Before Joseph reached his 20th birthday, he was separated from his family and found himself working for Potiphar. From all appearances, he was the best slave to Potiphar. If it weren't for the fact that Potiphar's wife had eyes for him, Joseph would have had it made. One day, his master's wife was forceful and wanted him to lay with her. Joseph refused and was forced to flee - even leaving behind his clothing. The wicked woman then lied about Joseph to her husband. Potiphar responded by sending Joseph to prison.
Although my favorite part is the ending to the story, it is this situation that I want us to focus on today. When faced with temptation, this godly man ran. He got out of the situation. In fact, he said, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9) He recognized that the sin wouldn't be against his master only, but against God as well.
As mothers, we need to prepare our children how to handle temptation. Here are some ways we can prepare them to be godly men and women one day:
1. Flee fornication. Children should be taught to get far away from tempting situations. Joseph was a good example to us to get away from the situation. He'd first used his words, but when that didn't work, Joseph got away. We should be an example also and teach our children the same.
2. Help children realize that our sins hurt God. Jesus died for our sin, so our sins hurt him. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed." (1 Peter 2:24)
3. Keep their eyes on good things. Once, our family took a trip and everyday our route took us past a place where college students would gather at a river in immodest clothing. Thankfully, we did find a different path to take away from it towards the end of our trip, but we had to deal with it several days. Knowing that your eyes often travel were they shouldn't (the 'don't look down' idea), instead we told our children to look at something on the other side. Or we got them interested in a book inside the van. We should train our selves to focus on the good and pure in the world, instead of the worldliness around us. David should have learned this lesson before he kept his eyes on the beautiful Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11:2-3). Peter also took his eyes off Jesus to see the storm (Mark 14:28-31).
"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (Philippians 4:8)
4. Know that God will help them. God will answer prayer and help us in times of trouble. Our children should hear us pray for strength when we need it. "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." (1 Corinthians 10:13)
5. Maintain friendships with like- minded individuals. There is a time to be among people of the world, to teach them and to be an example before them. However, we need to realize that too much of this is not a good thing. "Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners." (1 Corinthians 15:33) Instead we should be like the first Christians, who were with each other everyday. "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart..." (Acts 2:46)
6. Avoid being prideful. Often those that are proud of themselves fall soon after. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (1 Corinthians 10:12) It is not our own power within ourselves that makes us strong, but Christ in us that makes us strong. "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." (Philippians 4:13)
7. Study the Word of God. King David wrote in the Psalms, "Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." (Psalms 119:11) The only record we have of Jesus being tempted, He used scripture to fight against the temptations of Satan, every time (Matthew 4; Luke 4). Shouldn't we do the same?