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Tom and Laura Clifton, serving as missionaries with FamilyLife, a ministry of Cru.

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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Caught

As a mom I have often prayed that if my children were doing something they shouldn't be doing that they would be caught in the act. Many times God has answered these prayers. Although it has been awhile since I have voiced that prayer, it is a prayer that God still answers...

Just last week while I was preparing for a friend to arrive I walked to the closet to put some things away. I noticed a folded piece of paper lying on the floor inside the closet. "It looks like someone just tossed this in here." I thought to myself. I unfolded the piece of computer paper and was immediately saddened. It had a picture that had obviously been downloaded and printed from the internet. One of my sons had gone to a place he shouldn't have been on the computer and printed off an image that was inappropriate.

"Give me wisdom, Oh Lord, as I confront my son" I whispered as I went looking for him. During those moments as I waited for him to arrive God gave me an incredible peace. Yes, I was heartbroken for him and his sin, but I was also thankful that God had opened the door for him to be caught so this sin could be dealt with now, rather than be allowed to grow in secret and silence.

"John*, I am going to ask you something, " I said as I spoke to him, "And I want your word that you will be completely honest with me." He agreed and I went on. "Have you been anywhere on the computer where you shouldn't have been?" His gaze went from my face to the floor and then he noticed that I had a folded piece of paper under my arm. "I guess you already know that I have since you have that paper. I was going to throw it away and talk to Joe* about it." (Joe is an older young man that my son had been on a youth retreat with several months earlier. Joe is a godly young man. During the retreat he had been very open about the struggles to remain pure in this generation with pornography so easy to access through the internet.)

I was thankful that John was not defensive, that he felt bad about what he had done, and that he had a plan to confess his sin to another person. As we spoke further I asked how he came upon this picture. He had not gone looking for it. He was searching for answers to his school assignment for a particular country. When he clicked on the link for the country there were models along the side. So, right there he had a choice to click on the model or to look away.

As a mom it saddens my heart to know that even though we have put safeguards in place, temptations will seek out my sons. The devil does "prowl around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Pornography is a sin that can destroy the hearts and lives of men. As parents we not only need to put safeguards in place, but we need to train them what to do when the temptation comes looking for them.

In this day of easy internet access (even through cell phones) we need to train our children how to handle the temptation. They need to know how to flee from it and how to confess it to another person if they stumble. We also need to continue to press into their lives and ask them tough questions and check up on things like the internet history on our computer to see what sites have been visited. "Trust but verify" is a favorite slogan of my husband. To think, "My son (or daughter) would never do such a thing" is to set your child up for failure. Teach them righteousness, but train them for the battle so they can stand firm in this day of temptation.

*names changed

2 comments:

  1. I don't know if you have discovered bsecure.com, but it is a wonderful filter. It even filters out suggestive ads on Facebook. $40 for a whole year.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Laura,
    This article is precious. You are right that God is even in the places where temptation happens. He made it possible for you to discover this at a time when it could help your son to change his course. It sounds like you and Tom are doing really well in bringing up your kids!

    ReplyDelete

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