Let’s Not Forget the Offense When It Comes to Teens and Purity.
A concerned father called me recently, wondering about his son and the myriad technological temptations he faces. Today’s world can be a minefield of lust – especially for boys. Before our sons even know danger lurks, they’re already standing on the triggered bomb.
As a parent of teen boys (and a couple younger ones), I’m keenly aware of these dangers. My wife and I have set up as many barriers as possible to defend against the onslaught of offensive content. There’s probably not a filter or restricted browser we haven’t tested.
Having a good defense is essential.
But one thing this father and I discussed – the power of going on the offensive.
Playing good defense is only part of the equation. And, perhaps the smaller part. Parents who routinely implant the good stuff may get further than those who only protect from the bad.
So, what does this good offense look like? While we have various weapons in our arsenal, none is more potent than God’s Word.
When we saturate our boys’ hearts with God’s Word – His promises and plans found in the Bible – we equip them generally to stay in bounds, and make great defensive maneuvers when the enemy does attack.
Consider these portions of scripture:
* “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalm 119:11)
* “Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” (Psalm 1:1-2)
* “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2)
* “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession …” (1 Peter 2:9)
There are hundreds of places where God’s word gives us direction, helps us make choices, and shows us who we are.
The point: We must help our children have hearts for God, not just walls built against the devil. When they know who they are, why they are here, and what they are made for, they are less likely to chase the things of this world.
Much of the armor of God found in Ephesians 6 is defensive. But, one clearly offensive element, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:17)
Further, God’s word is, “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
I’m a big fan of using web filters, limiting tech time, and not handing cell phones to young boys (for the love of Pete, what are we thinking?).
But, amidst the defensive wall building, let’s not forget to arm our boys with powerful offensive weapons. I want to drench my boys’ hearts and minds with the positive, life-giving, soul-refreshing water of God’s holy word.