February 12th, 2012
Then one of the twelve, whose name was Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What will you give me if I deliver him [Jesus] over to you?” And they paid him thirty pieces of silver. And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.
I’d like to draw your attention to what Judas said, particularly the first part of what he said:
“What will you give me . . . ?”
The fallen, sinful nature of mankind compels us to continually ask, “What’s in it for me?” That’s what Judas wanted to know. He was one of Jesus’ closest companions, and for just thirty pieces of silver, he betrayed Jesus to the men who wanted him dead.
Throughout the entire life of Christ, we never hear Jesus asking, “What’s in it for me?” Even as He hung on the cross His concern was for those who nailed Him there: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” (Luke 23:43).
As we seek to explain to our kids the numerous solid reasons why they should turn away from premarital sexual activity and destructive sexual behavior, let us not overlook a simple, foundational truth—we’re called to love like Jesus, not Judas.
Think about it. All sexual sin is rooted in a “What will you give me?” self-centered attitude. The person looking at pornography has no concern for those being sexually exploited; he or she is entirely preoccupied with self gratification. Sexually active teenagers choose to ignore the myriad of ways their actions stand to wound many people besides themselves—their partners, their parents, their future spouse, to name a few. And anyone who engages in baby-making behavior outside of a baby-ready marital commitment is displaying a Judas-kind of heart—“I’m willing to put an innocent life at risk later to get what I want right now.”
Please don’t think I’m saying marriage is the solution for a Judas heart. A “What’s in it for me?” attitude destroys a marriage, destroys lives! The solution to mankind’s self-centered, narcissistic nature is repentance and a relationship with Jesus Christ. Only then can we be empowered by the Holy Spirit to love as Jesus loved.
. . . God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5
Take Action at Home
First parents, let’s pay attention to how we are relating to our spouse (and others). Are we operating out of a “What will you give me?” heart or a “How can I be a blessing to you?” state of mind? Since our kids are prone to do what we do as opposed to merely what we say, modeling a Christ-like love walk sets a healthy precedence in their lives.
Next, consider using Valentine’s Day—the time when so many are professing their love for another—to discuss the vast differences between a humanistic, “What’s in it for me?” kind of love as opposed to Christ’s love which esteems others’ well being over self-gratification. Explain how all sin—particularly sexual sin—comes from a self-seeking, Judas-kind of heart. Using the description of love found in First Corinthians 13, talk about how people can say I love you yet have a completely self-centered understanding of love.
Just as Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss, so do the masses who profess their love while gratifying themselves at another’s expense.
Father, forgive me for the times I’ve had a Judas heart and approached relationships with a “What’s in it for me?” attitude. Please help me (and my spouse) to love with the love of Christ—a love that is willing to sacrifice for those around me. I also ask that you help me to communicate to my child the true definition and attributes of love as You define them in Your Word and through Christ’s example. I pray that my son/daughter will love like Jesus, not Judas, and will abstain from sexual sin out of a sincere love for You and others. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
How have you gone about explaining the difference between lust and love to your kids? Use the comment form below to share thoughts, questions and ideas . . .