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How to Approach the Topic of Lust

Camper talking to an adult

When is the right time to begin talking with our kids about lust? Probably sooner than most of us might prefer. Colby bravely points us to why we need to jump in to this tough topic and how we can do just that.

Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. 

1 Peter 5:2-3

Oh, how I wish with all my heart that my parents had initiated a conversation with me concerning lust and the many avenues in which the temptation of lust can present itself. That conversation did come, but it was after the poisonous consequences of pornography had set roots in my mind and was leading me down a path of addiction. Nothing has robbed me of more life and joy than sinful acts centered around lust.

Sadly, we can’t shelter our children from a culture continuing to evolve with or without our approval, but we can speak truth and set an example providing a firm foundation for them to stand upon.

Below are a few suggestions to prepare them and at times protect them from the imminent dangers they will face.

1)    Initiate conversations at a young age (early grade school) – We encourage you to be prayerful about the timing of these conversations.  But let’s beat the media and their peers to the punch so our children hear what God has to say about sexuality. Simply having “The Talk” once won’t suffice. Our children will encounter countless challenges throughout their preteen and teen years, which means it is crucial to keep the doors of communication open and welcoming. (resource: How do I talk to my kids about sex?)

2)    Speak with an attitude of humility and understanding – Children (not to mention us adults) often feel like they are alone in the battle against sin.  We want our kids to know we can relate so they’re more inclined to share when they feel defeated.  “But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light.  For this reason it says, ’Awake, sleeper,and arise from the dead,and Christ will shine on you’.” Eph 5:13,14

3)    Practical guardrails against lustful temptations –

  1. Meditate on/memorize scripture as a family – Eph. 6:17 tells us that our offensive weapon is God’s Word.  (1 Corinthians 10:13, Galatians 5:6, Psalm 119:9-11, Romans 12:12, 2 Timothy 2:22, Psalm 51:10)
  2. Locate computers in the main hub of your home where the screen is visible to everyone rather than in private.
  3. Keep cell phones on the kitchen counter during bedtime or even after a certain time at night – this will likely promote a healthy lifestyle in other areas as well: socializing with siblings, reading and school work.
  4. Install Protective software and/or limiting access to certain apps, etc. on your Wi-Fi and smart screens.  https://www.covenanteyes.com/

Jesus says in John 12:46, “I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me, will not remain in darkness”.  God does not intend for his children to remain in bondage, nor do we want that for any of our own flesh and blood. Implementing these ideas might seem awkward and will likely provoke questions from your child, but what an incredible opportunity to explain your heart as a parent behind these practices.

Let us shepherd and lead our children well through willingness and humility.

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