Teaching any boys we’re raising to guard their eyes is no small task. Janna, mom to four boys walks us through their biblical and practical ways they do just that!
“Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault.”
I remember when all four of my boys were in elementary school and we were watching the Super Bowl with a group of our family friends. Suddenly a scantily clad woman came on the screen promoting a product. Very loudly one of our boys shouted, “Everybody close your eyes!” Immediately all four boys buried their faces in their hands until given the go-ahead that it was safe to look. Other grown men looked around at each other and went ahead and did the same thing. At half time the families began asking how our kids learned to do that.
We started when they were very young. When something inappropriate came on the tv our entire family would immediately cover our eyes. We called this “guarding our eyes”. They watched their father do this and followed his lead. It just became a part of our family culture.
- Teach the habit of simply looking away. With our overly sexualized world, we our bombarded with sexual images on a very regular basis. In our culture we cannot protect our kids from seeing things they shouldn’t. Looking away and fleeing temptation is the first way to keep us from falling. The simple act of “guarding our eyes” helps us combat our. Looking away can become habit when done on a regular basis. “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness…” 2 Timothy 2:22. Young men also need to recognize the value of women. Teach them what to look for in a Godly woman.
- Attraction is natural and God-given. God has created us to be attracted to the opposite sex. Males are especially sexually attracted by what they see. Feeling that attraction is not sinful, but the response to that attraction can be. We can choose how to respond to a natural body reaction. We need to control our thoughts and keep them from diving into lust and fantasies. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can “Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
- When the temptation becomes greater and failure happens. As my boys became teenagers, the temptations became greater. We wanted our boys to be open with us when they were struggling with lust. Whether it was seeing an Instagram post of a friend who was dressed immodestly or pornography, we wanted them to share it all with us. We chose to enter the battle with them. Sometimes this meant prayers of repentance and sometimes it meant cheers and celebrations of success. It was our habit to check in with them regularly to see how they were doing and for them to know they were not alone. Accountability became an important part of our lives.
We use practical helps like Covenant Eyes filter on their phones and devices. There are other services such as Family Connect or Integrity Online. These can help take away some temptation. We encouraged them to have accountability partners with their Christian friends. All young men in this generation will go through this battlefield in their minds. Make sure they are not isolated and have been given the tools needed to be an overcomer.
The best news for Christians is that we don’t have to conquer sin on our own. We have been given the power of the Holy Spirt working in us. “We are more than conquers through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Do you have an accountability partner? Find someone you feel safe sharing the battles that you face, like a good Christian friend, a youth pastor, or mentor. Don’t let shame isolate you into facing this giant alone. As a follower of Christ commit to a high standard of purity.