BAD PARENTING ADVICE

ASK ME LIKE MY SON

I want to remind you that if you are a born-again believer, you have a Shepherd over you in this hour. He knows how to keep you safe, protect you and lead you to green pastures. He knows when you are wandering off and how to go after you.

Years ago, we were in a store shopping when Hudson asked for a Lego set. Before I could reply, he began to beg me with intense emotion. Watching him plead and beg like a fish flopping around out of water was repulsive to my ears. I stopped him, put my hand on his shoulder, and asked, “Who am I?” He was reminded that he was talking to his mother, who fearlessly loves, provides, and protects him. The one who carried him for nine months and knows him better than anyone else on earth. The one with a track record of being kind, loving, and attentive to his wants and needs. Having his full attention, I said, “Ask me like my son, not a begging orphan,” and he quickly changed the way he approached me. He wanted the Lego set so badly but failed to see that he could trust me with his heart. I wanted him to see that he could trust me, even with the thing that mattered most to his heart at that moment, even if I said not now because I was for him and loved him. It was a trust issue, not a Lego issue.

Repent for partnering with any belief that tells you that God is not a good father or does not care.

YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES

I want you to consider this: if you are a born-again believer, you have access to two essential things.

First, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you. Teaching isn’t what He does; it is who He IS. His creativity is endless, and He always brings the right teaching tool at the right moment!

Second, you have a teacher’s anointing. It might not be for a classroom or with other children, but if you are a parent, you have God’s anointing, grace, and empowerment to teach your children.

Remembering and accessing these two realities will profit you greatly in your role as a parent!

“Dear Holy Spirit, thank You that as Sons and Daughters, we have You inside of us, and You are creative! Thank You that teaching isn’t what You do, but it is who You are. Thank You for placing inside of me the anointing to teach my children right-living with joy creatively. I break agreement with the spirit of fear – the fear of man and what others think of me and the fear of my children and their displeasure with me when I expect more of them. Fear is not my companion nor the tool I use in parenting. It is simply not welcome in our family. I break the agreement with perfectionism and performance-based parenting. I declare that I have the freedom to flow as the Spirit leads me with my children, and the only standard that I will hold myself to is what He has asked me to do. I break the agreement with the lie that ‘I am ruining my child if I am firm with them.’ I break the agreement with the lie that “It is my job to keep them comfortable.’ My God-given role is to teach, equip, and empower them so that they can go on to lead a successful and fruitful Kingdom-minded life. I break the agreement with excuses for my child, not walking in good character, and excuses that I have given myself for not going after this in our household. I declare that not only am I more than enough for my children, but I was hand-picked for the job to train them! God has entrusted me with much, and I will steward it well. Amen.”

FRUITS THAT FEEDS THE GENERATIONS

God is a master at growing people for the long term and is not interested in fifteen minutes of fame. He wants fruit that will last into eternity and later generations. Fruit takes time to mature. So bless whatever is going on in your life as part of your training ground. He WILL use it for good. He promises you that.

TEACH THEM TO COME TO ME

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“I felt immensely inadequate. One day I just fell to the ground in tears and cried out, ‘God, I cannot do it all; I am not capable! My children need more than me; I am not enough!’ He said back to me, ‘I am enough, teach them to come to Me!’ BOOM! Right there, I realized so much of me was still working in my own efforts, and the Holy Spirit corrected me; He is what they need, not me. They needed to learn to go to Him, hear Him, and know Him. I love this lesson and the steps to guide our children to get to the source of the issue. So many times, we circle around the issues repeatedly, never getting to the root of the problem. In our own human efforts, we try to gain ground by dealing with the superficial symptoms instead of addressing the true issues, the hurt, the lie, or the offense. When we take ourselves out of the picture and teach our children to go to Daddy, He is the one that can deal with the truth of the circumstances, and He does it SO much more efficiently than I do. I hope to embed these steps more and more as I lead the hearts of my children. I hope to grow them up in a way where they are empowered. I am, again, thankful that God has led me to this class to bring more focus and direction in leading my children by the Spirit.” 

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SUBMIT TO BEING PREPARED!

When your child starts school, do you not prepare them with the supplies and tools needed? When you leave your child with a sitter, do you not prepare them with instructions and food? When your child goes on their first overnight, do you not prepare them with verbal instructions and boundaries? When your child enters high school, do you not talk to them about the dangers ahead and ways to stay safe? When your child drives out of your driveway for the first time on their own, do you not issue warnings of safety and caution? How much more then, if you are a good parent that prepares your child for success, does our heavenly Father prepare us for what lies ahead? Settle this matter in your mind and heart once and for all. Either He knows what He is doing IN you, or He doesn’t. If you have concluded in faith that He is good and knows what is coming and how to prepare you like a good Father, then you must embrace, trust and endure WHATEVER He chooses to use to mold, shape, and align you to STRENGTHEN YOU FOR WHAT LIES AHEAD. 

