Being a Spiritually Aware Parent

A home is meant to be a sanctuary, a place to be at peace and to freely commune with God. But many do not feel that their dwelling place is God’s dwelling place.
As a disclaimer, no Christian is called to be focused on the devil’s actions and schemes. However, it is irresponsible to completely ignore that enemy forces exist.
1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
These spiritual battles with the enemy can look subtle, like secret sins abounding in certain places within the house or a heavy foreboding feeling here and there. For some, they are more obvious: violent nightmares, constant fighting within family members, and panic attacks.
But for a parent, a home with a negative spiritual atmosphere is especially difficult. Not only are you needing to fight the spiritual battle for yourself, but you must all the more do it for your little ones. Basically, you cannot just “deal with it” when you are having an off day or feeling burnt out. Parents have the responsibility of keeping their spiritual weapons sharpened at all times because there are other lives on the line!
There may be days when you do not feel the peace of God as you run your household. For some reason, the craziness you normally feel is beginning to feel like an oppressive chaos. Perhaps there’s been a chain of petty fighting in the home. You may be doing all the right things throughout the day, but you may be bogged down by anxiety and paranoia. Your children may even be constantly getting hurt or sick.
Sometimes, all it takes to fix these situations is nap time for the kids or maybe a heart-to-heart conversation as a family. However, sometimes, you have to fight the spiritual battles spiritually.
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
If you are curious to learn more about spiritual warfare, I do know of some great resources that you can check out! They are listed below:
Shifting Atmospheres by Dawna De Silva
Deliverance from Evil Spirits by Francis MacNutt
The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson
In addition, the following suggestions are for those who feel that they desire to shift the spiritual atmosphere of their home. These are tips that have come in handy for me as a parent, but you do not need to be a parent to take advantage of them.
These are practical tips that must be done on top of a life of spiritual discipline and holiness.  

1. Pray aloud. Read the Word aloud. Worship aloud.

If the enemy is loud, Christians need to be louder.
Children are spiritually sensitive by nature, and they will feel the shift as godly sounds fill a room. There were so many times when fighting and complaining would just stop when I turned on worship music. So much of spiritual warfare in the Bible had been done through declarations of truth and loud praises.
Instead of allowing your home to be filled with television noises and complaining, allow the air to be inundated with truth and intercession!

2. Simplify.

In the past six to seven years, my husband and I had to make the tough call to cancel appointments and simplify the kids’ schedule for the day. We did this at the cost of disappointing people and losing money spent on certain activities.  But, we did it because we felt the spiritual warfare within the home, and unity is crucial during spiritual warfare.
With the time gained from simplifying the day’s schedule, we enjoyed a slow home-cooked meal and random conversations over dessert, prioritizing each other over the demands of this world. I had some of the best talks about Christ and Christian living with my children on days like that.  
There is no worldly obligation out there that is worth sacrificing your family’s spiritual unity.

3. Check your heart.

Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”
The moment my husband or I make a choice to harbor bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts, a spiritual disturbance occurs within the home. The enemy only has a foothold when you give it a foothold. Make the powerful choice to leave no foothold within your heart. This includes any footholds you may be harboring against certain members of your family.

4. Take authority against spiritual disturbances.Christ has all authority to cast away the presence of evil. He gives us that authority as well (Mark 3:14-15).

There was a time when all my children were having nightmares. Night after night, my husband and I woke up to comfort them as they wailed and screamed. At one point, I knew that this was not normal; this was not just growing pains or a phase. One night, when I heard my children scream again, I rushed into their room and declared, “In Jesus’ name, I command all you unclean spirits to leave my children alone and go where Jesus sends you!” My children immediately stopped crying and rested peacefully for the rest of the night.
We must cease to tolerate darkness within our homes. Whatever you tolerate will dominate.

5. Repent for any sins.

James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
When you walk away from sin, the enemy walks away from you. If there is sin being activated within the home, repent for it. Do not tolerate sin under your roof, for it is the sanctuary of God.

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