I had a dream that felt like a town rodeo/carnival event. I signed the kids and me up to serve in the kitchen. There were four leaders who were influential in the community who came out to serve (like when you see a governor working in the soup kitchen). They were dressed in unusual costumes (like the Viking guy at the capital riots). The show was about to start, and we were finding our seats in the stands. I looked around and saw many people I knew, all excited about the sense of community and big events. One of the leaders who came to serve said it was time to get into this car (there was a parade to kick off the event). I suddenly felt really uneasy and told Ellie to act like she was really sick. Ushers were trying to get us to stay and not leave. I was adamant that I had to get my sick child home. As we drove through a barricade of workers who were keeping people from leaving, I had to pass through another barricade of police officers. I knew it would be risky to do so as I would be vulnerable for arrest, but I knew I had the authority not to be there and had to get out as quickly as I could. The kids asked me why I was so upset and why we had to go. I told them that the man who came to serve said he had to get into the car marked ‘the christ’ and lead the way. Everyone was roaring over being able to see ‘the christ,’ but I knew it was the antichrist, and his charm memorized everyone. There was no way I could sit in the stands and watch him being ushered in. I had to flee with everything inside of me and keep my children from being exposed to him. I woke up and was so grieved in my spirit how many people were caught up in the moment, unable to discern for themselves. I was grieved by how his charm seduced many. I was grieved by how many felt intimidated by the ushers and barricades, feeling powerless to walk in their free will. The number one thing I pray for in this hour is an increase of discernment.
- Authority, End Times Parenting
As believers, we have a mandate (an official order or commission to do something) on our lives to carry things to the throne. Pick an area that you want to lift up today and release your prayer. While personal prayers are so dear to the Lord, I encourage you to widen your eyes, and together, let’s cover issues and topics that affect our culture and generation (ex., abortion, drugs, leaders, homelessness, salvation, etc.). Your voice matters!
We can parent our children by standing OVER them and using our authority in a way that dominates and uses fear (of your disapproval, punishment or lack) as a motivator to control. We do this through scolding, yelling, harsh punishments, disconnection, ill words, anger, and withholding. OR we can use our authority to get UNDER our children and see their weakness as an area we get to empower them and help them grow and learn. We do this through teaching in the time of peace, connection, kindness, encouraging words, tangible skills and solutions, believing in them, cheering them on and expecting more of them.
Intimidation is a spirit that gets you to shrink back and remain silent and small. The enemy can work through circumstances, people, leaders, family members, or complete strangers to attempt to intimidate you. You expose it by realizing it is not always coming from within you but ON you, and it must be dealt with using your authority.
Ask any adult who grew up in Minnesota in the ’80s who Jacob Wetterling is, and they will tell you. He was an 11-year-old boy who was abducted while riding his bike home, and his body was not found for 27 years. It left a bone-chilling fear in parents that the same thing could happen to their child. Parents kept their children safe by not letting them go out at night or roam the neighborhood like they once did. Countless parents partnered with FEAR over what happened to Jacob, and it shaped their parenting. The children watched their responses and learned how to handle uncertainty and danger. As a mother now myself, I get it, but what happened is that it taught a generation in that region about fear and feeling unsafe. Those kids, myself included, grew up with an undying fear that something terrible could happen. It was nearly 30 years later that I broke agreement with the fear and learned that I was safe at night.
How you respond to current events NOW has the potential to shape your child and how they respond to future crises. Are you teaching and modeling for them how to walk in fear and panic or confidence and faith? They are watching you and are learning how to respond in times of crisis. If you are partnering with fear and want to be free from it, let’s talk about it. We have got to realign our children so that they do not grow up being afraid and managing fear. There is a difference between truth-based concern that should move us into wisdom vs. creating a demonic stronghold.
This is so important to understand that the enemy stands on the sidelines of your journey, watching God draw you near to Him and you responding. He has NO legal right to interfere, so he stands on the side whispering that we should be afraid that God will ask too much of us, that we can’t really trust Him, etc., in hopes that someone will stop, pause and proceed with caution out of FEAR, Rebuke that fear in Jesus’ name and tell it to hush! Fear (especially fear of God in this way) does not lead you. Holy Spirit does, and He always leads you into ALL Truth. God leads you (John 16:13), and His plans for you are GOOD (Jeremiah 29:11).