Teaching your 2-year-old about self-control strengthens them for their future. Teaching your 5-year-old about self-discipline strengthens them for their future. Teaching your 10-year-old about character strengthens them for their future. No training feels pleasant at the time but costs you something. We die to ourselves when we are being trained in the natural, as well as the spiritual realm. Many of us have endured some excruciating things in this season, but if God is a good Father, then we have to trust that there is a deeper work going on in our hearts through it. I did not say God created the issue to teach you a good lesson. I said God is good and USES it to strengthen us because He knows what lies ahead and prepares us to handle greater pressure. I know it is hard. I know it isn’t easy, but trust me, if you hold on and endure what He wants to do IN you through your present circumstances, it will reap the qualities needed to endure what lies ahead. Look at your present circumstances as strength training. It will break and loosen; it always does. However, in the end, YOU will be refined and aligned, producing a strength to endure and stand for what is to come.

LET HIM LEAD!

I was able to score cheap tickets to Florida and decided I would take the kids for some R&R and splashing in the ocean before school started the following week. The following morning I woke at 3 am pondering our trip. While it ‘looked’ fun, I had no joy. I got out of bed and began to process why going to Florida was not bringing any joy whatsoever. The joy turned into NO PEACE. It wasn’t fear, but simply no peace or joy on it. The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy; I have used these as my pillars to lead me. I canceled the trip.  And then I see this… A double hurricane isn’t my idea of joy either, God. Thanks for leading me so well.

Shhhhhhh! LISTEN! HE KNOWS HOW TO LEAD HIS SHEEP.

CLEAN VESSELS

When I travel, I intentionally spend time with the Lord once I get to the hotel to be in His presence and allow Him to align my heart to whatever He wants to do. While I know my message enough to do it in my sleep, I want HIM to show up, interrupt me and feed the people through me in whatever way He chooses.

As I was sitting with Him, I sensed strongly that I was to ask my daughter (then 9), who was with me, “Jesus, is there anything we need to confess before ministering this weekend?” The question felt out of the blue, but I trusted He was doing something. As we asked, my daughter became agitated. She was wringing her hands together and didn’t want to talk. Oh my. I told her that she could have some time to process it, but that Jesus was highlighting something for a reason. An hour later, she was still upset and shut down. I felt conflicted about what to do as a ministry leader and also as her mother. I heard God say, “How would you respond if she was a team member,” and I knew immediately if a team member was struggling with unconfessed sin, I would allow them time and freedom to work through it but would not invite them to minister. Why? Because while we all fall short of the glory of God, Jesus was highlighting something specific that He wanted to deal with BEFORE we ministered. It would not be loving of me as a leader or mother to allow someone to walk on a platform if they had something the enemy could use against them.

I told her, “Baby, you can take all the time you need to gain the courage to work this issue out with Jesus, but I love you too much to have you minister with me tonight. There is no pressure to be anywhere other than where you are right now, but as your mom, I need to cover you.” It was hours later that she finally, with great effort, came to me and told me why she was struggling. Whenever she goes to bed at night, she gets these sexual thoughts in her mind. At first, she knew she should take them captive, but they kept coming at her. She stopped taking them captive and allowed her mind to ‘see’ things. She was very emotional. I asked her what she thought she had done wrong, and she replied, “Mom, I wasn’t pure.” Oh, no, no, no, baby. You were being tempted by the enemy and needed some help, but you didn’t do anything wrong. The enemy was using it against her even though he was the one doing it, not her. There is a world of difference between something coming from within and something coming on you. I helped her walk through forgiveness for the things her eyes saw, and we asked Jesus if He forgave her. We then asked what lie she was believing because of it, and she heard, “Something is wrong with me.” We asked Jesus how He felt about her.

Hours later, we were on stage together ministering, and guess what God did during ministry time? He had me go after sexual purity. Jesus was showing us there was something in her that needed to come into alignment BEFORE we could go out and fully be His instruments. Could you imagine me calling that out when it was an area she was walking in shame? The enemy would have used it against her. Jesus is so smart, and we can trust Him to lead us.

WHO SHOULD BE DISCIPLINED?

Everyone is born with a selfish, stubborn, rebellious nature. It is the fruit of the fall when sin entered the world. We are all born separate from Him and do not naturally do what pleases Him. Children should be disciplined, trained, and discipled by their parents to grow in godly character, learn to control their flesh, and be kind to others. When we become believers God disciplines us. While He reserves the more painful correction for those who are repeatedly stubborn, He corrects us because He loves us and doesn’t want to see us going down a path that would ultimately harm and hinder us. The goal of godly discipline should be to model His discipline in a way that creates a hunger for righteousness.