Monthly Archives: April 2009

17 posts

What to Say

This series of posts is dealing with the impact of lust on Christian families. As we have seen, lust is a sin that impacts all of life. Its demands are relentless, the guilt is dominating, the anticipation and desire for things that will never satisfy is consuming. Lust also attacks relationships, especially between parent and child. Talking about lust is not a favorite topic of conversation between teenagers and parents, but as Proverbs 6:20-24 teaches, the words  of parents are key to preventing sexual sin in the lives of children. When you discover that your teenager is viewing Internet pornography, the way you respond is important. We have already looked at one type of response that is not helpful. Here […]

Science, Morality and Plan B

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reversed a policy decision of the Bush Administration. Seventeen-year=olds will soon be able to buy a “morning after” pill to be used as an emergency contraceptive. Fox News reported the story this way on April 22: WASHINGTON — Seventeen-year-olds will soon be able to buy the “morning after” emergency contraceptive without a doctor’s prescription, after the Food and Drug  Administration bowed to a federal judge’s order Wednesday. Reversing a contentious policy of the Bush administration, the FDA said in a brief statement it will not appeal a judge’s order that overturns restrictions limiting over-the-counter  sales of “Plan B” to women 18 and older. U.S. District Judge Edward Korman ruled last month in a […]

What’s Missing

In the last post we examined the case of a 15-year-son who was caught viewing pornography on the Internet. I described one possible way of addressing this issue and asked what was missing. Jo weighed in with her comment. Her answer – the gospel. She is  right, and she offers some helpful thoughts on this problem. But I want to stress that when we say the gospel is needed, that does not mean there is no further work to be done. As Paul worked with great energy to teach what the gospel meant, so parents must also seek God for the wisdom to bring Christ to their children. The schemes of the world are crafty and deceptive (Ephesians 4:14 and […]

Active Spirituality

Breaking the Lust Cycle part 2

The apostle Paul was concerned about the power of lust. In Ephesians 4:11-24 Paul talks about new life in Christ and the essential role that the church plays in the lives of believers as they become more like Christ. In the middle of this section (verse 17) he interjects a strong, emphatic warning that Christians should no longer walk or live like the world. To give an example of being like the world, the Holy Spirit (through Paul) focuses on those who are controlled by lust. The world is dominated by what it wants. Since those wants are evil, deceptive, and at cross purposes with what God wants, then following those wants will lead to hardness of heart, entrapment, and […]

Breaking the Lust Cycle

The “lust cycle” is a pattern of thought and behavior that holds many captives in the church. Some are older, respected members of the church and community, while others are teenagers overwhelmed by uncontrolled youthful lusts. In the last post we analyzed the lust cycle in some detail. Understanding this vicious cycle is an important step toward breaking free from its grip. Thus, failure to break free from lust often stems from attacking the wrong part of the cycle, with weapons that are inadequate for the job. Allow me to explain. Remember, what drives lust is anticipation. The act of lust almost never satisfies. Giving in to lustful desires usually produces responses like that of Amnon. Once he had taken […]

Fueled by Anticipation

Lust is a sin that dominates and never satisfies. This sequence is not random. Dissatisfaction is an intended consequence of lust that was designed by the enemy of your souls. In the last post I asked you to look at 2 Samuel 13 and the story of Amnon. That passage vividly depicts this truth. Amnon was consumed by his sinful desire for Tamar. Yet, after he had acted upon his desire and taken her, instead of being satisfied, he was filled with hatred. The Holman Christian Standard Bible translates verse 2 Samuel 13:15 this way: After this, Amnon hated Tamar with such intensity that the hatred he hated her with was greater than the love he had loved her with. […]

Taxes & Tea

Tea parties and taxes have taken center stage this week across the American landscape. Paying taxes in general, and on April 15th in particular, has long been a source of concern for many Americans. In addition, this year we have bail outs, stimulus plans and tea parties. It is safe to say that many Americans are disturbed about the direction of current events. Then, this week the Department of Homeland Security issued a warning about dangers from right wing extremists. Perhaps the most chilling aspect of this report is its definition of right extremism. Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, […]

Never Satisfied

The most striking characteristic of the sin of lust is simply that lust never satisfies. Lust promises excitement, relief, and distraction,  but it never delivers. As Ephesians 4:19 says, it only fuels a thirst for passions that will never be quenched. Here is the key to understanding lust: it is fueled by anticipation. When the desires that are anticipated and driven by lust are finally enacted, there is never relief–only bitterness, disgust and emptiness. The result is always a period of profound regret, remorse, and emptiness. The act, whether is it viewing pornography, indulging in masturbation, or other inappropriate sexual behavior, never satisfies. It leaves only bitterness, which is soon followed by the desire to commit this act again. The […]

Understanding the Power of Lust

Lust is not a particularly pleasant topic to address, but it is necessary to do so. I have touched on this issue from varying perspectives but I have not addressed it head on until now. Lust is a weapon of the enemy to enslave hundreds of thousands of young people to their own flesh. Lust, the passion of the flesh (Eph. 2:3), has the capacity to dominate lives and destroy relationships. It is not easily defeated. While our modern culture is no stranger to lust, lust itself is no stranger to people of all ages. Lust promises, but it never satisfies. Lust is fueled by anticipation of sweet satisfaction, but it yields bitter fruit. Lust captivates; it never frees. To […]

Christ and Your Parenting

The first and most important thing about parenting is being a Christian. And the most important thing about being a Christian is trusting Jesus minute-by-minute to be your Savior. He is your Savior in justification and Your Savior in sanctification (Colossians 2:6). Why is that so important? Because you sin against your children. You sinned yesterday. You sin today. You will sin tomorrow. Does that disqualify you from being a parent? No, and if you have recognized this pattern of sin in your life, then you have great hope as you continue on in the task of parenting that God has called you to. Jesus died for your sins, and even at this moment he intercedes for you before the […]