Helping Children Overcome Temptation

A couple of different discussions in the Forums really got me thinking. One of the discussions dealt with the different pressures that teenagers feel and whether or not they give into the pressures. Temptations will come upon all and we all need to be ready to face them. Remember 1st Peter 5:8 states: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” How can parents prepare their children for the temptations that will be presented to them throughout their lives?

Teach children when they are young and continue to teach them as they grow up. Lay a good foundation about what is right and wrong starting when children are young and continually build on that foundation as they grow up. A strong foundation built into the core of your child will help them to make the right decision.

Teach children that they have a standard: the Word of God. Too many times the world teaches that decisions are not black and white; but rather include many, many gray areas. The Bible is clear in what it teaches. Children should be taught that no matter what their situation they can choose to obey God or to disobey God and sin. In Matthew 6:24 Christ says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”

Prepare children for temptations that might face them. Children need to realize that they will face temptations in their life. Even Christ was tempted as Matthew 4:1 states: “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.” If children realize that they will be tempted perhaps they will be less shocked, and more prepared to deal with the different temptations that stand before them.

Teach children that there is a way out of every temptation. First Corinthians 10:13 states: “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” Teach children ways out of temptation. Show children Christ’s example of overcoming temptation with scripture in Matthew 4:1-11.