When my children were little, I remember reading a book by a mom saying that she wanted her kids to wake up and find her spending time with Jesus every morning. It struck me so profoundly, and I wanted my kids to witness my love for Jesus in such a real and tangible way. My heart melted when my son gave me a prophetic drawing of the Father and I sitting together. .
BE THAT MOM
Something that always brings a shift for me is when I hold my hand palms up and say, “Lord, I let go. You can have this one. I will not carry it, hold onto it or worry about it. This one is on You.” It removes the tension I feel from operating outside of my control.
Be kind to the first child God gave you – yourself. You will be accountable for how you treat, accept, reject, love, scold, champion, deny, uphold, tear down, believe in, deny or embrace that child. God is fiercely protective and crazy in love with that child; you should be too!
Take a moment and picture how incredible it would be to be in Hawaii. No, seriously. Stop right now and think about a trip to paradise. The mere thought of the ocean mist, bright sun, and warm sand – sounds like heaven. Now, picture yourself on the balcony of the high-rise hotel on the beach. Pretty cool, huh? What if you were to walk down to the sandy beach with a relaxing book and sit under the sun umbrella? How about strolling up and down the shoreline, flirting with the cool waves against your warm toes? Better yet, picture yourself knee-deep and enjoying the waves splashing against your body. Swimming out deeper and jumping in the waves is an experience like no other. If you venture out just a little further, you can snorkel and see some of the most fantastic fish swimming. Still, does the wonder of the ocean end there? No! There is even more! When you learn how to surrender to the mercy of an oxygen tank, you can stay immersed under the water for quite some time and enjoy the outstanding, breathtaking beauty that is not available for those seated in the safety of their hotel balcony. While the mere thought of being in Hawaii right now is a good one, God wants us to know that there is MORE of Himself waiting to be discovered, and these depths in God far outweigh any beauty we may find on earthly soil. The only person to ever reach the vast depth of the Father was Jesus. For the rest of us, we can stay on the beautiful yet comfortable, confined balcony or allow the Spirit to draw us deeper and deeper. No matter where you are at right now, know there is MORE! The goal isn’t to be air-dropped into the middle of the sea and claim that we have arrived. Doing so ill-equipped would be not only dangerous but also foolish. The goal is the JOURNEY! God finishes and completes our faith, and it is our job to allow Him to lead us one step at a time. Philippians 1:6 is your anchor!
Now, link this analogy to parenting: Can you picture how drastically different our parenting will be based on where we position ourselves? Those on the balcony will have a different parenting mindset than those who parent from the ocean’s depth.
Through the different seasons of your life. Are you gradually moving deeper and deeper, or are you having continued visits between the same few safe and familiar locations?
When God says be HUMBLE, He means for us to be humble, always, and that includes in our parenting. Often parents fear that if they are humble with their children, they will somehow lose their parental authority. That is not accurate. You will gain their respect because you are modeling for them the Kingdom and connecting with their hearts. It is okay to learn from your children and hear what may need to be improved upon. I often check in with my kids and ask them, “What is something Mom has done well?” “What is something you wish Mom would improve upon to make your heart feel loved and seen?” The answers always surprise me and motivate me to become more like Jesus in my parenting. The truth is, either way, you are going to hear it – either now or when they are older and dealing with the fruit. I would much rather listen to their hearts while they are still children and deal with it in childhood, where I can grow and make a positive difference in their lives. Don’t be afraid of feedback. Allow God to parent you in your parenting journey.
It never ceases to amaze me how much children actually have the Kingdom right, and we have it backward. In the natural, they are the ones that get afraid and automatically cling to their daddy for protection. Yet it is when parents are partnering with fear and refuse to go to the Father that creates the greatest hindrance in the family’s spiritual health. Fear is a LIE used by the enemy that prevents us from holding our Father’s hand and trusting Him to protect us. So instead, be childlike and jump in His lap!
There is no special spiritual gift of hearing God. It comes with the package of becoming a Son and Daughter. You may need to learn how to strengthen your spiritual muscle of hearing (like worship, reading the Word, and prayer), but your spiritual ears work just fine.
We were away from home, and the kids were all getting in a funk; lots of small conflicts, attitudes, and agitations. Having to correct them constantly gets old, so I flipped the situation by turning it into a game. I gathered them together in a circle and asked them to keep their mouths closed, but they had to have eye contact with someone else at all times. I wanted them to SEE the people around them. Then I held up a mirror and said, “This is who you have been focused on, but I want you to keep your eyes on someone else.” When we went to breakfast, they tried to outdo each other by showing kindness and love to others. They were opening doors, putting garbage away, smiling, saying “thank you,” letting others go first, etc. The Kingdom is JOY, and sometimes partnering with the Holy Spirit to devise creative ways to get to their heart impacts them more than reaping the spirit of religious rules over their head!
Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”
Teach – verb 1. show or explain to (someone) how to do something. There is a difference between dictating laws and teaching them. Instructions can turn into rules/laws, which is legalism. Teaching is the verb of Jesus! Ex. A child steals something from the store. We can instruct our children that we don’t steal, or we can teach them WHY a loving Father doesn’t desire for His children to steal from others. Ex. A child hits his sister. We can discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior, or we can teach them HOW hitting affects others. Ex. A child doesn’t listen to you. We can pull out parenting tools of control and fear, or we can teach them WHAT obedience looks like. Are you instructing or teaching your children?
Don’t just take my word for it. Listen to what this parent had to say about our online Kingdom parenting class.
“I doubted if it would be worth the money to take another parenting class. This is NOT just another parenting class! If the class only had the first two days in it, it would be worth it already! Thank you for your life of walking close to Holy Spirit and for leading us on how to walk with Him. And THANK YOU, GOD, for walking with us in the process.”
Allow me the opportunity to walk YOU through how to partner with your child’s Creator in your parenting.
I have often been encouraged to write a book about all the ways one could release the Kingdom through children. While I love the idea, I believe that it has the potential to feed many people’s religious spirit. If they just go through a book and do 1, 2,3, they might bear some fruit but will miss the connection with God that our heart desires. I believe the greater calling is simply to help parents flip some of their old mindsets that may be super religious but are not of the Father’s heart. Once their mindsets are in alignment with heaven, the flow becomes endless of how we can play in the Kingdom based on our own specific calling, destiny, and unique family design. There is *never* going to be a perfect month for you to put your family first as there will always be busyness and distractions, but I strongly believe that NOW is the time to widen your journey with Him in your parenting.