In our Mama Heart Like Jesus series we are studying how Jesus discipled His followers as a model for discipling our own children.
First we looked at how Jesus taught His disciples to know and love God by prioritizing God’s Word, prayer, and memorizing Scripture.
Last month we looked at how Jesus built close relationships with his disciples through quality time, words of life, and restoring relationships.
This month we will focus on Jesus’ approach to protecting His disciples from evil.
3 Ways to Protect Our Children From Evil
“If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.” Matthew 5:29 (ESV)
1. Jesus taught His followers to stay away from evil.
We can see by Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount (written above) that He takes sin very seriously. Living in a fallen world that is full of sin, it is easy to get desensitized to evil and think it’s not that bad. Or we start comparing our “little sins” to others’ “bigger sins” to keep us from feeling guilty. Jesus is clear in the Sermon on the Mount that even our “little sins,” like anger and lust, make us guilty before our Holy God. (Matthew 5) He teaches His followers to stay away from evil and to help them avoid sin. We, likewise, need to discern and teach our children what to stay away from, whether it’s certain shows, peers, music, or social media that can tempt them to fall into sinful thoughts or behaviors. Our kids need to have a clear understanding of what God’s Word says is evil and what environments to avoid, so they do not fall into temptation. It’s hard as parents sometimes because it feels like there are so many gray areas. Here are three questions to ask yourself when deciding if something is good influence for your child.
- Is this going to shape my kids’ character in a godly way?
- Is this going to present a world-view that aligns with God’s Word?
- Is this going to encourage my kids in their relationship with the Lord?
While some entertainment or influences are neutral, focus more on the ones where you can answer yes to all three questions. We can teach our kids to answer these questions for themselves as well!
Check out Go Minno, Pure Flix, or Right Now Media for great movie options.
Check out my Christian resources at growingkidsforthekingdom.com. Under my resource tab, you can find reviews on books, audio dramas, devotions, and parent resources that have positive, Christian messages.
“My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” John 17:15 (NIV)
2. Jesus prayed for His disciples to be protected from the enemy.
I love that God’s Word shows us a beautiful picture of Jesus praying for His disciples and other followers, and one of those key prayers He prayed was for protection. We also need to pray for protection over our kids from the enemy. The enemy is out to steal, kill, and destroy, and it is our job to pray for protection. (John 10:10) We will not always have control over what our kids are exposed to, but we can always pray, even long into their adult years, and the prayer of a righteous momma IS powerful and effective! There are so many prayers of protection we can pray for our children. Here are a few prayers to include each day.
- Protection from the evil one wherever they go.
- Strength to stand firm against temptation, especially in their weak areas.
- Growth in their relationship with the Lord and their dependence on Him.
For more ideas on praying for your kids, check out this book: The Power of a Praying Parent. You can even split the different areas for prayer throughout the week so that you are praying for 2-3 areas each day on a rotation.
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIV)
“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” Matthew 6:13 (NIV)
3. Jesus empowered His followers to pray for protection for themselves.
When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, He asked the disciples to pray, and the reason why they should pray was telling. It was not just for Jesus, but for themselves! Jesus knew that they would be tempted by the enemy, and although their desire was to follow God, their flesh was weak. Our children, too, have weak flesh at times, and we need to equip them to pray for themselves, so that they do not fall into temptation.
Jesus also taught the disciples to ask for deliverance from the evil one when He taught them the Lord’s prayer. If it made the Lord’s Prayer, it must be important! Empowering our kids to pray against the evil one equips them to stand firm against the enemy and be aware of his schemes and attacks.
As Mamas with a heart like Jesus, one of our intentions will be to protect our children from evil. By teaching them how to avoid evil and sin in their lives, we are protecting them from much heart-ache and negative consequences. As we pray earnestly for them and equip them to pray for themselves, the enemy will have a much harder time influencing our kids.