I am convinced if the enemy can’t get you to turn from God, he uses busyness to get you distracted from God. Busyness is one of the top things that work against families. Too busy to connect. Too busy to hear/see your child’s heart. Too busy to play in the Kingdom. Too busy to rest. Too busy to get in their world. Too busy to empower/teach them. Too busy to work through heart splinters. Too busy to go to church. Too busy to worship as a family. Too busy to read the Word. Yep, you are TOO busy. Busyness is not the same as bearing fruit, and you have permission to say NO to the enemy’s trap of umpteen demands on your time and energy. I have a rule in my house – if I can’t do it in peace, then I won’t do it. I have said no to many good things but will not let even good things rob me of my peace or connection with my children.
I was completely engaged in worship one Sunday morning when I heard the Lord say, “I like hip hop.” It was so out of the blue. I heard it again and was like, “Okay. That’s great.” When I heard it a third time, the revelation came. I was raised in a good ole Lutheran church, and in my home, you wouldn’t be caught dead going to church in anything other than your Sunday best which included black patent leather shoes. I had come a long way, but I still had a deeply ingrained belief about what clothing did and did not look appropriate for church. My daughter had slipped her bright pink sneakers on without me noticing until we got to church, and I had scolded her, saying they weren’t appropriate church shoes. I had to humbly repent of partnering with the religious spirit because apparently Jesus likes hip hop and thinks bright pink shoes are just fine in His house!
Our goal as church leaders and parents should not be peace. Instead, our goal as believers has to be FREEDOM from what causes the patterns of chaos in the first place. It is the freedom that naturally produces peace. But to go after peace without freedom is nothing short of behavior modification, legalism, and denying the power of the Cross.
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.
Do you have a child you have a harder time connecting with? This can be a crippling thing for parents to admit, but it affects more people than you realize. Listen to this podcast to hear what is going on underneath those uncomfortable emotions.
A mom currently taking our Kingdom parenting online class shares this powerful revelation: “I believe I had a revelation the other day. You touched on it in today’s lesson when you said, ‘If you find that you are having a hard time getting your child interested in releasing the Kingdom, don’t turn it into a legalistic battle of wills. Instead, focus on your relationship with them.’ I need to work on our relationship. I’ve been focused on being their teacher, disciplinarian, trainer, and encourager, but not the mom who loves and plays well.”
A mom messaged me, saying that her daughter believed lies and had shut down. She wanted my help with how to handle it. This is an excellent example of being led by the all-knowing Holy Spirit and not just checking off a religious formula to fix your child. I first asked her WHAT the lie was. She replied that the daughter believed her parents were abusive and did not love her. While that was obviously a lie, it was the daughter’s truth. I asked the mom to ask Jesus what He thought of the daughter’s words. The mom humbly returned to me, reporting that Jesus showed her that she was using a tone and responding in a way that was hurting her daughter. Can you see how a religious mindset would have disciplined the child for being so ‘un-Christ-like’ when the reality was that the mom needed to hear something? The daughter doesn’t have the language yet to explain her heart, but the words ‘don’t love’ and ‘abusive’ were the best things she had to describe her heart. The mom repented to God, and then her daughter and their heart connection grew. Can you guess what the daughter’s love language is? Children who hear love through words are very sensitive to yelling, harshly spoken words, and overreacting parents.
It is impossible for a child to feel like they have significance when they are raised in a legalistic household because they never measure up.
My friend shared: “Our oldest was having a hard time tonight. Overtired, over being quarantined, whatever the reason, he was really struggling. My husband swooped in and gave him a hug that lasted probably 5 minutes. And all was well in the world again. As parents, knowing when a timeout or other discipline is needed is a skill. Or when it’s time for a long, wordless, healing hug, I’m thankful to witness my husband parent our kids this way – and I’m grateful that the Father of heaven also parents us with such kindness.”
We can’t cover our children enough. They are faced with so much, and often we aren’t even aware of what they are genuinely facing as parents. Prayer not only works but is also a lifeline. I encourage you to think of one other family you have a connection with and intentionally ask them if you could adopt each other’s kids by praying for them daily. Put a picture of them on your fridge, set a reminder in your phone, or place a sticky note on your mirror, but pray daily for your friend’s children. I see the rich value in doing this because it allows others to cover our children, and they can pray from a place without knowing all of the details of the child’s world, and it takes the pressure off of the parents that they are the only ones covering their children. Nothing like having some backup in the spirit and sending them a quick text that says, “Pray for a situation at school,” or “Having a hard night, please pray.” This gives new meaning to the role of GOD PARENT. I am doing this with my friends, and it is powerful. Prayer is your great weapon – steward it wisely!