Our Children: The Battle

Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to my amazing wife Jen. Not only is she my better half, and a remarkable stay-at-home-mom, but she also has an incredibly compassionate heart to serve others. Today she shares Part 1 (guest post entitled “Our Children: The Battle“). Be sure to also stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow. Enjoy!

I’ve heard it said that the more children you have, the more you allow things to inadvertently fall to the wayside: The picture album that was kept up to date begins to make its way out of the desk drawer less and less often, the baby clothes that were freshly folded and new with tags get shoved into the Rubbermaid bins labeled, “Hand-me-downs”, the toys that were sanitized on a fairly regular basis now more closely resemble an obnoxious heap of Toys R Us scrap metal, and the baby milestones that we once regarded as the very things that made the earth turn on its axis, now receive a small smile of admiration and a weak, “Oh, isn’t that nice?”.

I believe we can mostly agree that this dwindling enthusiasm can be labeled as part  of human nature. I remember thinking at times during my second pregnancy, “How can I love this baby as much as our first? Will there be enough love, enough attention for both of them?”  I remember how amazed I was to actually experience my love multiply with our second baby girl– a miracle that I believe in a small way, mirrors the profound truth that the Lord loves each and every one of His children so passionately and completely. Although the “newness” of being a first time parent may seem to fade slightly with time, there is such great celebration and joy in our hearts as we welcome the birth of each unique member of our family.

Have you ever pondered how much greater the Father and all of the heavenly hosts rejoice at the birth of a child—of YOUR child? Have you ever wondered what it looks like to see God dance? To hear angels sing praises? To feel Heaven move in celebration of just one small baby?

And quite conversely, have you ever stopped to consider the other forces – the ones sent by the Evil one himself, which are unleashed earthward in that same second of birth? With the impending birth of our third child, never before have I been more aware of the battle that rages on over the souls of our children. There are countless Scriptures we can reference that describe the value that the Lord places on our children.  Dr. Wess Stafford, leader of Compassion International, candidly describes it as so:

At the moment of birth, all heaven stands in breathless anticipation and breaks into shouts of joy and praise. Each child is born into the world loved and full of potential to bring joy to the heart of God. A little flame flickers deep in the child’s being. It reflects a dignity and worth, made in the image of God Almighty.

Meanwhile, Satan and his evil hosts stand ready to pounce and destroy that life as quickly and completely as possible, knowing how that will break the heart of God. All of heaven and hell are present and focused on the newborn life—for vastly different reasons. Both have strategic designs for this little one. (Too Small to Ignore)

In light of this battle, I believe that God reminds us that we are to:

1. Pray. Lift up our children as consistently and fervently as we can and acknowledge that there are forces at work (evident in the pressures of our society and our own heart conditions) that desire to separate our families from the Lord.

2. Remember that we are equipped. God has provided us with all that we need to train up our children… (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

3. Recognize that our time with our children (or any for that matter) is God-ordained. One smile, act of kindness, or encouraging word, can speak life through generations.

How does acknowledging this battle change the way we view our role in the lives of children?

Photo credit: vaaltonen

42 Comments

  • Tony Alicea

    February 21, 2011

    Hi Jen! I don’t have any kids but I love to read things like this. It’s never too late to start preparing, huh? My friend was just talking along these same lines yesterday. He was saying how he remembers his mom always telling him how she was overwhelmed by the love she has for him. He never fully understood it until he got his own little girl. It helps him to understand how much more God loves each one of us.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Hey Tony- thanks for the note! I know that I can’t help but write from the perspective of a mom, but I also think that it is so neat to think about these things (what God’s Word says about children, the battle in the spiritual realms over their hearts, etc) wherever we are in life. How can God use us in the lives of children in general– our neighbors, those in poverty, nephews/nieces, etc? Although I don’t know what this looks like exactly for me, I know that the Lord is stirring something in my heart about this, for my own children, and also those in poverty/abuse situations. And yes, never too early to start preparing! :)

      Reply
  • Donald Borsch Jr

    February 21, 2011

    >>…can speak life through generations.

