Roger Marsh: Hello, and welcome back to Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. If you're a parent or grandparent, you are most likely aware of the cultural lies that are being spread or promoted among the youth in our nation, lies like follow your heart, or everyone has their own truth. The problem with many of the lies that kids hear today, is the fact that they really don't sound like lies in the first place. In fact, they can sound pretty harmless. And that's where the true danger lies.
Because our kids can be so impressionable, no matter how involved we are in their lives, they want to fit in with their peers when they're out of the house and finding their own fit. And that's a fact of life. Well, our guest today, back for a second day in a row, is on a mission to equip parents with the tools they need to empower their children to recognize and challenge these cultural lives. Her name is Hillary Morgan Ferrer, and she is the founder and CEO of Mama Bear Apologetics.
Hillary is also chief author and editor of the two best-selling books, Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies, and Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality: Empowering Your Kids to Understand and Live Out God's Design. In fact, that second book will be the topic of today's conversation.
Leading today's conversation will be Dr. Tim Clinton, our co-host here on Family Talk and the resident authority on mental health and relationships for the JDFI. On yesterday's program, Hillary Ferrer and Dr. Clinton talked about the book, Mama Bear Apologetics: Empowering Your Kids to Challenge Cultural Lies. If you missed that fascinating conversation, remember you can listen to it when you visit drjamesdobson.org/familytalk.
On today's program, they will shift their conversation to Hillary's second and most recent book entitled, "Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality." The enemy has worked hard to confuse and distort our understanding of human sexuality, but the truth is God created humans in His image and part of His design was two different genders and a very specific and important purpose of sex within a marriage relationship.
Living within God's design isn't restrictive and oppressive, it's actually full of joy, freedom and purpose. Now with this sensitive topic of sexuality being the focus of today's program, you may find that some of the conversation is not suitable for younger ears. Well, with that said here now to introduce his guest is Dr. Tim Clinton on today's edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Let's just talk about our sexualized society, the sexualization of our kids. We mentioned it briefly yesterday. I really believe that even right down to our schools where you see this innuendo, this messaging, even more than that, its outright blatant attempt to indoctrinate our kids. Hillary, what do you see happening? Why is there such a battle for our kids?
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Well, I think there's a battle going on for sexuality specifically because sexuality, it's one of the ways that God reveals Himself to us, this mystery of male and female who are different entities that come together and form one flesh, that are one in body, that are one in spirit, that are in union forever and ever. And from that union of love, create new life. I mean, it's essentially the whole go forth would be fruitful and multiply command that we have in Genesis, is the same command that we have in Matthew, where it says, "Go forth and make disciples of all nations."
Paul talks about how this marriage is representing Christ in the church. And when we get this wrong, when we get sexuality wrong, we basically distort our ability to understand who God is. And if we want to kind of take everything back to its real basic foundations, I'd say the enemy is attacking identity and he's attacking identity of three different things mostly. The identity of what doesn't mean to be human? The identity of who is God? And the identity of what is sin? What is good and what is evil?
Because if you look at the gospel message at its core, it's mankind or humankind coming back into right relationship with God. Ultimately that's what the enemy is going for. He wants to destroy the gospel, and these things are what we're meant to point to who God is. And it's just all a big mess right now.
Dr. Tim Clinton: There is no question that secular culture has a wrong view of sexuality period. And it's a battle ground. I wanted to ask you, Hillary, how are we doing in Christianity? I saw some of the stats that you quoted in here. I'll give a couple. Pew Research, 57% of Christians believe premarital sex is acceptable in a relationship, committed relationship. 50% said sleeping together, hooking up, no biggie. 80% of unmarried evangelical 18 to 29 year olds have had sex. That doesn't sound very good to me.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: No. I mean, in some ways I think the church does carry a little bit of responsibility on this, in that all we have said is, "God said, 'Don't do it.' So don't do it." And just left it at that. And it's been this thing where there weren't really a lot of reasons. I mean, we gave reasons, but they were all really... If you're familiar with pragmatics, it's like we do this because it works. Oh, look at the number of STDs. Oh, look at the unwed pregnancies. Look at the number of people who break up. All these things and which those are all problems, but those are not the main reason why we follow God's commands. We follow God's commands because there are spiritual significance in these in the act of sexuality.
