Without this tool we can become the wedge between Father God and our children


I am passionate about the languages of love! But do you know there is also a language of how you need an apology spoken? Nothing is worse for me than someone saying, “Sorry!” It actually makes the offense worse for me. We have a family of FIVE, and there are FIVE languages – one for each of us. It has been challenging to speak someone else’s language, but it has allowed us to be more like Jesus in the process. I encourage you to have your family take the test, print it out, and discuss the results.

The Apology Language Quiz (


When I hear of parents saying their kids are such brats, mean, little devils, terrors, a little spoiled diva, crabby, disrespectful, or a nightmare, what I hear is, “I have not yet figured out how to be an intentional parent to teach, train and equip my child with skills that will make them successful in life.”


Years ago, in preparation for one of our classes, I asked Ellie how it made her feel when we weren’t connected, and her immediate response was, “Why did God have to make computers?” I was in awe of her answer. Do you see who got the blame when I didn’t connect with her? She blamed God for creating something that took her mom’s time and attention from her. It was so convicting that I immediately set up better boundaries. It also made me realize how important it is to remind her of my weakness and imperfection. Father God is never too busy or distracted to connect with her.


When an older child says, “I am bored,” they are often saying, “I am starving for connection,” so giving them a list of chores doesn’t always meet the need but drives the isolation deeper. Partner with Holy Spirit when you hear your child declare, “I AM BORED,” to see if they are really crying out for healthy connection.


Some of you are deeply conflicted in your parenting because you have gone from authoritative control-based parenting to heart connection-based parenting, and I dare say BOTH are out of alignment. If connection is your GOAL, then you will lay down your God-given authority over the fear of breaking connection with your child. Say Johnny wants a cookie before dinner, and you say no, and he throws himself into a fit on the floor. Your NO isn’t breaking the connection; his flesh and lack of self-control are breaking the connection. You do not give in just to keep the connection going. You parent him with your authority by standing firm in your no, give him compassion for his devastation that he can’t have what he wants when he wants it, then connect to his heart and TEACH him how to have more self-control (and the right responses when you tell him no). But if your only goal is connection, you will forgo the character training EVERY CHILD needs because you are terrified of breaking connection.

Connection is not my goal – raising strong, healthy children is, and that requires character training of their flesh. I use connection as the vehicle to get to their heart (rather than control and fear), but it is not my #1 goal. Can you see the difference?


Do you ever have those situations where everything lines up perfectly, and you are convinced your child is guilty? I did the other week, and my son was adamant he was innocent. I took him at his word, but it still felt fishy to me. He carried this pressure and tension with him everywhere for a week. He was snippy, and I often felt like I just needed to not be in the same room with him for long. Sometimes you just need to let teenagers be teens, but I didn’t like it. He came into my room to drop off laundry, and his eyes were red. I asked if he was okay, and he said NO. Questioning who he had a conflict with, he says, “YOU,” and begins to tell me what it has been like all week, being falsely accused of something he didn’t do and then brought up numerous things I had said during the week that communicated to him that he is untrustworthy. The truth is nothing I said meant what he thought it did. He had the lens of being falsely accused, and anything after that felt like a judgment. Poor kid was really beaten up over the belief that I charged him with a crime he didn’t commit. I assured him that I knew he was innocent because nobody shows that much emotion and care when they are guilty. I apologized for not believing the best AND for failing to see his heart all week. He walked out of my room feeling better, and I was doing some major high-fives with the Lord. I am THRILLED he cares not only about his integrity but our connection that much. Sometimes moms blow it too! And that’s okay because our children are learning, even through our mistakes, how to use their voice and process their heart.


I have a family of five people. That means we have five different journeys, opinions, and experiences. My goal is not to have my children look, act, and talk just like me but to figure out how to do life together in unity because I trust God put us all together for a unifying purpose. I need them as much as they need me. Marrying our differences to make us better people. I do not tolerate things like slamming doors, screaming “I hate you,” or a child feeling isolated in my home. I have core values for unity, connection, and peace. Not superficial peace that suppresses one’s heart but actually processing things so that peace is the organic fruit. I believe my heart for my family comes from the Father’s heart for His family.


For years I have engaged in a battle with my son about waking up. Consistently he is late for family devotions and brings chaos to the breakfast table as he scrambles around late and flustered. We have purchased more alarm clocks that I can count, tag team going in his room to turn on the light and snap at him to wake but to no avail. It happened again and I issued strong consequences letting him know that taking responsibility for getting himself up on his own at his age is a MUST! But then I walked out the door for meetings and something gnawed at my heart all day. Finally, I asked Jesus to show me what He saw with my son, and I gasped. All these years I have treated Hudson as if it were a character/lazy issue. Jesus showed me it was not ill character at all but that his body literally needed more help moving from deep sleep to awake. My eyes open between 3-4AM and I jump out of bed ready for the day. God showed me that my son is physically wired differently. My mama’s heart was crushed that I had accused him for years of being lazy when it was in fact that he physically could not help it. It made my heart so sad that he was so misunderstood for so long and how lonely that can feel. I had a big mess to clean up.

I stopped to get his favorite wings and texted him asking for a mom/son date. As I sat down, he said, “What the occasion?” And I began to tell him how I missed it, was wrong and how sorry I was for not understanding him better. I asked him, “Does love to you look like spending more time helping you wake up?” He welled up with tears (from years of being misunderstood) and got a massive smile on his face and said, “Yep!”

Parents, we were never supposed to know it all and have it all figured out. We love our children fiercely but are NOT the ones who created them. Parenting was always supposed to be a partnership with Him, not for Him. 

I am so excited to wake him up!!!!!


When my four children were toddlers, I scored big with a large trash bag full of Beanie Babies. While they brought so much joy and fun, it often ended with tears. I began watching them interact. The girls would line up their favorites, giving them great affection. Hudson would have his in a big pile and would grab one making it pounce on each and every one the girls had so perfectly lined up. They would cry. Beanie Babies were put on the shelf for a while because this same scene always played out. I began to realize that neither party did something ‘wrong’, but that boys and girls play differently. It was not about finding out who was the offending party but teaching them how to interact with their differences. By God’s design, girls and boys are different, play differently, and respond differently. I have told the kids countless times that, yep, it might not be easy to figure out how to interact with a brother/sister but that it was their training ground for future relationships, their spouses, future children, etc. Someone doesn’t have to be ‘wrong’ in order for God to teach us through their differences.


Our goal as church leaders and parents should not be peace. Instead, our goal as believers has to be FREEDOM from what causes the patterns of chaos in the first place. It is the freedom that naturally produces peace. But to go after peace without freedom is nothing short of behavior modification, legalism, and denying the power of the Cross.