There are two skills in baseball that, if not learned early in life, are both valuable and difficult to learn later. I’m talking about pitch recognition and plate discipline.

Pitch recognition, the ability to see the ball out of the pitchers hand and decide at that moment what type it is and where it’s going, provides hitters with more time to put a good swing on the ball.

Plate discipline, the ability to lay off pitchers’ pitches and hammer hitters’ pitches, keeps hitters from getting themselves out while pounding mistakes.

Although the mechanics of hitting are important, if young hittesr don’t learn to recognize pitches and discipline themselves against mistake swings, they will find that a good swing can’t make up for this lack.

Recognition and discipline aren’t just helpful at the plate, but even more so in life.

Proverbs 5:8 speaks of the skills young men must learn early in life…or face devastating consequences–“Keep your way far from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”

“Her” is the proverbial “wayward woman,” literal and symbolic of sexual temptation.

God’s advice: recognize it early and lay off.

Recognize it early…sexual temptation is everywhere. It permeates our society. And it’s not of God. Anything that that draws us toward lustful thoughts and actions outside a biblical marriage must be seen for what it is. The sooner we teach our young men to recognize it, the better off they and their marriages will be later.

Discipline yourself to lay off…it’s like a great slider that starts in the zone and then sharply breaks down and away. Sexual temptation, according to the Scripture, is deceiving and has devastating potential. It has the power to ruin a life.

No, God isn’t trying to keep us from fun, but guiding us toward the proper place for sexual expression and fulfillment–marriage his way.

Lord Jesus, help me to recognize sexual temptation early and have the discipline to run from it. Amen.