In Part I of Prepare for War, the emphasis was on teaching sons to believe the truth about who they are in Christ and to know they have the power to stand because of Jesus Christ.
Understanding and believing what is true is critical because if that piece is missing and we believe something false about ourselves (I’m weak because I’ve failed and gave into sin) we’ll never walk in the victory won at the Cross.
At some point, your son will, again, be faced with open war in the battlefield of his mind. At that moment, all his preparation will be tested. Now, he must take what he knows and begin to fight.
Paul said to Timothy, “ . . . war a good warfare.” 1 Timothy 1:18. To do the same, our sons must be taught how to fight.
1) Teach your son to resist the enemy. He must be proactive in this battle. “Son, no one ever said war was easy. When a foul thought arrives resist the temptation to dwell on it. Say, “NO!” to the impure thought you are tempted with. You have the responsibility to resist your enemy.”
Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7
2) Teach your son to call on God for help when he is under attack.
“Son, in every trial, great or small, God is there, waiting for you to turn to Him. King David said, In my distress I called on the LORD, and cried unto my God. Psalm 18:6. If King David needed to call on the LORD for help, so do you and I.”
3) Teach your son to run from (get away from) external temptations. He must take action to get out of harm’s way.
“Son, when a soldier is under attack, he doesn’t sit there and do nothing. Remove yourself from the scene of temptation.”
YOUR SON HAS FEET. TEACH HIM TO USE THEM
If it’s the internet, a magazine, a wrong part of town (for older sons) – teach your son to get away, to remove himself from the source of temptation. He has feet. Teach him to use them. In Genesis 39, when Joseph was faced with temptation, he fled the scene, getting away from the source of temptation.
4) Teach your son to take action against internal temptations. The Bible identifies three enemies for the Christian: The world, the flesh, and the devil. Our flesh is unredeemed and often desires the wrong things. I teach my sons to do what Paul did, “ . . . bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Jesus Christ.”
“Son, when a bad thought pops into your head from who knows where, say, ‘I take this thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ’, and then thank God that he has washed your sins away with the blood of Jesus Christ. Remember Son, having a bad thought (being tempted) isn’t sinful. Dwelling on it – yielding to the temptation – is the sin.”
5) Teach your son to fight with The Sword. It’s not enough to remove the threat, temptation, thought, or whatever it is that the enemy is using to bring him down. He has to refill and renew his mind with the Word.
“ . . . the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
“Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you.” King David, Psalm 119:11
“Son, let’s do what King David did and memorize some Scripture together, so when the attacks come, we’ll be ready to fill our minds with what God has said in his Word. How about we start with Psalm 1?”
6) Teach your son to call in reinforcements. When a soldier is under attack, sometimes he is about to be overwhelmed and needs back-up. “Son, our enemy wants us to walk this life alone but God intended for us to walk together – to do battle together. When you are being tempted and needing support, tell me so I can pray with and for you.”
For every son, the battle is coming or is already here. Let’s prepare our sons for war and teach them how to fight.
Matt Jacobson is the founder of FaithfulMan.com a biblical marriage, parenting, and discipleship ministry providing written and audio teaching, as well as couples marriage coaching. He is the co-host (with his wife, Lisa) of Faithful Life Podcast and is author of the bestseller, 100 Ways to Love Your Wife. Matt is pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship and is married to Lisa, founder of Club31Women.com (they have 8 kids!).