A certain father did not really understand the principle of covenantal permission. He was very concerned with issues of reputation, so he was very careful not to set a poor example for his children, particularly his sons.
And this is why his sons grew up in a home that was morally tidy. But I am afraid that this father, if no one was watching him, gave himself a considerable amount of free rein, particularly in his thought life. He was both greedy and lustful, although he made sure that he never stepped over any boundaries in public that would have socially negative consequences.
What he did not know was that God has designed the world in such a way as to have sons mirror their fathers. And the mirror does not just work because of the principle of imitation-although that was certainly involved as well.
Anything the father gave himself permission to indulge in private, the sons took upon themselves to embrace in public. And although no words were ever spoken, the father had given his (disobedient) covenantal permission.
This is how, when this man’s three sons began to grow to their maturity, they took their father’s disobedience to a new and very public level. Of course, they did not consciously know about their father’s secret problems with pornography, or with covetousness. They, like everyone else around, assumed him to be a respectable, if somewhat tiresome, middle class church-goer. They did not know, and their father did not know, that all their raging public behavior was the harvest of a crop sown in secret some years before.