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My husband and I haven’t always been tens when it comes to parenting our children.
We, like most people, have days where we are on point with our parenting skills. We do things well; we work together (as mom and dad) well, our kids get along and everyone is happy. We hit the mark on those days as your predictable storybook family.
More often than not, we are doing the best we can to get by. Getting the oldest to school on time, working with the middle one to prepare him for Kindergarten next year and feeding a newborn every 4-5 hours feels like a nonstop, full time job for me. Throw in the fact that we make sure that we take them to church every week, keep them involved in an extracurricular activity (i.e. ONE activity not twenty), do the homework, make sure they don’t live off of potato chips and soda and work diligently to teach them and show them Jesus in their day to day life.
Parenting is not for the weak. My husband and I work pretty steadily on our own marriage and we know all too well which weapons the enemy uses to attack our marriage. I can generally spot those marital landmines a mile away and do well to ward them off and counteract them with scripture and prayer, but the ones that sneak up on me as a mama? Those are a whole other battlefield.
Don’t be surprised when he starts coming after your kids. And don’t think it’s all because they’re being headstrong or peer dependent or careless or lazy. Satan knows the parts of their character-both their strengths and their weaknesses-where he can worm in and try stunting their growth, their potential, and their confidence.
This is an area of life that my husband and I are currently struggling with. I have a whole section in my prayer journal devoted to specifically praying for my children because of the attack that I feel like is being waged against them. We all think our kids are great and every mama I know loves to brag about her babies; I am no different. My kids are legitimately good kids who get good grades, say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ about 90% of the time, and are overall nice humans.
Are they perfect? Not hardly. We still have outbursts and tantrums and yelling and crying more often than I personally care for, but they are human and they are sin ridden just like the rest of us. However, since I formed our Prayer Warriors Facebook group, I have noticed a dramatic increase in the negative emotions and reactions around our house by my children. My two boys, who have always gotten along very well, are constantly at each others throats and fighting. My oldest son is growing increasingly frustrated and agitated by things that used not to bother him.
My youngest son is more anxiety ridden and worried about things than he has ever been. A few weeks ago, he refused to go out in the backyard and play with his brother (something that he typically enjoys). When I questioned him as to why, he told me that he couldn’t because he was scared. After further probing and questioning, he finally revealed to me that he was afraid that the man from his dream was going to get him. Never one to have had nightmares before, I was dumbfounded to hear that he had been having them. That night, at bedtime, he was afraid to go to sleep because he didn’t want to see the nightmare man again.
I talked to him about prayer and how he could ask God to take that nightmare away so he could sleep without being afraid. Sure enough, we prayed together, with him asking God to take away the “scary dreams,” and he went to bed. The next morning, he woke up rested and hasn’t mentioned nightmares since.
Coincidence? Not hardly.
You see, when we-as parents and mothers-do kingdom work, the enemy gets antsy. Our ministry, whether in our home or outside of it, tends to pour out on our children. With that kind of outpouring comes little disciples being made right under the enemy’s nose. He can’t have that, can he? Our weapon against him is prayer.
I don’t know about you, but I can go into full on “Mama Bear” mode really quick over my kids. Best believe that seeing the enemy at work within my home and against my children has me on attack mode nonstop. Mess with me and I’ll defend myself but you mess with my kids? Be ready for a full on counter attack and assault.
(feel free to answer in the comments or privately on your own)
“I have no greater joy than this, to hear my children walking in truth.”
3 John 4