The journey to Easter: Preparing for battle with our hearts, heads, and hands

Written by Shawna Sullivan
Published on April 12, 2022

Easter is on the horizon, but the battle today is real. 

If we are committed to parenting through the lens of Christ, then there is a constant fight for all things good, true, and beautiful, and we will feel it. As we approach Easter and walk through the season of Lent, I am more aware of the battlefield present in the world as well as within our hearts and homes. 

Let us take hold of the opportunity to pause, reflect, and release the things of this world that threaten our grasp on the promises of eternity. John Mark Comer, a pastor and author says in his book, Live No Lies, “We prefer to think of following Jesus as a journey or lifestyle rather than a war.” 

In this current season, our minds are simultaneously processing headlines of battles from around the world, and images of war haunt us deeply. Out of this awareness I’m reminded we do not simply fight against flesh and blood in the battlefield of parenting. 

We are confident that victory is coming, but we must continue to fight constantly in the Spirit remembering the weapons we have at our disposal. 

Therefore, let us prepare our hearts, heads, and hands for battle because only then will we be able to teach our children to fight well for a lasting kingdom. 

Hearts captivated

I am acutely aware of my divided heart. I long to focus my time and energy on the things that matter most in light of eternity, but easily become distracted. 

Throughout scripture, we are acquainted with relatable characters like Solomon. While Solomon was building the temple for the holy God, he was simultaneously building luxurious accommodations for himself and his wife. 

He also allowed his heart to be captivated with women that God declared unwise. Because he “did not wholly follow the Lord” (I Kings 11:6 ESV), it cost Solomon his entire kingdom. 

As much as I pride myself on multitasking, it becomes dangerous at the heart level, doesn’t it? I wonder how much more I could do for the Kingdom of God if I wasn’t constantly working to build up my own. 

To help us fight for an undivided heart, let us pray, “Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Psalm 119:37)

Ask yourself: 

1.  What is capturing my heart beyond the cross that I seek for satisfaction?

2.  What causes me the most anxiety in this season?

May these questions both uncover and re-center our eyes on the cross as we prepare for battle, knowing what we set our eyes upon captivates our hearts and influences our children for generations to come. 

Thinking truth leads to speaking truth 

I Corinthians 10:3–5 says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.” 

We must remember that it takes a power greater than our own efforts to help us battle against the strategies and lies of our enemy. 

The battleground of our mind is an underestimated yet critical territory, and it is not neutral. We either entertain opinions counter to the wisdom of God, or we claim his word as Truth. 

It seems counterintuitive. We think of victorious warriors wielding weapons of destruction, but the way of victory in Christ is in taking every thought captive that is in opposition to God. 

So, if we want to assist our children in the battle for freedom from the strongholds of this world, and help them battle for goodness, truth, and beauty, I must consider my own thought life.

Ask yourself: 

1.  How is my thought life informing the way I live?

2.  As I seek to battle against the opinions of this world and firmly grasp Truth, what is one verse I can memorize to help me fight well?

We can be confident that as we think Truth we will speak Truth, and it will naturally overflow to those around us.

The value of our work 

One of the greatest tactics of the enemy is to constantly question the value of our work within our homes. 

There is no better training ground than time spent around the dinner table engaging in conversation, or on a child’s bed processing the events of the day, yet our culture and desires constantly minimize our presence. 

Throughout Proverbs, we overhear advice from father to son, detailing which influences vie for our attention: folly and wisdom. 

In Proverbs 9, folly is likened to a prostitute bidding her services. Her voice calls out to lure one away from their intended destination—promising life and pleasure but ending in death. 

Our days are filled with the voice of the adulterer, are they not? I often become tangibly weary and am tempted to lessen the value placed on the care and training of my children and listen to the lie that praise-worthy productivity is more worthwhile. 

The only way I can fight this voice is to give my attention to a voice that is stronger: wisdom. The book of Proverbs assures us in chapter 8 that wisdom is more valuable than any earthly acquisition because it is a result of our dependence on God. 

Ask yourself: 

1.  Which voice has my ear in this season?

2.  What ways am I tempted to lessen the value of my work at home?

Battle forward

As you battle forward in a life of faith, I pray you examine your heart, head, and hands along the way, and “consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Hebrews 12:3). 

As you do, may your children also be equipped for the battle ahead. Take heart, the resurrection is indeed coming. 


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Shawna Sullivan

Shawna Sullivan is a mother and home educator to four children. After 13 years, she traded the hustle and bustle of New York City for the suburbs of north Texas. She will never take a backyard, time with family, air conditioning, or her own laundry room for granted. She writes, speaks, and creates practical resources to help parents find purpose and joy in every season. 

Shawna and David, her husband of 18 years, also recently launched a curriculum encouraging and equipping others to view their life through the lens of investing. Passionate about faithful stewardship, her bi-monthly newsletter is filled with practical application and wisdom for navigating this one life well. Connect with Shawna on Instagram for a peek into her real life, and grab your free resources for parenting on her website at https://www.shawnasullivan.com/resources

 

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