Temptation


Enough 300x153 Dealing with the Pornification of Society As I was scanning the airwaves on the drive home from work this afternoon, I was once again taken aback by the incessant message of sexual deviancy that is promoted on seemingly every available channel, except the few Christian music stations, if of course you can find them on the radio dial. As the message of “sexual freedom” and license poured through every option on the radio, I was struck by how our society has become so accepting of this approach to life. Think about the last 50 years of television for example. On television, we have gone from Leave it to Beaver and The Waltons to Two and a Half Men and The Family Guy. In Hollywood, we have gone from A Roman Holiday to Brokeback Mountain. In the music industry we have gone from Elvis, who at the time was considered outrageously sexual by some to Miley Cyrus gyrating on stage with giant stuffed bears while licking a hammer. What in the world has this world come to? While we can certainly point with disdain to any number of sexually related issues in our society, the bigger question, at least for me and my family is what to do about it? What are alternatives to the din of digression found on television, movies, and the radio, not to mention the printed page?

Having a 12 year old daughter certainly brings this issue to the forefront as a parent. My wife and I are constantly bombarded with questions from our daughter such as “What is wrong with Usher” or “What is the big deal….why I can’t listen to rap music….it has a cool beat.” For those of you who have no clue who Usher is, he is what you would label as a pop music artist. If you don’t know what that means you will just have to Google it. So with those types of questions being asked, we could easily say to our daughter, “You can’t listen to that music because we said so” and leave it at that. After all, we are the parents and what we say goes. While that is certainly a valid approach, does it really help her understand the ramifications of listening to sexually explicit music or even music with clear sexual overtones? In my humble opinion, it does not. As I began to ponder this issue a bit more today, I felt the need to share some viable alternatives to the pornified entertainment culture of our day.

1. Turn off the radio, television, or entertainment device. Seems rather obvious right? It is the quickest way to circumvent trash coming into your home, car, or brains. That little thing known as the power button is a powerful tool and should be used far more often than it is in most households.

2. Have a conversation. As a parent, it is increasingly clear my wife and I cannot house our child in a protective bubble where nothing of ill repute will interact with her. While we would love that, it quite simply is unrealistic and ultimately it will not prepare her for adulthood and how to act in a mature biblical manner. She will go to school where other kids who are also inundated with the trash our society has embraced and most likely discussions of that trash will ensue. When these topics come up, be prepared to have that needed conversation with your child about why your family does not watch or listen to that garbage. Break out that book that may have some dust on it called the Bible. Read as a family what God says about seeking after what is good, holy, and just.

3. Have family devotions. The Puritans called this “Family Worship.” Gather together on a regular basis as a family and read and study God’s word and pray. This is powerful stuff folks. It is also the best alternative available to combat that garbage we have been talking about. You know the old saying “Garbage In/Garbage Out.” The opposite is true as well and that is “Biblical Truth In/Biblical Truth Out.” The only thing that can shine through the darkness that is our current societal mess is the light of God’s Word. How does that light shine? It shines by God’s people devouring His Word to the extent that it shines through every fiber of our being. With God’s Word occupying every aspect of our life, there will be no available room for trash to be a part of who we are or what we do.

4. Look for positive alternative activities. Rather than plopping down in front of the television at night or on the weekends, a device we all know is nothing more than a propaganda tool for perversion, do something together as a family. As a culture, we have forgotten about the great outdoors. Go play catch, take a jog with your child, put a puzzle together, dust off those board games, or read a book.

5. Listen to positive music and watch positive movies. If you must turn on the radio, locate that long lost Christian music or Christian talk station in your local town. Find that local Christian bookstore or explore Amazon.com for Christian music options. There are plenty of styles to choose from anything from Christian rap to Christian country to Christian rock. As with anything, be observant and attentive to your musical choices because not everything labeled as Christian is exactly music that glorifies God. There are also many great classic movies from the days of yesteryear available that are wonderful family oriented alternatives to the heaps of garbage paraded from Hollywood these days.

6. Become more involved in your local church. There are hopefully many positive activities to involve yourself and family in at your local church. If not, see what other churches are up to in your community. Have your kids become involved in children’s activities or youth group. Get them around other bible believing kids their age so they can develop lasting positive friendships.

I am sure there are many other suggestions that could be made and things we can do to deal with the pornification of our society but hopefully these are enough to get you started. One thing is certain and that is this sexualization of our culture is not going to cease. Sadly, it is only to get worse. Instead of being like the proverbial ostrich with our head in the sand hoping it all goes away, let’s get out in front of the issue in our respective families and put in place positive godly alternatives to what the world is offering. In doing so, we will be following the biblical mandate to “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” (Deut. 6:7) (By the way, that passage is from the front of the book, a place far too few people explore these days.) Parents, we are commanded by God to promote a godly atmosphere in our homes. We are commanded to speak of God and His word at all times in our homes. It should be something we desire to do because God is the only solution to the depravity we face today.

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Men, Integrity and Purity


Posted By on Jun 19, 2012

In this video Dave examines Joseph’s interaction with Potiphar’s wife and how Christian men are to be men and integrity because of the Gospel.

