Giant of Despair

I had no idea homeschooling would involve the spiritual battles I faced. Daily, I was challenged to maintain a godly attitude under the pressures of teaching and maintaining a home. Foolishly, I thought I could stay ahead of Satan's discouraging attacks with a few Scripture verses and my own strength. After a particularly difficult homeschooling day, I finally reached an emotional, rock-bottom experience. Tired and drained, I decided tomorrow was the day to give up teaching my four children. Going to bed early that night, I had resolved to call the school district in the morning to enroll my children.

That night, I had the most unusual dream. In my dream, I saw a large, dark figure approaching our farmhouse from across the field. I sensed the evil coming from this thing and knew that if he reached me, I would be killed. As he came closer, I quickly looked for a way of escape and saw a reinforced cage lying on the ground next to me. Thinking I would be safe, I climbed inside. Sneering, the dark figure picked up the cage and shook it violently. I felt the painful blows from hitting the sides as he banged me around inside the cage. Looking down, I noticed several articles of padded clothing that would protect me, and as I struggled to reach them, I woke up.

I never had a dream that seemed so real. I immediately prayed to ask God if there was some special meaning. Amazingly, God led me to Ephesians 6:10-18, and after reading this passage of Scripture, I understood my dream. I had failed to put on the whole armor of God each day, and Satan was beating me up in my homeschooling efforts. My cage of salvation had kept me alive, but without the full covering of God's armor to protect myself during the daily spiritual battles, I would continue to be defeated. Enlightened and empowered with God's truth, my spiritual walk and my homeschooling changed.

Are you facing the giant of despair and feeling beat up in your homeschooling? If your temper is short and you feel frustrated and angry at God, your children, or yourself, perhaps you've forgotten to dress this morning with God's protective armor. Don't wait for a near homeschooling defeat before you realize the true source of your strength in homeschooling. Turn to God now and discover His power for victory. "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Ephesians 6:10-11).

Jesus, You are my King, and I surrender all that I am to You. Fill me mightily today with Your presence and power to defeat the lies of the evil one before they rob our family of the blessings of homeschooling. In Your precious name, Amen.

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Comments(25 comments)

MELANIE E 03/25/2009 19:16:40

This was encouraging for me. Only I would like to know how to put on the armor because it is so abstract of a concept.

CARALEE L 03/22/2010 00:23:56

I have dreamed all my life of homeschooling my children. My husband was resistant but 3 years ago allowed me the honour. My youngest has ADHD and as the years have carried on I have become so discouraged. Those areas he is weak in he has become weaker, his social skills have become poorer, and I saw his Christian character diminish. Tomorrow I DID plan on calling the Christian school to enroll him for the Fall. I just came home from work (1 am) and defeated decided to read my email. This devotional just hit me. As you described the monster in your dream I realized the temper I display, the conflicts we have and all the struggles I have are NOT against my son, a result of my inadequacy, or even MY poor Christian character. They are results of allowing the enemy to take blows at thedreams God has placed in my heart and me trying to fight him naked. My battle is NOT against flesh and blood and I need to clothe myself daily with the full armour of God to obtain the peace that passes a understanding that wi guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Just because I didn't acknowledge the battle didn't mean there wasn't a battle.

Thank you for that encouragement.

KELLI W 03/22/2010 09:36:40

Wow, sometimes things just fit...Well they always do with God in controll. I worked all weekend and no one was ready to start school this AM (including me)! We got off to a bad start with 2 of the kids bickering and not listening. It quickly disintegrated and currently the 2 in question are in their rooms and angry. I decided that I am done. I will get them in school somewhere else, anywhere but here. I am certain someone else will do a better job for/with them. I can't homeschool all week and work all weekend. I sat down to think and checked my email to find today's devotion. It really hit home. I too am a little unsure exactly how to put on that armor. I will pray and ask The Lord to help me with that one. Thanks for the encouragement !!!

LISA N 03/22/2010 12:02:48

I am amazed at God's timing! I have felt defeated for several months and I know it is because I have NOT put on the full armour of God. Just as you ladies have said, I have been SO ready to quit, so many times!!! I get so down with my skills at teaching, or impatient and frustrated because my kids won't do what I say and they don't listen. I know my battle is not against my wonderful children, but against the devil who has so much fun with our emotions and makes us feel defeated. The question for me is, why do I even want to go to a place (emotionally and physically) where someone else is teaching my children the things I don't want them to learn?! We can put on the full armour by being daily in God's Word and absorbing it into our souls. I have fallen so short and have not been meditating on Him or talking to Him. I have been so selfish in not wanting to be there, but every time I am in His Word I feel restored. Why would I not want to be there everyday? Ladies, I don't even know you, but you and the devotional have been such an encouragement to me! Let's put on God's full armour together! God bless you as you home school your precious children!!!

