Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is for…Temptation

By Shelly Burke, Editor, Nebraska Family Times

(The posts for the A to Z Blogging Challenge will focus on teaching kids lessons from selected Bible verses. Adapt your teaching to the age of the kids you’re talking with.)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Jesus said, “Watch and pray that you man not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41

Ask your children what they’re tempted by and ask them if they think Jesus was tempted by the same things. Remind them that He was made man when He was born here on earth, and was tempted as we are. Of course He didn’t have computers or TV to tempt him, but what are those temptations, really? The temptation to watch too much TV can be a temptation to disobey parents or not put God first. The temptation to cheat is also disobeying. The temptation to have sex with a boy- or girlfriend is disobeying the commands against sexual immorality and adultery. Discuss more temptations and how those temptations are “common to man” and have been for many years.

God is with us at all times; He knows when we’re faced with temptations. It is not a sin to be tempted; even Jesus was tempted. Temptations occur throughout our lives, every day, every hour.  That is part of sin being a part of our world. Our spirit—our conscience—is willing to follow all of God’s commands because we want to please Him and our parents too.

But our flesh—the part of ourselves that says, “I want to {whatever it is we are tempted by} and I want to do it now!”--is weak. It is difficult to say “no” when a bunch of friends are bullying another child, or want you to join them in drinking alcohol or cheating on a test or skipping school.

Read the account of Jesus’ temptation by the devil, in Matthew 4 or Luke 4. What did Jesus use when the devil tempted Him? He used the Word of God—the Bible—when He said “It is written.” You can use God’s Word, too, when you are tempted, to answer friends who tempt you and so you know what you should do in those situations (another reason it’s important to know what the Bible says).

God knows we will be tempted, but Paul (who wrote Corinthians) also gives a promise: “…with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” What is a way of escape? How can you avoid giving in to temptation? Here are several suggestions:

·        Pray with your kids, and for them, that they will avoid temptation and if caught up in a situation, make good choices and get out of the situation.

·         Simply leave the location where the temptation is taking place. It might not be easy (because of what friends could say) but it removes you from the temptation.

·         Arrange a signal with parents; if you text them they’ll call and “demand” you come home immediately—or pick you up from the location.

Role play with your kids, playing the part of other kids tempting them. Help them to come up with responses like the following.

·         “Jesus was kind to everyone and He wants us to be, too.”

·         “It’s not nice to make fun of anyone.”

·         “Cheating is dishonest and I’m not going to risk getting caught and flunking the class.”

·         “The risks of premarital sex are too great and God says we are not to do it so I’m not having sex until I get married.”

·         “We are not old enough to drink alcohol. I’m not going to break the law. If we’re caught we’ll get kicked off the team.”

·         “I respect my parent’s rules and I’m not going to sneak out.”

·         “If my parents find out they’ll ground me for a year!” (We assured our kids that if they misbehaved this would certainly be their consequence!)

Give your kids the reassurance that they have the tools they need to resist temptation; God provides a way of escape. Encourage them to practice so they’ll be ready when faced with temptation.

Lord, when I am tempted, please show me the way out, and give me the courage to take it. Amen. 


  1. You're right; hiding His Word in our heart is a wonderful way to face temptations.

  2. It seems that when we study God's Word and work to learn about it, the "right" words come to mind automatically. It's neat when study and learning leads to that point. Thanks for commenting!

  3. It's good to teach our kids to resist temptation. It's something we face way too much. I particularly bad about eating stuff I shouldn't eat.

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  5. I love the thought of always looking for the way out, because that is what God has promised to provide! Thank you for this insight.


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