn't have a choice we're in the same situation, you said that that we can't we can't there's nothing there's not a lot we can do about it.

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John Fort: And so.

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John Fort: You know, we there's some there's some empathy we're trying to get through this together.

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Andy Miller III: That makes it well, your book is a great helped us along that path.

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Andy Miller III: I like to go for another hour, I have a lot of other questions and there's a lot in this book now I I always ask people a question I didn't prep you for this john so forgive me.

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Andy Miller III: But that title our podcast is more to the story and there's like that idea is like we want to go deeper in conversations and we get those in a common a regular kind of social media sort of post, we want to go.

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Andy Miller III: Like deeper but also there's like a sense that we talked about this and that there's more than just being saved there's also the process of sanctification in someone's life.

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Andy Miller III: But then there's also the side i'm sure there's more to the story of john for, for instance, those of you are watching on YouTube I see a sword, I see a boat and I see a fish behind you, so what is there is there, more to the story of john for normally told.

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John Fort: Well, something I like to talk about is i'm a musician what you don't hear is a whole bunch of musical instruments, this is a studio.

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John Fort: Okay, oh I I recorded an album during the first year of coven of all hymns done with synthesizers and no vocals.

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John Fort: Okay, this called since aspirations.

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Andy Miller III: hahaha okay.

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John Fort: So that and then I also have an album my own original music too so it's all Christian stuff so anyway so that's that's a difference, I don't know if that's what you wanted, but.

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Andy Miller III: that's exactly what i'm looking for yeah.

401
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John Fort: Inside of me that I never get to talk about so.

402
00:53:58.710 --> 00:54:03.480
Andy Miller III: Now now wait when you did that, with the to use multiple layers of synthesizers.

403
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Andy Miller III: Oh, with the hymns.

404
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John Fort: Oh yes.

405
00:54:06.450 --> 00:54:08.580
Andy Miller III: what's your favorite him that you, you arranged.

406
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Andy Miller III: The one that yeah this album.

407
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John Fort: Well, the the were you there, I have a couple of on YouTube with one on one him on YouTube is where you there, like the were you there when they crucified my Lord kind of thing yeah.

408
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John Fort: yeah that one was really cool.

409
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John Fort: I did some cool comes from cool things with that it sounds like a soundtrack.

410
00:54:28.440 --> 00:54:36.510
John Fort: But then I have some fun ones like leaning on the everlasting arms was is just hiked up then when I grew up in church.

411
00:54:38.640 --> 00:54:46.230
John Fort: What I hated was you'd have a him that the lyrics were happy, but the way they say it was like a funeral dirge.

412
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John Fort: hahaha and One of those is what a friend, we have in Jesus, so I did a version of what we're going to be energy that is unlike anything you have ever heard in your life.

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Andy Miller III: Oh man.

414
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John Fort: So uh because it's like this is actually how this song should sound.

415
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Andy Miller III: Fine yeah it's interesting how some sometimes it goes the other way to like we sang a song in the Salvation Army, which is the domination i've grown up in.

416
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Andy Miller III: By the pathway of duty it's actually kind of reflective him inside a friend who read it, that one from come on march like him to like a more reflective.

417
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Andy Miller III: yeah song okay I got asked her what's up with the sword, is that a particular is there some meaning behind that sword.

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um.

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John Fort: So.

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John Fort: i've always wanted to have a sword on there, but um I have i'm also the author of fiction books, I have a trilogy called forbidden scrolls which is sort of like a cross between Lord of the Rings and chronicles of narnia and.

421
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John Fort: yea and when I do book when I go as an author and sell.

422
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John Fort: there's demetrius swords in the book and the main character, one of the carrie has a sword, so I have that is that's put that on my on my booth out in front, so it attracts people that's.

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John Fort: that's the purpose of it, but I got it i've always wanted to have a sword and but that's what this is, for I got some I gave it to me I do I do cabinet working that kind of stuff and that they gave it gave me that his payment to help them do some work in their house so.

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Andy Miller III: So we have a cabinet maker a musician a novelist I don't know, are you trained as a psychologist.

425
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To.

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John Fort: know.

427
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John Fort: What I took Charles like well my degree was in science, education.

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Andy Miller III: And so it was scientist, on top of it.

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John Fort: So the I didn't study child psychology I had to wear my degree too so but.

430
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John Fort: yeah just.

431
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John Fort: kind of all over the map i'm a very creative person so.

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Andy Miller III: yeah well I love it, I appreciate you the creativity, which would you approach this book.

433
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Andy Miller III: and tackling this important subject and we are just able to barely scratched the surface here just kind of outline some of the chapters.

434
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Andy Miller III: I really encourage folks to do this is something that abby and I.

435
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Andy Miller III: have used it's like a really fruitful conversations and we obviously need to keep talking through it more.

436
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Andy Miller III: than even even where we are right now, because this is, this is the phase of life rain, but as john said, this is something they start when your kids are young.

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Andy Miller III: We just need to get on this and we need to be prepared and john Thank you so much for taking time with with me, but also to write this book and to serve serve the world, I was gonna say to serve the Church, but serve the world in this way.

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John Fort: Thank you so much for having me yeah.



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