Guard Your Heart: Teaching Kids to Be Pure in a Promiscuous World

Young children are designed to mimic and follow the examples they see: it’s how they develop basic skills such as talking and walking. But in a world that persistently devalues God’s truths and exalts immorality, our children must quickly discover that all influences do not exist for their good. Unfortunately, the age at which children must make that discovery is getting younger with each generation. How can we as ministry leaders address purity with children and help them protect their God-given innocence?

It’s never too early.

If we wait to instruct a child in purity until they begin having questions about sexual activity, he or she may already be losing the battle to remain pure. Teaching young children they are part of God’s creation, plan, and purpose encourages them to recognize the value of personal purity. Our guidance can make them more attentive to the choices they make. As children mature, that truth grows into adolescents and teenagers who more carefully consider the potential consequences that result from individual choices.

Be proactive.

The battle for purity begins with a proactive mindset. God provided us with His perfect Word of instruction so we would learn to live in ways that are pleasing to Him. By our example, we need to teach our children to consult the Bible every day and for every question. When their eyes are shaded with knowledge from the Bible, children at an early age can distinguish what is holy and pure.

In addition to setting their minds on truth, we should teach children to guard their hearts. It can be a challenge to help children really understand the need to guard their hearts since so much of childhood focuses on managing outward behavior. At the earliest age possible, we can share that the Bible tells us our hearts are the source of behavior and attitude, a wellspring of life. Out of our hearts flow everything of value and importance and, therefore, should be carefully guarded (Proverbs 4:23).

Show that God’s love is in His boundaries.

Sometimes we can be so intent on children remembering the guidelines God has set for us that we forget to reveal the reasoning and love behind them. We can teach children that purposeful boundaries are the framework for fulfilling God’s will in their lives. The truth is, boundaries are designed to increase our enjoyment of life, rather than limit it. Through respecting God’s principles we can experience life at its fullest. The child who learns to view God’s boundaries as protective rather than restrictive will grow to appreciate and embrace them.

Prepare children to stand out.

God’s perspective will always oppose a worldly point of view. Children should realize that thoughts, choices, and actions that are pleasing before God will not reflect those of the world. We can consistently encourage children to position themselves on the side of God’s truth and help them understand that a lifestyle reflecting the pursuit of purity will not look the same as peers who live according to the standards of the world. When we teach children how to make that stand with love for their peers, we have not only equipped them for purity, but also for evangelism.

Be an example of God’s grace and forgiveness.

It is a daunting, yet deeply rewarding, challenge to teach children how to live their most spiritually vibrant life—a life of freedom instead of regret. We must reveal to children their soaring potential and at the same time, be quick to show God’s forgiveness when they make a mistake. In love, we can point the way to God’s limitless grace and the abundant blessing along the journey of purity.

Purity, especially sexual purity, can be a difficult topic to address with kids. Consider using HighPoint Purity help you. In Purity, kids discover God’s plan for them is sexual purity. They will explore how to guard their minds and hearts as well as their actions to maintain purity. To learn more about this kit and HighPoint, click here

© 2010 by Gospel Publishing House. All rights reserved.


Anonymous said...

When my children were teens they chose to take vows of purity before the congregation on a Sunday morning. We gave them each something to help the remember their stand. My daughter chose a gold ring with the fish symbol on it and a cross in the middle. My son chose a strong chain with a cross to wear on his neck. My daughter is now engaged. She said to me the other day that when temptation arises she just holds that ring as a reminder and prays. That was probably the most encouraging thing she could have said to her mom. Now she wears a beautiful engagement ring from a young man who loves the Lord. It's never too early to teach your children to guard their hearts!

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