One Of The Most Important Talks A Father Can Have With His Son
He will die for lack of instruction, and in the greatness of his folly he will go astray. Proverbs 5:23
This sentence is the concluding warning to a son about the very real danger of lust and adultery (Matthew 5:27-30). And as much as anything, it is a desperate and passionate plea for the well-being of a son(s). Read and listen carefully to the words of the teacher in Proverbs 5:1-7:
“Give attention to my wisdom, incline your ear to my understanding; that you may observe discretion and your lips may reserve knowledge. For this lips of the adulteress drip honey and smoother than oil is her speech; but in the end she is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death, her steps take hold of Sheol. She does not ponder the path of life; her ways are unstable, she does not know it. Now then, my sons, listen to me and do not depart from the words of my mouth. Keep away from her…”
Do you hear the concern, passion and urgency? Thousands of years later, has anything changed that we should be any less concerned than the writer of Proverbs?
My own boys are at the age for which this is a very real threat to their soul because of the easy access to porn. They are on devices regularly and even though we have rules and we monitor it closely, we can’t be with them every single second. If they have a device in their hands, or are with friends who have access to the world through the web, danger is lurking. If they go to the grocery store, there are magazine racks full of women clothed provocatively to entice a sell of something. If they go to nearly any movie, even animated ones, the potential for lust is there. Satan has lust-lures everywhere, and every male (not to exclude women, but I am addressing fathers and sons particularly) must determine in his mind not to let his impulses lead him to take the bait and swallow the sin of lust hook, line and sinker. Satan never stops fishing for the ill-prepared.
A point-blank, man-to-man question here: “Is your son prepared?”
Grandfathers, have you asked your son if he has had this talk with his son? Because if your son won’t talk to your grandson and lovingly warn him, someone needs to. It’s biblical. It’s needed. It’s loving. It’s the right thing to do. This needs to be done, and when it is done, it needs to be done again and again. Don’t be a coward to awkwardness. Do Proverbs 5 with your son and soberly say to him:
Lust and adultery will kill you, my son, so don’t go near it! But if you do, flee from it like Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife! It will cost you more than than a few moments of guilty pleasure. It will start small, but will numb you deeply, stealing your years. Pay attention son, I know! This is not something to be played with. This is deadly serious! If you give in to it, you will live in perpetual guilt, and you will recoil from the love of God. It will make you withdraw from God’s word and God’s people. It will make you lazy, because porn is easy. You will not pursue your wife the way God intended. You will not value you her and you will treat God’s design of marriage with contempt. And generally, you will devalue women. You will treat them like objects instead of sisters who were created in the image of God. Son, don’t do porn! Flee from it! God’s way is better and more satisfying.
Fathers and grandfathers, honor God’s protective word and do this. And do it sooner rather than later. As is true in most cases, prevention is better than treatment. Get ahead of this if you still can, but for the love God and your son, do something.
I’ve only know one man who said he never looked at porn, and he said he didn’t look because his dad told him not to. Dad, don’t underestimate the power of hard talks. God uses hard-talk honesty. That doesn’t mean it will work perfectly for you and your son, but it’s better to have tried than to have disobeyed. Trust the power of God’s word and do Proverbs 5.
One last thought to the guilt-laden dad or grandfather. If you are failing or have failed, remember that Christ finished the work of redemption for your sin and failures. Turn from your sin(s) (repent), rest in the gospel (trust/believe) and let it move you to obey (fruit of assurance) as you may have the opportunity. If you have failed, be honest and make much of Jesus and your need of Him. Jesus gives us the freedom to confess and be authenticate with others.
Let’s be honest, men, we need to do this. May the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead make it so for the glory of God together, for the good of others and our eternal joy.