Reasoning with temptation – not a good idea

Posted on · Posted in Communication, Teenagers

Being lonely is a dangerous. Being lonely and misunderstood is a train-wreck waiting to happen. It is huge that you take the time to know your children. Especially your teenagers.

Here is an example of a young woman who was both lonely and misunderstood. Her problems didn’t start in college, but had roots in her younger teen years. She looked like she was doing well – but underneath she was lonely, wanting to be known. She wasn’t prepared for temptation that came from a “safe” place. This combination will allow for temptation to be reasoned with, just as Eve attempted to do long ago in the garden. Here is Kate’s story:

Kate was a good Christian girl from a strong home. During high school she had friends in her church youth group, but never dated. In college, when no relationships with guys ever seemed to develop, she naturally wondered what was wrong with her. Finally she met Bruce, a mature, respected, popular Christian young man. They fell in love and were soon engaged to be married. But suddenly he broke off the engagement, explaining that his feelings for her just weren’t strong enough for marriage. Kate felt devastated. After weeks of lonely misery, with no one else to turn to, she went to her pastor.

“Why is this happening?” she asked. “Is it me? What’s wrong with me? Who can help me understand? I don’t know what to do!”

The pastor encouraged her kindly. Finding a sympathetic listener, she returned and talked further with him. One day, suddenly, the conversation became inappropriately personal. At first Kate was startled and quickly left the meeting, but as she thought about it further, the warmth and intimacy of the conversation seemed irresistible. She stifled her conscience and went back for more. “Maybe I’m just too cautious,” she reasoned, “maybe my whole problem is all about being too timid. After all, he is my pastor, and he’s just trying to help me grow in this area. What harm can there be, really?”

Sadly, she found out. Thinking she was strong, she was deceived by the weakness of her own flesh. All of a sudden, she gave in to the promise of intimacy, and she found out that the power of sexual sin is a cruel trap to escape from. She found out that she wasn’t as “good” as she thought she was. Kate did not flee temptation; she reasoned with it, and gave in to it.

Understand your children, warn them about predators posing as understanding “friends” who promise intimacy but deliver devastation.

Taken from Chapter 10 of Everyday Talk

Everyday Talk

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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.