6 Strategies I Might Use Against Families If I Were Satan

If generals study their enemy’s positions searching for vulnerabilities they can exploit and offensive coordinators watch hours of their opponents games on film hoping to find one or two weak spots that they can attack, and CEO’s pour over market research seeking an advantage against the competition, then surely Satan and his demons put great effort into developing a strategy to pull us away from being fully devoted to Jesus.

I think that is exactly the kind of thing that Paul is alluding to when he writes, “…in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Cor. 11:3).”

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about family ministry and so I wrote down some schemes that, if I were Satan, I might try to use to spiritually harm families.

1. If I were Satan, I might try to encourage families to keep hopping from one church to another. If I could help mom and dad always find something wrong with a church–the music is to loud, the pastor preaches too long, the seats are too uncomfortable, the coffee isn’t fresh, the parking lot is too crowded, the services times aren’t convenient, etc…–then I could keep kids from developing deep relationships with their leaders and really digging in and learning.

2. If I were Satan, I might try to convince moms and dads that it is primarily the church’s responsibility to shepherd their kids’ faith. It shouldn’t be too difficult a job. I’d tell them that just like they send their kids to school and to piano lessons and to soccer practice, they are better off letting the professionals develop their kids spiritually.

I’d do all I can to keep parents from taking Deuteronomy 6:4-8 seriously.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

3. If I were Satan, I might try to entice families into ever increasing busyness. I’d try to convince parents that it is okay to cram $100 conversations in 10-cent moments because I know that important spiritual truths are rarely communicated in a hurry.

4. If I were Satan, I might try to scare parents into thinking that the Bible is too difficult for them to read to their kids. There would be nothing more harmful to my plan than kids seeing their parents submit to the Bible’s authority.

5. If I were Satan, I might try to mislead kids into thinking that Sunday morning worship is what you do when you don’t have something else on the calendar. I wouldn’t mind if they went to church as long as they knew that sports and dance and camps and vacations and beautiful fall days and visiting family and late Saturday nights were all good reasons to miss worshiping God.

6. If I were Satan, I might try to convince moms and dads that their kids don’t notice when they talk a better spiritual game than they live, that their kids don’t notice that they don’t practice what they preach, that their kids don’t notice that they have standards for them that they don’t follow themselves, that their kids don’t hear them gossip, don’t pay attention to their materialism, are unaffected by their harsh words. I think that I could win more church kids to my side with duplicitous, inauthentic parents than drugs, sex, and alcohol combined.

If you were Satan, what strategies might you use against families?

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