Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. 26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Matt 23:25-26 (KJV)
Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
James 1:15 (KJV)
Training ourselves to have a good “thought life” takes diligent work. Can one actually control one’s mind? I believe we can! Temptation itself is not sin and God provides (I Corinthians 10:13) us with a way out when we are tempted. Therefore, controlling our thoughts, our actions, must be a possibility or this verse wouldn’t be in our bible! If we cannot train ourselves, then how can we as mothers train our children?
“Nursing” sin in our thoughts and dwelling on them will cause us to sin. Therefore, it’s so important to train ourselves to push those thoughts out of our heads.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: 19 But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. 20 Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
Psalms 66:18-20 (KJV)
As Noah Webster defines the word “regard,” one could read Psalm 66:18 as: If I love and esteem iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me! That’s exactly what we do when we “nurse” those sins in our thoughts! Do we or don’t we want our prayers to be answered? Do we want to be able to teach our children how to have control over their youthful lusts? How can we if we cannot even do this ourselves? Our children need to learn this – they need to know how to control their thoughts before they reach their teenage years. I can’t teach another to crochet if I don’t know how myself! I can’t teach another to bake a cake if I don’t know how myself!
Learn to live by Romans 8:5 and Philippians 4:8 – memorize it and turn to them when you are tempted to stray in your thought life. Fix your thoughts on the Lord, Jesus Christ. Think on those good things that He has blessed you with. When an evil thought crosses your mind, quickly change your thoughts to Jesus Christ! I Corinthians 10:13 is being applied when we do this!
When we can conquer this area, we can teach our children to do likewise 🙂