Frequent INFO visitors may have heard me mention that I am writing a book based on some teaching that Jenifer and I have developed over the past few years. It deals specifically with the need for parents to confidently talk to their kids about dating, relationships, and sex in very specific terms.
The working title is "Sooner."
Why? Because it answers the question that parents always ask me: "When do I talk about this stuff with my kids?" My answer is always the same: "Sooner than you think."
The ridiculous traffic my blog got over the past few days about the Fifty Shades of Grey books shows me that we are struggling with these issues. And if adults are struggling with them, we can be sure that our kids are. They need wise parents who will help them navigate their God-given sexuality in a way that keeps them from having all the baggage that so many of us have.
One of the shorter chapters I have developped deals with seeing things from our enemy's perspective. Specificially: what his strategy might be to use something that God made to be wonderful (sex) to signficiantly mess our kids up. In light of all the "Fifty Shades" interest, I thought it would be worthwhile to offer this perspective. Here's part one of that chapter. I will post part two tomorrow.
If I Were Satan...
A quick peek into the enemy’s strategy to mess up the next generation.
In times of war, the generals who are most likely to be victorious are those with the best intelligence. They seek to have a clear understanding of their enemy’s location, capabilities and strategies. In the classic 6th century B.C. work, “The Art of War,” Sun Tzu stresses the fundamental truth that you must “know your enemy.” A leader who does not have a clear understanding of what he is up against in battle is clearly not prepared to fight.
Like it or not, we are participants in an ongoing war between God and Satan for the hearts and souls of man. Without a doubt, the battlefield of human sexuality is an area of particularly violent struggle. Whether parents want to acknowledge it or not, our children are thrust into this battle at a far younger age than we can imagine. We would be wise to gain as much intelligence on our enemy as we can.
What would we see if we were able to get a glimpse into the war room of Hell? What if we could get inside the mind of our enemy and gain access to his plans and strategies? It would certainly allow us to engage in the fight with understanding. This is far better than what most do, which is blindly respond to Satan’s attacks with good intentions but little direction. Thankfully, the scriptures give us some general insight that we can apply to this particular battlefield.
First of all, we can be certain that a key component of the enemy’s strategy is to destroy and distort whatever God made to be good. Jesus declares this motive in John 10:10 when He said, “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” It stands to reason that Satan will allocate enormous resources to destroy those things that most reflect God’s love and creativity. Sex surely tops the list. (In contrast, while God created fire ants, I don’t imagine Satan has committed many assets to keeping them from multiplying on my lawn.) Like nothing else in God’s creation, sex is a beautiful act that reflects our Creator’s heart and it is the most powerful and tangible way that two people can connect in love and intimacy. Satan hates that.
Similarly, if one of Satan’s goals is to derail the work of Christ in this world, he can do this best by derailing God’s people. We can be sure that he will strike aggressively at the primary human institution that God gives us as a picture of our relationship with Him: the marriage between a man and a woman. We can see Christian marriages falling apart at almost the same rate as the rest of the world. But his strategy to destroy marriage doesn’t begin when a couple walks down the aisle. It starts far sooner. If Satan can encourage young people to develop habits and collect emotional baggage that they can carry into their marriages, he can cause all sorts of pain that will fully reveal itself later.
A second thing we can be sure of is that a large portion of Satan’s budget is devoted to marketing. Much like an effective advertiser, he convinces us that we desperately need whatever he is selling. Unfortunately, Satan’s marketing is based entirely upon lies. Again, Jesus calls Satan out in John 8:44 when he describes him as “a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” He takes the very thing that has the potential to destroy us and dresses it up in such a way that we become convinced that we cannot live without it. Again, this is clearly his strategy when it comes to us experiencing our sexuality outside of God’s parameters. And we all know that this temptation is very real.
Finally, we can know that Satan will show no mercy when it comes to the weak and the innocent. Consider I Peter 3:8. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” A television show about African wildlife you might see on a nature channel gives us an excellent mental picture of this. A predator will always pick out the most weak and frail animal from within a herd to single out for his lunch. The scripture uses this very word picture to describe the strategies of our enemy. While most of humanity shows leniency on the young, we must remember that Satan shows no such compassion. He will not hesitate to set his sights on our kids.
*Check back tomorrow for part 2.