A book for fathers to read with their 12-year old sons
The time is now, right now, to make up your mind that you will only have sex with one woman for your entire life. And that you will wait until you marry her to do it.
Sex is a gift from God. Some people think that God doesn’t approve of sex, but they’re wrong. He approves of it. He loves it. It’s his idea. It is a good thing, a marvelous gift from our Creator.
It is a powerful force, a force which has the power to bond two people together in an intimate union that is stronger than the power of hell itself. It is a powerful expression of love and commitment and produces an exquisite pleasure unlike anything else a man can experience.
And by God’s design, it is the delightful means by which children are conceived and brought into the world. One of the wonders and delights that await you is the privilege of raising children together with your wife, knowing that those children are the fruit of your love for each other. There is nothing like that satisfaction in all the world.
But because it is such a powerful force, it must be used wisely and with restraint, because it has the power to destroy as well as to build up. It must be channeled exclusively into the relationship a man has with his wife. Used outside marriage, it can ruin a man’s whole life and turn it into rubble.
Now the world won’t tell you this. It will try to tell you that sex before marriage or outside marriage is exhilarating, enticing, and problem-free. The world and anyone in it who tries to tell you that is wrong. Dead wrong.
There is probably no single thing that has done more damage to human society than sex either before or outside of marriage. Sexually transmitted diseases, children born out of wedlock, and broken hearts are all part of the bitter legacy of sexual immorality. Now, right now, is the time to decide that you will not fall into that trap.
Here’s the way Solomon puts it in Proverbs 7, looking at a young man who did not have the smarts to draw clear boundaries around his own sexuality:
“I have perceived among the youths, a young man lacking sense, passing along the street near her corner, taking the road to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, at the time of night and darkness.”
This young man made a profound mistake you must learn to avoid: he put himself in a position where he was likely to be tempted. It can be alone in that backseat of your car, in her parents’ house when they are away for the evening or out of town, at a frat party in college, at an office party, or in a woman’s apartment when you are living out on your own.
It doesn’t matter. The smart thing for you to do is to stay out of risky situations altogether. You might even be drawn to a situation, as this young man was, of even secretly hoping that the situation you are heading into might just lead in some way to a sexual encounter.
“Behold, the woman meets him, dressed as a prostitute, wily of heart. She is loud and wayward...now in the street, now in the market, and at every corner she lies in wait.”
The simplest way to put it is that you can know exactly which women to avoid by the way they dress. If a woman is dressed in a sexually seductive or suggestive way - whether at school, at college, at the office, or even at church - your mission is to avoid her like she was a carrier of the Bubonic plague. Because from a moral standpoint she is.
Solomon’s young man wasn’t smart enough to do that. Solomon goes on:
“She seizes him and kisses him, and with bold face says to him,...’I have come out to meet you, to seek you eagerly, and I have found you. I have spread my couch with coverings, colored linens from Egyptian linen, I have perfumed my bed with myrrh. Come, let us take our fill of love till morning; let us delight ourselves with love. For my husband is not at home’...With much seductive speech she persuades him; with her smooth talk she compels him.”
Such a woman may initiate a sexual encounter, may tell you how attractive you are, and might even blow smoke up your nose by telling you that you are just the one she’s been looking for. Don’t believe her. Run, run like the wind.
I remember once when I was in the 8th grade being approached by a female classmate who exuded sexual availability. Her reputation had preceded her, and she’d already acquired a well-deserved notoriety on campus. She had now turned her attentions to me and indicated clearly that she was available if I was.
I made it a point from that moment on to avoid her in any and every way possible. I made it a point never to be alone with her anywhere at any time, and never had another conversation with her until we both graduated high school and went separate ways.
My son used to worry his mom to death when we went camping back in the day. We’d always build a ring around our campfire out of rocks. But my son found the fire fascinating and irresistible and would get as close to the fire as he could. Debbie was always afraid he at some point was going to trip over the rocks and land smack dab in the middle of the flames. (Fortunately, this never happened.)
Now Solomon’s young man knew he was dancing too close to the fire of sexual temptation. He knew that what he was thinking about doing was wrong. But because he toyed with sexual immorality, tried to get as close to the blaze as he could without being burned, he eventually fell into the fire. He resisted temptation for a time, then his will and resistance collapsed.
“All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast till an arrow pierces his liver...he does not know that it will cost him his life.”
His problem began way before the sexual encounter began. His problem began when he turned down her street. Protecting your sexual purity will require decisions that physically keep you from even entering into situations where you may be tempted to the breaking point.
When Debbie and I were dating, she lived by herself in her own apartment. To protect the purity of our relationship, we saved our expressions of physical affection for the door as I was on my way out. Because I am 15 inches taller than she is, I even built a little kissing stand which we parked by the door. Deb would step up on that stand and that’s where we’d exchange a good night kiss and a good night hug just before I left.
Working my way through college, I worked one summer in a slaughterhouse. My job was to run cattle from the holding pen up into what was called the kill chute. I’d run five cattle at a time up this ramp, and then drop a door behind the last one so they could not back down the ramp even if they wanted to.
The cattle would be ushered one by one into the kill chute, a box with room for just one animal at a time. Then we would knock them unconscious with a thing called a knocker. We’d tap the trigger, which was at the end of something that looked like an axe handle, on the top of the head of the unsuspecting animal. The trigger would fire off a .22 shell, which would drive a plunger into the animal’s skull, fracturing it and rendering the animal unconscious. Then we’d pull a lever, a side door to the kill chute would open, and the animal would roll down onto the kill floor, where it would be strung up by its rear hooves and its throat slit. It would die as its lifeblood drained away.
Why do I describe this scenario in such graphic detail? Because, my young friend, you are that animal if you do not flee sexual temptation.
Now no man other than Jesus has handled his sexuality perfectly; he went to the cross to provide forgiveness for every sin, including our sexual sin. But the standard is clear, and by God’s grace, you can meet it.
A boy forgets that sex is for marriage alone. A man doesn’t.
Father, I pray that you will cause a powerful spirit of sexual purity, self-control, and wisdom to rest upon my son. Please teach him to flee sexual immorality and to do everything in his power to avoid it. By your grace, power, and mercy, may he be able to reserve his sexual energy for his wife alone. In Jesus’ name, amen.