I was at the chiropractor the other day and I realized something while he was twisting my neck unnaturally to the left. In my younger years, I could attain that position, with my eyes facing almost behind me and to the left, and it wasn’t under the guidance of any medical professionals.
I have found myself in that position in an effort to maximize the duration of my lustful desires as I looked back at some innocent female that happened to cross my path. I have found myself in that position as I watched over my shoulder while sitting at the computer immersed in pornography. As I consider this, it’s amazing the power Satan has over us when we’re gripped by sexual sin.
It’s incredibly scary to think of the implications this has on my children. Think about this: As a father, I am a leader. My children are following me. Where I go, they go. They eat what I eat, run when I run and stop when I stop. It’s only natural that they will look where I look. I try to be very diligent about where my eyes follow, but never am I more accountable when my kids are staring at the back of my head. When I’m with my family I am more of who I want to be than at any other time, as I’m sure most of us are. My challenge to you is to raise your awareness of every action in your life as if they were right there with you all the time, pushing that little “record” button in their heads and studying you to see how you approach the situations in which you find yourself. How does dad deal with this problem? How does dad handle this person? What does dad do when faced with temptation?
Consider these situations and how you might handle them in the presence of your spouse or children. What do you do when:
- A beautiful woman happens by you on the jogging trail.
- A chat window pops up on your computer and it’s an old classmate.
- You’re driving and you pull up next to a woman who is flirting with you.
- You are in a Bible study at work. It meets early and only you and your female co-worker show up that day.
- You are at the lake and there are immodest women sunbathing.
- There is a couple showing “too much” affection a couple of rows in front of you at the movies.
- The Victoria’s Secret catalog gets delivered to your mailbox.
I could go on, but you get the idea. I was in a sexual harassment seminar once and the instructor gave what I think is a good rule-of-thumb: “If you wouldn’t do it or say it with your wife standing next to you, it’s sexual harassment.”
You need to be constantly averting your eyes from these and countless other invasions in the world. You need to make your children aware of these pitfalls in their path to adulthood. They’ll look away when you look away. They will walk where you walk. Lead them around these obstacles and they will be much less likely to “look back.” May God continue to bless your efforts as you battle sexual sin and find victory in the power of the Holy Spirit.
The following is a guest post by Jason Nabb. Jason owns a production and web development company in Lincoln, Nebraska. He and his wife, Cindy, blog at PurelightParenting.com, where they post their findings on all things parenting. They have six children ages 11 down to 1.
I’m a little confused. So, is this guy admitting to be caught in lust’s tangled web? It sounds to me like he’s still trying to work the issues out himself, hoping that his behavior won’t affect his kids.
Well, I’ve got news for you. They’re already affected. If you were still tangled in lust when your children were conceived, that generational curse has already been passed down. My father regularly viewed porn around the time when I was conceived, but he accepted his deliverance shortly after I was born. That, however, didn’t stop that curse from invading my life. My dad never watched dirty movies when I was a kid. He didn’t have and porn magazines or anything like that. He was the model Christian. Even so, after the first time I saw porn at 10 years old, I was hooked, and remained that way for the next 16 years, in spite of my father’s good example.
Who you REALLY are is who you are when you think no one is watching. Having a certain behavior when you’re around your family and a completely different behavior when you’re alone is not Biblical. According to the first chapter of James, you’re a double-minded man and you’re unstable in ALL of your ways.
Johnny, I think you read this article correctly: it is written by a man who is honest about his past struggles with lust and his acute awareness of how important it is to stay pure.
I hear what you are saying about generational curses, but I’m not sure that a curse is merely an unstoppable hereditary thing, as if our children are somehow domed to repeat what we do. From my understanding, God is the one who actively inflicts a curse on the next generation. He also actively removes the curse and bestows His blessing. He is a jealous God who visits the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who make and worship idols rather than Him. But He also shows His radical loyalty and love to the children of those who love Him (Exodus 20:4-6).
I am so sorry to hear about your 16-year struggle with porn, but I’m not sure your experience can be universalized to include all fathers who have struggled with lust. If there was a connection between your father’s struggle and your own, I’m not sure that means every father’s child will exhibit the same sin-connection.