BETH L 03/30/2010 18:22:46

I finally was able to read this devotion this evening, several days later. But, as all have previously said, God's timing is perfect. I have been struggling with behavior issues with my 2, and honestly I have let it affect my behavior as well. I had been thinking about whether or not I should try public or private schooling for the next year because obviously I'm not doing a great job of it. Once again, God reminds me that home schooling is His will for our lives right now and that we can get through this and better days are ahead. Thanks so much for the reminder to put the whole armour of God on first!! Like Lisa N. said, the battle is not with my children, but against the devil...I needed that reminder so much!! Thank you to the one that wrote the devotion in such a timely fashion, and for those that have previously commented, because I don't feel alone in my struggles and we can encourage each other to fight the good fight!

DEB R 03/22/2011 03:05:46

So what I needed to hear, struggling with working (3)- 12 hour days/week with a fluctuating schedule and homeschooling 3 children. Life has been so busy and I have been so lazy with my walk with the Lord.. I wonder if I am doing the right thing for our family and myself. I too had a dream today, mine was I turned around to help someone and they were gone. I need to pray and find out the meaning of that dream..... Thanks for the encouragement and reminder to put on the armor of God.

DENISE S 03/22/2011 04:01:42

I would like to make a humble suggestion regarding those of you who presently struggle with this issue. It is time to change your focus from school to growing Godly kids. Do you realize that homeschooling should not really be so much about making our kids smart but rather shaping their hearts to know and love God? The world does not lack for smart people but rather lacks those who have wisdom with knowledge and the character and confidence in a God who cannot fail. Once you can put down the notion that it's all about academics, you will begin to have peace in your home and the power of the enemy will be stilled. One woman asked how this looks in a practical sense and I would encourage you to reread 1 John 1 and pray the Lord to show you how to abide in Him. In my home, we begin each day with the children doing their morning chores, eating breakfast, and then we sit down to read the Word together, chapter by chapter, verse by verse. We simply talk through what God's Word says for the day and how it applies to current events, both personally and globally, in our lives. I do not use a Bible curriculum because I don't want my children to view the scripture as another school subject. You will notice God change their character and maturity over time because of His Word sown into their hearts, and then the 'school' part will not be so burdensome because you have taken the time to lay a foundation of what is truly important. Remember, wisdom is known by her children (Proverbs) and you cannot reap what you did not properly sow.

Be encouraged as God speaks to your heart in how He wishes to work out the schooling part of your life. He has plans for good and not for evil, even on our worst days. He is not measuring success by our children's SAT scores nor is it dependent entirely on our abilities. Be faithful, yes, but realize that His sovereignity is a wonderful place of rest.

HOLLIE H 03/22/2011 04:05:50

Once again, I am amazed to hear that I am not the only one who struggles with the temptation of sending my kids to school. The devil surely loves to make us feel alone though, doesn't he! Stay strong in the Lord ladies and thank you dear devotional author for the daily support you share! Please, read 2 Peter chapter 2 (especially verses 20-22) for encouragement when you feel like giving up - it changed my mind last year when I was about to send my children to public school. Thanks for reminding me!

BETH F 03/22/2011 04:27:29

I have been experiencing the same thing that all of these ladies have, as have some of the ladies in my homeschool Bible study. I also work outside of my home, just a night or two/week, in addition to other responsibilities beyond homeschooling. I've been homeschooling for over 20 years and during that time have considered sending my children to school because I have felt defeated, discouraged and angry. I've been feeling that way for the past couple months with my fifth grader...he's the only one I'm currently homeschooling. He hates school and is easily frustrated. Needless to say, things can get "ugly" and I find that we are doing the bookwork just to get it done. I've been considering sending him to my church's Christian school next year, but I'm concerned that he might not do well b/c he needs personal attention. Denise hit the nail on the head! We need to be instructing our children in the Lord first and foremost. If they do not learn from us how to live as Christians in this present world, who are they going to learn it from? We have such a wonderful responsibility in teaching our children. Thank you for this Daily Focus article. Thank you, ladies for all of your comments. We are NOT alone. Satan is NOT the victor, our Lord Jesus Christ is! Let's face each day with renewed hearts, putting our armor on and keeping our focus on the Author and Finisher of our faith. God bless you all.