And I don't think we understand what goes on in our spirits. Where it talks about in Scripture that he who sins sexually, sins against himself. And so I think having this idea of ethics of do no harm, where I'm not doing any harm to anyone else, people don't realize you can harm yourself even at the same time, you think you're pleasuring yourself, or you think that you're being true to yourself.
And I just know that even though I was brought up with the true love waits, all that stuff, it wasn't until I was about 27, that my husband gave me a book that for the first time made me understand why sexuality was such a big deal. And that was a book, it was edited by John Piper. And it was based on a conference called, Sex and the Supremacy of Christ, where he basically says that all distortions of our sexuality will lead to a distortion in our view of God. And similarly, all distortions in our view of God will lead to a distortion in our sexuality.
And when I started looking back at the people I had known, the friends that I had had, the ones that had walked away, the ones that hadn't walked away, I saw this pattern. It was like this light bulb moment that I saw how it's like that act of sexuality outside of a husband and wife relationship, just opened the door to so many different things. And I said, "I get it now. I get it finally." And it was just one of the most paradigm shifting moments that I've ever had. I don't have many moments where I say like my entire Christian paradigm shifted in a moment, but that would be one of those moments.
Dr. Tim Clinton: When you step back for a moment, our kids, they are being bombarded. A lot of parents listening, saying, "Boy, I would love what happened to you, Hillary, to happen to my kids." You know that?
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Mm-hmm.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And you are stepping back and looking at this and saying, "You can. You can get this done." And Mom and Dad, one of the most important things here, two things that I picked up on as I journeyed into this book with you, was our kids want to talk about sex. You want to address that real quick? Because everybody kind of thinks if you don't talk about it, then it's not going to be a problem. You know that? And if we ignore it-
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Au contraire.
Dr. Tim Clinton: And I mean, do you really find that kids want to talk to mom and dad about sex?
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Well, I wouldn't say if you were to ask them, "Do you want to talk to your parents about sex?" Everybody's going to be like, "No, anything but that." But the research, I think it was the Power to Decide campaign. And it was asking kids, who makes the most impact on your sexual decisions? At 12-15, it was parents above their friends, above social media. And then I think for the next cohort, the ones that are getting into college, it was still parents. It was a closer split, but it was still parents.
And then they asked the parents, "Do you think your kids are listening?" And across the board, the parents said no. And so the moral of that story is the kids are listening. We need to start talking. But it makes me think of a story that one of my friends, not one of my friends, my cousin, she's told me that there was a lady that she's friends with. They had this big group of guys that always hung out together. And every time they left, she would say, "Have fun. Don't have sex till you're married."
And she had one of the boys that was from that group come back mid-college and say, "Thank you. You are the only person who was saying that to me. And I have listened." So this idea of it's like, sometimes you almost have to make it funny. If you try to make it too serious, everybody's just too embarrassed and whatever. But if you just kind of add it in, and I actually do this in the end of the book, it's things to repeat to your kids until they want to gag, that kind of reinforces a biblical world view along the way, that we just have to repeat things. Because one of the big takeaways I wanted to have in this book, was that the brain has a hard time distinguishing between that which is familiar and that which is true.
And I know that our society knows this because that is why they're getting everything into the cartoons, into the schools, into the TV programs, into the music. Because the more you hear something, the more familiar it becomes, the more you're likely to believe it's true. Now, if we just have someone saying something different, maybe Sunday's a little bit on Wednesdays. We are not even coming close to having the truth of God's word being as familiar as worldly sexual morality is. And so we need to turn that ship around big time.
Dr. Tim Clinton: We do. You're right, our kids need to be equipped so they can refuse to call evil good, good evil, and lies truth. If there is a battleground right now, it's in sexuality.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yes.
Dr. Tim Clinton: I want to jump straight into some pretty intense discussion here now.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Okay.
