TRAIN YOUR CHILDREN GOD’S WAY
Every sin that a man does is without [outside] the body; but he that commits fornication sins against his own body” (I Cor. 6:18).
Fornication impacts both the body and the mind in a way that no other sin can, and it does this in two distinct ways:
First, those who engage in it will create memories of the kind of intimacy that should only bring one face to mind—his or her mate.
Second, those who fornicate but then go on to marry each other often find it impossible, consciously or unconsciously, to separate previous guilt from the sexual relations that, after marriage, are no longer sin. They have forever intermingled—MIXED—something that God said is good (Gen. 1:27, 31) with something that was bad.
Teach your children to keep lust out of all relationships—and to flee all forms of fornication! Teach them that not saving themselves for marriage is THEFT—that they are stealing from their future mates. Also, again, they are sinning against their own bodies.
In the past, both men and women wanted, and expected, to mar- ry virgins. But today, people have come to expect to marry people who may have had countless sex partners.
Yet, God’s Word is very plain about sexual permissiveness. This is made clear in many passages. Notice this from the Song of Solo- mon: “We have a little sister, and she has no breasts: what shall we do for our sister in the day when she shall be spoken for? If she be a wall, we will build upon her a palace of silver: and if she be a door, we will enclose her with boards of cedar” (8:8-9).
Parents, teach your daughters that they can be either: (1) a “door” (having multiple sex partners and demeaning themselves), or (2) a “wall” (chaste, immoveable, pure in marriage). While this particular principle is not directly applicable to sons, the overall principle cer- tainly includes them.
Teach your children that marriage—and this includes sex in marriage—is wonderful. But they must realize that marriage is the ONLY PLACE in which sex belongs!
The two previous sections lead directly to one of the greatest challenges that you will face.
Warn About the Dangers of Gambling, Drugs and Alcohol
Directly related to the subject of sex outside marriage, and avoiding it as part of instilling morality into one’s character, are the absolute perils of slipping into other dangerous vices.
Teaching About All-important Character
In the first chapter, significant space was given to the subjects of drinking, drugs, gambling and attending the wrong kinds of parties. Of course, all of these things are linked, and by now that should be well understood for the potentially grave danger that they pose to your children. Teaching your children to be aware of each of these things, and of all of the related pitfalls, traps and other “sinkholes” waiting to snare or swallow them, is of paramount importance in your overall strategy to navigate your children safely to adulthood.
People would only swim with man-eating sharks if they had no idea the danger of such sharks. Your children must be educated to the seriousness—the grave danger—of dabbling in things that can almost immediately put them in over their head, or even take their lives.
But you cannot educate your children to that about which you have not educated yourself. Your strategy to help them includes learning as much as you can about what leads children into these devastating evils that can destroy them before they knew what hit them. (The final chapter will offer some very helpful additional tools that we have prepared to help you in this regard.)
These dangers are most real to your children. Many families are forced to endure their unexpected death and injury, and are so un- necessarily left to grieve over lost or ruined lives.
Twice for emphasis, the Proverbs state, “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself: but the simple pass on, and are punished” (22:3; 27:12). Be sure that you are continually looking ahead—“fore- seeing” influences that could suddenly appear in your children’s path, so that neither you nor they wind up “punished.”
Coach Your Children to Be Strong and to Control Their Emotions and Desires
Again, because people are weaker in character than ever before in history, this age could perhaps best be described as “the age of weakness.” With this in mind, upon close examination, when ob- serving people, it is amazing to see how little mental strength most now possess. Woe to those who cut people off in traffic—who take their parking space—who do not talk to them with sufficient “re- spect”—who, in some perceived fashion, “violate their rights” or “get into their space.” Few people are taught any longer to curb their feelings. Most have come to believe that they should “express them-