Several years ago when my oldest son turned 7 years old, we bought him an armor set for his birthday. Each piece was labeled with the Biblical title from Ephesians 6… Sword of the Spirit, Helmet of Salvation, etc. And while half the pieces are now broken or missing, the message the toy conveyed is an eternal one…we are in a battle!!
Many of you, like myself, are stationed on the home front with young children, and there is no doubt that life can be a daily battle. I’ve been reading Nehemiah lately…how they were trying with all their might to build the wall, but their progress was constantly challenged and delayed by the enemy. That sounds pretty much like…every day!!! I love the “building” activities in my day… teaching my kids, listening to one share the brilliant idea that just popped into his head, preparing a meal, organizing our household activities, etc. Then there are those constant interruptions…argument mediation (Who really had the toy first?), detestable marketing calls, unsolvable problems (you know, the deep mysteries in life that only mommy holds the solution to…like “Where is my pencil?”), poopy diapers, comforting a child who stubbed their toe or hit their head on an open cabinet.
These interruptions can be a tool of the devil to bring frustration, annoyance, and even anger… when all I want to do is BUILD! But here’s what hit me recently: as moms our battle is two-fold, or three-fold, or seven-fold…how ever many kids you happen to have. Because while you are using that spiritual armor to fight your own battles, you as moms are also challenged with the task of helping your children fight theirs. In fact, while I was typing up these thoughts, I had to stop, and correct and pray with an angered child. It would have been so much easier in the moment to say, “Oh, he’ll get over it soon,” and keep on typing. Frankly, it is downright exhausting to dig deep into your soul and take the time to address the heart. But we must be willing to stop the building and fight the battle. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Sound a little dramatic? Well, it is…dramatic and TRUE. When our kids bicker, they are not just fighting each other. There is a much greater battle going on, and it is our job (which can only be done through sensitivity to the Holy Spirit) to help our children see this and train them about God’s spiritual armor of salvation, righteousness, truth, peace, faith, His Word and His Spirit.
I gotta say, remembering that my kids are fighting their spiritual fights too has helped me in two key ways.
- It has helped me not to take my children’s behavior personally, which results in anger. Instead we are teammates against a common enemy.
- It has helped me to be patient and compassionate when they are having a rough day or have spiralled down a sinful path of discontent, or pride, or stubbornness. I need to address their hearts along with their actions.
And the beautiful irony is that when you invest time into training your children and showing them their hearts according to Scripture, even when it feels like an interruption, you are building the greatest wall of all!!!!
“While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen:
for the things which are seen are temporal;
but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
II Corinthians 4:18