Training Our Sons to OvercomeOctober 3, 2008
Guide your son through the sexual minefields of adolescence! Today on the broadcast, Bobby Scott, Paul Felix, and Dennis Rainey coach dads on how to do it.
Guide your son through the sexual minefields of adolescence! Today on the broadcast, Bobby Scott, Paul Felix, and Dennis Rainey coach dads on how to do it.
Training Our Sons to Overcome
Bob: As parents, if we want to raise our children to be sexually pure, we have to be on the offensive and, sadly, in this culture, according to Pastor Bobby Scott, that means we have to be talking to our children earlier rather than later.
Bobby: We homeschool our kids, and we want to have a protective environment just for innocent's sake. Unfortunately, we have had to talk about a whole lot of things that I was hoping we could delay. An eight-year-old girl sat down and taught my children all those types of things at a park one day. So we've had to walk them through all those types of things at 10 years old – their friends their ages have taught them everything you want to know about sex and then some.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Friday, October 3rd. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. We'll talk today about what we can do as parents to raise sons and daughters to be sexually pure. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us. This is tough stuff we're talking about this week.
Dennis: It is, and we want to warn our listeners that the subject matter can get kind of gritty at points, and want to maybe encourage them if they have younger listeners, they may want to consider finding another spot for them to go play while we talk with them straight up about how you help you children, especially your sons, learn about the birds and the bees and about some of the temptations they're going to face that will destroy their purity before they grow up.
Bob: Not just about the biology but about the purity. We've got to be covering both subjects as we raise our children, don't we?
Dennis: That's right. Paul said in Romans 16, "I want you to be wise in what is good" – now, that's good, "wise in what is good," and "innocent in what is evil." And, you know, if, as a parent, you could achieve that with your kids – that your kids would be wise in what is good and innocent in what is evil? That would be – woo-hoo! Yeah! Teach them to love Christ. If they love Him, and they can achieve that then a lot of things are solved with that.
Well, we have a couple of guys that are going to help us do this today – Bobby Scott and Paul Felix from Southern California join us. Paul, Bobby, welcome back to FamilyLife Today.
Paul: Thank you very much.
Bobby: It's great to be here, thanks, Dennis.
Dennis: Bobby is a pastor/teacher, Paul is the president of the LA Bible Training School, and we've been talking about their book, "Secret Sex Wars, a Battle Cry for Purity."
Bob: And that's really one of the things, as you coach men on how to raise boys who are pure, you encourage them to start early, don't you?
Bobby: Absolutely. I think Proverbs, chapter 4, makes the case for when Solomon was yet on David's knee that he began to teach him wisdom, and wisdom boils down to the fact that there are consequences with your choices. There is a call to wisdom and there's a call to folly, and that involves all of our relationships – guy/girl relationships, fathers and mothers need to start teaching that principle at the youngest ages.
Dennis: And that wisdom you're talking about are not just wisdom about money or about choices in life, but it's about how do you handle a girl who is sexually aggressive, because that's what Proverbs 5, 6, and 7 really are. They are conversations of a dad with his son about what do you do with sexually aggressive women.
Bob: And it's interesting, Paul, that Solomon would address that issue with his son. We live in a culture today where, for a young man who wants to be pure, not only is the temptation increased because of the pervasiveness of sexual material in the culture, but today young women are seeking to entice young men in a way that I've never seen before in my lifetime.
Paul: Right. I think things have not really changed from biblical times. You go back to Joseph, he was enticed by an older lady and, fortunately, he had learned biblical principles about what to do when tempted in that particular area, and he followed through with those. And he had a real commitment to God himself. He didn't want to sin against God, and then he also knew that anytime you're involved in a sexual sin, you're sinning against someone else, some other person, and so Joseph had that high commitment.
Dennis: If the dads are listening right now who have sons – heads up! All right? We're about to give you an assignment, all right? Regardless of how old your child is – if you're just starting out, the first six or seven years of life, it's never too early to begin to start having some very basic conversations. In the elementary years, conversations get a little deeper. If they move toward adolescence, you have to talk about it. You have to talk about what your son is experiencing.
Earlier today I had a conversation with a father, and this particular father has got a son who is in his mid-teens, and I said, "Your boy has just experienced a hostile takeover. Testosterone just took over his body, and he's a bit insane at this point because of what he's experiencing." And if there is ever a time in a young man's life when he needs a daddy, especially a godly daddy, to give him the biblical perspective of passion and sex and the opposite sex, it's during this stage of a young man's life.
