Most days I am fighting to make sure our kids have everything they need. I advocate for them in school, encourage their friendships, worry about their health, and pray for their future. However, I have been convicted lately I am not always fighting enough for them in the spiritual realm.
The enemy doesn’t want our children to be free, he wants them to feel anxious. He doesn’t want our families strengthened, but for us to feel fractured and frantic. The Lord has given us spiritual practices we can use on days when we fight against what we can’t see, and here’s a list of some of my favorites.
1. See my kids as God does, forgive each other liberally, listen well. Proverbs19:11 “It is to a man’s benefit to overlook an offense.” This works against the enemy’s desire to divide relationship, and cause conflict. If he can stir up trouble among my family and God’s greater family, then I spend my energy working against them, and not against him.
2. Take thoughts captive and focus on Him, not my fear. Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” When I feel overcome with fear/anxiety, I stop bringing peace to my household rhythm, and instead succumb to negative patterns which create more problems to worry about. This is exactly what the enemy wants!
3. Know myself and my weakness, get accountability. James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” I can have an appetite for the wrong things and wrong thinking. Having good friends, who ask hard questions, keeps me on the path to a healthy household.
4. Ask Him for His perspective. He is taking the long view when it comes to our family. Deuteronomy 31:8 “The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” I can feel doubt/discouragement and hopelessness on hard days. Setbacks are a normal part of the rhythm of warfare, and knowing they are coming go a long way in dispelling them. My job isn’t results, and my kids aren’t projects. I am to be obedient and leave the rest to Him. When we don’t see what we were hoping for, we have to believe He is in control and will use all things for His glory.
5. Test and approve. 1 Peter 5:8-9 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith…”. He is the father of lies and can make what is wrong seem right. He can impact our perception, entice lying, and foster hiding, trickery, cheating, fraud, duplicity, and deceit. It takes discernment to know the difference and not fall under this scheme. I ask Him regularly for this gift!
6. Teach my children to call on the “name of Jesus.”2 Thes. 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.” Kids can fight the enemy, too. God is our Shepherd, and He’s given us authority over our families. I can fight unseen forces with my spiritual declarations, and unabashedly teach my children to do the same.
7. Remember who I am in Christ. Remember I’ve been forgiven and my identity is as His child. I am not what I’ve done or has been done to me. When I confess my sins and fears to the Lord, shame dissipates. Psalms 103:3-4 “God forgives all your iniquity, heals all your diseases, redeems your life from the pit, crowns you with steadfast love and mercy.” He’s been trying since the beginning to separate us from each other and from God. It’s isolating, and debilitating, and I won’t allow it!
Sometimes, when we see an artist rendering of spiritual warfare, God is represented as the same size of Satan, however these are not characters of the same size. This enemy has to submit to the spiritual reality he doesn’t have God’s power and He’s given us access to it.
As co-heirs with Christ, we can fight with confidence for ourselves and our children. When I feel the unseen pressure of an enemy offense, I am getting quicker at saying out loud, “Not today, Satan. You have no authority here.” Then I go about the business of mothering and surrendering with the superpower of God’s love.