Being tempted is as old as…….Adam and Eve, but that doesn’t make temptation any easier to resist. Here are some ideas to teach children about temptation and how to stand up to being tempted.
Adam and Eve is a great place to start with talking about the allure of temptation and its very real consequences. On the other hand, when we resist temptation, God sees and blesses us richly. When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he ran. God saw and eventually made Joseph the second most important person in all of Egypt. Before he began his ministry, Jesus was tempted three times by the devil. Each time Jesus resisted by quoting God’s words. We too can use Bible verses to give us strength to resist. I Corinthians 10 says “God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” James wrote “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (4:7) Each night at dinner, read a section of Proverbs for the strong advice regarding not only the dangers of tempting things, but also how to choose to live wisely.
Teach about identifying temptation. Role-play tempting situations and act out possible responses (and consequences). Create a “tempting looking” dessert that actually tastes horrid. Create a path of small tempting items that lead off the path. Those who remain on the path enjoy a much bigger, more delightful hidden prize at the end of the path.
Temptation is a real part of our daily walk. Teaching our kids to identify what tempts them and how to respond is an important life skill. The most powerful weapon parents have regarding temptation is to pray for God’s wisdom and protection to surround our children!