Guest post written by: Cynthia
“Alright, open up your Bible,” my request was met with a heavy sigh. I look over at my ten year old son and watch him plop his Bible onto the table. He lazily thumbs through his Bible flipping through until he reaches his destination. The atmosphere changes from the enjoyment of learning, to boredom.
“What’s wrong Caleb?” I ask him. I already knew the issue but I wanted him to realize what he was feeling.
“I just, I just…,” he rubs his face sleepily the way people do when they are trying to avoid answering. “I just, well… I don’t want to read my Bible today!” Caleb watches my face and I see he is waiting for my reaction to determine his next response. His eyebrow is lifted as he defiantly stares at me.
I will admit I can be a fool, but I am not foolish enough to not recognize rebellion when I see it!
I was neither angered, nor irritated with his response. In fact, I knew the feeling going on in my son was a normal, fleshly response. I understood where he was at, and why he was feeling that way. I believe my son is coming to the age of accountability. In other words, he is still young enough for me to continue to train him up in the way he should go, yet at the same time waking up to realization of his spiritual need for a Savior. Caleb, is at the age beyond the colorful cut and paste Bible study concept; he has come to the understanding that there is a spiritual need to develop a relationship with the Lord. What he doesn’t recognize, is that his flesh is starting to wage war against this spiritual realization.
When our children reach this stage in life it can be both scary and something to rejoice over. God is preparing their hearts to have an experience with Him that will define, motivate, open the doors to experience joy within their relationship with God, and that will call for accountability to their Heavenly Father in a new setting.
I am entering a different kind of spiritual battle over my son. One that requires me to be constantly in prayer and considerate of every action in my own life; my son is watching me now more than ever!
I sat down next to my son and placed my arm around him, “Caleb,” I asked, “Did you know that there is a battle for your soul?” His eyes widened and like every boy, he had the desire to hear of battles and heroes. So I read him Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
I don’t believe in candy coating the Gospel for my children. I want them to know the complete truth of what the Word says happens when we choose our flesh, over living in the spirit. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t believe if you forget or choose not to have communication with the Lord (for a day) that you’re sinning, but I fully believe you can be caught unaware by the enemy. Principalities are constantly watching for ways to penetrate not only our righteous defenses, but those defenses we place around our children. While they are still under our covering and in our care, it is up to us to make sure they are spiritually covered and trained in how to maintain their defenses when they leave us.
One of the ways we do this is to make them aware of their spiritual need to develop a relationship with God by:
* Scriptures in the Bible
* Gentle and firm rebuke when they are in the flesh
* Consistency with instruction
* Living by example
I sat down with Caleb and explained that, that which is meaningful, beneficial, and critical for maintaining a healthy spiritual defense, is that which is hardest. It takes work, commitment, and sacrifice on our part because we are our worst enemy when it comes to dedication to the Lord. Devotions, prayer, and the study of God’s Word are how we get to know who He is. When we discover who He is, then we cannot help but fall in love with Him. When we are truly in love with God, we find it impossible to NOT seek after Him and live righteously.
We live in a culture where people are self serving; where “I” always comes first. Television shows, music, and books train our children to view parents as dumb, uncool, and uneducated. They are taught to get what they want no matter the cost because, “They deserve it!” God is viewed as unapproachable, Christianity is terrorism, and kids are forced to conform to equality… The war has been waged on our children to steer them from the truth and to conform them into social masses of people. If we do not instill the truth, while they are under our covering, we will lose them.
Not only that, but all the instruction and rebuke you instill into your children will not mean anything, if you do not live it and if you do not believe it. We cannot be the parents of the, “Do as I say, not as I do” culture. If we want your children to fall in love with God and live righteously, then YOU must show them by example what that looks like. Take them alongside in every aspect of your lives!
A personal example is when I was almost sideswiped by a car; sadly, I yelled profanity at the woman. Although, it was her error and lack of paying attention, I had justification to be angry, but no justification to sin. I chose what the world calls a “justly response,” rather then the righteous response to “be angry but not sin”. The woman speedily drove off and I was left facing my sons. I was embarrassed and should have been. So I quickly bent down on my knees and asked my sons for forgiveness; telling them that I chose in the heat of the moment to use language that lacked grace and caused humiliation. That I made a choice that led to sin and needed to repent to the Lord. If the woman had been near, I would have sought her forgiveness as well.
Take your children alongside you and show them how to humbly and properly navigate through what they will face when they are adults. If you don’t, the world and someone else will.
To encourage my son to have fellowship with the Lord I have him do his devotion, alongside my devotion. When I read something that encourages me or convicts me, I look over at him and say, “Hey, listen to this…” This is what my son needs as encouragement. You know your child, and what they need. Go based off of who God created them to be and find ways that encourage them. Be creative! Each child is encouraged in a different ways.
You are their defense. You are their encouragement. You are their instructors and You can be their worst hindrance.
Which will you be?
It will be a daily battle and one that will require you to be a constant servant to your children. Some day the very thing we take for granted, our freedom, will be taken from us and we will long for the day where we could openly display our devotion time. Where owning a Bible isn’t against the law and loving Jesus isn’t punishable by death. When that day comes, and if it comes within the generation of our children, will they be able to stand firm on the foundations you have instilled in them? Will the seed you have firmly planted by grace, love, rebuke, consistence, and example remain? Or will they have the foundations of sand, that are the worlds view, and worship the god built from straw?
This is the type of Love for God’s Word that I desire my children to have:
I encourage you Moms and Dads to be outside the social norm and embrace that which the world hates. They cannot understand because, “He is the Spirit of Truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because he remains with you and will be in you.” John 14:17
Show them, show your children who He is!
I am Cynthia. I am 29. A wife and mother to three vivacious boys who will someday be Spiritual Leaders. The task and blessing in this season of my life is to raise my sons to stand firm in righteous truth, to lead when no one else will, to defend, to value truth that the world tells them doesn’t matter, to fully love and worship God who calls us to be light bearers. My task isn’t easy but the joy I receive is learning alongside my children. I fall, I stumble but I have seen a glimpse of God to know that He is worth following.
Want to know more? Check out my website at: www.iamamomthereforeiamcrazy.wordpress.com