Preparing for the unexpected

Posted on · Posted in Culture, Parenting, Teenagers

Your ten-year-old son picks up the daily newspaper left laying on the kitchen table. No one has had an opportunity to actually read the paper yet. Your son finds a front page article on sex and TV, complete with enticing photos, and reads about new shows with group sex and nudity. Try to put yourself in his place. Your son needs a game plan about how to handle this information in a way that pleases God and protects him. This situation is exactly what Proverbs 6:20-24 envisions when it describes what godly parental instruction should accomplish for your children.

Here is what verse 22 says:

When you walk, their counsel will lead you.
When you sleep, they will protect you.
When you wake up, they will advise you.

Your son needs to have the godly counsel of his parents’ wise instruction leading him as he reads the words of the article. Chapter 7 in Proverbs gives a concrete example how this instruction can provided. The father in chapter 7 sees a brazen wife leading a foolish young man into adultery. Instead of closing the curtain and diverting his son’s attention from the unfolding drama outside their window, this father calls his son over and provides a running, specific commentary on what is taking place.

This father knows that one day a situation like this will confront his son with the wicked, but tempting, offer of sexual pleasure apart from marriage. So he prepared his son for what he would someday face. This kind of instruction can become life-saving counsel. The point here is to realize that your children will be confronted with the opportunity for sexual activity and thoughts long
before we are comfortable talking about these things.

If you have followed the example of Proverbs 6:22 and chapter 7, your 10-year-old son will have already heard from you about how to handle this specific temptation. You can reference affectionate embraces, kissing, and warm physical contact between folks that are married as things that God has reserved for marriage. Yes, sexual activity is pleasurable; that is why it is tempting.
Stress to your children that sex outside of marriage is selfish and destructive, even though at first it may appear to be rewarding and exciting. That is the line of temptation used by the adulterous wife in Proverbs 7. However, the mind ruled by faith rather than sensuality believes God’s words are truth rather than believing the lies of sexual temptation.

This kind of in-the-trenches battle against the wave of sexual temptation is one for which you must prepare your children. By placing sexual activity in the context of marriage you can more naturally engage your children about the deceptive allure of sex outside of marriage.


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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.