This is central to the Apostle Paul’s message concerning the weapons of “divine” power (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).  Fortresses, lies and addictions are similar because they are built up over time and hard to tear down.  But God gives us a way to destroy those strongholds.  Every fortress of falsehood in our life is built on some lie.  Learning how to “take captive every thought” is the strategy for destroying those lies and tearing down those strongholds.

child with hearIt is hard for me to imagine a more powerful tool for the care of the heart than that which we are discussing this year, or one that is more relevant to education.  When you consider all the ways in which we teach our children to take care of themselves at school, their study habits, their musical and athletic talents, their environment, their physical health and safety; it is amazing that schools do not do a better job of teaching students how to take care of their heart.  And yet this was the central priority of one of the wisest men on earth, King Solomon, who said “Above all else, guard your heart” (Proverbs 4:23).  Perhaps this is because many educators really do not believe that the heart is the “wellspring of life,” or that its training and preparation will influence everything that follows.

At this point in the school year, every ICS student in 3rd through 8th grade has memorized, recited, and discussed this year’s theme verse, 2 Corinthians 10:4-5.  It has been the highlight of my year to meet with all 250 of those students to discuss this passage.  But we’ve only just broken the ground on “The Weapons of Power.”  I want to challenge you as a family to take this discussion to the next level.  There are four Family Lessons and a Parent Study Guide that will help you explore this passage together.  Each lesson takes about five minutes to read aloud.  But the most important part is the discussion you have with your children after each lesson.

Let me emphasize that I’ve written these materials for elementary to middle school ages.  We really do not even begin Bonus Verse discussions until after kindergarten.  With First Grade students I focus on Proverbs 4:23, and with Second Grade on Proverbs 3:5-6.  These are simpler and more basic themes for them to begin with.  Family Lessons and Study Guides for those passages are also available on our website.  Whatever the age of your children, adapt the discussion to their needs.  Ask them questions, and listen.  You may be amazed at the keen insights they have and the wisdom they are already beginning to display.

Stephen Danish

For additional study materials on the Bonus Verse and a copy of the “Ten Step Bible Memory Method for Life” go to