    That’s a keeper, Jen! Nicely said.

    Like others with multiple children, it did cross my mind about being able to love our second as much as we did our first. (You know the feeling.)

    Thankfully, The LORD has enabled both my bride and me to do so. He’s all about family, ya know.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thanks, Donald! “He’s all about family” — most definitely!

      Reply
  • Ben

    February 21, 2011

    Isn’t awesome how our love resrvoirs, our love”tanks” increase by the power of God? This view of the battle for our children has definitely had an impact on what we as human adults consume when it comes to TV and music. It’s imperative that we protect our souls, and the souls of our mini’s.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Hi Ben! I am so thankful that we experience this awesome power of God, in the way that our love is somehow multiplied the more children there are– nothing short of a miracle! Dustin and I talk sometimes about how that phenomenon defies our human logic, the idea that less is more. I am totally with you about reevaluating what we put in as far as media. The things is culture that seem so normal can also be the very things that draw us/families/children away from the Lord… little by little. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Reply
  • Moe

    February 21, 2011

    Wow, you weren’t kidding Dustin. She is the better half. I can tell she’s the smart one, the spiritual one, the… OK, I’m just kidding. Hi Jen!

    I love the spiritual perspective you give to having children. This is why it hurts me when some women decide to abort their children. Every children should have a chance at life. Imagine if Martin Luther was aborted. What if Abraham Lincoln was aborted. Heck, what if Dustin was aborted. The world would be less influential for sure (don’t let being in the presence of great men get to your head Dustin). :)

    Every life is God given and a chance to reflect God’s glory.

    Thank you for this. I enjoyed it very much.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Moe..”She is the better half”… I like you! :) Haha. Thanks for your thoughts! I feel the same way about abortion, and I believe also that it breaks the heart of our God. It does blow me away to think how much more God loves our little ones…. how He can love them more completely than we can comprehend.

      Reply
    • Dustin

      February 21, 2011

      Moe, it’s okay… we both know I married way up. :)

      Reply
  • Jim F

    February 21, 2011

    Great Post and great perspective.

    I too love the thought – “can speak life through generations.” What we do and say today to our kids can and most likely will be passed down – what are we saying and doing to speak through those generations. Love that idea.

    Thanks Dustin and Jen!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thanks Jim! I think one area that I am challenged in most in regards to this is remembering that those acts of kindness, mercy, compassion, are also meant for God’s other children (as well as my own family) — those neighborhood kids, the children in poverty around the world, the neglected, the mistreated, etc etc. I am challenged with the question, “What does it look like to be an advocate for God’s children?”

      Reply
  • Michelle

    February 21, 2011

    Awesome job Jen! Even though I don’t have children, it’s so easy to see a parent’s love for them, especially in you and Dustin. It’s very humbling and a great reminder of how God does love each of us. Can’t wait to read tomorrow!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Hi Michelle! Thanks so much for your words of encouragement! :)

      Reply
  • Jay Cookingham

    February 21, 2011

    Awesome encouragement Jen! When each one of my seven kids were born it seemed like my love expanded to levels I never thought possible. Yet, to realize that the Father loves them more is amazing!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thanks Jay! I agree– Dustin and I often talk about how much our perspective shifts when we remember that our children were entrusted to us by the Lord — that they are really His. Quite humbling!

      Reply
  • seekingpastor

    February 21, 2011

    I have 5 kids and it is often difficult to give them the attention that I think that they need. Then I remember your point #2 and am put at ease. God is with me and will provide. Good words.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thank you for the post- I think all of us in some way or another can relate to feeling like our time, efforts, finances, etc never seem to be enough. I am right there with you- trying to remember and live out the truth that through Christ, we have more than enough!

      Reply
  • young

    February 21, 2011

    Jen, awesome post. You definitely should guest write more often.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Hey Brother! You are a blessing to our family- thanks for the note!