ANN-MARIE C 03/22/2011 05:00:07

This was a reminder for me. I was just telling someone how easy my day goes when I put God first and put on the armor. For us putting the armor on is praying it through...Thank you God for the helmet of salvation upon my head, the breastplate of righteousness is in place. Thank you that my loins are gird about with the belt of truth, it is impossible for me to lie. Thank you that my feet are shod with the gospel of peace. I carry peace with me wherever I go. I take up the shield of faith that questions every flaming arrow Satan throws my way. God I thank you for the sword of the spirit which is the word of God that is sharper than any two edge sword cuts through to the bone. That is just what we do. When we do that I feel ready and I find the day goes a little smoother. The remaining posts encouraged me because I was reminded that I am not the ONLY homeschool mom who is working. Just about every one I know stays home. I often let the enemy lie to me and tell me if I were home I'd be able to do a better job. Or that I can't be successful in teaching him because I work those 3 12hr shifts. Now I know for sure I am not alone. That sword of the spirit just struck down the thought of being unsuccessful. Thank you ladies for helping me to re-focus. God Bless!

TINA N 03/22/2011 07:39:06

So refreshing...I had such a bad day yesterday and felt like a failure! But this devotional helped me so much, as well as all these comments. My Father is so faithful, even when we are unfaithful. His grace IS sufficient for everything. Thank you so much...and yes, the full armor is SO important.

ANGELA W 03/22/2011 07:46:39

for Melanie E: I did a study with my youngest about the Armor of God and learned as much about it as she did. You can get a teacher\'s curriculum and activity book for the kiddos and work through it daily. We used \"The Armor of God\" by The Children\'s Institute, (, and absolutely loved it. It was very helpful in explaining each \"piece\" of armor and how to effectively use it.

Blessings in Jesus\' name!


ADINA H 03/22/2011 10:01:31

Thank you all for your insight, I ahve definitely misplaced my Armor...I have been homeschooling for many years- some years I barely held on. This year has been a huge struggle, with financial strain, time management & the academics...I have stressed myself out trying to balance my community, family & homeshooling responsibilities & needs.

Thank you for the reminder that I\'m not alone in my fear of failing and that God is surely more concerned with my children\'s heart & character than their GPA. Regardless of what pressure society brings...

CHRISTINE R 03/22/2011 10:32:34

I lovingly submit this quote. \"To do anything less than commit ourselves completely to our Lord in simple trust during the troubling times in our lives is to insult His wisdom. To resist Him, question Him, doubt Him, or criticize(get angry at Him?) what He allows in our lives is to deny that He is the only wise God, and claim that we are wiser than He.\"

Richard L. Strauss

Treasures of Wisdom,, Copyright 1996-2005,

All rights reserved.

PAULA S 03/22/2011 12:01:36

Thank you so much for this. It is exactly what I needed to hear today. My husband and I are new home-schoolers to our 11 year old nephew and this article really spoke to me today.

Paula Saunders

JENNIFER S 03/22/2011 12:39:51

Just this morning I wanted to throw-in-the-towel. I am homeschooling 4 children, 3 with ADHD and 3 are 11 yrs. old. My youngest is the biggest challenge. Thank you for this amazing scripture and devotional. Thank you to the other mothers who have written encouraging comments. It\'s easy to feel alone even though there are millions homeschooling. Praise God!

NANCY H 03/22/2011 16:04:18

We\'ve been homeschooling from the beginning, 7 years now, and, yes, there have been times I thought about quiting because I was tired or discouraged or it got hard but we made the commitment at the very beginning that this was what the Lord had directed us to do and since He called us to this mission, He would be faithful to equip us in that mission, as long as we didn\'t give up. So I just want to encourage you to make the decision today, if you haven\'t already, that we are going to continue in homeschooling. Endure to the end.

ELAINE P 03/23/2011 06:32:21

Amazing and spot on, once again. I am in my first year and still learning the in\'s and out\'s of home schooling. This. once again was very uplifting and encouraging .

EDWIDGE S 03/23/2011 21:21:07

Thank you for this. And Denise S, thank you, thank you, thank you for your comment. I appreciated it so much that I copied-n-pasted it into MS Word and saved it to help me remember the priority when I get distracted.

Man!, it can be so hard to recognize life's hardships, annoyances, frustrations and aches as satan's cross-examination. (Ah, so that's your testimony, huh? That the LORD will never leave you nor forsake you that He is worthy to be praised, that He's all you need Let's see if that's still your testimony when I'm through with you. I hear what your mouth is saying; but let's see what your LIFE and RESPONSES SHOW!)

For those who asked about HOW one puts on the armor of God, my humble understand is this: It is employing/making use of/relying on the things of God (SPIRITUAL weapons and strategies) to secure the victory against our adversary.

Six pieces of armor are listed (belt of TRUTH, breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS, feet fitted with READINESS, shield of FAITH, helmet of SALVATION, SWORD OF THE SPIRIT) and the act of PRAYER.

The first five pieces are protective/defensive pieces: they'll keep you IN the fight, but they won't WIN it for you.

