As a little girl, I dreamed of being a wife and mother. I played house with my dolls. And I taught them “school” in my room. I guess maybe I was destined to be a homeschooling mom. I had visions of the perfect spouse. The perfect marriage. And kids that were so obedient all the time. They really were blissful dreams.
Then I got married.
Marriage is hard.
And had kids.
Motherhood is hard.
I’ve been married for nearly 12 years now and most days are easy, but there are some hard days. I mean, really hard. I am a perfectionist and (recovering) control freak by nature and when things spiral out of my control, I get cranky and irritable. It’s not pretty.
In fact, I begin to attack everyone – my husband, my kids, my family…the world. When in reality, it’s the enemy that’s creeping in. He comes “only to steal, kill and destroy.” (John 10:10a, ESV)
“Remember who the real enemy is.” ~Haymitch Abernathy, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Although this is from a movie (one of my favorites by the way), it struck a real chord with me. No matter what the situation is, I need to remember who the real enemy is – the thief, Satan, the father of lies. THAT is who we are fighting against, not “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.” (Eph 6:12, ESV)
When I am having a bad day, it’s easy to lash out at those I love, because I know they will forgive me. But, I want to be better than the enemy. I want to rely on God during those difficult times instead of turning to my flesh and reacting.
How can we fight the real enemy?
- First we need to arm ourselves with God’s Word – DAILY. This is not easy for busy moms, but it is so necessary. My kids are early risers and no matter what time I get up, they seem to sneak down those stairs interrupting my quiet time. So I give up. This is not the answer. Find a time when you can get in to God’s Word – lunch, a few minutes in the bathroom, ask your husband to watch the kids while you read – whatever. Just do it.
- Second, we need to PRAY. Pray before our day starts. Pray when we feel overwhelmed. Pray when we encounter situations that bring up confusion and stress. PRAY. PRAY. PRAY.
- Ask others for encouragement. Surround yourself with other women who are grounded in the word and will not only encourage you, but tell you how it is – in love. Women that will come along side you and help you grow in God’s Word and understanding.
- Be prepared. Know the “triggers” that will set you off and have a plan. How will you react? How will you control your temper? How will you tame your tongue? Having a plan in place doesn’t guarantee you will never lash out again, but it will help. I know when those temptations arise to lash out, I can think about my plan – count to 10, step away from the situation, go to the bathroom and turn on the vent – whatever it is, those steps help me to cool down and react appropriately to the situation.
Fighting the real enemy will never be easy, but it will be worth it. Christ assures us of that.
So keep on, keeping on dear sister.
Fight the good fight.
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