Dr. Tim Clinton: As we go in here, you make a statement. You say, "Instead of pointing us to God," I think this refers back to what you were talking about, your husband giving you that book, "sexual pleasure has become a God in itself." Can you explain what that means? Because that's what's driving what's happening in culture.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yes. I think you can tell when something has become a God, when you are not allowed to criticize it, you are not allowed to speak against it. And basically, everyone will just jump on top of you if you do not toe the line and say the thing that's supposed to be said. And right now that really is the LGBT stuff. I had a parent message me asking what to do because her daughter had a day at school coming up that was wear orange for LGBT Day. And she said, "What do I do? If she doesn't wear orange, everybody will say, 'Well, you're a hater. You're a bigot. How dare you? You're the reason people are committing suicide.' And if she does wear orange, then she's affirming something that the Bible has called sin. What does she do?"
It reminds me of when Christianity was allowed within the Roman Empire, basically they were very, very pluralistic. They were kind of a live and let live with whatever your religion is, as long as it didn't compete with Rome itself. And so the way they kept people in line was they made them go to kind of a temple, take a pinch of incense and say the phrase, "Cesar is Lord." And when they did that, they got a certificate that says that they've done this ritual and now they can go and buy and sell and conduct business.
It was the Christians who are unwilling to say, "Cesar is Lord." And I would say right now that the things that we're being required to say are things like, "Love is love and diversity, equity and inclusion." And there's a lot of businesses that have a diversity statement that you have to sign in order to be employed there.
When we were kids, we were called Jesus freaks and Bible beaters and goody goodies and prudes, that is not what our kids are being called today. They are being called hateful, hurtful, abusive monsters. That is a completely different level of peer pressure than anything that we can imagine. And it's, you know that you have something that powerful when it touches something that has become a God in culture. And sexuality has become a God. In fact, I had my uncle point out something where we're all about diversity and we're all about all the minorities. Well, there was a Muslim soccer player who refused to wear the rainbow flag. And it was kind of like, which one's going to win out because on one hand he's Muslim, so that would be a minority that people would be raising up saying, "You're not allowed to speak against this minority," but he was refusing to affirm LGBT.
My uncle was like, "Which one do you think is going to win?" I said, "The LGBT every single time, because that is our nation's God at this point."
Dr. Tim Clinton: Sexuality is our ruler. You're listening to Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton. Our special guest today is Hillary Morgan Ferrer. She is the author of a couple of books related to Mama Bear Apologetics. Today, we're talking about her book, Mama Bear Apologetics Guide to Sexuality: Empowering Your Kids to Understand and Live Out God's Design.
Dr. Tim Clinton: In that, I think about this hijacking process that's going on because this is where it really gets tough. It's tough for adults. And it's really difficult for kids who may not be anchored very well, especially in their faith.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yep.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Or they don't know how to defend themselves. But you say this linguistic theft, words are being stolen, like love and truth and tolerance, justice, equality, bigot. Can you explain what you're trying to teach in and through your book? Because this is a gift, again, to parents to help empower kids. Because if we miss this, we've missed our window of opportunity.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yeah. I would say the people that control the definitions of the words are the people who control the conversation because you can make good evil and evil good as long as you define things in certain ways. Everybody kind of already has a sense of what is moral and what is immoral, what is good and what is evil. So as long as you can close what you're doing in that moral language, you can make your side look like the one that's on the side of morality, that's on the side of love, that's on the side of peace and freedom. And everybody else sounds like they're against that.
So nowadays, things like love have been completely turned around instead of meaning to will the good of another and to be seeking someone's best interest. It's been turned into this, affirm anything that this person believes, no matter if it doesn't align with reality and unless you affirm it, then you're being unloving.
And so, we have kids that are going through these wonderful Sunday school programs that they're not meaning to steer the kids incorrectly. But when they're being told, "Jesus said love and you're supposed to love like Jesus loved." And then we send them out into a culture where love is defined as affirming everything about a person, we can't be surprised that they're coming back and then later fighting against their parents. Like this is something that's happening, I've heard from lots of parents. Fighting against their parents, for their parents being bigoted and unloving because we never taught them what it really means to love in the first place. We didn't tell them, "Hey, you need to be looking at when people are using these words, they don't necessarily mean what the Bible means when it says the same word."
