How are you tempted today? Do suggestive pop-ups on the computer screen tempt you to click through as you do a routine Internet search? Are there titillating images showing up as you scroll through various social media on your phone luring you to check out a video or pornographic site? Statistics show that 79% of men succumb to the temptation and view pornography monthly, 63% view it weekly or more (Barna 2014).
Anything short of the spiritual discipline required to rebuke such temptation results in the support of an industry that abuses women and perverts human sexuality. In the process, men also enable the marketing of pornography to kids at an ever-younger age. The average age for first time exposure to pornography is now nine-years old! Ninety percent of boys and sixty percent of girls will be exposed to pornography by age 18.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. – Romans 8:5-6. Paul makes it very clear that there has been, and always will be those that live “according to the flesh” pursuing pleasure outside of God’s design for mankind. The mind succumbing to what the flesh desires, leads to death. The mind disciplined in and “governed by the Spirit,” leads to life and peace. No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. – 1Corinthians 10:13. Spiritual discipline and accountability provide the “way out”. Some sobering statistics on the Defend Young Minds website show that: 71% of teens hide online behavior from their parents; 83% of boys, 57% of girls have seen group sex online; 69% of boys, 55% of girls have seen same-sex pornography; and, 39% of boys, 23% of girls have seen sexual bondage online. Dads are charged to rebuke the temptation to live according to the flesh and lead the way to life and peace in family with a mind governed by the Spirit.
Tips to lead the way:
- Pray fervently and establish an open-door policy in the home: no phones behind closed doors and no screens of any kind behind closed doors;
- Eat dinner together as a family five times a week;
- Have dedicated family time for open discussion at least once per week, making the home a safe place where kids and parents can have candid dialogue on any topic;
- Visit Defend Young Minds and Center for Parent/Youth Understanding for insight;
- Build your spiritual wall by doing Faithful Fathering’s Nehemiah Initiative study.
Prayer guide: Thank You Lord for Your word and Your grace in my life. I confess that growing up during the sexual revolution, this young mind was conditioned for and set on what the flesh desires. Forgive me. Today, with the advent of the Internet, such conditioning is on steroids for young people. As a dad, I know You expect me to lead the way out of such a tempting environment. Help me rebuke temptations I face personally and grant me the strength needed to lead my family with a mind governed by the Spirit. That is the dad You call me to be and that is the dad the next generation needs. Amen.
A faithful father rebukes temptation with a mind governed by the Spirit.