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Fortifying Your Children Against Satan’s Schemes

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Understand how to fortify your children against Satan’s onslaught as they grow into adulthood.

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Satan has a plan for our children’s adult lives. He desires to fragment their families, disintegrate their marriages and invalidate their Christian testimonies. If we think ahead to typical scenarios of suffering and persecution that our children will most likely encounter as adults, we can help to fortify them against Satan’s schemes. In the sixth of eleven articles on parenting, Dr. Don Dunlap tells us how.

Many Christian parents express to me a desire to raise children that walk in a manner that pleases and glorifies God. They are often confused, however, as to how to practically carry out the Ephesians 6:4 command to bring their children up in the “instruction of the Lord.”

This is a continuation of the ten areas of biblical instruction that I frequently recommend to parents.

8.     Teach your child how to solve problems biblically, and how to respond properly to suffering and persecution.

An alarming number of children who grow up in distinctively Christian homes, do not know how to find solutions from God’s Word to the various problems that they encounter as they venture into the adult world.

The writer of 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures us,

No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, that you may be able to endure it.


Unless children are thoroughly familiar with the principles of how to live an obedient Christian life, they will soon find their faith shipwrecked.


As your children are growing up, talk to them often about possible scenarios that they will face as adults. Use the question and answer method to stimulate their interest in discussing pertinent issues. For example, “Jason, what if someday your boss tells you he’ll fire you unless you agree to lie to your customers to make your business look better?” Or, “Susan, what do you think you’ll do if your best friend tells you that she’s been unfaithful to her husband?”

These hypothetical situations are typical of common occurrences in the everyday lives of Christians. Parents, be prepared to discuss these situations, as well as many others, with your children during their formative years. It is a worthy goal to instill godly character in them and equip them to make informed biblical decisions when problems arise in their adult lives.

Encourage your children to heed Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7, “Everyone who hears these words of mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock…and everyone who hears these words of mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand.”


Parents are responsible to see to it that their children’s lives are built upon the rock of Jesus Christ. Then they will be fortified to withstand Satan’s attempts to fragment their families, disintegrate their marriages, and invalidate their Christian testimonies.


Romans 12 is a key passage for instructing children in how they should respond to hardship and mistreatment in life. Acquaint them with all of God’s commands regarding forgiveness, doing good to our enemies, and praying for and blessing those who persecute us. They will not succeed in living an abundant Christian life unless they fully understand the concept of sanctification through suffering.

Parents ought to teach children that according to Romans 8:28, God uses every circumstance and every trial that touches them, to accomplish His purposes in their lives. Seek to communicate to your children the vital scriptural truth that “rain falls on the just and the unjust,” and God does not spare Christians from pain and hardships. Challenge your children to long to know Christ both in the power of His resurrection, and in the fellowship of His suffering.


Dr. Don Dunlap, a pioneer in the placement of Pastoral Counselors in the offices of Christian physicians, has conducted over twenty thousand appointments during his ministerial career. His counseling practice includes adults, children and families in crisis. Dr. Dunlap is committed to facilitating a network of telephone counselors. His goal is to provide help for the many people unable to meet face to face with a competent Bible-based counselor. For a complete library of Dr. Dunlap’s articles, indexed by topic, go to Family Counseling Ministries. You may also make an appointment for personal telephone counseling by clicking on Family Counseling Ministries. Family Counseling Ministries is a ministry Partner.

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