by Michael Pearl from No Greater Joy – When the Worst Happens
This is for seven to twelve year olds
So what does it mean and how should you handle it when a seven- to twelve-year-old diverges into some form of sexual curiosity or activity? The age brackets I discuss are not rigid. You must understand the principle and adjust to the needs of your child. First, know that at this age it has the possibility of being serious. You must get all the facts first. If you immediately show great anger, they will likely clam up on you. Try to appear calm and objective as you ask questions. If it takes an hour to wear them down to telling all, then stay with it until you are confident you have gotten all the details. “Has this been going on for a long time? When and with whom did it start? What other expressions have you indulged in? Why do you do it? What has influenced you to do this—television, videos, computer, a peek at mommy and daddy, seeing someone else, viewing pornography in a magazine, contact with an adult?”
Then ask them how they feel about what they were doing in secret. You want to discover how deeply they are violating their consciences. If you have not exposed your children to teaching against sexual promiscuousness, and have not taught them Bible stories that warn against such, then they may consider it not much more than stealing a cookie. If you determine this to be the case, it does not lessen the ramifications of the events, but it does modify the way you respond. Now is the time to show grief and sadness while you teach and instruct them against such practices. Commence a daily Bible study in which you teach the stories of God’s displeasure and judgment against sexual sins. Teach on sexual sins every day for about two weeks and then leave the subject and teach the greatness of God and his goodness and mercy and forgiveness. Teach the book of John or Mark, story by story all the way through. Teach the Psalms and especially Proverbs. As you come to the subject in Scripture, teach against sexual promiscuousness at least once a month.
If, before the events, your children have been well-taught about the sinfulness of their deeds and they have indulged anyway, the problem is much more serious. They do not fear God and do not believe his Word. Ask yourself why and remedy that problem in the future. Willful sinners, of any age, who turn away from their consciences, are on the road to addiction and perdition. You need to bring the Biblical truth to bear in such a way that they fear to walk the dark path. In your teaching time, recount the horrors of hell and eternal suffering.
Children who have violated their consciences will need to be soundly spanked after they have understood the awfulness of their sin. Their souls need the release that judgment brings. This will be one of those rare times when you give them more licks, distributed over a wider area so as not to bruise or damage the skin. They need to know this is an especially dark deed deserving of special judgment.
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