      Reply
  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Our Children: The Battle | AbrahamChronicles.com -- Topsy.com

  • Tom Raines

    February 21, 2011

    Excellent. I can only slightly imagine the celebration in heaven. My children are now 18 and 15 and I have caught a glimpse of the love of God through both of them. Emotionally tough at times but spiritually defines unconditional. I just happened to notice a scripture this morning in Galatians 4 that I hope to remind my children regularly that we are children of the promise. I am praying that Dustin’s new job is a blessing to you all! Thank you!

    Reply
    • Terry Valencia

      February 21, 2011

      Great thoughts Jen! I too loved your #3: “Recognize that our time with our children (or any for that matter) is God-ordained. One smile, act of kindness, or encouraging word, can speak life through generations” I look back at my life and treasure my godly grandmother to my godly mom who encouraged me with love and kindness and pushed me to be more Christ like in all areas of my life. I got to do that as a parent and now, I get to continue the legacy through my grandchildren (your amazing children!!!) and realize that each moment I have with them is God-ordained. I love getting to pray over the girls and talk about God to them! I pray that they will come to know and love God at an early age and love HIM with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength! I LOVE you my girl! Mom xo

      Reply
      • Jen

        February 21, 2011

        Thanks, Mom! :) Dust and I often talk about the awesome legacy of our family, and how the Lord really has blessed us through the generations before (in Grandma & Grandpa V, GG Munekee, Pops and Gma DeBoer, Grandma & Grandpa Mason, you and dad, etc etc) — an amazing testimony to His faithfulness to those who seek Him (Matt 7:7)! We are thankful to join you in that prayer over Sophia and Olivia (and baby #3)! Love you! :)

        Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thanks, Tom — we certainly appreciate your prayers! “children of the promise” — I needed to hear that today.

      Reply
  • Bryan Thompson

    February 21, 2011

    Jen, Welcome! Such a pleasure to read your article! And how true! We are beautifully and wonderfully made. That we are hand-crafted by a loving God who is ACTIVE in human history is amazing! Thanks for sharing!

    Oh, and hi Dustin!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thanks for the note Bryan! Fun thinking about that party in heaven! :)

      Reply
  • Alex Humphrey

    February 21, 2011

    Jen,

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us (and thank you Dustin for allowing[encouraging?] her to do so).

    I really enjoyed your post. Although, God willing, I have no children in my immediate future, I cannot help but rejoice with those who have them! Even a second or third child is a blessing; as it says in the psalms: A quiver full of children is a blessing from the Lord!

    I am especially grateful for that third point. That every moment we have on this Earth and those whom we spend it with are by the power and grace of God! It is wonderful to be reminded of all this!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thanks so much for stopping by Alex! When I am reminded that every moment is God-ordained, it definitely puts life in perspective — my purpose, what the Bible tells us is truly lasting and important, etc….. like that old song, “…all of life, comes down to just one thing, that’s to know you Oh Jesus, and to make you known.”

      Reply
  • Michael

    February 21, 2011

    Jen, this was great. Especially #1. Bathe everything in prayer.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Thanks, Michael! I will admit, going before the Lord in prayer is something that I constantly need to be reminded of. In decisions, relationships, wisdom — ask God first and be still to listen. :) Thanks for the post!

      Reply
  • Randy Kinnick

    February 21, 2011

    Yeah, Dustin, I married way up too! Hi Jen…you are an excellent writer and obviously write from the heart…about a subject that is very dear to me as well. We have only one child…she’s 21 now and the time has flown by so quickly. She has been such a joy to us and we continually rejoice in all that God is doing in her life. We have prayed and continue to pray for Him to continue this work…which He has promised to do (Philippians 1:6)

    You wrote:

    “Remember that we are equipped. God has provided us with all that we need to train up our children… (2 Timothy 3:16-17)”

    This is so true. I think many young parents don’t realize this and parenting can be daunting. A lot of that praying is for wisdom to parent, in addition to praying for the child. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 21, 2011

      Randy, thank you for your words! What a true blessing it is to see your daughter walk with the Lord — and to hold fast to His promises for her! As a young parent, I definitely fall into the trap of always wanting to know the right answer… to have parenting laid out like a road map. I need that reminder that by abiding in Christ and just setting my heart on knowing Him, He will work through me and into my family. Takes the control from me and gives it back to the Him (although He has had it all along, ha!) :) Thank you for your post and words of encouragement!

