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The blood-curdling screams came from the backyard. It was my daughter Chloe’s voice. I rocketed out of the recliner where I had been drifting off into a delicious Sunday afternoon nap. In a moment, I was wide awake, heart pounding, blood pumping, mind racing with all the horrific reasons why my 5-year-old daughter would be screaming bloody murder outside. “She’s being kidnapped,” I thought to myself, “and she’s crying for help, and you’re not going to make it in time to save her!” You know how a dad thinks. Protect and support your kids.

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Before I even got to the back door, though, Chloe burst through it wildly, still screaming, hair disheveled, arms flailing, tears like rivers running down her little cheeks. 

“What in the world happened?!” I demanded. She was gasping for breath and couldn’t answer. But that’s when I saw it, the source of her pain: a yellowjacket had stung her twice on the arm, two angry crimson dots piercing her pale skin. The area around the stings was swelling quickly, and she must have been in agony because she erupted in a new wave of screaming. 

My wife and I immediately took action. We rubbed liquid Benadryl on the stings, and the swelling stopped. We made a paste out of baking soda and water (thanks, Google!) and the pain started to dissipate. We hugged her and consoled her, drying her tears. And then, like a man on a mission, I armed myself with two cans of wasp spray and headed out to the backyard. I found the vile little nest and eradicated it with extreme prejudice. I felt like an action movie hero, blasting horrid flying demons out of the sky with deadly accuracy.

After the whole ordeal was over, the screaming stopped, the pain vanished, I started to think about our response. We were so quick, so efficient. We handled the problem. We applied the medicine and killed the source within a few minutes. We were pros at protecting her from a physical attack.

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But a much more dangerous enemy looms near our homes, threatening to attack our children spiritually. The Devil wants our kids to hurt and fall and struggle and fail and forget the love of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:56 says, “The sting of death is sin.” And it’s pierced all of us, our families, our wife, and kids. Our hearts swell with the poison of sin, and we impotently watch our kids struggle with its effects. How can we respond and protect our kids from a spiritual attack?

#1. Apply the Gospel to the wound. Like healing balm, a consistent and intentional focus on the grace and mercy of Jesus in your home can help to heal the wounds sin leaves behind. Make the Gospel the centerpiece of your conversations and interactions. Set a place for Jesus at your table. In the good times and the bad, remind your kids of God’s forgiveness and love.

#2. Take prayer as a weapon against the enemy. Prayer is a powerful force in the life of a believer. Employ it against the enemy’s designs. Counter his assaults against your kids with a double-barrel blast of faith-filled prayer. Attack the nests of bitterness and gossip, of lust and pride, of selfishness and envy that surround your home.

#3. Comfort your kids with God’s promises. His presence, His power, His ultimate victory. Wipe away your kids’ tears with God’s loving promises toward His children. Equip them with the Gospel truth that their pain won’t last forever.

Author: Mark Frizzell.

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