How Paying Attention Protects Our Children from Porn

Screen Shot 2017-04-13 at 2.16.56 PM

In my recent interview with Lisa Shanklin of Educate Empower Kids, we focused on one of the topics emphasized in my book Life After Lust – protecting children from pornography. In the chapter entitled “How Paying Attention Protects Our Children from Porn” and in this interview, I suggested 4 critical ways that parents can pay attention to their children, thereby protecting them from pornography.

Check out the article and the book for more information.

For a powerful video with additional suggestions for parents, click here.

Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Help This Video Go Viral – Dear Porn: A Father’s Letter

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 11.57.27 AM
I created this powerful video to challenge fathers (and all parents) to wake-up and engage in the battle to protect children from pornography. Please enjoy and share it with as many people as possible. This message is VERY important. Our children are depending on us.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

What I Need from You Right Now: An Appeal to America by a White Father of Black Sons

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This is not as much a political post as a personal piece.

Today is a sad and confusing day for me. I sit stunned by the surprising news that Trump won the Presidential election last night. This news has stirred in me both sadness and anger. I am in protective parent mode. As a white father of black sons, I fear the racist influence that may increase in this country, infecting and emboldening others with hateful, hurtful lies.

Initially, I felt repelled from my friends who voted for a racist President. I was torn by the fact that many who voted for Trump love Christ like I do. As a white father of black sons, I am indignant. Yet, I am also aware of the destructive potential of the emotional cocktail brewing in my heart. If I’m not careful, I will lash out with the same attitudes I renounce. Not attacking violently, but verbally. In spite of this internal battle, I refrain from reacting in revenge, knowing that such responses never build up the kingdom God wants to create through me.

I have some requests though. As a father of black sons, I need a few things from you.

What I need from you right now is….

Understanding, not defensiveness.

Empathy, not fact checking.

Compassion, not condemnation.

What I need from you right now is this: That you would mourn with those who mourn. That you would take a moment to imagine how this political news affects those oppressed by prejudice. That you would step inside the mind of a parent who fears the future maltreatment of their children. My wife and I face such fears, now more than ever. We are not alone in this.

Most of all, what I need from you right now is that, regardless of your political views, you don’t give hatred a foothold in your heart. If our new President incites injustice, stand for what is right. If his rhetoric reinforces racism, resist with love. Regardless of the leanings of our new leader, don’t align with attitudes that demean and divide.

I will work hard not to retaliate against racism in the ways I denounce. I will not let my anger disunite me from others. I will work hard to love all people, even those whose votes may cause my family undeserved suffering. In the words of Martin Luther King, “I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING book

The Song that Keeps Me Crying

heart-1137259_1280

This morning I couldn’t help but cry as I listened to Switchfoot’s new song “If the House Burns Down Tonight.” The lyrics resonated deeply with me, as I thought about the prospect of fighting for love and letting everything else burn away.

To me, this means passionately pursuing a “furious love affair” with my Abba. This means deepening my loyal love for my bride. This means daily communicating my affection to my kids. This means prioritizing the love of my family and friends. This means holding onto love while letting all of the distractions, addictions, and meaningless attempts to impress anyone or prove anything burn away.

May we all have the commitment and courage to fiercely hold onto those things we value the most, abandoning everything that competes for life’s highest virtue……love.

I invite you to invest a few minutes in listening to the following song while reading the lyrics below. Imagine the love you want to pursue and what you’re willing to give up to get it.

 

“If The House Burns Down Tonight”

Ashes from the flames
The truth is what remains
The truth is what you save
From the fire
And you fight for what you love
Don’t matter if it hurts
You find out what it’s worth
And you let the rest burnThe sunset burns like gasoline
Touch me and make sure that I’m not dreaming
I see her face and my heart skips beats
But I still get the feeling that we’re half asleep and
There’s a spark in the corner of my baby’s eye
Like a distant star that won’t burn quiet
And I might not know what I want from this life
But I know I want more than the starting line

So give me the fire

I can hear the motor running down the interstate
And all the distractions fade away
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need with you by my side
I see the smoke piling up in the rear view mirror
Yeah but I ain’t ever seen it any clearer
If the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need when I got you by my side
And let the rest burn
And let the rest burn
And let the rest burn

I’ve given too much of my heart away
My soul’s holding on like a house divided
Like a match it burns down like a masquerade
And I had to let it go when the fire ignited

One heart, two hands, your life is all you hold
(your life is all you hold)
To hold, hold tight and let the bitter go
Yeah let it go, and give me the fire

