3 Barriers to a Child’s Heart

Building relationships is not easy, but the alternative is, in my mind, unacceptable. During my interviews with many 2nd Generation Christians for my forthcoming book, Lionproof: Keeping your Children from the Claws of the Devil, I learned many thing about what to do…and sometimes what not to do. I hope their words speak to your hearts like they did mine! (see below for more information about the book!)

Have you ever wondered if there was a missing element in most parenting philosophies?  Have you ever seen families who seem to have everything just right, and yet they still lose their children to the world?  Could there be something – some insidious practice or philosophy – that has crept in to these families to steal away their children?

Sometimes we put ourselves into a position where we make it easy for Satan to launch an attack.  Anything that puts a barrier or a wedge between you and your child is a potential area for deception, division, and finally consumption by the prowling lion!  If we’re not careful, Satan will come upon us, invade our homes, and take our children unawares.

Below are three ways my 2nd Generation Christians told me were very detrimental to their friends as they were growing up:




Every one of the second-generation Christians I interviewed energetically agreed that it is detrimental to a child’s spiritual growth to criticize a spiritual leader in front of them.  Many of them told about friends whose parents complained about a Christian leader or someone else in the church.  In every case, it was damaging to the young person.  Dianne told me, “My older brother went away from the Lord.  It started in junior high, probably as a result of a split in our church.  Some of the deacons were saying bad things about the church, and it was nasty.  To this day, my mother thinks that all the complaints and criticism caused the church to lose ground in my brother’s mind.  He felt that my dad had been treated unjustly, and maybe he was.  Then to top it off, we went through difficult financial times because of the split, and I think my brother ended up with some bitterness through that whole ordeal.  He doesn’t serve the Lord at all today.”



Even in secular circles, parental anger is well known to cause troubles in the family.  It comes as no surprise that Satan uses it as a platform for attack.   In fact, one of my respondents put it this way, “Anger is very destructive to a child.  There are two kinds of anger, good and bad.  When we as parents are angry in a good way, it is when we are angry at sin and bad things.  But when we become angry toward the young people themselves, it causes wrong discipline and a wrong atmosphere.  The spirit of the young person gets hurt, and their pain turns to bitterness.



Lance remarked, “I remember a time when I was nine years old, and my dad got angry with me.  He corrected a problem too hastily without verifying, and later discovered that he had made a mistake.  But instead of ignoring it, he came back and apologized to me.  It was very helpful to me, because I knew I had been dealt with unjustly.  Instead of me becoming bitter, his acknowledgement and apology went a long way.  My dad was not afraid to apologize when he was wrong, and I learned a big lesson from that.”



Childhood and youth are not forever.  The little blades of tender hay appear in our homes, the young grass pushes up through the earth, and the little lambs are only young for a short time.  The Lord has given us this special time in their lives to feed them, strengthen them, and guide them.  If we do not look diligently to know the state of those little lambs in our “flock,” who will?  I often need to ask myself, How are those little lambs?  Are they healthy?  Do they know they are loved?  God has no hands but ours to show them His love.  Someday, they will rise up and be a blessing and encouragement to us.

He that delicately bringeth up his servant from a child shall have him become his son at the length.  (Proverbs 29:21).

Would you like a son?  Bring up a servant delicately – carefully, gently, deliberately – and you shall have your son who will love and take care of you the rest of your life.  Though we may not be perfect, through God’s Grace and by humility, we can prevent our imperfections from adding poison by neglecting to apologize for our wrongs.

Always be mindful of the dangers of criticizing authorities, and recognize that anger and a failure to apologize is equally toxic.  These Barriers to a Child’s Heart may be just three points, but I think with the Lord’s help, we can use these encouraging words to turn our parenting – and even our lives – around so that Satan will not take our children and destroy them in his jaws.

QUESTION: How do you think the parents’ attitude toward authority affects the children? Also, how do you think parental anger affects the children?

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

  • The date for release of my new book, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, has been changed from September to October. That will, Lord willing, allow enough time for us to implement some deals I have planned for you! In this book, there will be:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

Also, several folks have requested review copies of the book, but I’m having trouble connecting with you (I think it’s a case of technological retardation 😉 So if you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know, even if you already contacted me before. Email me at: lisaraub at rocket mail dot com, and I’ll give you the details. I only ask that when you’re done reading the book, you post about it on your blog!

Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum



  1. Beth says:

    Ooh! My toes are so sore after that one, Lisa! But such a great reality check and reminder of the cascading affect on our children’s views of authority. That’s probably where I need to work most because I’ve been unhappy with our pastor in some areas of his leadership. I don’t talk about it much in front of my sons, but I have on occasion. I’ve simply not thought about the ramifications of this until now! Thanks for being used of God in my life! I so needed this!

  2. Lisa says:

    I think your reaction is about the same as mine after I talked to so many of my 2nd Generation Christians who said these things. This is one of the big reasons I felt compelled to write the book, Lionproof – because there are many things they said that are not in any other resource! I never understood, until the interviews, that by talking bad about my own authorities, I was sabotaging my own to my chidren. Ouch, and double ouch! (I’m really with you!)

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