It’s been a pretty difficult week. The attacks on Brussels shocked the world, while here in my hometown, we have been reeling from the shooting death of a beloved law enforcement officer, father to two and a third one on the way.
Where are we going wrong? Are we even able to be shocked by these type of events anymore, or are they becoming a part of our daily dialogue? At one point, these people who decided they had the right to take someone else’s life were innocent babies. They had a mother feel them moving inside of her. They didn’t know about hate or war or killing. So where did we go wrong?
I can’t help but look around me and wonder if we could stop these events if we moms and dads were more vigilant with our little ones. A young child pushing someone else down on the playground is not cute; they’re bullying. A child saying whatever they think, including calling people (even grownups) fat or ugly, is not cute; they’re bullying. A child controlling their parents through manipulation and temper tantrums is not cute; they’re bullying. Don’t say that they’re just children, and it’s a phase. They’re bullies!
It’s happening everywhere I look. It’s on the playground, at church, in school, in the workplace, and now even in the political arena. Rudeness, cruelty, manipulation – they are all part of a bully’s makeup. A punch in the face is not the only way that a bully acts. Some bullies are actually more subtle. They control you through emotional and psychological channels.
Before you start defending your precious babies, let me say that I am speaking to us moms as well. Why do we even need a phrase called “the Mommy Wars”? Why are we moms so intent on bullying each other? People have died this week, but let’s rage at each other over the best ways of schooling, feeding our babies, or birth plan! Our priorities are mixed up, and we’re supposed to be the grown-ups!
Moms, it’s up to us. I say that we put on our armor, stop pointing our swords at each other, and fight this war together! In fact, I believe the Bible tells us EXACTLY what we should be doing to fight the fight that’s worth winning!
- Fasten on the belt of truth. Let’s start by being honest with ourselves and with each other. We love our children and are trying to do what we feel is best for them. And remember that when you start listening to that criticism I talked about in my last article, you need to point yourself back to the truth – you are loved by God, and He made you the mother of these children, and He knows what’s best. That’s the Truth!
- Put on the breastplate of righteousness. Before we can fight the ultimate fight, we need to make sure we are righteous before God. That means confessing our sins to Him daily. That means admitting – even to our children – that we make mistakes and that we need forgiveness just as much as they do. It means living out God’s grace in front of them every day.
- Put on shoes of peace. If we want to go to war, we have to be focused on peace. Jesus came to bring peace to the world – a peace that passes all understanding. The Gospel of peace gives up the excuse to lay down our own opinions in order to win the other person. It’s part of the Plan – give up the battle, so we can win the war!
- Take up the shield of faith. What do you believe? Why do you believe it? Our children are not going to take our faith seriously if we don’t! We have to be able to give them an answer! Picking up our shield of faith in the One who created us, loves us, and protects us will only help us as we shield our children from the piercing darts of our Enemy! The moment we doubt our faith, we lower our shields! Search out the answers, so you will know how to defend your family!
- Take the helmet of salvation. If you don’t have a personal relationship with Christ, then you can pretend to put on all the other parts of armor and still be unprotected. Christ diminished Himself to become a man, so He could die for you! But He didn’t remain dead, for what would be the good of that? He rose again and is fighting alongside us! He never leaves us! You can’t protect your children if you haven’t led them to salvation. You just can’t.
- Take the sword of the Spirit. Hey, Busy Mom, did you spend time in God’s Word today? Are you memorizing Scripture? Are you keeping His Word in front of you? Then how do you plan to get through the day? I know we are all busy, but we have to make this a priority! I have tried various ways with varying levels of success to get my quiet time in, and still this is a daily struggle for me. One of the best things I have done is to include my children in my quiet time. They are allowed to quietly color or read the Bible themselves, but they are not allowed to be disruptive or to interrupt me. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I have to find other creative ways (including letting them watch a half-hour cartoon, so I can have quiet time in my room!). Find what works for you, but get in those moments with Him!
- Get on your knees. Moms, we are human, and we are going to fail daily if we don’t get on our knees and ask for help from our Great Commander. How will we know the best strategy for war if we don’t listen to the Commander-in-Chief’s plan? He loves us so much and longs for us to come before Him. Bring your children to Him. Give them back to Him. He loves them so much more than you ever could, and He wants the very best for them!
We can’t go on this way. It’s up to us to train up soldiers for the fight. God has given us all the tools we need to fight, but it’s not a fight we can do on our own! We need each other, and we need God!
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (v. 12).
So what do you say? Are we going to keep allowing these bullies to rule the world, or are we going to train our children to “[fight] the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith” (2 Tim. 4:7 – paraphrase mine)?
We have some work to do. So ready? Set. CHARGE!