There is a war waging all around us. It is one none of us can escape. And it has nothing to do with politics.
Like it or not, we are all participants in an ongoing war between God and Satan for the hearts and souls of man. Without a doubt, the battlefield of human sexuality is an area of particularly violent struggle. Whether parents want to acknowledge it or not, our children are thrust into this battle at a far younger age than we can imagine.
Given that the enemy of God has a specific agenda to derail and overthrow God's design for sex, we would be wise to gain as much intelligence on our enemy as we can.
A Peek Into the War Room of Hell
What would we see if we were able to get a glimpse into the war room of hell? What if we could get inside the mind of our enemy and gain access to his plans and strategies? It would certainly allow us to engage in the fight with understanding. The Scriptures can give us some insight.
We can be certain Satan will try to destroy and distort whatever God made to be good.
Jesus declared this motive in John 10:10 when He said, "The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy." It stands to reason that Satan will allocate enormous resources to destroy those things that most reflect God's love and creativity. Sex surely tops the list. Like nothing else in God's creation, sex is a beautiful act that reflects our Creator's heart, and it is the most powerful and tangible way that those in a covenant marriage can connect intimately. Satan hates that.
We can be sure a large portion of Satan's budget is devoted to marketing.
Much like an effective advertiser, the enemy convinces us that we desperately need whatever he is selling. Unfortunately, Satan's marketing is based entirely upon lies. Again, Jesus calls Satan out in John 8:44 when he describes him as "a murderer from the beginning, [who] ... does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies." He takes the very thing that has the potential to destroy us and dresses it up in such a way that we become convinced we cannot live without it. Again, this is clearly his strategy when it comes to us experiencing our sexuality outside of God's parameters.
We can know that Satan will show no mercy when it comes to the weak and the innocent.
Consider 1 Peter 5:8. "Be sober and watchful, because your adversary the devil walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." A television show about African wildlife on a nature channel gives us an excellent mental picture of this. A predator will always pick out the weakest, frailest animal from within a herd to single out for his lunch. And Scripture uses this same word picture to describe the strategies of our enemy. While most of humanity shows leniency to the young, we must remember Satan shows no such compassion. He will not hesitate to set his sights on our kids.
I may not have the ability to sneak into the war room of hell for a peek at what our enemy is up to, but based on what I know of him from Scripture, I can presume what I would do if I were Satan. So let me put a new spin on the role of devil's advocate and outline a suggested plan of what I would do on the sexual battlefield if I were Satan.
1. I would task my best people with messing up human sexuality. This would not be a passive attack, but a full-frontal assault with all the powers of darkness at my disposal. A key element would be a deceptive plan to convince people that their sexuality is a simple biological drive, not a critical dimension of their spiritual lives.
2. I would lull parents into a deep passivity, keeping them distracted from the needs of their kids. I would make them busy with work, sports, church and the simple management of home in such a way that they would become oblivious to their lack of meaningful relationships with their children.
3. If I were Satan, I would give special attention to destroying the father/daughter relationship. If I can shift a girl's unsatisfied longing for her father's heart over to the desire for a boyfriend and the attention he offers, there's nothing I can't do to mess up her life. That girl will become one I can destroy with both hands tied behind my back.
4. I would lead families to believe sex is a taboo subject, making it awkward and uncomfortable for parents and kids to discuss. That way, when a young person has a question about their feelings or their experience, the last place they will dream of going for answers will be their parents.
5. I would put tons of energy into convincing young people that, in the area of sex, the world is credible and their parents are clueless. I'll take every opportunity to confirm that casual sex is fun and exciting, and sex within marriage is dull and boring. Movies, TV and music will be the ideal mediums for this message.
6. I would saturate the world with sexual images, making sure young people in general and boys in particular got exposed to them at an early age. I'll take a lesson gleaned from my associates working in the cigarette industry: If we can get them hooked early, we'll have a customer for life.
7. I would do all I could to mess up the sex lives of married couples, making them feel inadequate or incapable of teaching their kids about the subject. If I can make it a distasteful topic for parents, then talking about it with their kids will be distasteful as well.
8. Finally, I would trick parents into thinking they have plenty of time to teach their children about sex, dating and the power of emotional relationships. I'll work to make sure their children encounter these issues long before Mom and Dad ever bring them up.
This is what I would do if I were Satan. But what I would do does not matter. What matters is what he is already doing. Crafty as he is, Satan typically stays a step or two ahead of most believers, so my list is surely incomplete. He is likely doing everything I suggested and much more. If that's the case, a strategic and aggressive response is needed. It is time for parents to act.
Adapted from infoforfamilies.com, a ministry founded by Barrett and Jenifer Johnson. After serving in the local church for 25 years, Barrett and Jenifer launched INFO for Families as a ministry designed to encourage people through speaking, personal coaching and resource development. Barrett worked for 15 years in youth ministry before serving for eight years as the family minister at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Atlanta, one of the largest churches in the South. He has degrees from Texas A&M University and Southwestern Seminary, but he and Jenifer have received their best education through the no-holds-barred nature of everyday family life.
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