How many of you could say that you are feeling:
Like you are sinking
In survival mode
Panic rising at times
Tail Between Your Legs – If you say that you have your tail between your legs, you are emphasizing that you feel defeated and ashamed. Defeated = having been beaten in a battle. Ashamed = something is wrong with me.
A dog has his tail between his legs when he feels frightened, anxious, stressed, or discomfort. IF PUSHED WHEN IN THIS POSITION THE DOG WILL BITE!!! The goal isn’t to focus on the biting issue, but the position of the dog. Change the position, and he no longer needs to bite.
Can we be honest? Many parents are feeling like biting dogs backed into a corner. Scores of parents have wept in my presence in this season over their responses to their children. Nothing burdens a parent more than realizing their child didn’t deserve the treatment given.
Let’s not focus on your bite but your POSITION.
Moms and Dads YOU ARE POSITIONED AS THE HEAD, NOT THE TAIL! “We are the head and not the tail, above and not beneath” Deuteronomy 28:13. Read Ephesians 2:6 to see where you are positioned.
This is not the kind of trump or victory you can do of your own strength. It is God’s power and faithfulness to HIs word that positions you as the head and not the tail; HOWEVER, there is a TWO LETTER contingency on this promise. IF – if you keep my commands, you will be the head and not the tail.
Gather the kids and together read the commandments. While it would be easy to assume murder does not apply to your family, hate is a form of murder. So is unforgiveness because it kills life-giving connection. Walk through each commandment and discuss the specific ways they apply to your family.
HOWEVER, there is one we need to camp out in and get a grasp on this hour. In Matthew 22:36, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
The Message Bible says it like this: Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.
Jesus gives us the second greatest commandment. Find it and then talk about what it looks like in this hour to love others. Look up 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Explore this deeply as a family.
This is where parenting becomes FUN! A prophetic act is simply acting out a Biblical principle, scripture, or character of God to help people grasp His truth. You could all fold your hands, close your eyes, bow your heads, pray, or do a prophetic act to align your heart with His.
PUPPY LOVE – Play a game and have everyone act like a dog. Joy breaks out when mom begins to bark, and dad sticks out his tongue, wagging his tail. Ask everyone to act out being excited when the owners come home. Act out the dog being hungry and getting his food. How about playing with other dogs. Then act out a dog being scared and nervous. The joy and confidence in the room moves to quiet and timid. Sometimes when dogs are scared or stressed, they bite. Gather the kids and explain that dogs are designed to be playful and joyful, but when put in situations that make them overwhelmed, they can become very intimidated or aggressive. What does the dog need at that moment? An owner who loves them enough to protect them! Explain that we can be like the dog at times and how we ‘bite’ those we love when we feel overwhelmed and stressed. But we have a God who is like the owner who loves us, protects us, and leads us. In the days ahead, when your child is acting like a stressed dog, remind them of this teaching and help usher them to God’s truth. They are okay, this will work out, He cares about their heart, and it will be okay. Remind them that their job is to be full of joy and love while God handles the details.
WHO IS FIRST?
Gather the family and write down all of the things that are “BIG” in their world including social distancing, online school, wearing masks, missing friends, etc. After the list is complete draw a line under it (it is okay that the list takes up most of the paper). Under the line write out John 3:16. And then flip the paper upside down. Explain how the things that are BIG in their world can feel heavy and can sometimes make us feel like God’s truth is small or even shrinking, but the truth is (flipping the paper upside down) that God’s character, promises, and faithfulness are unchanging despite circumstances and we can filter every single thing written on the list through the lens of HIs perfect love.