Christian Living


Mommy and the Joyful Three 09/23/14

Helping Kids to Put on the Armor of God

Explosions, gunshots and screams pierce your ears. You choke on smoke and dust. You feel the enemy getting closer, but the darkness is blinding. You’re confused as you search through the darkness hoping to see them before they see you.

You know that lives are lost. You feel the presence of death looming over you as it weighs heavy in the air. You feel a mixture of sadness and yet relief that you are still alive. Your nostrils fill with horrid smells and sweat drenches your clothes.

You are armed with one weapon. You know it can win the war if you use it correctly. You know it is all you need to overcome the enemy and you grip with your dirty hands for dear life.

You hear heavy footsteps. They pound the ground as your heart pounds into your chest...

“It’s time”, you whisper as you raise your weapon ready to defend yourself and those you love.

This may not be the version of the war for our souls that we see, but imagine yourself in the trenches, holding the weapon you know will save you, the Bible, God’s Living Word.

This war is beyond our physical comprehension and vision, but I can assure you that it is this serious.

Our lives are valuable. And the enemy of our souls, Satan, does not sit back with his arms behind his head and feet up on a desk hoping you will go his way. Instead, he uses temptation and sin to disarm us.

If it were your child in those trenches, you would probably jump in front of any bullet or attack. We protect our children from harm every day with seat belts, helmets and basic safety precautions. These are things we have become accustomed to as parents.

Yet, the most important thing we can and should be protecting them from is darkness.

Your children will face adversity that is meant to devastate them, meant to discourage their faith.

I know all too well that Satan can attack a family. He can slip into the seams of the life you built and tear at your sanity, as well as, your home.

The cool thing is that God doesn’t leave us stranded, with no way to defend ourselves. In Ephesians 6, we learn about the Armor of God and how it will protect us from any evil that might come our way.

As parents, we must provide the armor our children need to ensure they are constantly wearing the protection necessary to overcome. This is not meant to scare you or them, but we should be wary.

Satan does not just kick you when you’re down. He hates to see you doing the will of God. He is versatile and he knows your weaknesses.

Imagine yourself a teenager again, you have a list of colleges you might consider. You work hard at your grades and have new responsibilities, such as a first job. The stress is new and you are trying hard to maintain.

Satan might interrupt your life as a new temptation and resurfacing bad habit or an enticing new friend. Suddenly, sinning seems like a way to take the edge off. Your plans and dreams suddenly take second seat to a lifestyle that will eventually destroy you.

What would you do for your child caught in this situation? No parent plans for this to happen, but it still does.

As parents, we can do our part in spiritually protecting our kids. The defenses we can use are prayer and godly guidance. It is our job as parents to inform and reform our kids.

I was that teenager. I found myself turning away from God and toward what culture says was OK for me to experiment with. It only harmed me and set me back, but at the time I felt justified in my actions. From my personal experience, here are the most valuable ways to help your child to prevent such things and to help them find their way back if it happens to them.

1. Time.

Believe it or not as much as a teen might fight you and seem like they cannot stand you being near them, your time still means the world to them. A lot of the time what you see when a child or teen is fighting you is their own defenses against love. Allowing a wedge to be driven between you two is the worse idea. Be available to your kids. You won’t regret the time you invest in them.

2. Prayer and Words of Encouragement.

God hears our words and understands our hearts. Pray and speak life into your child. Do not speak harsh criticism or hateful words (even in times of anger). Do not say they are hopeless. Do not speak badly of them; speak life. Our words are so powerful. We can speak curses or we can use words to build someone up. Praise your child for the good they do and instruct them with love and wisdom when they need guidance.

3. Accountability.

We must allow our children to take accountability for their actions. Children who are protected from all consequences do not learn valuable lessons that help build character.

What are your strategies, as a parent, to help your children overcome adversity?
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