We are delighted to welcome former Do Not Depart team member Teri Lynne Underwood back as our guest this month. Her new book Praying for Girls releases next week: “Covering five vital areas of a girl’s life–her identity, heart, mind, relationships, and purpose–this easy-to-use book is ideal for anyone who feels intimidated or uncertain about what to pray for the girl they love.” – Patti
I wasn’t prepared. Even after years of working with students alongside my husband, I felt totally inept when my daughter started middle school.l
The horror stories about what to expect during those years between the ages of twelve and fourteen terrified me. I had talked with my friends who homeschooled their children, those who had kids in private schools, and the ones like me whose daughter attended public school. All of them said the same thing — it is just hard.
As I recalled my own life during that season, it was easier to understand where the difficulties came from. Between physical changes, emotional swings, and a desperate desire for more independence, it’s no wonder those middle school years feel the perfect storm — they sort of are.
So what can we as moms do? We know it’s often a battle of the mind — where will our children’s thoughts and focus be? How can we engage in this battle to guard our children’s minds in a decidedly unguarded world?
Raising Kids Who Guard Their Minds in an Unguarded World
One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 119. The longest chapter in the Bible is focused almost entirely on one topic — the necessity of God’s Word in our lives.
If we want our children to have guarded minds, we have to fill their minds with something far more valuable than what the world offers. And what better than the Bible?
Encouraging our children to memorize Scripture is one of the most effective tools for helping them guard their minds. Consider this familiar verse:
I have treasured your word in my heart so that I may not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 CSB
Throughout my daughter’s life, we have memorized many verses of Scripture.
One of the first ones was Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” She was about three when we memorized that verse in effort to overcome her fear at nighttime.
That same verse came up again in middle school, when her fears were less about the monsters under the bed and more about making friends and remembering what she’d studied for a test.
Now as we’re staring down her senior year of high school and praying about colleges and career options, her fears have new faces — will she choose the wrong college and what if she doesn’t figure out what she wants to do before she finishes college?
Time and again, I have watched my daughter navigate life’s challenges and battle against the lies of the world with the truth of God’s Word. She’s guarded her mind with Scripture and it has helped her stand strong and confident in this world where “anything goes.”
As moms, we have a great opportunity to guide our children to habits, practices, and disciplines that will help them guard their minds and protect their hearts. But long before we ever teach them, we must be praying and applying these disciplines in own lives.
What is one way you’ve taught your child to guard his or her mind? Are there verses you have memorized together in effort to stand strong against the lies of the world?