Bobby: I have a friend who kind of went through that conversation with a group of men at a Bible conference we had, and he used this little catch phrase – he said, "There is a point when little boys are young and girls are yucky." And we all laughed. He said, "but then there comes a point where they turn from yucky to yummy," and, Dad, you better be there when that transformation takes place. Dads better be there to engage in that conversation. Your sons need you to be honest with them and share with them what the Bible says, and there are a lot of principles, and we lay out a lot of them out in the book so if you're not comfortable, you need a little help, then our book will help you walk them through these principles.
Paul: And ideally you have a father and a mother in the home. But the reality today is that you have many homes where it's being led by a mother with no father there at all.
Dennis: Or if the father is there, he is unengaged and unwilling to participate in this kind of discussion.
Paul: Right, and the good thing about this book is that this book is a tool that single mothers are mothers who are raising their children by themselves, they can use to help raise godly men for the Lord Jesus Christ.
Bob: Bobby, you're a father of six – two boys, right?
Bob: What are the ages of your boys?
Bobby: My boys are 10 and 5.
Bob: Okay, so with your 5-year-old, are you having any conversations with him at all on this subject, or are you kind of leaving well enough alone?
Bobby: Oh, no, we're talk. I mean, if we have a Bible devotion time in the morning, and as we go through the Bible, I share with them how God made a man and a woman in order that they can have – they can come together in marriage and part of being married is how you love each other, and you kiss each other, and you touch each other, but that's for marriage. Do you understand – when you ask them to get married, and it's a great gift that God made.
Now, the world says that men and women can touch and all this stuff and not be married, but that's wrong, isn't it? "Oh, yeah, that's wrong, Daddy." So I want to plant those seeds now.
Bob: And then with your 10-year-old, you're taking that conversation a little deeper?
Bobby: Unfortunately, we've had to talk about a whole lot of things that I was hoping we could delay. We homeschool our kids, and we want to have a protective environment just for innocent's sake. I was recently talking to a dad, he has five kids, they're all college age – asking him for advice. What did you do when your kids were involved in sports and all this stuff? He said, "You know, I kept them in the church league primarily to guard them from what they would be exposed to."
Well, our kids are in secular leagues, and their friends their ages have taught them everything you want to know about sex and then some. So we've had to sit down and be very explicit and debrief them even about things about, you know, what President Clinton and Lewinsky did. We've had to walk them through all those types of things at 10 years old. And eight-year-old girl sat down and taught my children all those types of things at a park one day.
Dennis: And, you know, it's in the news so much today as it reports about celebrities and lifestyles. You can't even watch the news without some of these subjects being broached with our children. I want to ask you guys why you think it's so difficult, especially for dads, to engage this subject with their sons and, for that matter, their daughters. What makes it so difficult? Why is it so threatening?
Paul: Well, I probably am a father that falls into that category. My son is 24 years old, and my daughter is 22 years old and basically when I grew up, I grew up in a home where we didn't talk about sex. And so I was not ever – I didn't have a model, and your books weren't written at that time when I became a parent, so to speak. So I think, for me, it was just very difficult to share that particular subject with my son and with my daughter.
Dennis: Just too threatening, too personal, too intimate?
Paul: All of those, yes. I just think I failed in that particular area, and even though I was the pastor of my kids, they got to hear some things that felt more comfortable from a pulpit than it would have felt like if I was in a one-on-one discussion. My wife did a much better job. I mean, she pretty much had that kind of a talk with my daughter, the getaway for the weekend to tell her about life, but, in reality, I don't think I've ever done that for my son. So I gave him this book a couple of weeks ago. It's never too late.
Bob: Everything Dad always wanted to tell you, son, right here.
Paul: I mean, he's heard me preach on the subject many times, et cetera, but it's just – and I've talked with him a little bit, and so it's not as if I've avoided the subject completely, but I wish I had developed the conversational style and material with him at a much earlier age.
Dennis: You know, we just laughed about you giving the book to him, but I think that's a great idea.
Dennis: Whether it's a single-parent mom who wants to instruct her son around a number of sexual temptations and traps that her son is going to face. It would be a great idea to give this book to a young man or, for that matter, if you have a relationship with a family that's led by a single-parent mom, get permission from her and say, "could I give this book to your son? I just have a burden for him that he gets some godly, manly counseling."
