What’s the Big Deal about Lust, Temptation, and Purity?
Why are conversations about temptation and purity so important to our faith, and how can we start them?
[God brought us to] adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will.” Ephesians 1:5
Discussions on family resemblance have a special place in a parent or grandparent’s heart…”He looks just like his father.”… “She has eyes the same color as her Gram.” This is to be expected and enjoyed in our families. How much more amazing that the same is true spiritually. Our loving Heavenly Father wants us to increasingly have a family resemblance to Jesus in the area of purity – for God’s glory and our good.
There are at least three reasons for this:
God cares about our purity and so should we. 1 Peter 1:15-16 But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do, for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” One area of God’s family resemblance is in the area of purity or holiness. Remember being holy means “set apart”, not perfect.
- Purity in our speech and conduct point out to a watching world we belong to God. 1 Tim. 4:12 “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself and example of those who believe.” When our life is becoming healthier through growing purity, others notice our family resemblance.
- In the natural world, purity can be super important. Think of small amounts of lead in the water of Flint, MI producing terrible physical deformities. In like manner, how we resist various temptations can be a matter of the quality of your spiritual life and yielding to temptation can lead to terrible spiritual deformities (James 1:15).
- Begin with a question connecting this idea to God’s protective purposes in desiring His children to be pure and resist temptation. Questions like: Why would a loving parent set limits on their children? Why would a 2 year old child not want to hold parent’s hands in a busy parking lot? The goal is to teach our kids that a loving parent sets appropriate boundaries.
- Teach complex spiritual issues (purity) through simple to understand examples. One illustration could be that of storing clean food in a dirty container left in the trashcan for a week. Just as we want cleanliness in key areas of our family life, so God desires spiritual cleanliness in His families’ life.
- Remind your campers that our faithful and loving God promises to provide a “way of escape” from the temptations of life (1 Cor. 10:13).