“And lead us not into temptation …” (Matthew 6:13 NIV)
It seems that oftentimes we think that God only makes requirements of us without giving us the ability or power to enable us to do it. But that’s not what the Bible says.
The Bible says that God will always give us a way to do the right thing when we are tempted to do the wrong thing. And it is so important that our children learn how to tap into God’s strength and power so they don’t go through life trying to change things by their willpower. Willpower works for the short-term, but God’s power works for the long-term.
“Lead us not into temptation …” (Matthew 6:13 NIV). Your kids are going to be tempted with the same temptations you had, do have, will have. The Bible says they are common to man; we all go through the same temptations – the lust of the flesh (pleasure), the lust of the eyes (possessions), and the pride of life.
You need to teach your children about these three basic temptations, because they are the foundation for everything our secular society builds on. I would encourage you and your children to memorize this verse: “Don’t love this evil world and all that it offers you, for when you love the world, you show that you don’t really have the love of the father in you” (1 John 2:15).
God is not saying, “Don’t love people.” He wants us to love the people of this world, no matter who they are, what they’ve done, or what they believe. But he does not want us to love the world’s value system. And that value system is this, “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving or everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world” (1 John 2:16 NLT).
So how do we teach our kids to resist temptation after they identify it? Here is God’s way out, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. And when you are tempted he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13 GNT).
So when your kids say, “Dad, Mom, I just couldn’t help it,” you can teach them that God will help them do what’s right if they will trust him.
By Rick Warren