Saturday, 4 June 2016

Why I Encourage My Children to Fight

This post is written in honor of my father who was fascinated with the human mind and embraced our amazing God-given ability to stand outside of ourselves and examine our thoughts.

I wish I could tell him. 
Tell him how the spark that he started when he was just a young man is still burning. 
Tell him all that I’m learning about the mind and the power of the choices we make and that the more I learn, the more I stand in awe of our Creator. 
Tell him how I'm choosing to live in his legacy... learning how to choose my destination when I embark on a journey of my thoughts... and tell him why I'm encouraging my children to fight. 


I’m sitting on the front-line, watching as the battle unfolds before my eyes. 
She's grappling with her fear of failure yet again; he's in the middle of a clash, searching for the courage to stand for the right. The struggle continues, day in and day out; it never stops. 

I want to reach in and rescue them. To snatch them from the battlefield, raise them high on my shoulders and carry them to a safe place. 

I wish I could... could protect them from the life scars that run deep, for I know how painfully open we are... how vulnerable. Yes, I've been there... battle-weary and scarred, an unwitting victim of my own negative thoughts; I'm marred by their paralyzing effects. 

But as much as my heart bleeds for them, I am powerless to crawl into the recesses of their minds and fight for them. This is a battle we each must fight alone. 
Life is war. And the main battles are fought at the level of desires, not deeds. (John Piper)
No, I can't rescue them, but I can teach them. Teach them to recognise the attacks, show them the weapons at their disposal, and encourage them to fight. 

I tell them it starts so simply... with cunning innocence. A random thought flutters by, alights and then stays for a while. You begin to muse on it... to mull it over in your mind. Before you know what hits you, its snowballing effects have left you defeated, discouraged, angry, resentful, entitled... speeding on a runaway train headed straight for destruction. 
"Whenever you get on a train of thought, always check your ticket to see where it takes you!" Daniel Paterson
But it doesn't have to be this way. We can jump off that train and choose another. God has designed us to observe our own thoughts, 'catch those that are bad, and get rid of them.'  (Switch on Your Brain - Dr. Caroline Leaf)

Sadly, we misjudge the terrible danger of our irresponsible thoughts and words and all too often we lose the battle. Many of us trudge through life dragging behind us the paralyzing effects of our own destructive thinking. 'The importance of capturing those thoughts cannot be underestimated because research shows that the vast majority of mental and physical illness comes from our thought life...' (Switch on Your BrainDr. Caroline Leaf)

How then can I spare my children this pain? 

Thanks be to God, in Christ Jesus there is hope... there is always hope. For God has given us the power to choose. 

And so, I encourage my children to choose which thoughts they allow to have lasting power in their lives. I remind them that our thoughts have tremendous power for good or bad. That they can search through their minds for their 'daily round of thinking and ferret out the enemies' (Psychology Magazine 1957). That they can choose to replace those toxic thoughts with countless others... thoughts that lead to life and not to death.
"Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!"  Deuteronomy 30:19
And when they come to the end of themselves, as we all do, powerless to resist the relentless lure of their destructive thoughts, I remind them that they do not fight alone. 
For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete. 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 
I urge them to put on the whole armor of God and fight, to destroy one idea with another, to eradicate the lies of the enemy with repeated use of the life-saving promises and truths of God's word. And I remind them that we have been given a spirit of power, and in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us, for God has provided a way out of every temptation

So, I stand alongside my children in the fight, and I raise the battle cry. We are living in trying times, battles within and battles without, but take heart, my children, be of good courage, for our God has overcome this world and one day we will stand with Him in glory. But until then, we fight, fully assured that no enemy or deceiver will ever prevail against us

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3 

What about you?

Are you plagued by your negative thoughts and their dire consequences? 
It's time to fight! 
Immerse yourself in the word of God, take up the sword of the spirit, and let His power 'transform you by the renewing of your mind'. 


  1. I love your thoughts about our thought life! "Choose life..." from the Deuteronomy 30 verse says it so clearly - daily, hourly, moment by moment we choose what we 'input'. Blessings to you! Visiting from Deb's.

    1. Thanks for visiting and for your kind words, Sandra J.

  2. Yes, every day a battle. Yet, praise God for the Spirit, for the destruction of darkness and the capturing of His children's hearts. Absolutely, preparing our children for spiritual battle is the most tremendous work we do on this earth. All with His equipping. Christ be praised!

    1. Thanks for dropping by M.D, and for your words of wisdom - 'the most tremendous work we do on this earth'- I like that. Blessings to you!

  3. Sounding the battle cry beside you, sister-warrior!
    Thank you for your encouragement!

    1. Thank you, Michele. There's strength in numbers, for sure!

  4. I, too, have been teaching my children to fight the good fight. To take every thought captive under the authority of Christ and replace lies with His truth. Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

    1. Thank you, Aimee. It's comforting to know I'm not alone in this battle.

  5. Carlie,
    So much good good GOOD truth here! Truth and hope. Hope in a life where no enemy can ever prevail against us! Our minds are a battlefield, for sure, and we must pick up our armor every day. Thank you so very much for sharing this hope with us at Moments of Hope. I love having you there each week!
    Blessings and smiles,

    1. Lori, thanks for your encouraging words. It is a pleasure to link up with Moments of Hope. It is really an encouraging hope-filled site to visit. May God bless you as you continue to spread His message of hope.

  6. Oh, I love this! Yes, it is important to choose good things to dwell on in our thought life.

    "I urge them to put on the whole armor of God and fight, to destroy one idea with another, to eradicate the lies of the enemy with repeated use of the life-saving promises and truths of God's word." Love the idea of destroying one idea with another!

    Thanks for sharing all these great quotes, too!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it, Jerralea! Thanks so much for visiting!


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