Battleground Heart

I’m not sure how it happened, but for months, Dietrich has been obsessed with heaven andIMG_3042 [16753017] hell, more the latter. The big areas of focus are that bad people go to hell and that the devil wants us to do bad things. Every time he makes a bad choice, he says (in not quite these words), “The devil made me do it.” When phrasing it like this, I almost laugh, but for the seriousness of the problem and my refusal to let teachable moments pass.

  • I tell him that I love him. Even when he storms off screaming that he hates me. When he returns, I show him love in a big, tight bear hug.
  • When he makes demands and expects rewards for bad behavior, I tell him I love him too much to allow him to get away with such entitled behavior.
  • I tell him bad choices do not make him a bad kid.
  • I remind him that God is the biggest and the devil will not win.
  • I pray with him and for him and encourage him to keep praying through the anger or fear. We tell the devil to go away.
  • I encourage him to make good choices, while attempting to model good choices as well.


Castle Ruins
Burg Nanstein – August 2012

Admittedly, the lesson is repeated several times a day. My best guess is that some time back they talked about a much simpler lesson in Bible class (like the Rich Man and Lazarus). However, my very intelligent Dietrich is also prone to fixate on one part of a story (even on television or movies) and obsess. The repetition of his outbursts is frustrating and often leaves me feeling helpless. So far, the obsessions haven’t subsided (though I think he did well for his grandparents last week). Until they do – or the next one comes along – I will keep repeating the lessons, patiently encouraging while striving to teach grace and mercy.



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