Or the word tolerance. Again, tolerance is saying that everybody has the right to be right. I affirm, and I not only affirm, I celebrate everybody's decision. Well, if you look at the classic dictionary version of tolerance, it's living in peace despite disagreement. So we need to be reminding our kids, if someone's telling you you're being intolerant, are they asking you to agree or are they asking you to live in peace despite disagreement? Because disagreement is a foundational thing that must exist in order for tolerances to occur.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: If everybody thinks the same thing, that's just called agreement. It's a completely different concept.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: I would say the idea of bullying, it worries me sometimes when schools have what sounds so good, which is a zero tolerance bullying, and this is where we get linguistic theft. And then I also call linguistic smuggling, where we smuggle something into the definition. What happens when calling someone by the wrong pronoun is considered bullying?
Dr. Tim Clinton: How about it?
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Now we have our kids who have been taught to respect authority, to obey your teachers, obey your principals.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Programming. Programming. Programming. So much of what is going on. You talk about two powerful tactics. They have moralization and repetition. That's what's going on. Programming. Programming. Dr. Dobson, I want to say this, has always had a burden for children in the school system and it's a big battleground going on right there. He strong against the sex ed curriculum that has been taught and this progressive sex ed standard stuff that we're now seeing.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Hillary, can you just address it real quick? I know we're fighting time, but people need to understand that's what is happening in our schools.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yes, absolutely. So in fact, on Mama Bear Apologetics' podcast, we have a discussion with a former comprehensive sex ed educator, but we have this comprehensive sex ed, which instead of just kind of teaching about this is what happens to bodies during adolescence, this is how a baby is made, that kind of stuff, they're now going into how to have sex in a way that will produce the least amount of damage, how to not have sex without producing a baby.
When it comes to gender ideology, as young as kindergarten, they're being told that there's a difference between your gender at birth and your gender identity. And that's one of the things that are written into the standards that a K through second student has to be able to identify the differences. I think up into fifth grade, they need to be able to tell all the roles of hormones and how cross-sex hormones affect trans youth.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: I'm sorry, but doctors don't even know this. This is one of those things where we're finding all sorts of stuff out after we've put kids on cross-sex hormones or puberty blockers-
Dr. Tim Clinton: It's unbelievable.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: ... and then we're finding out down the road, what's going on.
Dr. Tim Clinton: It's unbelievable.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: It's like doctors can't even explain this. How is a fifth grader supposed to explain this? But it's just, it keeps building on itself and building on itself. And it even has an activism portion of it. Like what can you do at your school to make sure nobody that's LGBT, person of color, or Indigenous, make sure they're not bullied? It's like, why not just have a blanket thing against bullying in general? Why do we have to pick out certain groups? Because what that does is it gives a privileged minority, really just not a healthy way to conduct society.
Dr. Tim Clinton: You put together a strategy. We talked a little bit about it yesterday, called ROAR, for mama bears to really tap into when they are up against things that trip up our kids. For example, you reference pornography, same sex attraction, gender identity, the purity culture, and so much more. You want mom to really get this and then be able to, when she feels maybe even a little stumped or what have you, to have a strategy on how to approach her kids so she can teach them to think biblically, meaningfully and that way they have a defense for the hope that lies deep within them. That's called passing your faith along.
And by the way, this journey's called parenting is what we call it. I wanted to maybe take our last couple of minutes, Hillary, and step back for a moment and just say, we are in a battle. And because we're so busy and so stressed and everything that's going on in our personal lives and our own marriages and things like that, that we get lost. And sometimes don't recognize when we lose those moments, those precious teachable moments and more.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yeah.
Dr. Tim Clinton: But I've also learned, too, that you can't give what you don't have. What are we going to do with those parenting moments that are ours?
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yes. So there's one thing I also repeat several times in the book, and that's that we cannot refute that which we don't understand. And I think a lot of times when it comes to sexuality, we're kind of dealing with things that we maybe don't understand. We don't understand how this agenda is coming through. We don't understand how words are being co-opted. So I would love to see the parents being able to educate themselves so that they can see the tactics that the enemy is using. And when they start to recognize the tactics, they can point out to their kids, "See this tactic is going on." Kids love to be able to feel like they are finding something that nobody else has seen. So if I could encourage anything, I would say, educate yourself first. Because when you educate yourself, you can educate your children and you can even turn it into a game.
