BE THAT KIND OF PARENT TO YOUR CHILDREN!

BE THAT KIND OF PARENT TO YOUR CHILDREN!

How would your childhood have been different if you would have had a parent who consistently called out the good in you? BE THAT KIND OF PARENT TO YOUR CHILDREN TODAY!

ORPHAN VS. KINGDOM PARENTING

God created us to be fully alive, deeply accepted, and belong completely. The aftermath of the fall is that man became a spiritual orphan separated from God and wandered around life, feeling profound feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. The Good News is that Jesus came to restore us back to that place of deep security with the Father. We can accept Christ yet still be wandering like an orphan striving, begging, and doing life on our own. Imagine a child digging through the dump fending for themselves and meeting their needs for food and clothing all on their own day in and day out with no rest in sight. Now picture a palace where the table is always set, and there is a room with your name on it. When we become Christians, we get the honor of living in the palace, yet some enjoy the view and go back to the dump laboring daily to meet their needs. It is impossible to raise a child as a Son/Daughter in God’s Kingdom when you occupy the dump yourself. If you want to raise them in the palace, you have to enter yourself.

Orphan Parenting is when we parent our children from the place of isolation, abandonment, self-protection, striving, loneliness, self-sufficiency, and lack. We are modeling to our children how to live like an orphan, not from Kingdom reality. 

Kingdom Parenting stems from a confidence that you are more than enough and God is doing a good work in YOU; therefore, there is no need to compare yourself to others. You are fully aware of the journey and process the Father has you on because you are intimately walking it out with Him, and you trust Him that He knows best. 

The following list is NOT a pass/fail. It is the JOURNEY of becoming more and more like Him. Everyone starts out as an orphan, and we will spend the rest of our days on earth discovering, realizing, and embracing the love of our Father. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel insecure about themselves, their performance, and their worth. They are competitive with others internally and are jealous of others’ success because it reminds them of their lack. 

Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters know they are loved and, out of that place, feel deeply secure to take risks, adventure out, and explore new things. When they see someone else gain what they desire, it gives them hope for what is available. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans cannot rest because they have to constantly be doing ‘good’ in order to feel worthy of His love. They are agitated when children are joyful and carefree because they do not feel they have the right to relax. 

Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are able to experience the Father’s pleasure over them even when they are resting and are able to be at peace knowing He is well pleased with who they are, not just what they do. They welcome the joy children release. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel a gaping hole in their heart that is painful. They strive to fill it with outside sources (shopping, alcohol, porn, social media, etc.), but it only leaves the hole bigger. They often get annoyed with the confidence of a child who operates without the gaping hole. 

Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are strengthened by intimacy as they have allowed Jesus access to the aches and pains in their hearts, which position them on solid and secure ground.

Orphan Parenting – Orphans have a deep drive for success, but with the goal of feeling worthy or good enough. It puts them in the driver’s seat of their lives at all costs. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident in the plans God has for them and are led by the Holy Spirit to lead them on a life adventure that is full of favor, open doors, and eternal fruit. Their definition of success is measured by obedience, not popularity, ‘likes,’ or bank accounts. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans use people for their gain and advancement. They see people as stepping stones to their own agenda. They see people as an opportunity to network. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters serve those around them to build them up, following Christ’s example to serve and have a high value on connection. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans are annoyed by children and see them as a hindrance to their agenda who drain them of their time, energy, and resources. They respond with dominance, fear, and shame to control the child’s behavior to meet their agenda. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters understand the foolishness and immaturity of a child and respond with love and healthy authority. 

Orphan Parenting – Orphans are often angry and full of rage out of ongoing fear that they cannot control the world around them. They have high levels of anxiety and worry. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident that their Father is in control of all things and has the ability to work all things out for their good. Because their circumstance does not define them, they are able to respond in peace and not react. 

Orphan Parenting – An orphan only feels as good about themselves as their outward appearance, clothing, number of ‘likes,’ material possessions, etc., allow. Orphans are always the first to get the latest trend and are constantly looking for praise and applause from others. 

Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are deeply affirmed by the Creator of the universe that He has created them to be unique and have immeasurable value to Him. They are secure and confident because of their relationship and intimacy with Him. 

The ONLY way to cease acting like an orphan is to embrace the love of the Father and accept the invitation to act like a Son and Daughter. It’s already been paid for. All you have to do is receive.

PROCESSING YOUR HEART IN A HEALTHY WAY

Our children have been walking through so much, and I want to share this in confidence that it will help someone else reach their own child. 

While sitting at dinner, I noticed a mark on my child’s hand. It was unusual, and I asked about it. They immediately started telling me how no one had done it to them. I have a strong core value about siblings not using their strength to communicate, and they were trying to protect their siblings from getting in trouble, but something felt off. We were laughing on my bed the following day, and I noticed it again. I asked, and their response was almost pleading with me that it was nothing. I let it go, but about ten minutes later, I sensed God highlighting it again. I asked them to show me how it happened as their story didn’t line up. They acted out how the mark happened, and it was almost comical how impossible it would have been to create a mark like that. I knew something deeper was going on. I could discern two things: #1. They were covering up something, and #2. They were worried they would be in trouble. I told them I was not mad and that it wasn’t about getting in trouble but being free from whatever it was. I asked them to get their journal and process the story with Jesus (because they know they can tell Him anything and that He is their safe advocate). I was in my room praying that Holy Spirit would lead them and convict their heart (because we partner together to raise my children). They returned, holding back tears, and told me they made the mark themselves. Since cutting is a serious issue, I was most alarmed. They began to tell me that the other day they felt alone and wanted someone to SEE them (yes, kids can feel unseen when you are together 24/7 in a household of 7). This is a child in pain and not having the maturity yet to fully walk it out. 

