One of the most valuable pieces of advice I received as a young mother was: “pick your battles.” The person who gave me that advice would never know that it became critical to how I parented, but probably not in the way the advice was given. She was offering me advice to just “give in” at times and to “not make the small things too much,” because there will be times when I will need the” nuclear war-heads” and if they are all used on the small battles, none will be left for the larger ones. I considered this advice well. You see, all who met our daughter realized pretty quickly that she was what some call a “strong-willed child.” I had some battles ahead for sure. But, I also knew that the battles I had ahead of me weren’t the important ones that that she meant. I thought a lot about that advice and my two year old. I panicked. I realized I did have a battle ahead of me a REAL battle, a spiritual one, one that would never end for her, and the training had to begin, and begin NOW.
“…your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” I Peter 5:8.
My Father had already cared enough about our sweet little girl, our only child, to give His only child to die for her. He also cared enough for her to offer me the help I needed to arm her for the worst adversary of her life…never stop…never ever stop….ever…ever stop fighting for your child.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength… “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. “ Deut 6: 4-8
My Father entrusted us with a sweet little soul. My job was to train her while she was entrusted to me and eventually give her back to her heavenly Father to enjoy His eternal comfort. My job was to not mess it up. My job then was to fight for her, and my job was to train her (Prov 22:6) for the biggest enemy she would ever face. My job was to fill her arsenal with supplies and weapons for the war she would have to face on her own, when I was no longer around to fight for her, or hold her hand when she was all alone with no one to “cover her back.” I wouldn’t be there at the scariest time of. It was exhausting. Did I want to just let a battle go by once in a while? Did I sometimes consider that a “loss” in a battle could be “made up” later? Oh yeah. Would there be times when she would break the training? Sure. Are there times when she would make the wrong choices? I am sure of it. But when I looked in those sweet bright blue eyes, eyes, I knew I could never give up, she needed me. Her enemy was watching and waiting to snag her….to destroy her. The battle will never go away and the enemy will never stop trying to destroy her….never. She needed me at two to protect her. I needed to train her at two so she could stand strong in her battle at twenty-two.