I could see the tears welling up in my teenage daughter’s eyes as her posture sunk further down in her seat. Yes, instead of leaning in with empathy and tenderness, my body bristled against the struggle I could feel inside of her. It was one I knew all too well as I have been battling my own monsters.
No, I’m not referring to the big hairy kind of monsters that lurk behind our closet doors. Those can’t mess with me anymore. They prey on the littles and eventually disappear, right?
So what kind of monsters can terrorize both teenage girls and grown women?
The monsters of insecurity and fear and perfectionism and shame.
These monsters seep into our thought life and control our actions, stealing our joy and demanding our allegiance. We know they come from the father of lies, Satan, who is on a mission to destroy us (John 8:44). I could see that happening so clearly in my daughter as she unknowingly confessed why she was so upset and couldn’t let others in to help her carry a particular burden.
She was afraid of not being good enough.
She was afraid of being overlooked.
She was afraid of being replaced.
She was afraid of being judged.
She was afraid of being misunderstood.
She was afraid of failing for all to see.
Can you relate? I know I can.
I could see how my daughter was cornered, trapped, and accused by these monsters masquerading in her thought life. All I wanted her to do was rise up and with brave and bold confidence, grabbing those smooth stones of truth God places in our reach to sling hard and fast into that monster’s face once and for all. And yet she couldn’t fight this fight on her own. She needed me to step to the front line and lead the charge.
I’d love to say I entered the battlefield of the mind brilliantly on her behalf, but honestly, my first steps were at her instead of for her. Isn’t that the tendency for us mama’s — to see the opposition as our own children?
But our children are not the monsters.
They are not trying to make our lives harder. They are in their own battles desperately needing us to soldier up with them, not against them. We must remember that the war isn’t with flesh and blood “but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Our children don’t know how to wield the Word of God as we do — their prefrontal cortexes are simply not fully developed. It will take maturity and practice for them to be able to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). It takes practice for us too! We can declare the truth on their behalf, even if they don’t understand it for themselves, reminding them time and time again about who they are in Christ until they believe it for themselves.
So, mama, are you ready to deal with those monsters in your own life and your children’s?
There is no time like the present to trust God to secure the victory for us . . . one that is already won in Christ.
Because there is more,
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