8 Things Your Son Needs in His Battle for Purity

8 Things Your Son Needs in His Battle for Purity

Pornography. Hormones. Peer pressure. These things make the mama-bear within me roar. Do I wrap my son in bubble wrap and never let him out of the house? Do I build high walls around him and keep the world out? Do I protect him or prepare him?

The fear-driven response is to surround our sons with walls of “thou shalt nots.” Yet, we shouldn’t set boundaries out of fear. We present the wrong view of sex by pursuing the fear-driven response. This sets up our sons for failure. There is another way, though.

Another option is the God-driven response, which sets our sons up for success. They need God’s truth to navigate the minefields on their journey into manhood. The God-given response guides them, provides grace and mercy when they fall, and models a life of purity.

Here 8 tools we can give our sons: 

  • 1. Point Him to Jesus

    1. Point Him to Jesus

    Remind him that God is his ultimate source of strength. Our sons’ primary goal is to honor God with his body, soul, and spirit. Remind him that no temptation has seized him except what is common to man. Emphasize that God will provide an escape hatch and that he needs to look away from the temptation to find it. Pray for your son. Pray with your son.

  • 2.  Give Him Something to Work For

    2. Give Him Something to Work For

    Does your son know what God desires in regards to sexual purity? Tell him. Understanding the why’s behind the do’s are just as important as his behavior. And then encourage him to stay busy: Chores. Jobs. Volunteer. Learn a new skill. 

  • 3. Give Him a Safe Place

    3. Give Him a Safe Place

    Our homes need to be a sanctuary of openness and transparency for our sons. Start the hard conversations with gentleness and grace. Be open about your own struggles and how God provides you with victory. Don’t overreact when you hear something shocking. Stay calm. Respond with love, grace, and biblical wisdom.

  • 4. Be a Watchman

    4. Be a Watchman

    Guard his eyes, ears and mouth. Then teach him how to guard his eyes, ears, and mouth. Pay attention to what he sees, hears, and says. Is it beneficial, loving, or encouraging to his walk with Christ or to those around him? Use an accountability or filtering Internet software. Set time limits for gaming and entertainment. Self-control grows best through resistance. And boundaries, when built on the word of God, teach him self-control.

  • 5. Address the Heart

    5. Address the Heart

    Our primary focus, as parents, should be to lead our sons into a loving relationship with Jesus. Outer behavior reflects the inner man. Strive for authenticity in their relationship with Christ. Follow the symptoms to the root issue. It’s like working in a garden, we pull the weed in front of us. Then we follow its roots across the garden bed to find the “mother” plant. Once we deal with the source of the weed, the weed grows less in the garden. Focus on his heart. 

  • 6. Celebrate His Masculinity.

    6. Celebrate His Masculinity.

    Let him climb trees and explore the great unknown. Let him bang trucks together and conquer imaginary villains. And as he grows, discipline and disciple him with respect. Present to him a picture of Biblical manhood: warrior men laying their lives down for others. Encourage him that true leadership is standing strong while serving well. 

  • 7. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

    7. Develop an Attitude of Gratitude

    “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be among you, as is proper among the saints. Let there be no filthiness, nor foolish talk, nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” Ephesians 5:3-4  (ESV) Develop a thankful heart and it becomes clean. When we are thankful, it is easier to think pure thoughts and tell clean jokes. We can be thankful that God made us on purpose for a purpose. Gratitude can fill our hearts as we ponder the love and grace God poured out on us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Thankfulness displaces impurity. 

  • 8. Teach Him to “Bounce and Capture”

    8. Teach Him to “Bounce and Capture”

    Teach them to bounce their eyes and their thoughts. It’s impossible not to notice a beautiful woman, short shorts, or a plunging neckline. But it is possible to not take a second look. A second, third, or fourth look is a choice. The same goes with our thoughts. Using 2 Corinthians 10:3-4 as a model, we can capture our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. Although what we see becomes pictures in our minds, impure thoughts don’t have to trap us. Choose to capture thoughts and let Christ be strong.

    The Gospel melts hearts and Jesus is the one who changes hearts. Yet, it’s our job as parents to lead the way into those complicated and awkward conversations. Our primary focus as parents should be to lead our sons into a loving relationship with Jesus. Our secondary focus should be the boundaries we have for our sons.

    The parameters will vary based on your sons’ unique strengths and weaknesses. But discipleship will have the greatest influence on your son as he journeys to manhood. Raise him fearless, point him to Christ, and trust God with his heart.


    Jessica Van Roekel is a woman on the journey to wholeness through brokenness. She believes that through Christ your personal histories don’t have to define your present or determine your future. Her greatest desire is to see you live this “God-life” with all the power and grace that God provides. Jessica lives in a rural community with her husband and four children. She leads worship on Sundays, but seeks to be a worshiper every day. You can connect with her at www.welcomegrace.com  and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/yourJessicaVanRoekel