Bob: And you may think that, "Well, he's 18 or he's 20 or he's 22 or he's 24, and a book like this, he's going to look at it and go, 'I know that stuff.'" Don't presume. If you've never had the talk or even if you have had the talk, here is a great way to reinforce it by giving it to a young man.
Dennis: And to that point, Bob, it's never too late. Paul said this kind of under his breath, but it really is never too late to have the discussion, and I don't think in this culture it ever hurts to have a godly discussion around male sexuality. There are so many messages coming at us as men. I think one of the reasons why men don't have these conversations with their sons is they're plagued with guilt. They're afraid their son is going to say, "Well, what about you Daddy? What did you do when you were growing up?"
Now, earlier, Bobby, you shared with us that you didn't grow up in a Christian home. You had your own battle around this subject as a young man growing up. That hasn't kept you from engaging in the conversations with your sons about sex. Why is that true?
Bobby: I just don't want them to lose. The cost is so high, and you just look at the Bible where King David looked at what is, by today's standards, a PG-13 movie. The standards have changed. Back, you know, 20 years or so ago, that you couldn't have nudity in any PG type movies, but now you can have non-sexual nudity in PG-13 movies. Like in the movie "Titanic," that many Christian parents sent their kids to watch, there was a vivid scene – I didn't see it – but waist up of nudity of a woman.
That picture of non-sexual nudity, David saw that movie. He came out on his roof one night, saw a movie, and it about destroyed him, and what Proverbs 7 says, Solomon here is talking to his readers, and he describes a young man and says that he did not know what cost him his life. How can we allow our sons to be bombarded in this warfare, and they don't know that getting involved with a seductress will ensnare them and enchain them and can cost them their lives. We just have to warn our sons over and over again.
Bob: You mentioned that your 10-year-old got information in the street, got information before Mom and Dad sat down and had the level of conversation that you wanted to have. When you sat down with him and started to unpack some of that, how did that conversation go? I'm just thinking of a dad who says, "I wouldn't know where to start, I wouldn't know what to say. How candid should I be? And what if my son does say, 'Well, what about you, Dad?'" How do you handle stuff like that?
Bobby: You have to be honest. You have to answer their questions. Give them as much information as they need to know when they need to know it, and this went beyond what I was hoping that I would tell them at that point. But because he heard it without blushing, without being shy, I had to look him straight in the eye and had to tell them that God made sex, and it is a good thing. God gave it as a gift for a husband and a wife, and there is a book in the Bible that even celebrates it. But what Satan wants to do is to distort and pervert what God has called good. He does that everywhere.
And what your friend was sharing with you was perverted, it was wrong. And we read through Ephesians, chapter 5, that we should not even discuss these types of things as Christians, this type of perversion shouldn't even be named amongst us, and the things that are done in the secret and dark, we need to expose them by light and not participate in them – "so, son, you can't participate in those kinds of conversations. I know it intrigues you, I know it's interesting, but when you hear those types of things, and you have questions, when you hear those types of things come up, stop the conversation, you can come and ask me or your mother."
Dennis: You know, sometimes I fear that a broadcast like ours, because we are interviewing some of the best thinkers on subjects all across the country and those who have done their homework from the Bible and have immersed themselves in an issue like you gentlemen have – sometimes I'm afraid, because we're exposing our listeners to people who have done such a good job, that a dad listens and goes, "Man, I could never do that as well as Bobby just explained with his son."
And so he goes about his life with his son or with his daughter, being afraid he's going to make a mistake or that he's not going to do it as well as somebody else. And I'd just like to say to that dad or to that mom, you know what? God gave you the children. He gave you a son or a daughter, and it's your responsibility to engage in these life-and-death issues. I mean, these are issues that the Scripture speaks to and are our responsibility to instruct our children.
I think it's so clear in Proverbs, that passage you read in Proverbs, chapter 7, he begins it by saying, "Listen, my son, your father is about to give you some instruction, some wisdom about life." And over and over and over again in the Proverbs, he is saying, "Listen, son," and, okay, Solomon was the wisest man who has ever lived, okay? Well, let's give him that. I'm not. But you know what? That shouldn't keep me from engaging my children about these determinative issues in life.
Paul: I think this book will help fathers give them some guidelines to help their young people, their young son or their young daughter, to live a life of purity. I mean, it begins all the way with Joseph and how to handle someone who is trying to entice you into sin and why you should avoid that. It goes to David's life and talks about the consequences of sexual sin, and it talks about how to kill sin, Colossians 3 talks about how to fleet from sexual immorality and not be enslaved.
