A couple of weeks ago, before prayer, my son Peter shared this with us from the book Spiritual Warfare (written by C.Mark Corts)……..” In his book Down To Earth, John Lawrence tells about the day the devil advertised all his best tools for sale. There was great excitement over the items that appeared: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Doubt, Pride – they were all there. One tool, however, lay apart from the rest. It seemed harmless enough, though it was well-worn and had a price that greatly exceeded the rest.
“The name of that tool?” asked a shopper.
“That is Discouragement,” replied the Adversary.
“And why is it priced so high?”
“Because it is more useful to me than the others. I can pry open and get inside a person’s heart with that one when I cannot get near him with other tools. Once I get inside with Discouragement, I can make him do whatever I choose. See how worn it is? That’s because I use it more than any other tool. I use it on almost everyone because very few people know it belongs to me.”
Wow! Was the reaction I had after Peter read that to us. I knew that hatred, envy, jealousy, doubt, and pride were sins. However it never occurred to me that discouragement was a tool that the devil used against us.
When children get discouraged they no longer feel motivated to strive for things. They start thinking that they are not capable of anything and that others are better than them. It is so important to teach our children to shift from discouragement to encouragement.
Here are 6 ways to do this….
1. Teach bible verses to your children: It is so important that they know the word of God. If they do not know what God says about them then they will be more likely to believe in lies and become discouraged. I love this verse…
Philippians 4:8 “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable -if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise-dwell on these things.”
Our children need to learn to dwell on things that are true. Here are more bible truths your children can proclaim:
Isaiah 49:16 “Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.”
Psalm 139:14 “I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are they works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
Psalm 118:6 “The Lord is for me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Isaiah 41:13 “For I, Yahweh your God, hold your right hand and say to you: Do not fear, I will help you.”
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. All of you take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for yourself. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
2. Do not let your children speak poorly about themselves : Phrases like… ” Don’t listen to me, I do not know what I am talking about.” or “I do not know how to do anything.” Should not be allowed. If they start saying these type of phrases long enough, they will start believing these lies. When our children start speaking poorly about themselves, have them stop and list the things that they do know.
3. Do not let your children compare themselves to others: Every child is different. Our children have different strengths and weaknesses. Praise them on their strengths. Let them know that without them your family would be missing an important piece of the puzzle. Tell them that this puzzle (your family) would not be complete without them. When they start comparing themselves to others, stop them and tell them that they are good enough, that they are loved, important, and worthy.
4. Teach your children to be positive: Do not allow your children to stay in a bad mood. My husband and I encourage our children to have some quite time if they are in a bad mood. This gives them an opportunity to read the bible, pray, and come back out of their rooms with a smile. It is not good for anyone to feel sorry for themselves. If we teach our children to notice the first signs of negativity in themselves then they will be able to catch it before it gets out of hand and fix it.
5. Teach your children to surround themselves with positive people: It is hard to be around people who are negative, who like to complain, and who are always upset. These type of people drain our children spiritually and mentally. We are drawn to positive people who encourage, who are go getters, and who are a pleasure to be around. Teach them to surround themselves with people who build them up and not tear them down.
6. Compliment often: I strongly believe in complimenting others. If you like something, let others know. Everyone likes to hear compliments. It put smiles on peoples faces and it encourages others to keep doing what they are good at. Teach your children to tell others that they like the way a person does something, looks a certain way, wears certain things, or expresses themselves in a certain way.
Encourage others often. Why not smile and compliment others who we run into today ? Lets teach our children how powerful the tool of encouragement is. It does not cost anything. It does not require too much of our time. Are you ready to make a huge difference in someone’s life by encouraging them? Lets start with our children and teach them how to shift from discouragement to encouragement. 🙂