      Reply
  • Michelle

    February 21, 2011

    Nice to meet you Jen :)

    I have 3 kiddos myself and I can attest, they are all very different. Each one has their own strengths, weaknesses, things we laugh at, things we mourn over. When I had my first I thought that all my other kids were gonna be just like her. How stupid. How limiting of God that was! And even though I struggle daily being thankful for my kids as one has high functioning autism and the other is always hyper and has sensory problems and yet the other is demanding of Mom and wanting someone to notice her at all times (something I know is from having 2 siblings that are getting all the attention), I sometimes feel like I can’t do it all. Thankfully I’m not supposed to be God. I once heard John Piper say “Never underestimate God’s power. And never underestimate Satan’s either”. I think we sometimes forget that parenting is a battle as is the Christian faith. Good points Jen. Look forward to reading more.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 22, 2011

      Hi Michelle! Thank you so much for your post — your transparency and heart for God are so encouraging! I know that although our kids or circumstances may differ at times– we can both relate to feeling overwhelmed, overworked, and out of control. I know that often times when I mentally check my list of all the things I want to do for my kids and be for my kids, I can get quite discouraged (thoughts of, “there is just no way I can do it” and “I am so tired as it is, how can I add one more thing to my plate”). I am thankful for the reminder that I am not supposed to be “doing it all and being it all” for my children — that I need to let God be God, and trust in the promises He has for me and my family. I know that your precious three will be impacted most by your relationship with Christ — out of that everything else will flow out — your love for them, discipline, wisdom, etc. Thankful for your post and excited to journey together through all of this! :)

      Reply
  • Pingback: Our Children: The Here and Now | AbrahamChronicles.com

  • kristinherdy

    February 22, 2011

    This was wonderful. Glad to “meet” you, Jen!

    I have two children. I am a single mom. All of the things I used to do with two parents has now increased as the kids get older, but I’m doing it by myself. It’s a battle to show God to them on a daily basis. I want good things for them, but I also need to carve out time to recharge.

    Going to read part II now :)

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 22, 2011

      Hey Krisin, thank you for the note! I love how you said, “I want good things for them, but I also need to carve out time to recharge.” Amen to that! For me, sometimes I can get wrapped up in the wanting the best for them, that I don’t stop to consider that what God wants for them may not be my version of “best”. And I need that reminder as well that, “I can do all things THROUGH Christ who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13) — I need time to abide, and out of that time, space is created in my heart for Him to really do His work.

      Reply
  • Some Wise Guy

    February 22, 2011

    As a father I definitely feel the weight of responsibility for my children’s safety, both physically and spiritually. I tend to worry not only about the danger of the world, but if I don’t do a good enough job demonstrating God’s love to them and instilling solid Christian values in their mind.

    Thank you for the encouraging reminder.

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 22, 2011

      It is an encouraging thing that we can talk about these things as a body of believers — to encourage each other not to live in fear or worry, knowing that the Lord has promised to equip us and show Himself to those who seek Him, but at the same time, to be on guard and aware of the battle for our children here on earth and in the heavenly realms. Thanks for the note!

      Reply
  • Ken Murphy

    February 24, 2011

    Jen & Dustin: great post. Jen, Dustin’s blog just earned an extra star! :) Kim and I are so grateful to know you both and be a part of your lives. You and Dustin are building a foundation for generations to come. Your children’s children will benefit from the blessing of your pursuing life in Jesus as your greatest passion!

    Reply
    • Jen

      February 25, 2011

      Ken- thanks for the note and words of encouragement! We appreciate you and Kim so very much and are thankful to have you all as an outlet, encouragers, challengers, and friends. Thank you for letting the Lord shine through your marriage! :)

      Reply

Leave a Reply