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In this video Dave examines the nature of temptation and concludes with three ways to endure temptation and grow in grace of God.

 

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In this video Dave discusses how to overcome sexual sin through the Gospel.

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In this video Dave examines forty powerful reasons to avoid pornography.

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Integrity and Purity


Posted By on May 15, 2012

Introduction

Joseph in Genesis 39 in his dealings with Potiphar’s wife provides men with an excellent example of what it means to walk with integrity and purity before the Lord. The Lord’s presence with Joseph enables him to find favor first with Potiphar and the keeper of the prison. While Joseph’s refusal to lie with Potiphar’s wife results in his being wrongly imprisoned, his personal integrity is not compromised.

Explanation of Genesis 39:6-23

Genesis 39:6-23 records the scene between Joseph and Potiphar’s wife. Genesis 39:6 says that Joseph was handsome in form and appearance which gives the reason Potiphar’s wife was interested in him. Joseph’s refusal to lie meaning sexually with her contrasts sharply with the behavior of Reuben and Judah (35:22: 38:15-18). His integrity does not permit him to betray his master by committing adultery.

Joseph rightly recognizes that to give in to Potiphar’s wife not only would be an offense against is master, who has trusted him with everything he owns, but would equally be an offense against God. Joseph exercises authority without seeing this as an opportunity to betray or exploit others. Joseph consistently rejects the advances of Potiphar’s wife. One day Potiphar’s wife in the course of Joseph’s normal work catches him by his garment and Joseph fleeing leaves his garment in her hand.

While Potiphar is still absent Genesis 39:13-15 explain that his wife convinces the men of her household to side with her. She uses three elements to bring her case against Joseph. First she places some of the blame of her husband for he was responsible for Joseph’s presence in the household. Secondly by emphasizing Joseph’s non-Egyptian origin, she exploits a long-standing racial tension that existed between native Egyptians and foreign from Canaan. Finally she portrays Joseph’s action as being directed against the entire household and not simply her.

Potiphar’s wife uses Joseph’s garment as evidence Genesis 39:16 says. Potiphar’s wife tells to her husband with significant variations what she has already told the men of the household. Once again she focuses on the non-Egyptian background of Joseph, her husband’s poor judgment in bringing him into the household and Joseph’s exploitation of her.  The swiftness with which the narrator reports the imprisonment mirrors what happened in reality. As a slave, Joseph had no legal rights. While the reader is not immediately conscious of the significance of Joseph being imprisoned where the king’s prisoners were confirmed (V.20) this will prove significant for future developments. Even in prison Joseph prospers (v.23).

Integrity and Purity

Joseph refused to sin against the trust given him, the woman’s husband and God himself. Joseph’s integrity was one of fabric. He was faithful in all relationships, which meant he could resist being unfaithful in this instance. This story is not just about sexual fidelity Joseph’s life was a web of moral accountability. He saw his moral life s a unified, integrated whole. His overall faithfulness has helped him reject this massive temptation. We must understand that little sin pave the way to big sins and that Joseph was on no such path. It was the power of this quality of his life as a whole that enabled him to resist the woman’s advances.

The great deterrent to falling to the sexual siege was Joseph’s awareness that God was with him—not because of the narrator’s voice over but because this is what God has repeatedly promised Joseph’s forefathers and had been his personal awareness all of his life. The grant deterrent to Joseph’s sinning was the awareness that God sees all and that a sin that no one knows about, committed behind lock doors in a dark room, is actually done in the presence of a holy God. Joseph believed this, This personal realization and conviction of this truth is the strongest deterrent to sin that there is. King David invoked it after the horror of his own sin ravaged soul: “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Psalm 51:3; 4a).

Joseph continued to resist Potiphar’s advances but she was not giving up. “And as she spoke to Joseph day after day, he would not listen to her, to lie beside her or to be with her” (v.10). Her dialogue plumbed every angle, but he paid her no heed. The Mrs. Potiphar’s of today are at once material, phantasmal, and ubiquitous- in airbrushed photos, celluloid, videos, and luminous TV screens. Those who are wise refuse to lie beside her or to be with her (v.10).

Conclusion

We learn from Joseph that temptation to sin is everywhere.  The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife teaches us that to walk as men of integrity, we must take seriously the fact that the  presence of the Lord goes with them wherever they go. Integrity and purity are in the details of life. The Gospel has been given for such a reason—to guard believers against sin and temptation so that men might be men of integrity. The Lord provides a way of escape out of every temptation but the men  must walk through the way of escape by running into the arms of safety in Christ.

In order to fight against sin and temptation men must daily appropriate who they are in Christ by taking every thought captive to the obedience of the Word of God. Men must preach the Gospel to themselves not just in the midst of temptation but before temptation even begins. It would also be helpful for men to close Christian brothers they can call to pray with them and encourage them in the Lord. While accountability and living in community in a local Church are important- the best way to fight against sin and temptation is to grow in the grace of God by growing in depth of understanding and insight of the Gospel and its implications on one’s life. By growing in the grace of God men will be able to fight against sin and temptation through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit and be a man of integrity and purity.

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