Training children is a battle, but it is worth every fight. The joys we receive from watching children grow up far outweigh the battle scars, especially when we see the children mature to love and serve the Lord. There are many battles we face in our personal lives, our families, our country, etc., but battles are not nearly as bad when we are totally prepared for them. Going into a battle without proper preparation can be discouraging and defeating. There are at least three weapons that we can use as parents and educators to guarantee victory. The following passage refers to “the weapons of our warfare.” There are three underlined words that have to do with the mind, thus allowing us to tie this passage to education.
“(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (II Corinthians 10:4-5).
If we are going to see our children be victorious, we must engage in the battle for them, for they are unable to fight by themselves. We want them to be victorious in the behavior battle, in the academic battle, and, of course, in the spiritual battle. There are three “weapons of our warfare” that are essential for winning these battles. These weapons are the Word of God, prayer, and faith. We must be constantly in the Word of God and “meditate therein day and night.” Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (in battle).”
The word translated warfare in verse 4 is the Greek word strateia, from which we get our English word strategy. If we have no strategy for training our children, we will probably lose them to the enemy, who takes them as the spoil of the battle. The enemy we face is Satan. He throws many obstacles in the way of our children to make them fall. These obstacles can be friends, music, movies, activities, or a variety of other things. Satan transforms himself into an angel of light (II Corinthians 11:14) so his weapons do not always look dangerously harmful, though they certainly are regardless of their form.
As we see from the three underlined words (imaginations, knowledge, and thought) in the passage of Scripture, the battle is for the minds of our children. Satan knows that if he can control the mind, he can control the actions, for actions are responses to thoughts in the mind.
One of Satan’s weapons is to attack “the knowledge of God” (verse 5). An education without the knowledge of God is not only a useless education, it is an education that is against God. Education is not neutral. A secular education is against the knowledge of God. Jesus taught this principle in Luke 11:23 when He said, “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” In this battle for the minds of our children, there is no neutrality in the eyes of God. If we as parents and educators find ourselves fighting against God, then we are also fighting against our children. We cannot fight against God at the same time that we are using the weapons of the Word of God, prayer, and faith. When we lay aside or ignore these weapons, we have surrendered to the enemy and have deserted our post.
The end of verse 5 says, “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” The negative side of secular education as we saw in the previous paragraph is that it is against the knowledge of God. The positive side of Christian education is that it attempts to bring the thoughts of the mind into the obedience of Christ. Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.”
In Christian education, whether at the elementary, high school, or college level, students are not taught against the knowledge of God. In Christian education, students are taught to develop their minds in such a way that their thoughts and actions are in obedience to Christ. A secular education (one without Christ) trains the mind for a secular world, but a Christian education trains the mind for the world to come. In this battle for the minds of our children, be sure to have the right strategy with the weapons of the Bible, prayer, and faith. To educate the mind in an educational system without these three weapons is to lose the battle for our children.