This will not be your run-of-the-mill light-and-fluffy Mother’s Day column. Nope. This month I’m talking about our very real enemy. I’ve written about this before. But I’m going to get a bit more specific.
I’ve known for awhile that I have an enemy… that those of us who follow Christ and take this Christian walk seriously all have an actual enemy that’s as real as you and me. But he’s been prowling around like a lion… around my children. He’s been going after my children. And that is not alright with me.
My children are preteens and with that has come an entirely new shift in my mothering. What was once physically demanding with babies and toddlers and even young school-aged kids has morphed into one emotionally demanding mini-crisis after another. There are hurt feelings and attempted-boyfriends (I don’t think so) and grades that really do matter now and loneliness and lying from time to time. And, I’m sad to say, internet pornography.
Last week I did a fairly random check on my children’s computers and I found pornography on one of them. I literally fell to the ground and wept. Not my babies. Their innocence, in my eyes, gone. Stolen from them.
I walked around defeated for two days. My husband and I handled it, but I was still utterly defeated. Devastated. Felt like a failure of a mother.
I hadn’t prepared my children for this. They hadn’t even heard the word before that day. I didn’t punish them because I wasn’t angry with them. I was angry with myself.
And then I got some great reminders:
“There is nothing that satan can do that God cannot over do.” Not just undo. But completely restore and redeem.
“Those who are for and with us are greater than those who are for and with the enemy.” We are not alone in this fight. Whatever our current fight may be. We have a great cloud of witnesses on our side, cheering us on.
“There is more Jesus in your children than there is this mind clutter.” Yes, Lord. You are bigger than this.
So I took that anger that had been aimed at myself… those accusations of my failure… and I turned it around on the enemy of my family. I wasn’t going down without a fight. He wasn’t going to win this one.
We did some practical things right away: we installed protection software, we’re limiting what websites they visit, how often they’re online. But we’re also getting to the heart of the matter, planning to take each of our kids through a great book on purity issues, and praying that the images in their minds will be erased, and having those hard, good conversations. Praying that good, somehow, will come from all of this. If for nothing else, it has already made us more intentional in our parenting.
So this month’s column is a warning. My kids are great kids being raised in a good, Christian home. They both have accepted Christ, they go to church each week and read their Bibles. We are raising them with biblical values and to love Jesus. Their computers are in a well-traveled room, both facing out for anyone to see. And they were not immune.
Neither are your children. Your kids may be younger than mine… and if that’s the case, then good. Start now to talk to them about these issues in age-appropriate ways and to set up ways to protect them.
And remember, we have a very real enemy. He will go after your kids. But our God is bigger and more powerful than our foe, and we know who holds the final victory.
Copyright (c) Elisabeth Klein, 2009
Elisabeth lives with husband, Kevin, and children, Sara, 12, and Jack, 10-&-1/2, in Elburn, Illinois. She is the author of the devotionals, In Search of Calm: Renewal for a Mother’s Heart (Xulon, 2005), and Calm in My Chaos: Encouragement for a Mom’s Weary Soul (Kregel, 2001); the monthly column, “Moments for Mom”; and for two years was the contributing editor of the “Mothering Matters” section of MOPS magazine, MomSense. After ten years of leading Women’s Ministry and four years on staff at Christ Community Church – Blackberry Creek Campus over Adult Ministry and Community & International Impact, she is now devoting her time to speaking and writing, working on her next two books. Her passion is to encourage women and the Church, and applying her gifts to eradicating global poverty, as well as local and global AIDS, one small step at a time, which she hopes to fulfill through her writing and speaking, and her connections with Open Door Clinic in the Fox Valley area and her church’s partnership in Bo, Sierra Leone. You can learn more about Elisabeth at www.elisabethklein.com, on Facebook or on her blog at elisabethklein.com/blog.