Note: This poem is discussed in a blog post, called Teach Your Children Well.
My Son, My Daughter—Do Not Lust
My Son, My Daughter
Why not follow?
Why not obey the Master’s call?
Why slide deeply into slick sin?
Why leave the path—
step from the solid rock
descend into the slippery pit?
Know this—the way that most live life
the way they think and act
is sadly wrong deep to the core.
Allowing sin into your life—
refusing to do what is right
and going with the flow
leads to bondage, despair and death.
Listen and heed that which is true,
that which your heart confirms.
Lust not for one who is not yours.
Let not this sin reign in your heart
nor stoke a fire within your flesh.
Displease not God who watches you.
Pleasures—they all do come from Him.
Each one was shaped, finely crafted
to bring you joy and draw you down
the path designed for you.
But they are not to be misused.
Fulfilling them outside their time
apart from ways designed by Him
invites deep pain—becomes a snare.
Check out—the foolish one.
He runs away
far from the shade
into the dry and hot desert.
He leaves the cool water
chasing sirens—the song they sing.
They call him and he answers.
He fails to heed his Father’s Word.
The rush of sin consumes his soul.
He knows it’s wrong yet still drinks in:
“It’s all OK—do not worry!
Go for it now!
Do not delay!
Just take a look!
It is not sin!
See what I have!
Feed your urges.
Don’t you want it?
Don’t you need it?
For you, it’s free.
You can’t resist.
No one will know.
Everyone else is in here too.
Enjoy delights—they’re here for you.
Fulfill desire—share it with us
Join us—we are many.”
Lust calls to him—
he can’t refuse.
It’s bound him tight
has made him small.
See how he runs—
he cannot wait—
pours out his strength
empties his life
for those who hate his soul.
He does not see the jagged wreaks
that lie beyond the ones who call—
who failed to learn what must
be learned—and left it all behind.
They foolishly wasted their might
putting down roots into dry sand,
without a shield from the hot sun,
with no water from which to draw.
Never will they bear fruit.
Their days are dry and tears their food.
God plans much more for you
than that you waste your life
seeking what does not satisfy
spending for what has no value.
He calls to you
to be a man after His heart
who takes control and rules his thoughts
walking always as He has taught,
knowing that life is more than food
and joy much more than cheap pleasure.
Our God lives deep inside your heart
and seeks to shape
you to be one with Him.
Desire Him above all else.
Delight yourself in Him,
the warm radiance of His love.
Let Him reveal your course
and give to you blessings untold,
molding in you a faithful heart
that does not suffer shame,
that does not run
and does not fear.
Feast fully on His living Word.
Hide it beneath within your heart
where He can speak into your life—
guide you in all your ways.
Both now and then give it your all.
Wander not far from it.
Fail not to let it do its work.
Become the man who loves his Lord
with all his heart,
his mind, his soul, his strength.
Our God has been gracious to you,
formed you, and gave you life—
with leaping heart, a strong desire.
Yet you must wait.
You are not yours alone.
You are your Lord’s as well.
And you will share all that you are
with he who waits for you.
Do not be quick to spill your charms,
to flirt, entice or flaunt yourself.
Many are those who would
take all you have.
They are not satisfied
and will not be.
For them, you are a toy.
They care not for your soul.
They act as though you don’t have one—
as though there is no damage done.
To you this time has been given
to seek and build your truest love—
with One who has made you
as He desired.
He who formed you—
shaping your mind,
your heart, your soul—
is not done with you yet.
Let Him refine your deepest self.
Stare deeply into the mirror.
That which you see is just a shell.
This is not what your Father sees.
He pierces deep inside
searching your heart
probing your mind,
testing your love.
Seek out His word.
Hold tight and deeper yet
His truth within your heart.
Do not despair, live not in fear.
The work He does is slow but sure.
He does not fail.
He does not leave.
His love is true and pure.
Let him build a beauty
that does not fade
but only grows and glows
ever more bright.
The beauty of a quiet heart
that does not beat in fear and pain.
The beauty of a cheerful soul
that does not fret or chase the wind.
The beauty of an earnest mind
that seeks the truth and turns from lies.
The beauty of determined might
that falls not flat
does not stumble.
Check out—the foolish one.
She does not wait.
She does not grow.
That which she has she spends all now.
She pours her water into the ground.
She does not know
that those who ply her now
will leave her soon.
She does not please
the One who has made her—
the One who knit her in
her mother’s womb.
She wanders deep into the night,
excited, weak, a sorry sight.
The morning will leave her
in tears, afraid.
Who will come to her then?
Do not let lust reign in your heart.
It is a sin and not for you.
Trade not diamonds for glass
or cast your life away.
For lust will twist your mind
and seize your strength
contort your soul
and rob your peace
make you a fool
turn you away from God.
All those around, they are
brothers and your sisters
and not objects for you to crave.
Awaken not what now must sleep—
spend not on that which is not food.
The wide and winding road
is not for you—
the way that has no end of toil.
If you rush in and go astray
lust will demand all you can give
sapping your strength to strengthen it.
It will ride you just like a mule
and take you where you should not go.
You are at war.
It’s not a game.
There is no switch—you can’t reset.
That which you do is not undone.
That which you sow,
you too shall reap.
Be careful how you wage this war
knowing your heart
guarding it well.
Keep straight your path—
stray not from it.
Feast on what He has set for you.
In His presence
are pleasures evermore.
His gift to you—living water
to sate your thirst
refreshing those who faint.
From His table you will grow strong.
Wisdom will build inside.
It will lead you in paths
that never end.
You will become a fruitful tree
pleasing and useful for His work
untopped by sin—always growing.
Our God may well
have chosen one for you
who also has a claim.
It is for you to wait and share
with one who waits for you.
You will be one
and both be one
with your Father above.
The one who will become your spouse
shall be the one who will:
unleash your strength,
water a seed that lies in wait,
nurture a plant,
whose roots sink deep.
That which grows up from this will be
a lush, a vibrant tree.
In its season it will provide
covering shade from the bright sun
to guard you from its scorching heat.
Each year sending out new branches,
reveal fresh fruit for you to taste.
You will rejoice at that
which God Himself did form.
This tree will be
much like that greater tree—
your love for God—
which even now does grow within.
See how she looks at him
though he is gray and old
See how he cares for her
though she is weak and worn.
Their love did not appear just now.
It was long in coming.
Life may appear so long
perhaps to us but not to them
They remember, oh so well,
the vows they made
so many years ago.
This is the place that you must go
when you before your God
do make your vows.
But if you do not learn
you fail yourself to self-control,
to cast your passion to the wind,
to act the fool and harm your soul,
the price you pay will be severe.
Failure before breeds pain ahead.
But yet even if you do slide
there is still hope for you.
God will not leave you lost.
His mercy knows no end.
Turn back—stop the bleeding.
Though scars remain, healing will come.
Let not this sin within you dwell—
repent and make your spirit well.
Capture all thoughts—don’t let them loose.
Restrain desire and keep it pure.
Refuse vile thoughts and wrong desires
a home within your heart
a place they must not dwell.
Let not brief thrills become your goal,
pleasures that don’t endure.
Instead seek that which will bring joy—
enduring peace within your soul.
So you, my son, and you, daughter
the path is plain and clear.
Don’t let desire turn into lust.
Let not your thoughts lead you astray.
Instead be wise and trust your God—
the one who formed your heart and mind.
He has shown you how you should live.
His way contains no shame or fear.
Know that you must give an account
for all you do and think.
Learn how to live within yourself.
Possess that which your God has made
with clear wisdom and purest love.
By Jim Vander Spek (July, 2012)