Today we are talking about knowing when, who, and how to fight. Not with people, but against an enemy who wants to destroy us and our influence. We will not sit back and let our spirits be crushed!
He came running through the door sobbing so heavily I could not understand what he was trying to tell me. After several attempts of trying to get him to take a deep breath, I finally was able to coax the story out of my nine year old (with some additional details from his 5 year old brother).
Let’s back up… My nine year old loves people. From the age of 2, he has been able to make friends at a playground, any playground, any city. He thrives from being around his friends, so when we moved to this street that is full of little boys and girls, it was like he arrived at heaven’s gate ready to get rowdy! And he instantly connected with everyone, believing all were his new best friend.
My younger son is friendly, but not quite so eager, and one of these “new best friends” was not being so friendly towards him. After about the third time of my younger son complaining, I was quickly going into mama bear mode. I remained calm and cool though, giving him the advice of, “When he does this, you need to tell him to stop, and if he doesn’t stop, then you need to leave.”
During this excellent parenting, my older son was making excuses for the friend, saying things like, “that is just how he plays,” and “he doesn’t mean anything by it.” At this point, my parenting shifted to him. I told him, “It is not ok for him to play like this. If he is told to stop, then he needs to stop” (I am a big believer that “no” means “no” with any gender, any age). I also told him that he needs to always have his brother’s back (I don’t believe in picking fights, but I do believe in fighting for those who need our protection).
The day came. The friend was being
a punk not nice, and even though he was told to stop, he didn’t. This is where my boys went wrong. They should have left, but instead kept pleading with him to no avail. Then, saliva happened. Yes, saliva. The friend was trying to spit, or drool, or something, and my germaphobic son was having none of it. He snapped, or in his words, “Mom, I’ve never gone so crazy in my life!” And this is how my son got into his first fight.
For the first time in his life, he was pushed past his limit. I was honestly relieved to know he has a limit. He has such a desire to like people and be liked back, that he tends to do whatever it takes to make this happen. I was also proud of him for standing up for his little brother. My prayer for him has always been for him to be strong, and to bring strength to others, and in this moment, he did that. I will not encourage him to wrestle other kids to the ground when he is angry, but I will encourage him to stand up against what is wrong. And sometimes when you are a little boy, wrestling is the best way to communicate.
Ready to Fight
There are times in life when we need to stand and fight. Whether it is against injustice, or to protect someone we love, we better be ready to wrestle when we get pushed past our limit.
We need to know, however, who it is we’re fighting, because it’s not the neighbor kid across the street.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 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. (Ephesians 6:11-12, ESV)
We also need to know how to fight, because the moves you learned in cardio kickboxing at the gym aren’t going to help. In Ephesians when the author is talking about the armor, the only part that is for fighting, rather than defending, is the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
This is how Jesus fought. When he was being attacked in the wilderness, he repeatedly spoke the Word of God to Satan. And eventually, Satan did flee (Matthew chapter 4).
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7, ESV)
Finally, knowing who we are fighting, and how to fight is not enough. We also need to put our knowledge into practice. My son has watched many episodes of Ninjago (a Lego show with ninjas), but this is not where he learned how to fight. The fight with our neighbor may have been his first fight of rage, but he has wrestled countless times in his life (just ask his dad and grandfathers). It is important to practice fighting in the spirit so that when we are being attacked, we can fight back with confidence.
What are you fighting for?
A child? Your marriage? Your identity in Christ?
I challenge you to…
- Search, and find scripture declaring truth over you and your situation.
- Speak the scripture, audibly, and say, “Be gone, Satan!”
- Share it with trusted loved ones who will fight with you and help hold you up as you become weary from the battle.
I want to hear from you! Let me know what battles you have been fighting, and how I can be praying for you.
ps. My boys and this little boy across the street are now the best of buds. There has been no more inappropriate play, and they all truly enjoy being around each other. If only all our battles ended so sweetly…