7 things I pray for my kids in a sex-obsessed world
Our culture is obsessed with sex, sexiness and sexuality. Gender identity stories dominate news headlines. Companies hire supermodels to advertise their beverage (of course the supermodels would never drink the fattening drink). Hollywood romanticizes one-night stands: no pregnancies, no STDs, no wrecked ability to enjoy deep relationships. The internet has become the breeding ground of destructive habits and isolation, and social media amplifies all of this. All the while, people bemoan a mountain of travesties: domestic abuse, eating disorders, divorce, suicide, addiction, and sex-trafficking, as if they were completely unrelated to the avalanche of unhealthy sexual habits.
God’s given us a wonderful, beautiful gift, but that gift can be quickly twisted and poisoned. I desperately want my children to develop a healthy understanding of commitment, purity, relationships and sex. Whether they are single or married, I desire the fullness of what God intends for them, so I’ve been praying the following for my kids:
- I pray they will show jaw-dropping kindness to those who reject their sexual ethic, and to those broken from failed relationships. May they never see other people as their enemy (Ephesians 6).
- I pray they’ll quickly confess their sins. Shame and guilt haunt many people. Conviction is a good thing, but only if it leads to repentance. I pray my kids will talk to Godly people about their sins, struggles and needs, and I pray they experience the amazing grace of Jesus – the kind of grace King David received, after his adultery, when he begged for God to create in him a clean heart (Psalm 51).
- I pray they’ll be highly motivated to see others as people to be loved, not objects to be exploited. I’ll always remember a friend telling me that his recovery from a pornography addiction had allowed him to once again view women as people. For a long time it was impossible for him to view women as anything more than a sexualized object. The world became a better place for women and him the moment he committed to heal from his addiction.
- I pray they’ll be able to speak truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). I pray they’ll reject minimalist slogans like Love, don’t judge, or Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve. These slogans only alienate people and squelch thinking. Learning to speak truthfully and lovingly doesn’t come easy, but our world desperately needs some people to speak this way.
- I pray they’ll see the ugliness of sin. I have some relatives who live near two things: a turkey farm and a “men’s spa.” They both stink. I wish I could describe how disgusting the spa looks. It’s a rundown, gloomy structure. My wife and I recently drove by, as an overweight, surely-unshowered truck driver sauntered into the establishment. We talked about how grossed-out we were. I don’t want my kids to be grossed-out by people, but I do pray they have a similar response to anything that leads them away from the beauty God desires in their lives.
- I pray they’ll find healthy ways to cope, rest and play. Temptation quickly overcomes people when they are tired, bored, depressed or stressed. I’ve recognized that I can’t afford to return from an exhausting trip without scheduling at least a day to hike, pray and sleep. I pray they’ll discover how to replenish themselves, and learn when they are most susceptible to a crash.
- I pray God-sized dreams will crowd-out foolish, empty temptations. Can you imagine where our world would be if every hour of surfing porn sites was traded for something productive?
We, as parents, fall prey to worrying about all the things that threatens our kids. Protect and prepare your kids, but don’t forget to pray for them. Pray for them often. Pray for them passionately. And pray WITH them too. If they welcome God’s work in their hearts, He’ll see him through life’s temptations, struggles and hurts.
My wife made a bookmark for us to help us remember to pray for our kids about purity. I have included this resource below for you to download and use yourself.
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