We must use our authority and equip our children to walk in theirs. Do not leave them uncovered but arm them with His power.
If you take it to extremes, do we want our children playing with darkness by dressing up pretending to be devils and witches? On the flip side, do we want them to hide in the basement with the lights off on Halloween in fear of the night? Both are a little extreme. I personally chose to guard my children’s mental chalkboards when they were younger. I explained that some people think pretending to be a witch is fun, while we do not. I explained why. I also told them that GOD made the seasons and the harvest, and that is what we celebrate. We carve pumpkins, eat way too much candy corn, and love to dress up, but our heart is celebrating God’s creation, not partnering with the demonic. My kids have not chosen to go Trick-or-Treating in the past, even when given the chance. I believe they made that choice because they know by experience that God’s Kingdom is life-giving and fun, and the other kingdom doesn’t feel so good. It is so important to walk in balance with our beliefs. If we teach our children to fear the junk we see this time of year, we are falling into the trap of the enemy. The demonic likes to go on joy rides and see who they can taunt. If we teach our children to fear it, then it becomes a fun game for the darkness to watch your child jump. I take the game out of it by simply teaching them and equipping them with TRUTH. I am super sensitive to atmospheres, and there is junk hanging around that stuff in the spiritual realm – that is why it is there! BUT I have power and authority over that. When they were younger, this was the time of year when the nightmares would increase. Instead of coming to me all upset in the middle of the night, they would wake me up and say, “Mommy, will you pray for my chalkboard? I saw something at the store, and it is scaring me.” They knew the fear they were feeling was from something they were exposed to and saw with their eyes. If we were to walk by something and my child began to partner with fear or made comments about it, I would stop and address it. I would make sure they had a proper understanding of it and not allow it to create fear for them. It isn’t the decoration of bloody body parts that is bad – it’s just plastic! A big part of this is simply addressing the principle behind it as ‘not of God’ and asking, “Is that what you want to partner with?” Skeletons can be scary, but I would tell the kids, “It’s just bones, and God made bones. We all have bones, but what makes them not good in this situation is that people interact with and focus on death, and we believe God wants us to focus on that which is alive.” When you decorate your house with demonic junk or let your children dress up as devils and witches, you are inviting spirits in, and it will take whatever small window of opportunity and use it. Have you seen America’s Funniest videos where a parent dresses the child up in a witch or devil outfit and then turns the camera on where they see themselves for the first time in the mirror? They aren’t afraid, they are terrorized. Or the videos of dads dressing up like the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the young boy nearly wet his pants. There is fun joking around, and then there is fear-based junk that is not something I want to introduce my child to.
I do not want to give the enemy a foothold anywhere in my home. As for me and my home, we serve the Lord – His power, His Spirit, His love, His Kingdom! I wonder what people would think of me if I allowed my children to see all of the photos going around Facebook or the news. Don’t child psychologists warn against children being exposed to that? And yet a trip down the aisle of Michael’s is loaded with beheading, body parts, grandma holding up two decapitated heads with a smile on her face and half mangled bodies. Oh yeah, it’s ‘just’ Halloween! Don’t get me wrong, I am not a party pooper, but that is a little extreme, even for my adult eyes. I will also note that we baffle with our mouths wide open at how people can do such horrible acts and then go home and eat dinner. They are capable of doing it because it isn’t their first experience. They are desensitized to it. They have been inundated with images as part of their training so that it isn’t a shock or big deal when the real thing happens. That is the seduction and grooming process of the enemy. Be led by the Spirit and then walk in freedom!
I want to invite you into part of my personal journey in keeping my own children safe.
My daughter asked me one summer if she could get an app. After much dialogue, I agreed. The app was simply supposed to be a service for managing and tracking information. Fast forward to the present. I was away on a trip and noticed my daughter was not acting like herself. I called her numerous times and could just tell something was going on. I even FaceTimed her just to see her face. I hung up and said out loud, “She is lying. She is not okay.”
I came back from my trip and discovered a man was outside at night. Beer cans and bottles were left on different occasions in the same place; another night a pair of construction glasses were left behind. I felt a heightened sense of danger but could not for the life of me find my authority. Normally in situations like that, I rise up like Mama Bear and deal with it, but I was stumbling. It went on for a week. I discovered footprints outside my daughters’ bedroom window and one morning found evidence of someone in our backyard too. My fear was increasing. Clearly, they were not there to break-in, or they would have done it already. There was someone outside watching or worse yet, waiting. I was growing restless with concern. I met with the police and bought an expensive surveillance system. All the while my fear that there was present danger would not cease or back down.