I’m not trying to cast blame for my decisions; I take full responsibility for the choices I made. However, generational curses are a biblical fact, and I don’t believe it’s something that God actively does. It’s a result of sin and He allowed it because He had to. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God sin entered the world through Adam. That’s how everyone got their sin nature. That’s also the reason Jesus was conceived through holy spirit and not the sinful nature of man.
Sinful nature is passed down to everyone. However, I believe that when a person has a sinful stronghold in their lives, you tend to see the same symptoms in the childre – even when the children aren’t brought up in that same environment. It’s so evident in some cases that modern science is trying to find the genetic link. But, they will never succeed. It’s a spiritual component, not a genetic link
I have men on my mothers side of the family who are womanizers. My mom’s father was a pimp who had at least 15 children from several different women. Most of his children have never met him, yet the vast majority of his sons turned out just like him – womanizing whoremongers. I don’t think that’s a coincidence.
How many times do you see the children of alcoholics or drug addicts follow the same footsteps of their parents? Granted that person has to make a choice of their own, but they’re much more vulnerable to certain vices because of that generational curse.
I understand you aren’t blaming anyone else for your decisions. I also agree that you often see children follow in the sinful footsteps of their parents. I’m just questioning whether we should tell people that their children have a generational curse upon them that will always result in them mimicking their parents’ sins. I think the author of this post is aware that his kids could be affected by his sins, and I agree we should help parents be aware of these generational dynamics. My concern was that your first comment sounded like you were pronouncing his children would be entangled in lust the same way he was. Did I read your comment right?
Overall, I would rather our anticipation be on the power of God’s blessing, not the fear of His curse. When Adam and Eve fell, the curse was not something God just “allowed” to happen: it was something he pronounced over them (Genesis 3:14-19). It was God who commanded a curse be on everyone who did not obey His law (Deuteronomy 27). But, thanks be to God, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” on the cross (Galatians 3:13). I have great hope that any child who is nurtured under the cross can be free from slavery to demonstrative sins, so long as they live by the affections of God’s Spirit.
I’m not saying that all kids raised in Christian homes will be free from falling into addictions or compulsive behavior, only that I don’t feel we can pronounce the inevitability one generation repeating the sin of the last — at least not if we have hope in the gospel.
Personally I believe that something like that will make it’s way through the generations until someone puts a stop to it. What I’m talking about is not the same as what God did in Genesis. I guess I’m referring to the curse of Exodus 20 and Deut 5. It’s no doubt that porn consumption leads to idolatry.
Also, even though Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, we have to choose to accept and walk in that redemption. In the same manner, Christ set us free from the bondage of sin, but MANY Christians still remain chained. It’s not because of God, it’s because of themselves.
The way I see it, the law of sin and the curse of the law operate just like any other law. Take the law of gravity for instance. Gravity is a law that is always in affect. But there are certain laws like propulsion and lift (ie an airplane) that supercede that law and allow that law to be broken. Christ’s deliverance is the same. The curse of the law and the law of sin is still on the earth, but Christ’s sacrifice supercedes that law. We, however, have to make the conscious choice to allow Christ’s law to reign in our life.
I believe that breaking a generational curse is something that has to be done on purpose, ya know? Jesus said in Matthew 16 that whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever we loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. When I accepted my deliverance from porn over a year ago, I bound that generational curse in the name of Jesus. I declared myself free and claimed victory. I exercised my God-given authority to change my circumstances, as the Word instructed me to do.
I would humbly like to add that the Bible says we have been translated OUT OF the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of God’s Son-Col 1:13. How can one be cursed when he has been taken out of the Devil’s Kingdom and is now IN God’s Kingdom? Also, we belong to the Lord. We are His. The old man is DEAD. We are NEW. What God declares to be now clean cannot still be unclean. Christ became a curse for us. We are BORN AGAIN. THe past life and birth are dead and gone. We have been born again and have a new Father and his blessing is upon us.
Johnny, Luke, thank you for your comments. Very thought provoking.
