This week in seminary we compared how two brothers responded to sexual temptation -- Judah and Joseph (see Genesis 38 and 39). Here is an easy family home evening lesson about sexual purity, because our children need to be strengthened in the fight to stay virtuous.
1. Watch two short videos and discuss each one as a family.
2. Read and discuss the Lord's standard of sexual purity in For the Strength of Youth.
“Never do anything that could lead to sexual transgression. Treat others with respect, not as objects used to satisfy lustful and selfish desires. Before marriage, do not participate in passionate kissing, lie on top of another person, or touch the private, sacred parts of another person’s body, with or without clothing. Do not do anything else that arouses sexual feelings. Do not arouse those emotions in your own body. Pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit so that you can be clean and virtuous. …
"Avoid situations that invite increased temptation, such as late-night or overnight activities away from home or activities where there is a lack of adult supervision. Do not participate in discussions or any media that arouse sexual feelings. Do not participate in any type of pornography. The Spirit can help you know when you are at risk and give you the strength to remove yourself from the situation. Have faith in and be obedient to the righteous counsel of your parents and leaders.Physical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife” (For the Strength of Youth).
3. Read and discuss a quote from Elder Holland:
Also be sure to let your children know that the Savior's Atonement is real and it works. If they ever do lose their virtue by choice or by force, parents need them to know there is always hope, they are always loved by you and by God, and that the Atonement can heal them.
“In matters of human intimacy, you must wait! You must wait until you can give everything, and you cannot give everything until you are legally and lawfully married. To give illicitly that which is not yours to give is emotional Russian roulette. If you persist without the sanction of heaven, you run the terrible risk of such spiritual, psychic damage that you may undermine both your longing for physical intimacy and your ability to give wholehearted devotion to a later, truer love… On your wedding day the very best gift you can give your eternal companion is your very best self—clean and pure and worthy of such purity in return” (“Personal Purity,” Ensign, Nov. 1998).
Click here for a printable handout that's the right size to glue into standard scriptures in Genesis 39.
4. Finally, invite each person write down a personal commitment to the Lord of what they will and won't do to stay sexually pure.
Extra ideas for follow-up FHE's
- If you want to go the extra mile, you could purchase a "purity ring" (here are some ideas) for each child, inviting them to leave it on until their wedding day, as a reminder that they have promised God to stay sexually pure and give that gift to their future spouse. This ring might be more special given on a mother-father-child date with each child, inviting them to promise you and the Lord that you will wear the ring as a sign of their promise to be sexually pure, as shown in the movie Courageous.
- Here is a book I highly recommend about teaching children how to respond when they see bad pictures, because these days it's not "if" it's "when." Experts say that a child who accidentally sees pornography is so overwhelmed by the combination of shame and excitement, that if they haven't been taught exactly what to do afterward, that they will likely go back for more. What age to experts say kids should be taught this? Their answer is, "Younger than you think."
- Here is a BYU devotional by Elder Lynn G. Robbins called "Avoid It." He does an excellent job of explaining how temptation is enhanced by chemistry, like a person on a diet walking into the kitchen smelling and seeing warm chocolate chip cookies trying to resist them.
- Here are more ideas about protecting your family from pornography.