Lust: It’s Worth the Conversation
When our top-notch college staff were asked what they wish their parents would have taught them growing up, this was toward the top of the list: “How do I deal with lust?” We desire to be in the trenches with you as we’re raising kids to know and love God. Walt’s seasoned wisdom gets us down the road in having a conversation with our kids about lust.
Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties. Psalm 141:3-4
According to Merriam-Webster, there are 2 main meanings of the word “lust”. One is “a strong longing: Craving.” For example: “Her lust for chocolate drew her into the candy store.” This definition and the accompanying sentence speaks of our appetites for legitimate cravings which can be abused. A little dark chocolate and a good coffee – great. Ten pounds of milk chocolate a day – deadly.
The key on our appetites is wise self-control. We need to pray along with King David: “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.” Psalm 141:3-4
The second definition of lust is a more specific one: “sexual desire especially if strong or uncontrolled.” 1 Corinthians 6:18 tells us this: “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” 1 Cor. 6:18.
As parents we need to acknowledge the temptations faced by our kids, even regarding lust. Lusting does not exclude anyone from Christianity. Lusting does not mean our kids don’t love God and don’t want to follow Him.
We can point them to discipline their eyes and thoughts however. Here are 6 key items on sexual lust we should share with our kids.
- God has a good design for sex. There are a number of reasons that God made sex including: 1. Procreation – Genesis 1:27-28; Unity to bring a couple closer together – Ephesians 5:31; For Pleasure – 1 Timothy 4:4; Sacrifice & Submission – Ephesians 5:25.
- God’s Word makes it clear this is an important topic we all face. In fact, a matter of life and death. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am being tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.” James 1:13-15
- God directs His followers to flee sin. “So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.” 2 Timothy 2:22
- God directs His followers to pursue and “put on” Christ. “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires. Romans 13:14
- God gives us the power through the Holy Spirit to live a transformed life and not act on sexual lust. Galatians 5:16-26
- God rewards faithfulness in this area. Galatians 6:7-9
Conversations regarding how we can handle lust, as uncomfortable as they may be in the moment, are well worth the equipping they will bring our kids for a life time.