In hockey it is the goalie’s job to defend the net and keep the other team from scoring. In parenting it is the parent’s job to defend their child’s heart and mind and keep Satan from scoring. This is a challenging and difficult job and often a hard fight to do what God wants. Gearing up for the task is essential. Only by putting on God’s armor of righteousness, truth, faith, salvation and the Word of God can a parent place themselves in a position to face off against a formidable foe.

Scriptures
Eph 6:10-11; Eph 4:26-27; 1 Cor 15:33; Pr 15:14, 4:23

Verse
A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.

Thought
The first defense is to block Satan’s shots at your marriage. Keeping your marriage strong gives your child’s world a firm foundation. Make time for each other; work through your problems; forgive one another. You are in the best position to protect your child when you are working as a team. Next, guard your child’s relationships. Most kids who end up in trouble traveled that path with a friend. By monitoring and screening the people your child spends time with, you enable them to become the person God has called them to be and save them and yourself a world of hurt. You must also screen your child’s media intake. The number of hours that children are exposed to media influence is stifling. You and you alone are responsible for protecting their minds and hearts against the onslaught of ungodly language, images and situations that are constantly fired their way. All sin begins with a thought. What their mind is feeding on is crucial to the path their lives will take.

Questions
Are you taking time to keep your marriage strong in the midst of raising your family? How do you monitor your child’s friendships? Are you modeling friendships with those who share your faith and values? How do you monitor your child’s intake of media? What are the rules regarding media in your household? How do you enforce the rules? Are you modeling healthy use of media time?

Response
Start now! Whatever you haven’t been doing… get going! Your child’s heart and mind are at stake! Whatever you are doing well, keep it up! Ask God for help each step of the way.

Prayer
Dear Lord, sometimes the demands and responsibilities of parenting are overwhelming. Please give me your strength, guidance and discretion as I oversee the choices and influences in my child’s life. Help me not to let down my guard as I faithfully defend their heart and mind against the evil power plays of this world. In Jesus name I pray Amen.