Impossible task? Some say it is so.
With so many men, including Catholic men, addicted to pornography and lustful vices, the idea that parents can rear a chaste (read: self-mastered) Catholic young man seems impossible.
Not so, says Leila Miller, Catholic mother to many, including virtuous Catholic sons. What are her secrets? Read on!
Raising Chaste Catholic Men
Leila is an old friend of mine and sent me an early draft of her first book: Raising Chaste Catholic Men: Practical Advice, Mom to Mom.
I flew through the book: it’s written in down-to-earth language with straightforward advice that is instantly applicable to your parenting. Also, as a now-Catholic man who is now-chaste, I was able to read the book from the perspective of someone who had to fight to discover the truths Leila talks about.
What are her priorities when rearing sons:
- Make moral formation top priority
- Logically explain beliefs and principles
- Make discussions open to any topic
Moral formation, says Leila, trumps teaching kids to be financially shrewd, socially popular, or even academically successful.
We want our children to become ultimately successful, which means they become saints, so moral formation with the truths of the Church is top priority.
Logically Explain Catholic Beliefs
Faith is supported by reason; the two go hand-in-hand. So when a child asks “why” we believe a certain dogma, do not say “that’s just the way it is, I’m not sure why.” Be ready with reasons to support the belief.
Examples include areas where the Catholic Church’s teachings contradict those of our modern secular society, e.g. contraception, divorce, pre-marital sex, etc. but also truths of divine revelation like the Incarnation and Resurrection of Christ.
No Holds Barred
Nothing that you children bring up is taboo. Of course, Leila wisely cautions that our responses need to be age appropriate and divulge just enough information to satisfy, but the important point is that your children grow to trust you and know they can bring up sensitive topics with you.
Later on Leila talks about respecting the latency period, or “years of innocence” as Pope St. John Paul II said: 5 years old til puberty. This means not disturbing this period with unnecessary information about sexual topics.
Being careful to guard them during this time means being vigilant not just of what they see and hear in your own home, but also via movies, television, videos, music, and their peers. They may go over to a friend’s house every week whose parents are MIA or oblivious to all of these things.
So Many Good Guidelines
Leila teaches you how to answer questions your children will face from the culture on sexuality, then also dives into uncomfortable topics like masturbation and pornography and how to help your children see through their emptiness.
She also devotes a chapter to navigating pop culture: movies, video games, school choices, and more. She isn’t dogmatic or condemning on these matters (e.g. “homeschool is the only way!” or “no movies or t.v., period!”) but also gives prudent warnings of the dangers your children will face from pop culture and society.
Finally, she interviews her sons on a range of topics related to purity, and they share their thoughts, proof that young Catholic men can grow up to be strong in chastity.
Raising Chaste Catholic Men is a must-read book for all Catholic parents. We are facing an epidemic of impurity and it is wrecking souls, marriages, children, and women. We aren’t doing near enough as the Church to combat it and reverse the direction, and too often Catholics don’t look much different than the culture when it comes to the statistics of men addicted to pornography.
After you get the book, consider buying my course for Catholic men to conquer pornography addiction.
Perhaps you weren’t blessed with wise parents like the Millers and fell into the pit of pornography and lust. An ounce of prevention is best, but sometimes you need the pound of cure. I did, but the good news is that the Church’s teachings are true and will liberate you from this evil.
Thanks Leila for a great book!