Johnny, I appreciate your passion and desire to live a life filled with the Holy Spirit. When I wrote this article, I was thinking specifically of a time when I was steeped in sin and had no thought of the consequences of my actions. I, too, have laid my struggles down at the feet of Jesus and He has forgiven me. I believe we’re each on our own path to sanctification and, although these paths all lead to the same place, they are each our own.
The first time I ever promised God anything, I asked Him to do something in my life and I promised Him I’d quit smoking cigarettes. He did it and so I quit. Haven’t had a single puff since July 29, 1998. Easy as that. My struggle with purity has not always been so easy. I believe this to be the case because satan knows that this is a generational issue for my family (me being the 3rd gen. to struggle with purity) and if he can win this battle it will devaste my family for many generations to come.
So, there have been times when I have failed. Especially, my thought life. I have yet to counsel or meet a man who has said that as soon as he committed to overcoming sexual sin, that sin just left his body. If that is the case for you, then you are truly blessed. Amen. I also believe that if that happened for everyone, we wouldn’t need Covenant Eyes. CE is a perfect example of men who know their weaknesses, their desire to please God, can be overpowered by a sinful thought life. So, we “make the conscious choice to allow Christ’s law to reign in our life” and do not put ourselves in positions where we are vulnerable. We make the effort to avoid sin. But satan loves a good fight. We push satan out of this particular part of our life and he will go away for awhile, lick his wounds and connive his way back in if we aren’t constantly on watch for his schemes. I assume, Johnny, that you are a customer of CE. If you are, why do you pay that subscription every month? I know I do it, not only for my wife’s peace of mind and to protect my children, but also because I’m a man who has struggled with sexual sin and I would be naive to think that satan’s not going to try and use that. The hardest part of sexual sin to overcome (for me) has been the thought life. I have victory over pornography, but, just like any soldier, once in awhile you can have flashbacks, and we have to have a way to deal with those, otherwise, satan will use them to get back in.
I don’t believe that my children are doomed due to my sin because I am actively trying to stamp out the sin in my life. If I’m not trying to live for Jesus, they surely will inherit my sin. God wants us to seek out that sin-free life. We are to consider it “pure joy” when we face struggles (James 1:2) because it will give us strength. I talk to my children about struggles and how satan can trap us with lies. I don’t try and hide my struggles from my children because they need to see how I need God’s forgiveness and accept Jesus everyday. I use the trials and struggles God has given me to witness the grace of our Lord to my children. My job as a parent is to model our Father in heaven as best as I can to them, so that they see God in me. My responsibilty as a husband is to sanctify my wife. (Eph. 5:26-27)
You said you “bound that generational curse in the name of Jesus.” You have won. We have won victory over our sins. We have won the war because Jesus died for us. The war…but the battles are far from over. As men, we need weapons, tactics and tools to do battle with satan on this front. That was all I was trying to point out. The tactics I was laying out and the examples I gave were things that you can do, like putting CE on your computer. CE doesn’t work out there in the world. It’s not hooked up to your brain (I wish it were!)
The main point I was trying to make with this article can be summed up with this: We can nip temptation in the bud, avoid sin and, in the process, teach our children how to deal with these situations.
Consider what James wrote:
Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (James 1:14-15).
Although we have victory, temptation is still there. What we do with it, how we deal with temptation will determine if we continue to sin.
I know this post is all over the place, but I’ve been up since 6 a.m. and was heading to bed when I saw your comments. So, please, forgive the grammar, etc. God bless you all and have a good night.
Yeah, I definitely understand where you’re coming from. I’m not a subsciber of CE. I have X3 Watch on my computer but that’s mostly for my wife’s peace of mind. Before we were married, I lied to her a number of times about my addiction, so I keep X3 watch as part of rebuilding that trust with her. As I mentioned before, I’ve been porn and masturbation free since June 2008. If I didn’t have X3 Watch I still wouldn’t stumble. I speak out of confidence, not out of arrogance. I understand HOW to handle temptation so that it doesn’t go beyond that initial thought that the enemy throws. When that happens, I rebuke him, and speak the word – just like Jesus. When Christ was tempted, he said “it is written….” I’ve found that speaking to word at temptations causes the devil to tuck his tail and run.