It’s hard to resist the pull to do what we want, what makes us happy or fulfills us, even when we know that it’s not what God would want. We, like Eve, want to define good and evil for ourselves. So, how do we talk to our children about temptation and teach them to resist the temptations they will one day face when we aren’t around?
Bringing the Bible to Life for Mom
Satan’s tactic was to make Eve question what God had said, question God’s motives and imply that God was holding out on her. Satan was making Eve suspicious of God. Satan convinced Eve that by restricting her, God was trying to oppress her. You know what? Satan’s tactics are the same today.
Eve should have been more suspicious of the snake’s motives! All Eve needed to do was to remember what God had actually said and trust what she already knew about God. After all, Eve had a relationship with God! Satan, on the other hand, was the stranger in the garden! We must be careful about what we take in as “truth” and who we trust as truth bearers. Knowing God and what he says about life is critical in our efforts to resist temptation.
God’s Help During Temptation
1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “You are tempted in the same way all other human beings are. God is faithful. He will not let you be tempted any more than you can take. But when you are tempted, God will give you a way out. Then you will be able to deal with it.”
This verse shows us that God is there with us when we are tempted. God himself is limiting the temptation and providing a way of escape! Think about that for a minute. God sets limits on temptation so that we can resist. And God provides a way out of the temptation, we just need to look for that way out. This is a powerful concept to understand. You are not alone in your temptation. Any temptation you face has limits. And God is with you showing you a better way.
Some Honest Reflection
If this is the case, why do we struggle so much with temptation? The Bible has an answer for that question, too. Read James 1:13-15, “When a person is tempted, they shouldn’t say, “God is tempting me.” God can’t be tempted by evil. And he doesn’t tempt anyone. But each person is tempted by their own evil desires. These desires lead them on and drag them away. When these desires are allowed to remain, they lead to sin. And when sin is allowed to remain and grow, it leads to death.”
Sadly, it’s our own evil desires, selfish motivations and prideful thoughts that lead us on and drag us away. These desires lead us into sin, which eventually leads to death. We must be honest with ourselves. The excuse, “The devil made me do it” is just not valid.
Jesus, Our Example
The Bible tells us that Jesus faced temptation. He was perfect, yet he still was tempted. And who tempted Jesus? Satan himself (Matthew 4:1-3). In fact, Scripture calls Satan the tempter. Because Jesus faced temptation, we know that he can relate to us (Hebrews 4:15). Jesus was tempted but did not fall into sin. This is key! Temptation is not the problem. It’s how we handle the temptation that can be the problem. Temptation is not the same as falling into sin.
What was Jesus’ secret weapon against temptation? God’s Word. Each time Satan tried to tempt, Jesus responded with a quotation from scripture. God’s Word is one of the “ways out” that God provides for his children!
Bringing the Bible to Life for Kids
Read 1 Corinthians 10:13 from the NIrV version of the Bible.
Ask your child: What do you think it means to be tempted?
To tempt someone is to entice them or convince them to do something wrong. We saw that happen in Genesis 3 as the snake enticed Eve to eat the fruit. He tried to convince her that there was some hidden advantage or pleasure that she was missing out on by obeying God and avoiding the fruit.
Now ask: In what ways have you been tempted or convinced to do something wrong?
Whether it’s the temptation to cheat on a test, disobey a parent or steal a toy from the drugstore, temptation is all around us. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that God limits temptation and he provides a way out of temptation.
Next discuss this: How might Eve have resisted the temptation she experienced? In what ways did God limit her temptation and provide a way out for her?
The snake did not force Eve to take the fruit, she still had a choice in what she was doing. There was a limit to the temptation. And God gave Eve a way out by telling her in advance not to eat the fruit. He had warned Eve that she would die if she ate the fruit. God’s rules are made to protect us and it’s important to remember them when we are in the middle of temptation. God’s rules are our “way out!”
Science Experiment – A Way Out!
Find a bottle with a narrow neck. Ball up a piece of paper so that the ball fits into the neck of the bottle. Now place the bottle on its side, fit the paper ball just into the opening of the bottle (make sure the ball is small enough to fit freely in the opening).
Challenge your child: Do you think you can blow on the ball to push it into the bottle? Looks easy, right? Give it a try!
The paper ball should escape the bottle every time! This is based on the Bernoulli Principal, where the fast-moving air goes past the ball into the bottle creating enough air pressure to throw the ball out.
This experiment reminds us of the way that God provides a way out of temptation. The ball sitting in the neck of the bottle has two ways to go, either inside the bottle, to be trapped or to move outside of the bottle and be free. When you blew on the ball, you might have thought that your breath would push the ball into the bottle, trapping it there. But there was an invisible principal at work that made the opposite happen.
Each time we are tempted, we face a choice, to be trapped by sin or to choose God’s way out and be free. When we are tempted, God graciously provides us with a way out. You will be really tempted to disobey God, but God always provides a way out to free you from the temptation! Make sure to look for that way out!
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