Taming Mama Bear

by Emily Cook

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I sat in disbelief as I read one too many social media posts along with comments tearing down my husband and eight year old son over youth sports. At the end of a particularly hard season of public ridicule, it was a rude awakening to the strange new world we are living in where slander, smear campaigns, and the like are not limited to celebrities and politicians, but now it is open season on the most vulnerable among us, our children.

None of us are immune.

Although I felt overwhelmed and unprepared going into this particular kind of trial, the Lord has shown me that with His Spirit I was not ill equipped and neither are you, dear mom. Knowing this truth, how should we respond when our families are under this type of spiritual attack?

Mama Bear—all of us have her in us, but what do we do with her?

Should we let her roar or allow the Holy Spirit to tame her?

In her book, Let Me Be a Woman, Elisabeth Elliot writes, “Freedom begins not with doing what you want, but doing what you ought.”

When our children are hurt at the hands of others’ carelessness, the worldly reaction would be to let her roar! But, even though the Lord gives us the freedom to choose our reaction, He does not allow us to choose the consequences.

Just because we have the freedom to defend ourselves with words doesn’t mean we ought to.

When temptation to defend came my way, the Lord never failed to put a check in my spirit or a person in my path to remind me of who I am in Him. Time and time again I heard, “Be still.”

Just as Jesus told Peter to put his sword away instead of taking justice into his own hands (Matthew 26:52), I believe we are to deny ourselves during these times and allow the Lord to fight for us.

Before we respond to hurtful people, we must put down our defenses and instead take up His word.

First and foremost, cling to His promises until He gives you direction. When you want to throw in the towel and the adversary tempts you to give in, allow the Spirit to rise in you, encouraging you that God works through trials for our good and for His glory.

“When He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” (Job 23:10) Thank the Lord for refining us through the fire.

Our faith is put to the test during times like these and we get a unique view of the foundations that are built on Jesus and unfortunately the ones that may be built on sand. We should stop and think, are we more concerned with public opinion or what the Lord thinks of us?

No amount of untruth can trump the truth of who we are in Christ and the integrity He sees us walking in. Yet on the other hand, no amount of good character or reputation is immune to public slander in the 21st century. Godly character always stands the test of time, but even the best reputations can be tarnished by lies that spread like viruses on social media.

Unfortunately, we live in a culture of wide spread misinformation and the temptation to believe what you read online as truth without checking the source. Before liking, commenting, or authoring a negative post, remember there are moms, dads, and children just like yours who are being hurt in the process whether you know them personally or not.

As missional moms, we must be cautious with our keyboards. The devil is working hard enough to try to discredit our testimony; we don’t need to help him out by falling into the trap of a rant on Facebook.

There are moments in life, when the heart is so full of emotion that if by chance it be shaken, or into its depths like a pebble Drops some careless word, it overflows, and its secret, Spilled on the ground like water, can never be gathered together. ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

We need to be the example to our kids that we will choose to build up, not tear down.

We will reach out to hurting people to encourage and support them through hard times instead of adding to their stress with idle gossip.

We will be faithful to God during hard times and not fearful.

Our families should bear witness to the power of God to sustain through trial and bring us out the other side stronger and wiser.

Waiting on hurtful times to pass can be lonely, but we are not alone. There are others who have walked this road before who can give godly counsel and biblical example.

One politician’s wife encouraged me to reach out my hand to those who come against me. Proverbs 16:7 (MSG) says, “When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.”

When it feels like the world has walked out, we know that Jesus is our faithful friend.

When the enemy tries to isolate, discourage, and fill us with fear it’s because he hates the good news we carry with us everywhere we go.

We must be faithful to keep silent in the areas where the Lord would have us be silent, but be bold where he’s commanded us to be bold with the truth of His gospel.

At the end of the day, with the Lord’s help we must walk in forgiveness just as we have been forgiven. We must not miss what Jesus is trying to teach us by keeping our eyes on the conflict.

How have you found victory when going through a similar trial?

Has the Lord shown up for you in a very real way?

Share with us a verse the Lord has taught you through heartache.

Emily Cook

EmilyCook

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