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Three Things Every Mom Should Know

May 28, 2019

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.” Ephesians 6:10 (NIV)

Being a mom is a high honor and one of the most precious gifts of my life. At the same time, being a mom is tough.

It’s tough when your children are tiny. And there are still tough days when you’re like me, and your children are all grown.

One of the hardest things about motherhood for me has always been my tendency to blame myself for the wrong choices my kids have made.

The second hardest thing is trying to figure out the right way to help them navigate their issues. Especially when you’re hyperaware that the situation your child is in carries great consequences.

Deep is the sorrow of a mother who feels helpless.

Thankfully, God knows what it’s like to deal with wayward children. He feels our pain. He knows our sorrow. And He knows exactly how to encourage us through His Word.

Ephesians 6:10-12 tells us: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (NIV)

Based on this truth, here are three things mamas should know:

1. God does not call us to find a power within ourselves to overcome the issues we face with our kids.

He calls us to put on His armor because what we are facing is a battle of epic proportions. And His weapons aren’t silly little spiritual suggestions that might or might not work. His weapons are certain.

His belt of truth. I must park my runaway mind in the assurance of God’s love for me and my child.

His breastplate of righteousness. I must stop reacting in the flesh and choose to battle this with my praises and prayers.

His gospel of peace. I must walk in the assurance and peace that even when I can’t see things changing, God is working on my child’s behalf.

His shield of faith. I must have faith in God’s timing and His ways.

His helmet of salvation. I must trust God’s ultimate desire for my children is for them to have a close relationship with Him. Though a situation might seem like an unlikely part of this process, God will bring good out of it.

His sword, which is the Bible. I must read God’s love letter to me every day. And hold those truths as the lifeline between God’s security and my shaky heart.

His gift of prayer. I must see prayer not as a last resort but as the very thing God’s most courageous warriors turn to first.

Ephesians 6:13-18 assures us that with these in place, we’ll be able to stand as we use them to tap into a power beyond ourselves.

2. The battle isn’t against our child and their choices.

It often feels like the battle is against our child. In reality, the battle is against Satan’s schemes.

There will be some battles we face with our kids that seem impossible to win because Satan twists the truth. He hides consequences. He blinds reality. He has schemes perfectly designed with our weaknesses in mind.

Therefore, we have to battle Satan. He’s the real enemy here. And because we are Jesus girls, we hold the power for victory in our praises and prayers to God.

3. The battle is taking place in the heavenly realms.

Oh how I want to fight my kids’ battles with what I can see. But that simply isn’t enough.

So, I must fight with the only thing I have that can reach into the heavenly realm: my praise and prayers. Praise for who God is and prayers for Him to remove Satan’s influence in a situation.

If ever I’m tempted to doubt how powerful praise and prayers are in battle, a quick read of 2 Chronicles 20:1-27 soothes this mama’s heart. It’s an amazing story of God’s people feeling overwhelmed in the face of a vast army, but when they begin to sing and praise the Lord, their enemy is defeated.

Prayers to God and praises for God release the power of God.

What bridged the gap between them feeling powerless and experiencing victory were praises and prayers. And it’s the same for us.

I can’t fully explain it. But I can proclaim it. Our prayers and our praises are powerful and effective.

Yes, being a mom is tough, but we aren’t alone. God understands this struggle of parenting children who get off track.

And since God, the perfect parent, has dealt with this since the beginning of time — I think His is the best advice around.

Father God, thank You so much that You have perfectly equipped me to do battle for my children. Today I lift my prayers and my praises up to You, believing for a mighty victory in their lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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  1. Lisa

    Thanks Lysa. I appreciate your thoughts and would love to see a Bible Study /book on parenting wayward children. The biggest storm of my life has been watching my adult daughter make bad choices and not have the life God wants for her. Other than prayer I don’t know what to do. This leaves me broken-hearted.

    • sarah M Abbey

      I understand our son has been a prodigal for 10 years. I have tried it all to control and that in no way worked. It is heartbreaking. I have given it to God but it is certainly hard. On another issue. I am in the I am study and its excellent. I just did I am the vine. Well I am a avid Gardner and work hard at it. The deer decided to prune my roses and hosta. I remembered as I was trying to fix this that Jesus prunes us so we can grow more as we abide in Him. I said thank you Jesus and to you Lysa.

  2. Kayce

    Thank you for this…I needed it today.

  3. Cathie

    THANK YOU. You reminded me of what I already knew but needed to hear today to be encouraged in a very tough season. Thank you for your faithfulness.