I began to sense something so strongly in my spirit with my daughter. I would ask her questions, but her answers were not bringing me peace. She went to bed early one night, and my spirit was deeply agitated. An hour later I went into her room, turned on her light, sat down and told her I was not leaving until whatever this thing was broke. She lamented with great emotion that everything was fine and that she was not covering anything or intentionally lying.
Parents, sometimes we have to listen to our gut louder than our children. My spirit was alerting me, and it was to be heard, not ignored or dismissed. Yes, we want to respect their free will. Yes, they are becoming adults. Yes, we do not want to move into operating out of control. But if my daughter, who is still under my covering and authority, is struggling, in over her head or hurting, I cannot just turn from her because she resists me in the moment. It is my job to get involved.
Finally, I just started to pray out loud, pouring out my concern and sense that something was not right. I asked her again, and she said nothing. I continued to pray. “Jesus, what is this?” Finally, with great courage, my daughter mentioned that the app she got over the summer had private online chat groups (something that was NOT promoted ahead of time. One didn’t know about it until they were members). She began to tell me about the discussions from peers with instructions on how to pursue same-sex relationships and why kids should have sex before marriage. I asked what she thought about it and she said she knew it was not right. There was still something about this that was not matching the deep check in my spirit. I said, “Sweetie, you are right, that is not okay, but there is something else.” Her witnessing those conversations did not equal the danger I was sensing. She was adamant there was nothing.
I finally asked to see it and was MORTIFIED to discover my daughter was not talking with peers but grown men. Peers do not ask those kinds of questions and my spirit suddenly rose up like Mama Bear. The girls on this online chat were being deceived and lured. Because she violated my rules for safety AND ignored the warnings of the Holy Spirit she opened herself up to danger. And it was manifesting in the natural outside at night.
We walked through some serious repentance (she was horrified at the realization), deleted the app, rose up in our authority as a family and returned the surveillance camera.
God is serious about keeping our children safe, too. Holy Spirit put a check in my spirit that something was not okay. We have to get comfortable listening, honoring, obeying and responding to that nudge in our spirit and not talk ourselves out of it. My daughter had opened not only herself, but our family to danger and Holy Spirit was ON IT to reveal and expose it.
When I hear a child speak a lie about themselves (I am not smart enough, I am slow, I can never figure this out, etc.), I simply tell them that they are partnering with something from God’s enemy. Do they want to continue to partner with that (they do have free will), or do they want to throw that one out? Then, I told them they could kick out or throw out whatever thoughts came to their mind that wasn’t of God. Hudson, who was only four then, literally went to the front door and motioned like he was kicking something out before slamming the door. Yeah, like that! Kids need to be taught that not every thought that crosses their mind is theirs, and they can be empowered to say NO!
We moved to a brand-new location and learned of a school shooting in the first week and then another. To make matters worse, graphic photos were going around social media, that only added to the fear. I was with a bunch of moms who suggested we pray, which we did, as prayer is extremely powerful and greatly effective, but I wanted my children to be empowered as they are the ones who had to walk through the halls each day. I called a family meeting, and we talked about what they had heard and what was on their minds. I reminded them of the authority they carry, and we talked through how they had a legal right in that school being students. I told them they could walk through the school doors each morning and bind all assignments of the enemy to steal, kill and destroy and loosen to their school safety, protection, and peace. Furthermore, I reminded them should they ever be in a lockdown situation, which they do drills for often, that many students would be releasing fear, worry, and panic, but that they could step over the fear and intentionally release peace to the situation. Calling on the name of Jesus in our time of need alters the situation, and our children can be empowered to be agents of heaven. Yes, pray for your children, but make sure THEY are empowered with the authority they carry. Will you teach your children how powerful their prayers and declarations are in their own schools?
This testimony touched me deeply because a mom in class took what she had learned in our class and taught her teen daughter, who then passed it on – three generations in ONE affected by Kingdom parenting.
She writes: “I have to share. My 16-year-old was babysitting for the first time. The 16-month-old was really fussy the whole time, and she decided to pray for peace and calm over him to calm him down. Within minutes he was at rest.”
Oh, the warriors that children are when they are taught the tools of the Kingdom!!!