My son, pay attention to my wisdom, listen well to my words of insight. (Prov. 5:1)

CONVERSATIONS ABOUT DRUGS, alcohol, sexual immorality, teen pregnancy, bullying, the dangers of social media, and more—these are discussions parents must have with their children, and at younger ages than ever before. Topics that once didn’t exist, didn’t merit mentioning, or seemed irrelevant for children under sixteen are now “required reading” for tweens and elementary-aged kids.

And, in spite of parents’ efforts to get ahead of the troublesome teen years, many young people still have to learn their lessons the hard way. We try to impart our wisdom to our children, but like countless generations before us, there are some souls that must experience difficulties in order to discover a better way of doing things.

When Solomon wrote about the sin of adultery, he took care to describe what the temptation of sexual sin would look like. He warned that resisting may be difficult, avoidance is imperative, and the consequences of sin, and adultery in particular here, are severe and devastating in one’s life. He hoped none would learn the hard way.

Truly, it’s not only our children who regularly misstep and must learn from their mistakes. We adults do as well. While we are preaching to our youth, perhaps we should study the advice of the wisest of all men with regard not only to adultery, but on how to live a moral and upright life all around.

Enjoy self-help heroes of today, but rely on God’s Word for guidance and instruction.

Hally Franz is a former high school guidance counselor turned stay-at-home mom. She enjoys being a 4-H leader, church secretary, book club member, and traveler.