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3 temptations that successful parents must conquer

Unsplash/Samantha Sophia

We are in a spiritual war for our children’s lives that translates as good versus evil. The enemy is out to steal, kill and destroy our children. But Jesus came to deliver us and heal the brokenhearted so that we can live a life of abundance (John 10:10). Prayer is the ultimate weapon.

The more we understand how much God is on our side, the easier it is to be prayer warriors for our children. The best pattern of a warfare prayer to combat the powers of darkness can be taken from Jesus Himself.

Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert by the devil (Matthew 4:1–11). Jesus was tired, weak, and hungry. The devil will always slither into our lives and present the greatest temptations when we are at our lowest.

First, Satan tempted Jesus with food. The devil said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread” (verse 3).

In today’s terms, the temptation was to do what felt right to the flesh. When the devil approached Jesus, it was all about appealing to His human, fleshly desires. But Jesus showed us the correct way to respond. He said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (verse 4).

Jesus could have easily changed the stones to bread, but He knew how to trust God and He believed that the Word of God is living bread.

When we are fighting for our children and are at our lowest point, we always have God’s Word. As we feast on the words of God, we are protected and given provision.

Next, Satan chose to tempt Jesus with the pride of life. In other words, he wanted Jesus to act out of His own will and not God’s. “Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. ‘If you are the Son of God,’ he said, ‘throw yourself down’” (verses 5–6).

There will be many times when we are tempted to execute shortcuts for our children. Those paths, however, may not be God’s best answer for them. If we intervene, we can shortcut the tests of life that God has orchestrated for our children. There are difficulties our children need to face that will determine His best outcomes for them.

Making life easier for our children is second nature. When they are small and helpless, we understand intuitively that we have to be their hands and feet. But if we continue in that vein, bringing them whatever they desire or need at their beck and call, they will never have a reason to learn to walk or run.

Jesus shows us how unwise it is. He answered Satan by saying, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test’” (verse 7).

When we are tempted to bow down to what we want — or what our kids are crying for — in order to shorten a process, everyone loses. By laying ourselves and our children down at His throne where His will and power can be realized, we can feed positively into the destiny and future of our children.

The last temptation can be termed lust of the eyes. “Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. ‘All this I will give you,’ he said, ‘if you will bow down and worship me’” (verses 8–9).

Satan wanted to alter Jesus’ allegiance to worship him and not God. Jesus could have chosen to fall into selfishness. He could have bypassed the pain of the cross and forgotten about all of us. But Jesus rebuked Satan, saying, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’” (verse 10).

He defeated Satan by resisting the temptation to bow down to evil. We, too, must follow the vital step of bowing down at God’s feet and allowing Him control over everything.

When we are battle weary while fighting for the lives of our children, we can emulate Jesus by staying in God’s Word, which keeps us strong and full of hope. Then we act on God’s will for our lives and our children’s lives so that we do not test God’s plans. And we relinquish control and allow God to move both them and us through our brokenness.

Adapted from The Parent’s Battle Plan (Chosen Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, 2023) by Laine Lawson Craft. Used by permission.

Laine Lawson Craft is an award-winning author, popular media host, and in-demand speaker. The founder and publisher of WHOAwomen magazine (2010-2018), she regularly hosts online challenges and masterclasses as well as Facebook Live events that reach thousands. Her Livin' Lively with Laine podcast encourages women around the world, and her Warfare Parenting podcast encourages parents of adult children. Laine and her husband, Steve, have three children and live in Brewton, Alabama. Learn more at

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