A few posts back I addressed Teens and Sex. Today I want to direct the conversation to those of us in the church who are parenting teens in a sexually charged world.
It’s crazy to me that our kids are committing sexual sin like everyone else in the world. From pornography to sex, they are giving into lust. They are behaving as if they are not children of the King. I guess it points to a deeper issue, their desire is greater than their belief that it will lead to destruction. This seriously makes me nauseous. And it makes me determined to sound the warning louder.
Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” So I can’t help but believe this not a generational dilemma. This is a human dilemma. Solomon wrote many words of warning to his son about sex and temptation. We find them in the Book of Proverbs. Solomon is the ancient Dr. Phil, only better.
Dr. Solomon tells his son:
My son, stay focused; listen to the wisdom I have gained; give attention to what I have learned about life
So you may be able to make sensible judgments and speak with knowledge.
You see, the lips of a seductive woman speak honey-sweet words; they are smooth like oil and enticing.
But in the end, she is bitter, turning the stomach and rotting the soul; she cuts as deep as a double-edged sword.
She leads you down a path that can only end in death; her steps lead eventually to the grave.
She does not travel the road to life and truth. She follows a wandering path— a rocky, pit-filled road that twists and turns—and she doesn’t even know it.
So, my children, listen to me. Do not stray from my advice. Stay away from her, far away from her path; don’t even go near her door
Unless you are ready to hand over your reputation to someone else, unless you want to spend the rest of your years at the mercy of some cruel person.
If you do, strangers will help themselves to your wealth, and everything you have worked hard to acquire will end up in someone else’s hands.
Your life will end with groanings of remorse, of opportunities missed, and your flesh and bones will be eaten up with sorrow, regret for worthless efforts.
Then you’ll say, “Why did I hate being taught? Why did I turn my back on correction? I disregarded all that my teachers said to me;
I turned my ear away from my instructors! Now I am on the edge of complete and utter ruin in the midst of the community.” (from Proverbs 5)
I don’t want my son to fall for that kind of woman. Nor do I want my daughters to be that woman. Solomon warns his own son to stay as far from the lure of sex as possible because it will kill him. Are we as serious about warning and protecting our kids today?
“We are called to nurture them in the discipline and teaching that come from the Lord” (Eph. 6:4).
The word of the Lord says sexual sin will destroy you, kill you and lead you to hell. So why do I allow my kids the opportunity? When my kids are young I don’t let them run out into the street. I protect them from dangers they don’t see. When our kids are teens, they need the same. They need protected from the dangers they don’t see. The only difference is the stakes are much, much higher.
Fortify Their Heart
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children” (Deut. 6:6).
There is an enemy of the soul. He is the accuser, a liar, a destroyer and a thief. He can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14) or a cute boyfriend who pays attention to your daughter or a flirtatious girl who makes your son feel like a man. They enemy is after them and nothing is off-limits.
Parents, its starts in us. The Word has to be on our hearts first. Then we fortify their hearts from infancy. When they are babies we’ve got to start building an impenetrable bond with our kids. As they grow, we nurture the bond with Jesus as the glue.
- Pray diligently from the time they are in the womb.
“Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed” (Eph. 6:19).
- Implant the word of Lord into their heart.
“How can a young person remain pure? Only by living according to Your word” (Psalm 119:9).
Dr. Solomon also said, “Don’t excite love, don’t stir it up, until the time is right” (Song of Solomon 2:7). That means there is a wrong time. There is also a right time. That time is marriage. God created our sexuality. It is not a dirty thing that he gives us a pass on. From Eden, it was purposed between Adam and Eve, without shame, in marriage. We need to make sure our kids know any deviation from that is sin.
- Do not tolerate any disregard for the law of the Lord.
In the Book of Deuteronomy the law on sex outside of marriage is laid down. If a man could prove his wife had been with another man before they married the law said,
“The woman must be taken to the door of her father’s home, and there the men of the town must stone her to death, for she has committed a disgraceful crime in Israel by being promiscuous while living in her parents’ home. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you.”
“Suppose a man has intercourse with a young woman who is a virgin but is not engaged to be married. If they are discovered, he must pay her father fifty pieces of silver. Then he must marry the young woman because he violated her, and he may never divorce her as long as he lives. (from Deut.22)
Disgrace. Crime. Evil. Violated. These are the words God uses. Sex outside of marriage was a crime punishable by death. Do our kids know this? Our God abhors sexual sin so much that he called for the execution of the guilty under the old law. We need to make sure our kids know the stakes.
- Lavish grace up on them.
I’m not sure we can appreciate grace until we appreciate the consequences of sin under the Law of Moses. The law couldn’t save anyone. Now,”We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 15:11).
We also need to make sure our children know that under the law of liberty, there is forgiveness, undeserved, glorious forgiveness. And that forgiveness was a new thing when Jesus came onto the scene. In John 8 the Pharisees presented Jesus with a woman caught in the act of adultery. Ready to stone her as the law demanded, they turned it over to Jesus. Jesus did something crazy. He forgave her.
But forgiveness comes with strings attached. Jesus told that woman,“Go and sin no more.” We need to tell our kids the whole story. If they want grace to cover their sin, they have to “sin no more.”
Fortify Their Body
Since there is a right time and a wrong time to awaken sexuality, we have to help our kids set boundaries that reinforce that.
We can’t put our kids into the ring with the devil and walk away. Mary Hudson, mother of pop star Katy Perry says,”Satan’s assault on our youth is relentless, and they can’t fight against it alone. Parents have to walk in their God-given authority—children can’t be left to raise themselves.” (Charisma Magazine; How To Pray For Your Prodigal).
Nothing is off-limits when it comes to protecting our kids. Nothing is too extreme or too radical to save our kid’s souls.
So if your eye—even your good eye—causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand—even your stronger hand—causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. – Jesus
If Jesus says to pluck out our eyes and cut off our hands I’d say taking cell phones, computers and Friday nights with their friends are not sacred cows. The devil is looking for the weak link. He is using any small crack to infiltrate and attack our children. Set boundaries to keep him out.
- Movies and music with sexually stimulating messages are out.
- Modesty is a must. Cover it up kids!
- Don’t date until God-centered marriage is your goal.
- All texting and social media is monitored.
- Open your home to their friends.
- Never let them be alone with the opposite sex.
- Oral sex is sex. (Yes, teens are unsure of this.)
- Making out is not OK. Kissing is dangerous. Really!
Don’t lose heart.
Dr. Carolyn Landis, a clinical psychologist at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine says, “Whatever your morals and values are, your children need to hear you say that early on, and hear you say it often… If you want your children not to do something, and you expect them not to, you have a good chance they won’t.” Read more about her in, Keeping Your Kids Chaste.
Always remember this, “Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57).