I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Matthew 5:28 ESV
On Tuesdays we discuss how our spiritual formation impacts our kids. Last week we began discussing how to lead our children through the challenging sexuality of our culture and help them live pure and holy lives. Today we continue this discussion by focusing on some of the tools I have found to be helpful in this area.
First, the tools I recommend are simply that: tools. Nothing can guarantee our kids will turn out the way we want them to. They will answer to God for their actions, and only He can shape their hearts. For that reason, the first tool is prayer. I commented before on the importance of praying daily for our children, so I won’t reiterate it here. Secondly, realize that shaping their heart is infinitely more important than fencing them off from bad things. I recommend Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp if you haven’t considered this aspect of parenting (worth a blog post in itself in the future). Thirdly, I have begun monthly breakfasts with my son as he prepares for the teen years. I hope these breakfasts provide open accountability and discussion where we can discuss all things, including sexuality and everything included there. Fourth, we must be proactive regarding the internet and the rampant availability of pornography. Your kids will find it and be forever changed by it. In my house, we use OpenDNS (a free service) to filter our internet. I like the way it is router based, so even if friends come over to the house and jump on our wifi, things are still filtered. We also install CovenantEyes (worth every penny of the $15 or so for a monthly family plan) on all our devices. This allows my wife and I to see exactly what sites our children visit and how long they were on them. Personally, I feel all parents are complete fools to not implement filters and accountability aspects such as these.
As I indicated before, only God can guard and shape their heart. Belief that OpenDNS or Covenant Eyes will keep our kids form porn is foolish at best and dangerous at worst. We must engage in prayer, accountability and open relationships to guide our children to understand how God created sex.