As much as I am really enjoying it, I’ve noticed some new temptations that come with having big kids. We’re learning a whole lot around here! From screen time monitoring to our sleep-over policies to sibling disagreements, they’re all just a little bit different. I want to train them with godly wisdom without squelching their unique, individual personalities. While we obviously still correct and discipline, we are moving into a time of more explaining the correction. I already know my attempts to require a certain behavior are futile if their heart has not been softened by the Holy Spirit to what they are learning.
In particular, my son faces a continual temptation to instigate and frustrate his sister! No surprise there. He absolutely delights in making all sorts of noises and chopping motions that absolutely drive her to her limit. As we work on her reactions, I have been reviewing 2 steps with her. Our goal right now, is that when the temptation strikes (whatever that may be), she remembers these steps:
1. Leave the room.
2. Find help with a trusted adult, most often me.
I have been teaching and reviewing these steps with her because I know that the evil one has steps of his own that he tempts her with:
1. Stay right where you are.
2. Succumb to the temptation and be destroyed.
I know that it seems so much easier when we’re talking about a small sibling disagreement, but God provides us with small lessons so we can learn as many lessons in safety that we can apply when we face bigger situations. He is using these moments to equip for godly living today and in the future. God never tells His children to stay in a place of temptation. He commands us to flee.
In Genesis 39, Joseph is faced with a situation of great temptation. Joseph is a young, good looking man who loves the Lord. The Lord has looked upon him with favor and succeeded his ways. The evil one wanted nothing more than to wear Joseph’s resolve down by sending temptation repeatedly. Joseph chose to acknowledge that the temptation would be sinful against his Master and against God.
Regardless of what area we are being tempted, we must realize that it is always the evil one’s attempts to draw us away from God. At its core, temptation is always an invitation to disobey God.
When we resist temptation, the evil one will often try harder. He will cease to be subtle and will go on the full attack. In Joseph’s situation, Potiphar’s wife stopped asking and literally threw herself on him. So much so that “he left his garment in her hand and had fled out of the house” (vs. 13). In obedience to the Lord, regardless of what man would do, Joseph fled.
God shows us what destruction can happen by staying in temptation through King David’s in 2 Samuel 11. David chose to stay home, sending someone in his place, when he was supposed to be going to battle. The door of temptation was opened when David was in the wrong place. We give the evil one opportunity, by staying where we are not supposed to be, even when somewhere or something is normally safe. David was walking when he saw a woman bathing. He stayed. Although he may not have known who she was initially, he absolutely knew she was not his! This temptation would lead David down a path of destruction, murder, death, and discipline. All beginning, because he stayed in temptation.
Two lives. Two men of God. Two very different endings. Temptation will catch you by surprise and take you further than you ever planned on going. Although we will each face it, there are 2 steps to take:
1. Flee temptation.
2. Go to the trustworthy God who wants to take your temptations and transform your life.