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Courage Hope

I headed straight to the pantry.  I needed comfort food.  I deserved a treat! Or, so I thought.

I’d just had a conversation with my scared son. He’d come to me and admitted he and his girlfriend had physically gone too far. They hadn’t crossed every line, but enough he knew they were headed in a dangerous direction. He came to me and wanted help processing what to do. We considered this definition:

to com•pro•mise (komprə-mīz)

v. 1. to expose or make vulnerable,

2. to make an unfavorable concession
or indulgence, 3. to weaken

That is exactly the way he felt — that he they had exposed their relationship to emotions they were not ready to handle. They had indulged in an area that God wanted to preserve, yet the world told them they deserved. And, it had weakened their relationship.

We sat on the back deck and processed the situation together, asking, “What happens when you delete “com” from the word compromise? You’re left with a ‘promise.’” I shared that he was made for more than compromise. He was made for God’s promises in every area of his life.

We read many empowering Scripture verses, seeking to filter every part of this situation through God’s truth. In the end, he and his girlfriend came to the realization they needed to break up.  It’s really hard to put things in reverse after certain lines have been crossed.

I walked back into the house after that conversation with two things running through my brain.  I was thrilled my son came to me to talk about such a sensitive issue.  What an honor to breathe truth into his physical struggle.

But, I was also feeling a little panicked at the realities of parenting older teenagers! And, that feeling convinced me that I had to have some comfort food!

As I loaded my arms full of treats, I was suddenly struck by a gut wrenching question.  How can I expect my son to apply truth to the area of his greatest physical struggle, but refuse to apply it to my area of greatest physical struggle?

That thought struck deep.

If I wanted to model what it looks like to live out truth in my physical struggles, I would have to break up with unhealthy choices. I realize chips and brownies are small concessions compared to a young couple compromising their purity. But, if one indulgence leads to two, and that leads to other indulgences, then the downward spiral is quite similar.

And whether we are talking about having premarital sex or other compromises that make us feel defeated, we must remember a crucial truth. We were made for God’s promises that lead to an abundant life of truth, strength, and joy. Satan’s purpose is to compromise God’s promised best. Don’t allow this thief to weaken, expose, or make us vulnerable. Let’s not compromise, and accept less than the peace and abundant life that God has promised is ours.

“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give a rich and satisfying life” (John 10:10 NLT.)

Listen for this lie the thief will often whisper:  “This will make you feel wonderful! You need this. You deserve this.”

Combat this lie with this:  “You are a liar and a destroyer Satan.  Yes, this may feel wonderful in the moment but how will I feel in the morning?  I will not let your poisonous invitation for pleasure in the moment derail and defeat me.  I am not made for compromise.  I am made to live the reality of God’s promises.”

___________

To receive additional encouragement on this topic, please visit the ‘Made to Crave’ website by clicking here. You can order the book Made to Crave from this website, print free resources, begin a 21 day challenge, view helpful videos, read success stories and so much more.

By Lysa TerKeurst

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  1. 1
    Beth Williams says:

    What a son you have raised to feel he can openly come to you with something so big!!

    Powerful post!! Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. 2

    Wow, wow, wow! This was an incredible piece. I am also the mother of teens and can totally relate to your feelings. I’m also on a path toward better health. Just yesterday I reached for Oreos and potato chips because I got another rejection letter for a story I’m attempting to publish. Yikes and Ouch!

  3. 3
    Rebecca says:

    HUGELY insightful….thank you for sharing. In today’s culture it is all too accommodating to compromise with someone, find the middle ground. I had not thought of how it can so deeply impact our thoughts and the way life is approached. You’ve given me something to ponder on today!

  4. 4

    Really great post. I needed this today, have been struggling with compromise this week myself. Like you Lysa, it’s food!

    “Listen for this lie the thief will often whisper: “This will make you feel wonderful! You need this. You deserve this.””
    That’s exactly it, I will be much more on guard.
    God Bless you,
    Caryn

  5. 5

    Thank you, Lysa, having two grown children, I can totally relate…and now since I have been following your guidelines in Made to Crave for several months, I was reminded of this great verse…Habakkuk 2:3 The Living Bible–”But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”…I know that as long as I keep making healthy choices with my eating and my exercising, slowly, steadily, surely, I will weigh exactly what God wants me to weigh :)

  6. 6
    Anonymous says:

    loved your sharing today

  7. 7

    My oldest is 7, and what you just shared FREAKS ME OUT! Haha! However, the fact that your son came to you is encouraging. I want my relationship with my children to be that way.

    We’re moving in 2 weeks, and life has been crazy stressful and hectic. Yesterday I had to hold myself back from going out & eating ice cream while paying for a new iPhone. Your book was such a powerful tool in my life for more than just food issues. Thank you!