  4. Diana

    God bless you for this post, as it is certainly blessing me (and my mind) today!


    Thank you for this post, navigating motherhood of adult children is what I am going through right now. I have two adult children married and living and serving Jesus right now. I have a 20 year old daughter who I am learning to leave her in God’s hands just I did the other two. I think the the thing I most need to realize is their mistakes are not a mandate on how I raised them. But these are their mistakes to make and their own journeys to know God, I am struggling with this daughter who is still in our home to find the line of what is supposed to be rules at this age … she has a full time job, she pays for her own gas, for her own phone. Buys food sometimes. We pay her car insurance, we do not charge rent. I feel we should expect her to follow our rules. But at the same time I am worrying i will push her into a situation that will not be good for her. I am giving this to God. Thank you for being so open about your own struggles. Thank you, thank you!!!

  6. Lisa Carpenter

    As I read this today, I can’t help but have my vision clouded by tears – tears of joy as I am reminded that God is fighting these battles for my children and me too; that all I need do is praise Him for the work HE is doing on the behalf of my children and that’s it’s ok to “only” reflect on and rest in the truths God has for me in his Word. Thank you, Lysa for this beautifully scripted and timely message!

  7. Stella

    Hi Lisa
    Thank you for sharing that!
    I would love to share what I’m going through at the moment with you & your team. Is there a way of communicating? I will really appreciate some insight/advice for the season I’m going through
    Thanks again

    • Lysa TerKeurst

      Hi Stella! Yes, you can email us at [email protected] — we look forward to hearing from you! – Amanda, LT Ministry Team

  8. Shay Garner

    I have read so many books through this time of healing but yours was written for me the only difference is my dark came from loosing my son. Every thought every move is pretty much the same. I needed you book to know I wasn’t alone on the way I reacted. Gods grace and mercy is in my life and I am truly thankful. I hope on day I can write a book on my healing process. My life has been so hard then to add the loss of a child. the only reason I am still here is God. Thank you for your book. Any advice is welcome.

  9. Sandra Kellogg

    Thank you for sharing this great truth. Only 1 of my 4 adult children are following the LORD. Often I blame myself for this. I struggled in parenting & in being a first generation Christian. Divorced and with 4 children under my care Jesus changed everything when I met him. Praise God! But then a very difficult road of discipleship and living for Jesus emerged. I was so disillusioned in what my new life in Christ was to look like. I got married to a Christian man 7 months after salvation and we both had a ton of baggage. I thought happily ever after. Oh boy!!! Very long story here but it’s quite a story. God has continually shown mercy and grace throughout these 26 years Still married & watching God work things out for good in my children’s lives and my marriage. Your books have been so helpful. My husband read uninvited after I did. He asked me if it was just for women because he like the description of the book. Currently I’m working through Its not suppose to be this way”. Thank you Lisa and God bless you as you minister to countless hurting people❤️


    God is soooo faithful!!! I have been struggling with this issue regarding one of my kids for the past 3 weeks!! I hate to admit it, but after 10 years of praying I got so discouraged around Mother’s Day this year, that I quit praying – believing the lie that it wasn’t doing any good while my son was using his will to pull against God’s continual wooing. I “confessed my faults” to my ladies class at church who prayed with me. Would you believe that we went to the worship service that very day, and this is the passage in Ephesians that the pastor spoke on!?! I am now committing Eph.6:18 to memory….it says ALL perseverance for ALL saints. Then I check out Prov.31 website, which I haven’t been on for months and THIS is the first devotion that I read. WOW!!! God wants me to praise and pray – LETS DO IT LADIES!!!!

  11. Lynne Marshall

    Thank you Lysa for your words which I know are a message from God for me. I have been in shock since finding out last week that my 28 year old daughter is pregnant(that was planned)and the father is her more than twice-her-age boyfriend, They are not planning to marry or live together, so my daughter will be a single parent. Since finding out I have felt lost and praying for guidance on how best to support her through this time as I try to come to terms with this. God has sent your message as His answer to me. I will put on His armor. His strength will hold me up.Thank you Father! Your timing is always perfect. 🙏

  12. Marilyn Ray -

    Lysa – I apologize for having to address you in this manner, but am reading your book called “UNINVITED”. I am 85 years old and not very intelligent when it comes to the computer, but I had some thoughts about the book that I feel God gave me. I do not know how to project very well if I can not write a letter. So my home address is Marilyn Ray – XXXXXXXXX. If you will trust me to ask you for this permission, I would love to make connection with you. My Christian walk began when I was 8 years, and is even more precious now than ever before. Love, Marilyn Ray

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