The last few months watching the news has been tough. The Supreme Court nominee hearings exposed many hurts and injustices. Who was telling the truth? Your answer to that question seems to be determined by which side of the political aisle you sit.
I am not here to rehash that debacle. But, I think that regardless of anyone’s conclusions, there are a few things most of us can agree on:
Sexual attacks destroy women. Most women’s greatest fear is being raped. As a woman, I make decisions daily about what I will and will not do based on how safe it seems to me. Fear is real and restricts my decisions.
False accusations can destroy an innocent man’s life. To say every woman must be believed is to deny the reality that sometimes people lie. Those lies also trickle down to also harm other women who, when telling the truth, have their own story doubted.
How do we protect and value women and protect men at the same time?
These two needs juxtapose each other. They often obliterate middle ground, and make thoughtful conversations including both sides almost impossible.
Today, I just want to look at this subject through the lens of a mother of sons. How do I pray for my sons in light of our current climate, #metoo, and the sexual immorality that surrounds us?
Just in case you are wondering: Yes, I also pray A LOT for my daughters, but this post focuses on my sons. I will focus on this subject from the view of my daughters soon.
What Surrounds Us
I can’t fix this broken world, though I wish I could. I hate how our airwaves and computer screens are filled with sexuality that would have appalled my grandparent’s generation, and I’m not even speaking of pornography.
But, speaking of porn, as an increasingly rampant addiction, it destroys minds and hearts. Once healthy marriages are tainted by its poison. It contributes to the denigration of women. And it is available on every phone and computer screen.
In the midst of all this, how can we expect our sons and daughters to have healthy views of sex and honorable understanding of boundaries?
We can’t wait to start teaching self-control when they get to the age to discuss sex. They need to have already learned self-control in other areas of their lives to apply it to their desires for sex.
Several years ago there was an egregious case of assault in California by a young man who should have known better. I wrote this post then explaining why I taught my sons to listen to the word “No.” If our sons don’t learn to accept their parents' “No,” then how will they listen to a young lady’s, “No,”? How will they tell themselves, “No,” when their desire is counter to what is right and good?
My sons are now grown men, and I worry for their lives in this climate. They are bombarded with sensual visuals everywhere they turn. Today’s world is like trying to live a normal life while walking down the seediest street in Las Vegas, with half-dressed women attempting to lure them in. Yet, we expect them to keep their eyes forward, know where the lines are, and do the right thing. All the time.
Let me assure you, I am not giving men an excuse. Nor blaming problems on women. When a woman says, “No,” that is exactly what it means.
I am saying, the world has taken away every parameter on sex: it is no longer only for marriage; it is with whoever you want, with how many people you want, in any way you want. Our TV shows are soft porn, and hard porn is accessible everywhere. All fifty shades of grey are allowed, celebrated, and promoted. As a society, we demand no limitations, but then we somehow are surprised when a man doesn’t respect a woman’s boundaries.
This confuses me. And it scares me for my kids and my grandkids.
I can’t fix this conundrum, but I can pray light into this messed up darkness.
Praying For My Sons About Sex
It might feel weird to pray about our sons’ sex lives, but in light of the quagmire in which we live, we parents better start. Since God had lots to say about it, that is where I go to get informed about WHAT to pray.
(Besides, I don’t want to talk to them about sex, they definitely DON’T want to talk to me about it either. Talking to Jesus about it solves that problem!)
So, how do I pray for my sons? I run to Scripture and find the Lord’s standards — ones that do not change with our culture — and I pray those.
Five Prayer Suggestions:
I pray my sons will develop a healthy, holy fear of God.
Colossians 3:1, 5-6: If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. ... Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming.
The Lord takes sexual immorality SERIOUSLY. He hates it, and it produces a great wrath in Him. I pray this fact will affect my sons’ decisions. We like to talk about grace and forgiveness, FOR WHICH I AM GRATEFUL, but if we don’t also FEAR God we will just do what we want and then rely on grace to get a free pass.
