Every day our children are met with temptations. Big ones and small ones, and sometimes, life-changing ones.
And while we must equip our children with the critical skills to navigate temptation, we are wise to remind them that they’re going to need a lot more than their own power and strength to overcome the temptation to sin. They’re going to need the “alive and powerful” Word of God.
One of several instances where Jesus demonstrates God’s Word as “alive and powerful” is in Matthew 4.
After Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights, Satan confronted him in the desert with three opportunities to sin. It is important to note that Jesus’ temptation was not merely symbolic. He was “tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin” (Heb. 4:15).
And although Jesus was the Son of God, he defeated Satan by using a weapon that we all have at our disposal: “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).
Jesus met temptation with spiritual truth, with Scripture, and we can use His example to help our children see that the Word of God is alive and powerful in their lives too.
For example, when we see our children struggling with self-control, we might encourage them to pray the words of Paul in Philippians 2:13: “God, please work in me, and give me the desire and the power to do what pleases you.”
Or when we see our children struggling with selfishness, we might encourage them to pray the words of Philippians 2:3 – 5: “Lord, help me do nothing out of selfish ambition, but in humility, help me value others’ interests above my own.”
Or when we see our children struggling with impure desires, we can encourage them to pray the words of David in Psalm 51: 10-12: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
What we can assuredly tell our children is that there is no temptation they will face that cannot be defeated with God’s Word.
But when our children do fall to temptation, which is inevitable because, well, they aren’t Jesus, let us not forget to also remind them to run to God’s Word to be reminded of the forgiveness and grace that is waiting for them.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
Ephesians 1:4-8 NLT
This is the Good News!