I love how God sets us up for success as parents. My daughter was really hurt by someone and needed some room to work through the messy emotions. After we were done processing, the verse of the day popped up on my phone and read, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21). Instantly, I heard in my spirit that I was to apply that in this situation and said, “Do not be overcome by an orphan but overcome the orphan by being a Daughter.” Spiritual orphans operate differently than Sons and Daughters, even in pain. There was a profound shift in her when she realized the other person’s choices were not a reflection of who she was. Teaching our children WHO they are is critical to helping them navigate life.
BEING A DAUGHTER
In four different parent coaching sessions, the theme was moms partnering with profound pressure to do things correctly and yet being in situations where they could not possibly achieve perfection. Jesus showed up in a similar way with each of them. When children are raised with the bar so high, they learn directly or indirectly that messes and mistakes are not acceptable. They develop a mindset that says, “God is only pleased with me when I do it right,” and while it profits them in life to be overachievers, they are missing out on HIS truth. Messes, weaknesses, and failures do not separate you from God. His truth is that when we come to Him, our weakness and lack bring intimacy and closeness. A loving parent knows that a 2-year-old will make messes, and they see it as an opportunity to offer comfort, reassurance, and help them grow in their capacity to do better next time. They do not see the child failing but rather as maturing and are honored to be a part of the process. If we only have closeness with Jesus when we are getting A’s and doing things perfectly, there will be a level of fear preventing deeper closeness because, deep down, you believe it is only because of your ‘good’ performance. There is a satisfying closeness with someone that only comes when they love you despite your failures and weakness, which is real vulnerability and closeness. If you experience this in your parenting, I encourage you to spend time with Him.
**Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me who I need to forgive for introducing me to the need to be perfect?”
**Forgive that person for directly or indirectly teaching you about perfectionism and pressure.
**Ask, “Jesus, what lies have I believed because of the pressure to be perfect?”
**Renounce/break up with the lie. “I renounce the lie that _____.”
**Ask, “Jesus, what is Your truth?” Declare His truth over yourself daily!
There isn’t a mom out there who can’t identify with my friend:
“This week, one of my kiddos is trying out for a new sport. For a few reasons, there is a good chance he won’t make the team. He knows this but is hopeful and excited to give it a go. I love this! At the same time, it stirs emotions in my own heart of fear. I think it triggers the times I faced disappointment or rejection as a kid and also stirs my mama heart that wants to protect my kids from any pain. But the truth is that facing disappointment is not the source of our greatest pain. Our greatest pain comes when we have to walk through troubles and disappointments alone. On the flip side, knowing that there is always someone by our side to walk through the ups and downs of life gives us strength and courage to face the big emotions that come with disappointment and find our way back to joy. As I was meditating on this thought, I heard a song on my computer that reiterated this point (Highs and Lows by Hillsong). It was as if God was confirming in my heart that He is with my kids through all they face in life and that He is with me. God tells us not to fear – not because trials won’t come, not because we will feel no pain in life, but because He is with us. What great comfort and encouragement this brings to my soul.”
I messed up big time, and it wasn’t the first. And it probably won’t be the last. Sigh! The older I get, the more I see people, especially leaders, hurting people not because of their wounds but because they fail to have the revelation of who they are. It isn’t their wounds that hurt others. Their lack of walking in their identity, their power, and the fullness of who God created them to be has hurt others. I call this orphan leadership. Years ago, I was starting to lead people on my team, which was a new experience for me. As much as I wish God would perfect us before letting us put our toes in the water, He often puts us in situations, knowing full well they will stretch us, allowing us to GROW in our capacity. I roared when I should have remained silent. I disconnected when I should have fought for them. I assumed when I should have listened. I jumped when I should have waited. I blew it, and I hurt them. On one hand, I was justified as a leader for dealing with the issue that needed to be addressed, but it would take me nearly two years before I could see my contribution and where I needed to become more like Jesus in my leadership. OUCH! The process was painful. I wanted to reach out to this person but had a million reasons why it was too late and would just be weird. I kept hearing God say, “There is no expiration on forgiveness.” I sent them a message of ownership for my part and asked for their forgiveness. I could barely get through their response with the tears in my eyes. They wondered if I had missed them as much as they had missed me. The presence of God is strong when there is unity amongst His children.
Friends, is there someone you have hurt and need to make it right with? You WILL be reconciled with your spiritual family one way or another, as there is no strife, pain, and disunity in heaven. But here’s the deal – you give God glory and honor by reconciling with someone ON EARTH that you can’t give to Him in heaven. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me if there is anyone I need to make something right with and ask forgiveness?”
The church is not the Father’s business! It is FAMILY! When churches are run like businesses, they are managed by managers only looking for the best to serve their cause, vision, and brand. When churches are run like a family, the messes, immaturity, and foolishness of a young child are what give healthy mothers and fathers a place to love, cover and teach them how to mature and grow their capacity. It also serves as a refining process for leaders to become more like Jesus by dealing with messy, imperfect people.
Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom. What do I mean? So many times, parents come to me out of pure frustration over a child who is rebelling, angry or defiant. But once we explore the situation deeper with Holy Spirit, we discover that the parent is partnering with fear, control, or woundedness, and the child is simply reacting to what is out of alignment and will not follow that path. That is ultimately a good thing, as God parents us through our children. Not all conflict in the home is the child’s fault. Sometimes it is God allowing us to see what is in our hearts that need to be aligned. Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom – that’s called God’s redemption!
It is hard to know who you are when you spend the majority of the time staring at a lens with your own reflection. We only truly discover who we are when we gaze into the One who created us in His image. Selfies only reflect what you want to see. God’s image reflects who we were made to become.
It is a LIE that you are ruining your children. This is like a child saying they will never graduate from high school because they messed up naming their colors. It is a process – a journey! God gave you children to align, fulfill, and heal something deep inside of you. He longs to parent us through those aches, pains, and triggers. The enemy wants you to freak out and think you are ruining your children, but the truth is, as God reveals, He heals, and that actually profits your child because you are cleaning up the messes in your family line and not passing them onto them to clean up.
Sometimes when parents set the bar high for standards and kids don’t measure up, they partner with the lie that they aren’t good enough. This is not about parents doing it wrong for setting high standards, but about the wrong message sinking into their heart. Children need to be called to a high standard AND experience grace for missing it. This is called childhood, which is the training ground to becoming whole, healthy, fruitful adults. Children are a work in progress and grace must be a part of that process. When a child fails to meet expectations, it becomes a great opportunity to discuss ways they can grow in their capacity to achieve different results next time and become better.
I bless you as you discover the vine and the branch in your parenting. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).