Ask your children this question and privately share their replies with him. “Hey, kids, what is the one thing you want most from your dad?” Then have him ask the kids about you.
Go beneath the yelling. What is happening inside of you at the time? Anger is a BIG emotion to cover up a softer emotion like being sad, scared, or lonely. If you can ask Holy Spirit to identify the softer emotion, it will help you with being able to address the true heart need. Anger is just a mask that protects your heart and afterward leaves you feeling worse. The sad part is that your real heart and need never get heard because of the mess anger creates. Your heart matters! Give it a voice (not a scream).
Ask, “Jesus, what lies am I believing about my parenting?”. I am fairly certain I know your response. No, I am not a mind reader, but I do know that the enemy throws out these seeds to all parents, hoping to get us to partner with them because it may feel or sound true. The lie you believe about your parenting most likely sounds something like the following: I am ruining my children. I am not enough. My child will grow up to hate me. I do not have what it takes.
Friends, the enemy is a liar, and you ARE enough. Not because of you, but because GOD gave you your child, and He trusts Himself to work all things out (even your shortcomings, wounds, and messes). When a parent partners with this lie, he is taking out two generations in one because a parent who believes they aren’t enough will act like they aren’t enough. If you struggle with the lie that you aren’t enough, are ruining your child, or don’t have what it takes, write the lie out and destroy it (burn it, trash it, shred it, stomp on it, flush it or rip it). THEN ask, “Jesus, what is Your truth about my parenting?” The next time the enemy throws that lie at you, counter it with what Jesus said.
We cannot resolve conflict with the spirit of religion. We resolve conflict WITH God, not FOR Him.
Declare this over your child, even when they are struggling and making messes. “I speak over YOU today there is still room for you at the table. Your messes are part of the growth process. There is still room for you. God has not weakened His gaze or affection over you. You have permission to be on your journey and learn as you grow! We live in a performance-based culture that values your A+ and rejects you for getting a C. God values your process and journey of becoming the full expression of who you were created to be. Break agreement with any voice telling you otherwise!”
One of the biggest reasons why people don’t care for the things of Holy Spirit (Charismatic movement) isn’t that they don’t want the Spirit of God, but they had mothers who didn’t manage their emotions well and were afraid Holy Spirit would make them feel out of control and unsafe as they did with their moms growing up. Moms, it is okay to be on a journey of becoming who you are as a Daughter. One of the greatest things you can say to your child when you make an emotional mess is, “I am sorry that Mom reacted/yelled/got impatient/didn’t listen to your heart. Do you know Holy Spirit would never ______?” Restore them to the TRUTH about who Holy Spirit is, despite your weakness, so they don’t transfer their earthly experiences onto the godhead. The goal is not to become perfect parents but to bridge our children to the One who always will be perfect.
Worthy is the lamb is more than a good worship song – it is the position of our hearts. The elders and angels bow down and worship WORTHY IS THE LAMB over and over and over for all eternity. The Lord owes us nothing. Not comfort, morning coffee, electricity, toys, expensive vehicles, nice homes, or a paycheck. He gives these things because He is a good Father, but He owes us NOTHING and deserves it all. In this hour, it is so important to teach our children that He is worthy – all the time – of it all!
Wor·thy – adjective – having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way. Noun – a person notable or important in a particular sphere.
Have the kids glue cotton balls around a drawn or printed lamb and talk about the countless things He is worthy of.
Often, we focus so much on the struggle instead of the victory. Take a piece of paper and draw a huge heart. Spend some time being quiet before the Lord, and then ask Him to show you what HE has written on the heart of your child (do this separately for each child). What are the passions, dreams, desires, and strengths HE has put deep inside of them? Write down whatever you hear, then deliberately partner with God to call that out in them. Be the parent who says, “Guess what God told me about you today?”
The sense of belonging is something we all crave. It was given by God to Adam and Eve but lost when they exited Eden. God gives us families who know us intimately and provide a safe place where we can grow and learn. When that safety or trust is broken – physically or emotionally – it affects our core need to belong. Sibling relationships are where children get their greatest sense of belonging, so guarding this connection is important. When there is a conflict between two siblings, the enemy whispers, “You do not belong,” and a child who believes they do not belong will act like they do not belong. Explain this and ask if they have ever felt like they didn’t belong. Share a story from when you were a child and felt that way.
In the days ahead, when you hear siblings being rough and unkind to each other lovingly, go to them and ask them, “Are you communicating to your family that they belong?” “How can you speak to them in a way that assures them they matter?” I often say to my children, “You can express yourself in a way that doesn’t make them feel like they don’t belong.”
Each morning, set up a date with your child. Five minutes feels like a long time for a child. They can pick whatever they want to do with your time, and they normally pick something they need from you – talk, spend time cuddling, or play a game. It is a great way to get those tanks filled and get you focused on hearing what they have to say! (Don’t tell them it is only five minutes, though). I like to make a big deal about it by saying something like, “Meet me in the living room at 2 pm today,” or “Let’s have a date, just you and me.” Love languages matter!
The Word says in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”
If this is what our children are up against, how can we stand against this force of reckless rebellion? By intentionally teaching and training character at an early age! What is good character? How can we teach our young children? How do we go after character without introducing legalism? How can we empower them through connection? How can we expect more out of our children?
I invite you to check out our CHARACTER COUNTS Magazine – Character Training SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly