by Rob Tims
We’ve recently moved. My 12 and 10 year-old sons have longed shared a room, but now this shared room isn’t the laundry room and the play room for all four kids. Nice.
But there’s a downside.
We also lost an office space, so we put the desk and the family computer in the boy’s room. They are, after all, the primary users for both school and play, and there really was nowhere else to put it. So after setting it all up and getting both OPEN-DNS and CIRCLE set on our network, I reminded the boys of their guidelines and off we went. Well, that’s not entirely true. We did take a few more measures for security, such as installing antivirus and locking out access to the Arris router info so that they couldn’t accidentally cause an issue or a security hole. After that though they were on their way.
But the temptation of having the computer in their room proved too strong for the youngest of the two. Chess, music, and mindless games were too accessible and quickly took the place of reading and schoolwork.
So, when he was recently busted playing these games when he was supposed to be researching for a paper on Alexander Hamilton, the guilt overcame him to the point where he begged for our mercy—not for a more lenient punishment, but for help in overcoming the temptation to play the games when he shouldn’t.
“Dad, will you please remove the computer from our room?”
A few minutes later, I took my son on a short errand and used the time alone to talk about faith and temptation. The primary thing I tried to communicate to him was that one of the reasons becoming a Christian was compelling to me many years ago was that God promised me that with the Holy Spirit, there was no temptation I might face that I could not overcome.
“Son, you asked for help to overcome your temptation, and I responded. Will you consider becoming a Christian so that you can always have that help within you?”
I pray that he will.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to humanity. God is faithful, and He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation He will also provide a way of escape so that you are able to bear it. — 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Rob Tims is husband to Holly and father to Trey, Jono, Abby Jane and Luke. He’s the author of Southern Fried Faith: Confusing Christ and Culture in the Bible Belt, and manages the team behind smallgroup.com at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville. He writes regularly at RobTims.com and blogs every Friday at Forward Progress.