TRUTH: Know and rely (the knowing and relying upon is HOW you put on the belt and have it hold you together) on God's truth (that He is in control; that anything He wants you to do, you can do; that if He calls you, He will equip you; that if we remain in Him and He/His Word in us, we may ask whatever we wish and it WILL BE GIVEN us (John 15:7); etc. ) so that you will be encouraged and not deceived.

RIGHTEOUSNESS: The breastplate inspires confidence. Someone who knows they're doing what they're supposed to be doing, are where they're supposed to be, are equipped with everything they're supposed to have is not easily shaken or reproachable. If you are CERTAIN you are doing ALL you can to live righteously before God, you're more confident in facing the enemy because you KNOW God is with you; and if you're weak, you have the confidence to approach Him with what you need and the ability to EXPECT Him to show up because you've done your best to rise up to His standard for living, which is righteousness.

READINESS: Worn on the feet that move the entire body. If you're able to read about (have the opportunity to know) how your enemy maneuvers and the signs that indicate he's near/active BEFORE you actually face him head-on, of course, you'll be READY when you do. You won't be surprised or caught off guard; so you can MOVE swiftly and effectively. The gospel of peace is exactly that because in shedding light on what we can expect from our enemy, it gives us the opportunity to prepare; and in being prepared for what's coming, one gains also peace.

FAITH: Sincere faith is very hard to shake/break. A man/woman of great faith may/will feel the blow of the enemy but will not be discouraged/defeated by it because it's fallen against his/her shield/faith, which is strong and sure.

SALVATION: Daily remember and be encouraged by the knowledge that in Christ we've been offered the gift of salvation. His salvation is real, sure, and all-conquering and so is His power and faithfulness to complete the work He started in you.

The final piece of armor and PRAYER are the big guns--the OFFENSIVE elements. With the previous elements, we dodge and seek to minimize or endure the blows/strikes of the enemy; now, we're throwing the punches the ball is in our possession and it's time to shut the fight down.

SWORD OF THE SPIRIT (WORD OF GOD): IT IS WRITTEN we must KNOW it so we can CALL UPON/SPEAK it. Putting this on means KNOWING THE WORD so we can throw it at the devil when he comes for us. We don't stand a chance otherwise. If Christ relied on it (Matt 4), how much MORE do WE NEED to? Know it and know it WELL because, as we've seen, satan knows it too. (Satan knows it BUT manipulates it, distorts it, pollutes it for his own ends so be careful that you know FOR YOURSELF what the Word says and exactly what it means.)

PRAYER: In praying, we DIRECTLY work WITH God to defeat the enemy. In prayer, we are calling upon the Source of the power we need and the Source of the Holy Word we rely upon to move with us, move for us.

RENEE T 03/22/2012 04:59:54

In the morning, I put on God\'s armor by: Getting up early to have quiet time to myself to read my Bible, pray, think about my day and what I need to accomplish and then meditate to hear God\'s word about how to go about my day in a way that follows his word. Sometimes I need to go back to my Bible ro reinforce my plan as something that I must complete today was not included in my initial Bible reading. I just go to my index and search for that problem or idea. Then as my day goes on sometimes I need to \"shine my armor\" a little and refer back to my Bible or spend just a few minutes meditating to hear God\'s Word about what I am trying to decide. Then putting faith that God will be there for me as I go on through the day is my shield. Putting on God\'s armor may include different modes of \"dressing\" for each of us, but I believe that basically starting each day putting God first is a good way to start putting on your God armor.

DEB W 03/22/2012 06:09:11

This devotion is an example of the Lord\'s perfect timing. Praise the Lord for these words of TRUTH that have poured into my spirit this morning. Thank you for having the courage to write this and be mightily used by the Lord.

JILL D 03/22/2012 08:36:00

Wow! I was having a really hard day with one of my children ( we are homeschooling 3 children). When I read this and remebered a lesson that my son had about 3 weeks ago, about the Armor of Christ. I needed this today, now we will have a school break so that the teacher can put on her Armor of Christ and get ready for the battle of the day!

MIA M 03/22/2012 11:55:47

WOW, I was feeling tired today . I just keep getting hit by the fiery darts now I know how to fight him. Thanks so much for these devotionals

JADA P 03/22/2012 18:09:19

I put my children in public schools when we relocated to a different state. My son (kinder) and my daughter (1st) took the transition with some great difficulty. I decided to begin homeschooling them which is working out great for them. Its me that is having the problem. I have taken up smoking again and my patience is running thin. The scripture listed in this thread helped me today and I will post it on the fridge so that I can see it and read it daily.

Stephen Smith 03/22/2014 21:40:39

I memorised this passage about 9 months ago and review it often. But somehow I have gotten out of practice of waking up and praying the armour on me. Thanks for the reminder.

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