Christians tend to think of sin from an experienced adult point of view. We imagine someone being tempted to do something they know is sinful and giving into the pressure. Often, we picture someone going somewhere or being in situations where they know they will be tempted…yet, they still walk into those tempting scenarios.
For teen Christians, a lack of life experience can cause them to put themselves in tempting situations an older person would know to avoid. Unfortunately, children aren’t born knowing every situation they should avoid to minimize the amount of temptation to sin they experience. Some don’t even know the things God considers sinful.
It’s important to teach teens how to recognize when they are faced with situations that can lead to temptation. They need to know the warning signs. They need strategies for extricating themselves when they suddenly realize they are somewhere they don’t need to be. They need to have ready things they can say that will help them not only avoid sinning, but help them remove themselves from the temptation entirely.
Unsure where to start? Think about all of the mistakes you and your friends made when you were younger. Attending parties without knowing if adults were going to be in the house. Being alone on a date in someone’s apartment or home. Mixing alcohol and dating. Sometimes you or your friends knew you were walking a dangerous line, but sometimes your naïveté got you so deep into a situation, you found it almost impossible to quickly and safely get out of it, before something bad happened. Some of the details may have changed, but people are people and the broad strokes are the same from generation to generation.
Teaching teens how to avoid situations that can lead to sinning and equipping them with strategies to extricate themselves if they find they are in a bad situation can save many of them from committing sins they could have avoided. It’s worth spending some of your class or mentoring time to prepare them.