The Devil Made Me Do It!
In the early 70s, my parents and I enjoyed watching The Flip Wilson Show (yes, I know that dates
me). Dressed in a miniskirt and high heels, the comedian would transform himself each week into the
outrageous "Geraldine," whose hallmark excuse for every indiscretion was "The devil made me do it!" I used
to laugh at Geraldine's antics but wondered—how close did she come to the truth?
Temptations assail our children daily. Pornography is only one, but it can lead to bondage that lasts a
lifetime. Being tempted by something, however, is not a sin. It also does not justify sin. Yet many kids
(and some adults) have difficulty differentiating between temptation and acting on the temptation.
If we teach our children about the three sources of temptation, I believe we can help them sidestep some of the traps laid at their feet.
1 Peter 5:8 says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion
looking for someone to devour" (NIV). And like a lion, Satan often preys on the youngest and weakest of
the flock, always sure where the most vulnerable point lies. His whispers entice and persuade. "Oh, go on
and look. It won't hurt to take one peek." "Your parents just don't want you to know what adults do behind
closed doors." "Everyone else looks at porn. They don't see anything wrong with it."
Do I believe Satan is behind the worldwide spread of pornography? Absolutely! Do I believe that's an
excuse for falling for his lies? Absolutely not! We often give the devil too much credit.
Our culture is obsessed with sex. It should be no surprise. 1 John 2:16 tells us, "For all that is in the
world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the
Father, but is from the world" (NASB).
Every sexually-charged movie, TV show, men's "health" magazine, or Victoria's Secret catalog desensitizes
our children and pushes them closer to pornography. Yes, it's difficult to avoid these images today, but
even children can learn to look away. In that way, we can teach them to take control over what they see
and avoid being "conformed to this world" (Romans 12:2).
Now we're getting personal. But James made it clear that "every man is tempted when he is drawn away of
his own lust and enticed" (James 1:14 KJV). Unfortunately, we each have a sin nature, and that nature
doesn't make it any easier to avoid temptation. That's where raising our children with the
Helmet of Salvation
comes in. Only
God can provide the strength of will to overcome Satan, the world, and our own proclivity for sin.
The buck stops here.
Soon after Jesus began His ministry, Satan presented Him with irresistible attractions, yet our Lord
refused to fall for the devil's tricks. Our children will never be perfect as Jesus was, but we can still
help them recognize temptation for what it is and where it comes from and avoid falling under its
The devil doesn't make us do anything. He may try, but we always have a choice. Our children need to know