I have one mom that says that she gives her daughter like kind of a little stipend. Like, "Every time you hear a lie and you can define it for me, I'll give you 50 cents," or something like that. And then she's like, "Well, I think we're having a problem here, because she's coming back with all these lies. And I feel like she's kind of taking advantage." I said, "Well, now we moved to step two. Find what the lie is and then find what the partial truth is that it's wrapped in.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: And that's going to be the new challenge." And I think that when we start getting our kids involved in this process, when they realize it's not one big wagging finger pointing from beginning to end, that it's engaging, it's going to capture their imagination. And it captured their ability to think through these things. And that's what we want. And we want kids who are able to interact with those with different beliefs in a gracious and winsome way. So that by those conversations, by breathing a little bit of civil discourse into this world, that is one of the ways that we are to be set apart from the world.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah. We have so enjoyed having you on Family Talk, Hillary. And I know our audience has loved getting to know you as well. And one thing we haven't talked about is that you have been through pretty tough couple of years yourself in regard to your personal health.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yeah.
Dr. Tim Clinton: In fact, a little over a year ago, you underwent Whipple surgery. Do you mind just sharing briefly about yourself and your journey and how we could pray for you?
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Yeah. So the Whipple surgery, if anyone knows ICU nurses, they will tell you it's one of the worst surgeries you can have. They remove part of your stomach, your gallbladder, part of your small intestine and the head of your pancreas. And then they stitch it all together and nothing works the same after that. So I guess the prayers for that would be that the Lord would just be continuing to heal me. I do feel like there's something I'm supposed to be learning, namely how to rest, because I think sometimes I kind of treat energy almost like some people treat money as like, as soon as you have it, you have to spend it. And the Lord's trying to teach me how to rest. And it's really forced me to just get rid of any ideas that I have, that I'm the brains behind this operation, which I'm not.
And just allow the Lord to use me. And also really count the cost because it's like, am I going to continue doing this ministry knowing that this is kind of the way that affects my body. And most days I will say, yes. Every now and then I'll say, "What am I doing?" But when I hear from real parents, from real moms, from real dads, from pastors who said, "Oh my gosh, I didn't know how to start with these conversations. This has helped me so much." You know what? I just think about, "For the glory set before him, he endured the cross."
Not that I would compare my sufferings in any way to the what Christ suffered. A specific prayer would just be from attack from maybe the people who disagree with me. I really love to speak to parents because it's helping them to articulate what they already believe. But there is a certain, we'll say arm that could really get angry with some of the stuff that I'm publishing. And so, I just need the Lord to show up like I need Him for everything else. And just trust that He's going to make it happen.
Dr. Tim Clinton: Well, on behalf of Dr. Dobson and his wife, Shirley, their family, the Family Talk team, we will. We will join you in praying that God will bring great healing and strength to your body. And by the way, to the gifts that he's given to you. Thank you for taking time to share with us here today, about your kingdom work and equipping moms to equip their children with truth. I really believe God gave you Mama Bear Apologetics for such a time as this. God bless you. Thank you for joining us.
Hillary Morgan Ferrer: Thank you so much.
Roger Marsh: Another incredibly insightful conversation between Hillary Morgan Ferrer and Dr. Tim Clinton on today's edition of Family Talk. We hope that you will join us in lifting up Hillary, her husband, John, and the whole Mama Bear Apologetics team. Their work is so important and we are praying that God will continue to guide and bless them.
Now, if you missed any part of Hillary Ferrer and Dr. Tim Clinton's two-day conversation, remember you can listen to both programs in their entirety at drjamesdobson.org/familytalk. That's drjamesdobson.org/familytalk. Thanks again for listen to Family Talk. Until next time, I'm Roger Marsh. And from all of us here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, may God continue to richly bless you and your family as you grow deeper in relationship with him.
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