“I love you, Mama, and Jesus.” That was all it took and I was beaming. I know she’s only 2 and I know many will say, “she’s just repeating what she has heard,” but this Mama believes it is so much more. Yes, she has heard that phrase and at night before bed, I have her repeat prayers thanking Jesus and telling Him how much we love Him. I don’t leave this time in her life up to chance. She may be little but there is no little Holy Spirit. If she turns 5 and wants to pray for people then I’m going to let her pray for people, why? Because it is my prayer that I can raise her to be the devil’s worst nightmare. You may be taken back by that or even offended but she is not just a sweet little girl, she is my girl. Knowing the hell I went through because I didn’t know how powerful I was as a teen and young adult I’ll do anything to keep her from that. I don’t have to just raise her to be sweet, I can also raise her to be equipped.
As we look around our world today what do we see? Good and evil. Light and Dark. Demonic and Angelic. There is an ever-present battle raging around us. It is hard to admit to it at times because we like to think that ignorance is bliss. That is wrong. Ignorance is ignorance and acting like it’s not happening simply means we are easy targets. We can be swayed, stray and stolen away with one blow of the enemy when we choose to ignore what is happening. I have done it. I did it here for years. I didn’t want to push the boundaries or talk about it because it might offend or push people away, but now I realize something, it’s bigger than me.
My voice isn’t just for me, it’s for her and if I never speak up, will she? Who will teach her if I don’t? Who will equip her if I won’t? How will she know the weapons she carries or the tactics to use? I can’t raise a warrior if she never see’s Mama fight.
Equipping a Nightmare
When I was young I use to have nightmares. Awful, terrifying nightmares that would wake me and leave me shaken. Snakes, death, the devil himself. At one point I even dreamt of snakes biting my feet almost nightly. I lost a lot of sleep as a child and as a teenager because of those nightmares. It would be nice to know that I could offer the devil a little payback for that and ruin his sleep for a change.
The thing I didn’t understand then that I do now is that I carry the power to scare him. Yep. You read that right. We carry the power to scare the heebie-jeebies out of him but we rarely walk in it. We try to stay out of his business and hope and pray he stays out of ours. The devil doesn’t know boundaries like that. He doesn’t care if we just live our nice lives and leave him be. His world is ruining our world so he will come after anyone and everyone.
I think it’s time for us to put an end to that.
We have walked in defeat for long enough. We have lived in fear, walked in hurt and surrendered to shame. But God is calling His warriors out and saying it is time to arise. As we step up and step out we are setting the stage for the next generation.
Moms, Dads, the way we raise them now prepares them for later. Are we preparing them to fight? Are we preparing them to walk in victory? Are we equipping them with the word?
It can’t be left up to youth leaders, children’s pastors or Sunday school teachers. It is our right and privilege to train them and ready them to be strong and mighty in the Lord. They will not grow up accidentally loving the Lord or being passionate about Him. What they see us do will help but being intentional about it is what fully prepares them. It’s not a gospel being shoved down their throats either, it’s a fire that is passed, a torch given, a desire set ablaze because they see God at work in Mom and Dad and they want what we carry.
Set Them Up to Win
Have you ever been around people that have a defeated spirit? If something is going to happen it is bad. They constantly release negativity into the atmosphere and never see the glass as half full. They were never taught to win or to walk in victory because they think it is better to expect the worst and be surprised. Let’s not raise our children to walk that way. As parents, if we have the chance to teach our kids how to live in victory don’t we want that for them? That’s not to say that battles will never come or that life will be easy but at least when hard times hit they stand prepared because they know the outcome, God wins. They do not walk in offense, but peace and victory.
Proverbs 18:21 tells us that, “death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits.” Our words are powerful. God spoke and the world was created. That same creative spirit of the Father dwells in us and as we speak we bring about life or death, blessings or curses, fruit or barrenness. The words we release over our children become their identity. If we look at them and see all of their flaws but forget all of their potential we set them up to identify with their shortcomings, not their destiny. Kris Vallotton once said, “call out the destiny in your children.” Lisa Bevere also talks about how she would sit with her children before bed and speak life over them. She released words of blessing and identity as they were little so they knew what Mama saw in them and what Poppa God called them.
What are we speaking over them? Are we setting them up to win or walk defeated? Do they understand that we don’t see them as bad? Do they know we are in their corner? Do we encourage their purpose with the Word of God and love?
We are charged with raising the next generation and it is no small task, parents. Work may get in the way, schedules may be full, but in the midst of it all, we have to be intentional about their souls. It does us no good to set them up to succeed in the workplace if we don’t set them up to succeed in the war for their eternity. Money won’t be able to buy them peace. A good, secure job won’t be their comfort. College cannot educate them about who they are in Christ.
Those are up to us and Holy Spirit. Are we ready?
Let’s raise a generation that causes the devil to tremble every time they get out of the bed.