The smoke tries choking the pacific sun
We rocket down the road like we’re shot out of guns
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need with you by my side
Holding you and the wheel and it occurs to me
We’re driving down the edge of eternity
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need when I got you by my side
And let the rest burn
And let the rest burn

Put your hand in mine and
Put your heart in driving
We got everything we need yeah
We got everything we need yeah
Left it all behind us
What we need will find us

We got everything we need yeah
We got everything we need yeah

Can you hear that motor running
Can you hear that motor running
There ain’t no stopping us now
There ain’t no slowing us down

Can you hear that motor running
Can you hear that motor run, run, run

And all those lies that mattered most to me
Were draining me dry making a ghost of me
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need, everything I need
There’s a fire coming that we all will go through
You possess your possessions or they possess you
And if the house burns down tonight
I got everything I need when I got you by my side

And let the rest burn

Ashes from the flames, the truth is what remains

-Switchfoot

-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK!

“Protecting Children from Pornography: How to Equip Parents”- Fresno Seminar for Mental Health Professionals & Students (June 18th)

girl mother computer

On June 18th, CAMFT (Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter) is hosting a seminar called “Protecting Children from Pornography:How to Equip Parents“. This seminar is presented by Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C, who specializes in sexual addiction treatment and presents often to parents on this topic. The seminar is open to all mental health professions (licensed, interns) and students pursuing this field as well. Participants will earn 3 CEU’s.

The purpose of this seminar is to teach about the availability of pornography to children, the effects of pornography use on children, and what steps can be taken to protect children from pornography. Participants will also learn about resources for parents and young people who are faced with this issue. Information will be shared about both prevention and treatment.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the prevalence of adolescent pornography exposure and use

2. Learn about the neurological, relational, biological, legal, and other effects of  adolescent pornography use

3. Understand the need for preventative measures

4. Learn about available resources for both prevention and treatment

For cost, location, and registration information, CLICK HERE

We hope to see you there!

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

“Vote for Love, Not Porn” in Today’s Fresno Bee

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 11.46.31 AM

I am grateful to announce that my article called “Vote for Love” is in today’s Fresno Bee (click here to read it online). May it deepen people’s awareness and inspire action. Please help us spread the word! I invite you also to watch the videos and check out the links in the original online article to learn more about this important issue that affects us all.

-Written by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley

New Group for Adult Daughters of Sex Addicts (Starting June 9)

beach daughter
A unique and much-needed group for adult daughters of sexual addicts is beginning June 9 at Northpoint Church in Fresno called “Ready to Heal”. This group is created and led by Julie, who is a daughter of a sexual addicts herself. She explains:

“”Ready To Heal” is a 7 week class/support group specifically for women who have been hurt by their father’s sexual addiction. My passion for this group started in my heart and mind about two years ago and I feel such an urgency to make it available to others that are hurting. As girls, our relationships with our fathers are hugely influential in so many aspects of our lives – especially in how it affects our self-esteem and future relationships. At the age of 18 I was devastated to learn of my own father’s long and deeply rooted addiction – I felt as though I’d never trust again. But the Lord took me and also my family through a journey of healing and restored our relationships. I am passionate about bringing together others in similar situations so that we can support each other and learn to heal in a way that brings hope and ultimately glory to God – our Great Healer!”

This group is Christian-based but all are welcome. It will be offered on Thursday evenings and is only available to women who are 18 and older. For information contact Julie at julesdoobiedoo@gmail.com.

Please join me in supporting Julie with prayer as she embarks on this courageous journey! I am certain many lives will be impacted as a result, especially her own.

Please share this with anyone who would benefit.

Free Porn-Protection Seminar – April 13th in Fresno

child ipad

On April 13th from 6:30-8:30pm, local therapist Forest Benedict is presenting his “Dangerous Access” seminar, equipping adults to protect children from pornography. This seminar is offered free to the local community and will be presented at First Presbyterian Church in Fresno.

The generous church staff recently shared this invitation:

“It is time we begin to address this issue here at First Pres. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, teacher, caregiver, mentor or just care about kids (pretty much everyone!) please join us this Wednesday, April 13 from 6:30-8:30pm in the Corner Room for a free seminar led by Forest Benedict entitled “Dangerous Access: Protecting Children from the Path of Pornography.

Forest Benedict is the clinical director of LifeStar of the Central Valley and has taught at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. I look forward to how this education and equipping will help us as a church family raise spiritually and emotionally healthy kids.”

This is a valuable resource for everyone who cares about children and wants practical direction for protecting them. We hope to see you there!

If you are unable to attend but are seeking information about this topic, click here. PLEASE SHARE this invitation with others. Thank you!