Just – also the importance of doctrine. I mean, a lot of times Christians don't understand that in this battle against sexual sin, the importance of knowing who you are in Jesus Christ, knowing what God has done for you. Paul, when he talks to the Thessalonians, gives some motivating reasons for sexual purity, and he says one of the reasons is, first of all, understanding that God is the avenger of sexual sin. That is, we don't realize that God goes on record, and he says, "I'm going to repay sexual sin." And that ought to motivate me to flee from sexual sin.
And also Paul talks about the fact that if you reject the teaching that we've been sharing in these broadcasts, you're not rejecting man, not rejecting what's in this book, but you're rejecting God in the one who gives you His Holy Spirit. I mean, God is on our side. He's given us his Holy Spirit that we might win the battle. And to think that God loves us so much that at the beginning of our Christian life, He gives us the Holy Spirit to enable us to live a life of purity.
Bobby: And also I would add to that, dads can be intimidated by having these conversations and saying, "You know what? I have never been trained in a Bible school, I'm not very eloquent and so how can I do what I'm hearing these men share on the radio program?" I would just encourage you, father, to trust the Word of God.
The Apostle Paul said he wasn't the most eloquent man, and Moses said he wasn't eloquent. It is not an issue of eloquence. It's the issue of trusting the power of the Word of God. Take the Book of Proverbs, read one a day with your son, and what Solomon does is he tells real stories. He saw a man in Proverbs 7 walking out in the middle of the night. What good is going to happen at 12:00 at night? And he tells that story – "Son, that won't work," and, father, read through the Proverbs, read through the Word of God, trust what the Word of God would do in the lives of your sons and daughters and pray for them.
Dennis: And don't give in to the voices that may accuse you because of your past failure, because there is an enemy who wants to keep you from having this discussion. You know, Bobby, it was interesting when I asked you that question – what motivates you to have the discussion despite your past failures? You made a very simple statement. You said, "I don't want them to enter into life not having heard it from me." And that goal completely overshadowed all your past failures.
And I think whether we're speaking to a dad at this moment, or a single-parent mom, the point is our kids today, as never before in this culture, need to hear a godly perspective according to the biblical blueprints of how God hard-wired us as male and female, and how that's good, how that is really good, for a man and a woman to come together in a marriage relationship, and they need to hear it from their parents first.
Bob: Well, and you guys have laid out here for dads a strategy – that one of the chapters in this book coaches a dad on how you can have these kinds of conversations with your sons. And then you've also laid out for guys how you can go from a place of having blown it in this area to a place of renewed purity, and the truth of the Gospel, the message of the Gospel, is a message of both forgiveness and transformation. God forgives sin in Christ. He offered His Son to forgive our sins. And He can take your patterns, your life, your sin habits, and transform your life so that you can walk in a level of purity that you've been trying to achieve on your own. You can't do it on your own. You need the power of God to accomplish it.
Dennis: And I just want to thank both you, Bobby and Paul, for writing a book that is redemptive. What Bob was just talking about there is the message of the Gospel; that there is forgiveness and there is redemption. You can reclaim those lost years and lost innocence, and you can make a difference in your children's lives, and I just want to thank you for your ministry there in Southern California, and pray God's favor and God's best on your and hope the next time you're back this way we get a chance to talk again, okay?
Paul: Thanks, Dennis. Thanks, Bob.
Bobby: Thank you very much.
Bob: Yes, we appreciate both you guys and hope our listeners will get copies of the book, "Secret Sex Wars," either for themselves or to go through it with other guys or to take their sons through it. Folks are going to be impressed with just how thoroughly biblical this book is, and you've done a great job.
We have the book, of course, in our FamilyLife Resource Center, and if listeners are interested in getting a copy, they can go to our website, which is FamilyLife.com. On the right side of the home page, you will see a box that says, "Today's Broadcast." If you click where it says "Learn More," you will wind up magically at an area of the site where there is information about the resources that are available and how you can order them from us online.
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Well, I hope you have a great weekend. I hope you and your family are able to worship together this weekend, and I hope you can join us back on Monday when we're going to talk with one couple about the challenges a husband and a wife can face when one or both of them is a road warrior spending a lot of time in hotel rooms. We'll talk about that coming up Monday. I hope you can be with us for that.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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