Here’s the Biblical perspective: KILL sexual immorality. Put it to death. I don’t think, “everyone’s doing it” is gonna fly with the holy Creator of the Universe. I ask the Lord to produce a fear of His judgement in my boys.
Lord, cause my sons to FEAR You.
Lord, cause my sons to hate sexual immorality as much as You do.
Jesus, please convict my boys to destroy their own sexually impure thoughts or actions.
I pray my sons will remember the Lord’s commands and guard their way
Psalm 119:9-11: How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
In our hyper-sexualized society, how will our young people remain pure? ONLY by decisive action. The filth of the world MUST be countered by the truth of the Word. The Bible is the antidote, and Its truth can convict my sons’ hearts and minds more than my words ever could. It is more powerful than even their best intentions and efforts.
Lord, I ask You to bombard my sons’ minds with Scripture that teaches them and reminds them of Your thoughts about sex.
I pray my sons will abstain from sexual immorality
1 Thessalonians 4:3: For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality
God’s instruction is to ABSTAIN, which means to hold yourself back. God instructs us to HOLD OURSELVES BACK from sexual sin because He recognizes we will want what we should not have. He still expects us to do what we SHOULD for our own good and for the good of others.
Lord, please build the conviction and ability in my sons to ABSTAIN from sexual sin.
I pray my sons will understand that all sexual sin harms women, and God Himself will AVENGE these wrongs.
1 Thessalonians 4:4-7: … each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.
We don’t like to talk much about God’s vengeance in the American church. I am not preaching fire and brimstone, but I do think we harm ourselves when we ignore this aspect of God’s just, holy nature. A little holy fear might go a long way toward correcting our passive view of the harm of sin.
God created sex to be wonderful under the protective shield of marriage. He does not classify misuses of sex as sin just because He is a killjoy. After all, He is the one who made it so much fun! But He placed iron-clad parameters around it because of HOW MUCH HARM can be caused with its misuse. Outside of marriage, it destroys hearts, bodies, and lives.
Look at the alarming statistics on STDs for an example. Or realize how pornography harms not only those who view it, but much more those who are caught in the industry. Those women are someone’s daughter or sister. Godly men should protect ALL women and not be a part of an industry that takes advantage of them.
We must view sex like God does.
Lord, whenever my sons are confronted with sexual temptation, please turn their stomach and cause them to be disgusted by sexual sin.
Lord open their compassion to see all women as Your daughters, holy to You, and to mourn for those impacted as victims of sexual sin.
Lord, please cause my sons to fear the vengeance You will seek for sin done to those women.
I pray my sons will keep their minds, eyes, and hearts too full of Jesus to allow sexual sin to enter.
Philippians 4:8: Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
We all have a choice: what are we going to think about? Biblical instruction for our thought life is to restrict it to honorable, pure, lovely, excellent things. That answer doesn’t sound like pornography. It rules out sexual immorality. It kicks self-centered, pleasure-seeking-at-the-cost-of-another actions to the curb.
Lord, please motivate my sons to fill their minds with so much of You that there is no room for anything else.
Jesus, please be so real in their minds that they would see sex as the pure, lovely, excellent thing You created it to be in marriage.
The Bible has more to say about sex, but I hope these verses will help you get started praying for your sons, or any young men you know.
We all have the responsibility to pray in these times. The church should be where God’s view of sex reigns. Where women are valued and secure. Where couples submit their sex life to Jesus, waiting for marriage, and holding the marriage bed in honor.
But if Christians’ sex lives and porn use look like the world’s -- well, that shouldn’t be, dear Church. That just shouldn’t be.
We all need to fear God and find His truth about sex and make it our truth. Then we can confess, repent, and go to Jesus for restoration. Let’s remember that Jesus is the Fixer, and the answer to every prayer.
So, let’s stop pointing fingers at each other and start storming the gates of heaven instead.
May my sons be SO DISTRACTED BY JESUS that all perversion falls to the dust.
May sexual sin repulse them as much as it repulses God.
May they fear the vengeance of the holy God who cares about the one harmed.
May they enjoy marriages where sex is all that it is supposed to be and nothing that it is not.
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To the glory of God.
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