Children often make messes in their pain. When we only focus on the ‘mark’ or mess, we will miss the pain that is underneath. If we are not alert, we will push the pain further, causing them to want to self-protect, which only traps the pain. I knew they had just experienced adult-sized rejection and radical injustice and asked how they felt about it, and they burst into tears sobbing. The injustice done to them would cripple most adults, and their pain was valid. My heart bled for them, but it allowed me to help them process the pain and bring it to Jesus. They needed to know that Jesus saw their heart (not just their immature way of communicating). Here is the sad part of the story. They got what they wanted – for someone to see them, but with it came shame and embarrassment for what they did. It gave me a priceless opportunity to sit all of the kids down and talk about healthy ways to process our hearts without the price tag of shame. Things like porn, alcohol, shopping, swearing, lying, self-harming, etc., are just flags being waved, saying, “I am in pain and need help.” Our children are also learning how to deal with their pain as sons and daughters.

ME TIME

Children, like you, need downtime to recharge and regroup. Schedule daily time for each person to have time alone by themselves. Establish the rules ahead of time for what is and isn’t acceptable and the consequences for not honoring the time (perhaps double time the following day). I strongly encourage you to explain this during a family meeting, so everyone knows what to expect. Start with just 15 minutes and keep adding minutes each day until you have reached an hour. I suggest starting out with everyone on their beds. It helps establish a clear boundary. Once they have honored the time and can manage themselves, perhaps, you will allow them to play in their room. Make sure they all go to the bathroom ahead of time and have a water bottle, so there is no need to come out. They can use this time to take a nap, read a book, or play with Barbies or Legos quietly on their beds. Have them gather a bin or basket of items they can choose from. The key is not to make this feel like they are in a time-out or being disciplined. It is a time of relaxation and refreshment for everyone.

Trust me, some kids will be so grateful to have siblings to play with when the hour is over!

**If your child simply cannot comply with this activity, and there are no other obvious reasons, it could be that they sincerely need help growing in self-control. This is something that is taught and a life skill that transfers to all other areas. The worst thing you can do is give up and conclude, “My child just can’t spend 15 minutes alone in their room.” It is okay if you need to go after this and really work with them.

I DO!

Do you pray for your child’s future spouse? If there was ever a time to pray for the next generation, it is today. I have four children and am praying for four future spouses. They need our covering and prayers TODAY! I often pray that no man, woman, or child would harm them spiritually, emotionally, sexually, or physically. That they would know God as their Father and be protected from heart splinters. I pray for the love of God to flood them, for favor to open doors and for them to feel seen and valued in a healthy community. Will you vow to say I DO to cover your future son and daughters? 

DO NOT PRAY AGAINST GOD

When my sweet Emma was little, she had the hardest time grasping the concept that she could not help herself to whatever she wanted in the stores. She would come home with her pockets filled with unpaid goodies. I kept trying to teach her, but it wasn’t sinking in. When I found a pair of dangling earrings, I knew I had to take things to the next level. I took her to the store and asked for the manager. I had Emma explain that she took the items and came to return them. To my utter surprise, the manager told me to relax and then looked at Emma and said, “That is okay, sweetie!” I was dumbfounded and asked the manager if she would be okay with that response if she were 15 or 55, still stealing from her store. I was sad the manager was working against what I was trying to set up and instill in my daughter. I share that story to say we must know the bigger picture of what is happening. I was a mom trying to teach my daughter the value of not stealing, but the manager spoke against it and encouraged Emma that it was no big deal. There is SO much going on in the world right now, and we must must must hear from God what He is doing and align our prayers, comments, and voice with His. We do not want to be like the manager and speak out against what He is doing. We want to partner with Him. 

May I encourage you to gather the children and spend some intentional time as a family asking: “Father, what are You doing right now?” “Holy Spirit, how do You want me to pray today?” “Jesus, will You show me what You see?” He is a good Father and knows what He is doing. Let’s partner WITH Him and align our voices with what He is doing. 

THE ROD

Proverbs 29:15 – “A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.”

Do not see the word ‘rod’ as spanking or beating a child. The rod was used by a shepherd to pull in, correct, and guide their sheep. It was also used to ward off predators. The rod in this concept is loving, kind, and shepherding. Orphans receive this verse as punishment. Sons and daughters receive this word through the heart of the Father, full of love and instruction.

GOOD LUCK

God did not knit your child together, hand them to you, and say, “Good luck.” His intention all along was to partner with you in parenting. He has given you tools, keys, and strategies to be a successful parent, cultivate a peaceful home, and raise children who are a joy. 

Join our online JOURNEY class to give you the tools you need to be the parent you always dreamed you would be. You can learn more and register here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly

FULLY AND COMPLETELY

Empowering children to obey fully and completely the first time (Deuteronomy 28:1). Expose your child to horses, whether that be taking a field trip to a horse farm, simply pulling off the side of the road near one, getting a video from the library, or finding them on the Internet. They are so beautiful and powerful. Talk about how a horse is powerful on their own, but when the bridle is in its mouth, they are trained to obey the rider right away. All the rider needs to do is gently move the reigns to the left or right, and the horse automatically goes in that direction. They are not stubborn or demanding of their own way; they simply follow the rider’s commands. Explain to your child that God wants us to respond this way to His instructions. He doesn’t just want us to obey in the end but wants us to do so fully and completely right away.

In the days ahead, when you need your child to follow your instructions, remind them of the character of a horse. Often when my children were younger and not following the instructions I had given them, I would simply say, “Mama needs you to be a horse right now,” and they all knew that meant they were behaving in a way that was the opposite of what I had instructed. It was an excellent tool for when we were in public as it spared them the embarrassment of being called out in front of others.