Teaching our children to hold their thoughts captive.

When something is held captive by your own strength, you are in control. You designate that things every move, in fact the thing you are holding captive does not live unless you feed it. Unless you give it power, then it may dominate you. Then the roles reverse, you become the captive. 

That ” thing ” I am speaking of is a thought. A thought of fear. What our eyes see and our ears hear burrows in our souls. Whether we believe what we watch affects how we think, it does. When we allow things that we watch inside our minds, they stay. They stay and they make a home, sometimes uninvited. They might not make their presence known until much later, but they do affect the way we think.

I am not a scary movie person. During anything semi terrifying or dramatic movie you will find me .. face in lap, buried by my hands. I do not do thrillers. I cannot handle them. I am very careful for what I allow my eyes to see, for I take everything in. I mean, everything.

It seems that my son has inherited this trait. 

My sweet , sensitive and tough Asher Elias.
                                                               My sweet , sensitive and tough Asher Elias.

I made the mistake today. My son grabbed the ipad. He asked me if he could watch a G rated movie when I was frantically trying to get ready to leave for church. I waved my hand , in childrens terms saying yes to watching this particular movie. The cover photo looked fine, and the rating was ok by me. He sat on the sofa and watched this movie with his sister, while I rushed to get showered.

I should have been more intentional. I should have listened, watched, and taken note of how sensitive that my son is. Instead, I was caught up in how much blush needed to be on my cheeks and how all the children needed their teeth brushed in five minutes flat. We were going to be late.

It didn’t take him long to break down. Head in his pillow, sobs rocked his very core as I sat there , eyes closed, literally asking Jesus what to do. How do I handle this?

” Mom, I am so nervous because the movie I watched this morning while you were getting ready had a bully in it. The bully laughed at the little boy with glasses and SPIT in his face Mom! He SPIT! What would I do if someone spit in my face? Would you come get me at school? Would I cry?”

For a moment I beat myself up, hands grasping his bedspread. Motorcycles and bikers of an innocent 6 year old boy graced the lining of his bed as I sat in silence. Debating on whether I was the scum of the earth, my mouth began to speak.

” Sweet boy, come here.”

I held him close, as I rocked him just like he used to be. A baby in my arms. His only need was me, and my only need was his embrace. Tears fell onto my arm as I took in his scent. Sweat from practicing basketball and a bit of his peanut butter sandwich. I sat there on his bed asking the Holy Spirit how to handle his emotion in that moment. I felt responsible.

I was responsible.

Those who are honest and fair, who refuse to profit by fraud, who stay far away from bribes, who refuse to listen to those who plot murder, who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong–

Isaiah 33:15

The fact is that my son has a mother that battles her thoughts daily. I’ve learned to stand, and stand firm in what I believe. It was time I taught him how to fight, and hold his thoughts captive. So that I did. We had a thirty minute long conversation about how we can control our thoughts. This conversation with a six year old proved to be very easy, and very lengthy.

I simply explained that since Asher is born again, a new creation, that he can take his thoughts captive .

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5 

I taught him to say this phrase, as a thought came into his mind that was unholy. It was fearful , and created anxiety.

” I will not be afraid. I will not have bad dreams, in Jesus’s mighty name, Amen”

I had him say this a couple hundred times, and proclaimed it with him, as I fully believed his anxiety from this film would lift. Laying him down to bed tonight , my heart bursts as he says:

” Mom, I am not afraid that I will be bullied anymore. Every time it comes into my mind I say what you told me to say, and it goes away.”

You know what I think? I think we underestimate the power that our children have in the kingdom. They don’t have anything weighing them down. No bills, no debt. No high electric bills. They simply want to be loved, and accepted. 

When we teach them and SHOW them that they are loved, that their voice matters at an early age, I do believe it will shape how they view themselves. As priceless.

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