  8. 8

    How great that he came to talk to you about it! I love your quote: “If I wanted to model what it looks like to live out truth in my physical struggles, I would have to break up with unhealthy choices.”

  9. 9

    “Listen for this lie the thief will often whisper: “This will make you feel wonderful! You need this. You deserve this.” And so many days, I let this lie be my “best”friend. :) Thanks for laying it out there…

  10. 10

    satan will tell us things that are true, but not THE truth.

    true – indulgences feel good
    the truth – only God can fill up the empty spaces with lasting hope

  11. 11
    Michelle says:

    Just last week I had the very same conversation when my 16 yr. old son came to me and told me he needed to talk (dreaded words for a mother of older teens…) AND My 13 yr. daughter had just convinced me to buy her a pkg. of double Stuffed Oreos, so she and her younger sister could make Oreo shakes. I have to tell you that after my son’s confession, I walked into my kitchen and wanted NOTHING more in the world than to eat several of those Oreos with a large glass of milk. Coincidentally last Sunday I bought “Made to Crave” on a whim while picking up some graduation cards for some friend’s children. Well, I read it (within a couple of days) and I knew for the first time (or admitted it for the first time) I have always made excuses to turn to food for comfort, and this time was not different, except this time, I was armed with your wisdom Lysa! My hands were shaking, I wanted to cry, but I said over, over, over “Michelle, you were made for more!! Turn North!!
    It is so interesting that God led me to read this devotion today, because I know you wrote it just for me! I am going to share this with my son tonight, because I want him to know that we ALL have struggles, and we all fall at one point or another. I want to confess that for too long I have given in to my own temptations, he is not alone…his mom is imperfect and sinful. I look forward to sharing my new commitment to being healthy with him tonight, just as he is striving to live a Christian lifestyle in a world that fights him every step of the way.
    Thank you for you this devotion, and for your book. It has been a week and I have not lost 1 pound. BUT I feel amazingly good about the choices I have made all week, and I feel that my heavenly father is proud of my obedience to not compromise myself, so that hopefully with His strength and help from your book and websites I will persevere through this struggle with food! And in the meantime, I pray that with the help of the Spirit, I can share this with my son and set the example that no matter how long I have struggled with my sin and compromise (and believe me, he has heard me talk about my weight battle for years! We can overcome! Thanks for the daily encouragement.

  12. 12

    WOW! Awesome post as always, Mrs. Lysa!!! Thank you for this great reminder and message :) We are overcomers!!! God bless!

  13. 13
    Treva Buchanan says:

    I pray that my girls continue to have the openness we have now. We talk about anything & everything. Thank you for the encouragement!

  14. 14

    How incredible that your son came to you…I pray my children will also come to me with such sensitive issues, when the time arises!
    Love that your son’s situation so clearly pointed back to a place of compromise, the enemy uses to try & derail us all. Thanks so much for sharing the insight.

  15. 15

    Thank you for sharing this. I have been so burdened for my older teens and some of their choices. Thoughts like if I had done a better job or been smarter that they would have held tight to all those truths I tried to teach them. This is by far the most difficult season of parenting for me and I pray daily that God will capture their hearts and that they would honor Him when faced with sexual temptation. As a Christian parent, it is easy to feel isolated with issues like this as I think many (such as myself) are ashamed to admit it and it doesn’t easily come up in Christian conversations. Thanks for your honesty.

  16. 16

    Thank you for that!
    Oh, how I long to have this kind of relationship with Jesus (going on 15 years) AND with my children (3, 1.5, and 5months)!

    FYI: if I hadn’t read the entire post that pic of brownies had me wanting to run to My pantry to bake up some yummies!

  17. 17

    Oh Lysa, your book has been a powerful tool in my life the last few months. And that story has been one of great impact. I find myself saying out loud, “this might feel good now, but how will I feel later?” Your book has helped me deal with more than just food issues – it has worked on some heart issues as well. And I’ve lost 31 pounds too :)

  18. 18

    What an awesome and open relationship you have with your son. My daughter (20) is in her first relationship and I pray she knows she can always come to me. I continually make compromises in the food department. I am praying for more self control. I need to read your book again!

  19. 19
    Nolette says:

    All I have to say is WOW! WOW! WOW! I pray that I may be blessed to have my teens come to me and share, and that I may think that QUICK and be that sensitive, merciful and not be judgemental towards them. By G0D’s Grace UR Awesome. Continue to spread G0D’s love and peace Lysa. <3

  20. 20
    Tanya Baker says:

    Lisa, this is excellent. I lead a “Thin Within” group and sent this link to all of my ladies. We found it to be quite encouraging. You are a clear, honest communicator and I always appreciate your blogs, articles and devotionals.

  21. 21

    I snack when I am bored. So i try not to be bored. LOL