How Can We Help Our Children Recognize, Understand, and Fight Sinful Temptation?

1 Corinthians 10:13 states, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God provides a way out, and we want to make sure our children understand there is an escape route when they face temptation.”

No matter who you are, sinful temptation lurks in the shadows, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike. It’s a constant battle, a test of willpower, and a struggle we and our kids face. There are ways to help our children understand temptation and know how to fight it appropriately.

During this episode, Lee Ann touches upon some of the many temptations children face today that can be detrimental to our children’s physical, mental, and spiritual health, and what we can do to help them:

  • The desire to be on social media constantly for likes, followers, and virtual validation – sharing inappropriate photos or videos, cyberbullying, or seeking acceptance.
  • The temptation to cheat on a test or copy someone’s homework – plagiarism can be due to the pressure to excel or the competitive culture our kids live in today.
  • Food commercials, easy access to fast food, decreased physical activity, and the desire for instant gratification from sugary snacks can lead to obesity and long-term health problems.
  • The desire for the latest gadgets, fashion trends, or material possessions – kids want the newest and greatest stuff, which may create a sense of entitlement and can hinder their ability to appreciate the value of experiences over materialistic things.
  • The temptation to experiment with drugs, alcohol, or tobacco is usually because of peer pressure – kids want to fit in and be “cool” or escape stress and problems.

As parents and educators, it is essential to provide guidance, support, and education to help kids fight these temptations. Creating open lines of communication, promoting healthy coping mechanisms, and fostering a sense of self-worth and personal value can empower our children to make positive choices and resist harmful temptations.

Children may not understand that temptation to sin can be triggered by a sinful desire. Make sure your child knows that everyone experiences temptation, and it’s a normal part of life. Emphasize that even Jesus faced temptation but showed us how to resist it. Discuss each of the three temptations Jesus encountered: turning stones into bread, jumping off the temple, and worshiping Satan for worldly power. Help your child recognize common temptations before they arise and role-play the conversation. If we can help them develop self-awareness by recognizing emotions, thoughts, and triggers that entice them to sin, they can learn to keep themselves out of those tempting situations.

Resource mentioned: “Understanding the Temptation of Jesus” by Pray.com.

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