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Mary Crowley's Journey of Faith - Part 2

Guest: Mary Crowley

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April 24, 2024

Father to Son

Dear Son,

As you're getting older, I wanted to write you about something crucial. This is a hard topic, and it's not always easy for dads to talk about it with our sons. Sometimes, as you know, it's much simpler to talk about the Celtics, or the weather, or that new gadget you really, really need (just like the last one)!

But you and I need to have a heart-to-heart. This is about a subject that gets a lot of attention in this world: sex. It's not just sex that people engage in, though; a lot of boys in your age range are starting to get into pornography. In other words, they're looking at naked women and such things, and they're thinking that doing so is going to bring all that they want: happiness. Joy. Fulfillment. Satisfaction. I understand those impulses because I have them myself as a man and as a sinner. We have to handle these things carefully, Son. But I want you to learn about these subjects from the Bible, from God's Word, and not from boys your age.

Let me share four truths that you probably won't hear outside of the church, but need to hear from your father who loves you and wants your best.

First, I want you to know that sex is a gift from a kind God. There's no shame in sex, as God made it exclusively for a husband and a wife. This isn't something that kids learn about right away in life; this is a mature subject, and that's why I'm talking about this with you now. Song of Solomon says not to "stir up or awaken love until it pleases" (Song of Solomon 8:4). But when you get older, you need to know these things, and chief among them is this: sex is not given to us by evil beings. Sex is God's gift to mankind. It's given to a married couple, a husband and his wife, and it's a big blessing from God to them.

Second, I want you to know that pornography ruins sex — it doesn't honor it. Unlike what you'll hear from our sexualized culture today, sex isn't like Playdough. You're not free to make whatever you want of it. If you do, there are consequences. Think of it like a car. A car isn't made to make frozen yogurt. A car has a certain design with a unique purpose. It works in a specific manner — you can't wave a magic wand and it starts. You need keys or a starter. Sex also has a design and an order. It was made by God for the covenant of marriage, and to take sexual pleasures outside of this relationship goes against God's intention.

Pornography tells you the complete opposite. It puts a beautiful woman before you on a screen (or a page), and it insists you don't need marriage to lust after her and make her your fantasy. You don't need to love her, pornography says, or lead her, or understand her, or provide for her. You certainly don't need to protect that woman — in fact, you can feel free to use her for your selfish lusts. Pornography engages the sin that is inside us and offers us all of marriage's excitement without any of marriage's commitment. Do you understand how wrong this is?

Pornography, unlike a God-blessed marriage, won't actually satisfy or bless you. It will draw you into sin, and then the images will fade, but your lusts will remain. What will happen overall is what has happened to countless men who made lust their idol: They'll become a prisoner of their sin, and ultimately, they'll know the judgment of God.

Third, I want you to know that there is hope for you — that the grace of God will help you. The grace of God is stronger than your lust and mine, Son. I know what it is to fall prey to evil desire. Many times, in my life (especially earlier in my life and Christian walk), I've seen and thought things that were wrong for me to engage. The good news for me, you, and everyone else is this: We're not left to ourselves to fight this battle, and our past doesn't define who we are today. When you become a Christian, when you trust Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you have the Holy Spirit living inside you. The Spirit enables you to live a self-controlled life. We could say it this way: Instead of being ruled by your flesh, you can be controlled by the Spirit.

Even when you stumble and fall, as we all do, there is hope for you — much hope (James 3:2). God is a forgiving God. I don't mean this indicates you don't really need to care about sin. That's not true at all! But I do mean that God forgives repentant people to the utmost. God loves us even when we do not show love to Him. And God reaches out to sinners who have never trusted Him through his Son, Jesus Christ. There's hope for you, Son, wherever you are spiritually. But none of that hope is in you, and all of that hope is in God.

Fourth, I want you to know that all your fighting for holiness will be worth it. Let me put it this way, my boy: on the last day of your life, you will not wish you had watched more pornography. You will not wish you had followed God less. You will give thanks to God that He saved you and made you His own. You will give thanks that He did not allow you to get addicted to pornography, or blow up your marriage, or ruin your life due to lust. You will rejoice in God on that day that He gave you strength to fight sin, overcome sin, grow in godliness, and live a life pleasing to Him.

And Son, as we wrap up here, I just want you to know: that's what I want for you. I love you beyond words, and I see gifting and ability and strengths of various kinds emerging in you. I don't know exactly what you're going to do in life. But I know this: there's nothing more I want for you, and there's no greater "success" I could wish for you, than for you to live a life well-pleasing to God — by His grace.

Toward that end, son, I'm praying for you, I'm strong for you, and I'm here for you. We're in this together. No matter what happens, I'm never leaving you and I'm never forsaking you — because men of God don't quit, and men of God don't stop fighting until the final bell sounds.

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