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Temptation – Worth the Risk

Temptation is on my mind. Wanna guess which one!?

No, not that one.

I’m thinking about how I teach my kids to deal with temptation. More specifically, I’m thinking about how I react to my kids when I realize they are facing a temptation.

Let’s be clear. I’m not talking about any one particular temptation, but temptation in general, from simple disobedience to the kind of temptation that leads down a destructive path. How do I react to my kids when I realize they are tempted?

I know what I want to do. I want to give them wise instruction. I want to inspire them with an example of my own success, or where I’ve failed, the success of others. I want to encourage a loving self-discipline that equips them to choose the wise path. I want them to succeed…even if that means I have to force success on them.

Did you see where I crossed the line? It’s that last sentence.

Temptation can be a scary thing. Give in to the wrong thing and the consequences you face may be irreversible. I don’t want my kids to play with fire. They might get burned. So, out of fear and concern, discipline comes prematurely. Instead of correcting bad behavior we correct at the first glimmer of temptation. It’s compounded by the fact I’m disappointed they found that tempting in the first place. We overreact and underestimate. Instead of offering wise counsel that leads our children to choose for themselves we remove from them the responsibility for making the choice in the first place. And with that form of discipline we make the temptation for the child even more enticing.

Yes. We protected them from one thing but created in them a curiosity that won’t be satisfied until they experience the victory that comes from choosing for themselves.

It’s a fine line we walk as parents. Every child is different, every situation unique. We must learn to discern when it’s time, to step in the way to protect, or to step out of the way and let our child discover what they’re capable of.

Give your child room.

Don’t be disappointed when they are tempted. Be proud of how they overcome.

Don’t Miss this Date

I’m not too far from the day my kids start dating. It makes me wonder how to pray for them and those they will date.

For my daughter – I don’t want her to date a boy. I want her to date a young man. Someone with the courage to look her father in the eye and say, “I intend to date your daughter.” Someone who understands her heart is in my heart and firmly held in the grace of God. Someone, with the strength of godly character, daring an attempt to win her heart from mine, and bold enough to ask God to allow him to become an instrument of His grace in her life.

For my sons – I don’t want them to date a girl. I want them to date a young woman. I pray my boys would become the kind of men I just described. I hope they are attracted to strong, wise, godly women, beautiful from the inside-out, who challenge and encourage them to become mighty men of valor.

For them all – I pray they would recognize the truth and power of Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” A date, a spouse, these are not what complete you. They are an earthly reflection of the grace and love of God in our lives. As my children begin dating I hope they understand the remarkable opportunity they have to be an extension of that grace to someone else.

For those who will one day enter my home with a desire to date my kids, know this – I look forward to meeting you. I’m praying for you now, that the presence of God in your life today would be overwhelming and prepare you for that moment when you become the reflection and receiver of the grace of God with my kids.