Helping Your Kids Win the Battle in Their Mind
by Joyce Meyer I have taught the truths of God’s Word for over thirty years. After all that time, I am convinced that one of the greatest areas in which we need help is our thinking. I believe the key to victory in our lives, as well as in the lives of our children, is being renewed in our minds daily by the power of God’s Word. This means learningto think about the things God wants us to think about, instead of just thinking about whatever comes into our heads. As parents, you and I need to realize what we do— and what our children do—is the result of what we are thinking. So, in order to deal with wrong behaviors, we need to deal with wrong thinking. Our thoughts have the power to either help or hurt us, and the same is true for our kids.What they think about will affect their health, their moods, their relationships— everything. When I first began to study the Word, I had problems in many areas of my life. But a major transition took place in my soul and spirit when I received a revelation about my thought life. I discovered that the primary reason my life was messed up was because my thinking was messed up. What Goes In MustCome Out The Lord showed me that all of us have an inner life and an outer life. The inner life—the part that only God and we see—includes our thoughts, attitudes and motives.1 So the mind is a primary part of the inner life, and it’s like a computer—we can only get out of it what we put into it. The brain is the hard drive. It runs everything. If it gets corrupted or crashes, it doesn’t matter howgood any other part of the computer is—it won’t work. In Proverbs 23:7 it says that as a person thinks in his heart so is he. In other words, our thoughts are the building blocks of our behavior—they determine our actions. The enemy is actively creating opportunity after opportunity for our kids to put garbage into their minds. From TV and movies, the Internet and video games, to music and thefriends they choose, the opportunities for planting the wrong things in their minds are endless. As parents we need to fight against this negative influence by being aware of what our kids are taking in and providing godly alternatives for them to feed their spirits. We need to be aware of what they are doing with their time and who they are spending their time with. One good idea is to keepcomputers and TVs in a family room where they can be easily seen. You could also invest in a good filter system for the Internet and TV if you have cable. Most importantly, make time to develop a relationship with your children. This will make them more open to your instruction. Encourage godly friendships and activities so that the influences in their lives will be good ones. You may not be able to avoidevery bit of garbage out there, but you can use your influence and authority in their lives to guide them in the right direction. The Message version of the Bible says this in Deuteronomy 6:6,7: Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in thestreet; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.
When we meet Christ as adults, our minds often need major reprogramming. One of the benefits of raising our children in a Christian home is that we can help program their minds with right thinking from the beginning.2 I cannot emphasize enough that the battle for our children’s souls is won or lost inthe mind before we ever see wrong behavior. Building On the Right Foundation I believe that if we expect our children to receive instruction from us concerning the importance of God’s Word and right thinking, they must see that we are living what we teach and that we love them unconditionally. I heard a good quote from Josh McDowell that says, “Rules without relationship lead to rebellion.” A...
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