On the second day of our online Kingdom parenting class, we talk about CONNECTION. I asked if their parents saw the value in them. There are always two camps. Those who were raised in dysfunctional homes and those whose parents tucked them in at night, took them to Disney, showered them with love and attention, provided for them, and enjoyed them. But there was always a BUT… Since I was in the first camp, this bothered me. Whenever day two would come around, I KNEW what the answers would be, and I would brace myself. Seriously, how can you have a “BUT…” when your parents were there for you, loved you, and were involved in your world? That is until Jesus spoke. He told me that I was becoming judgmental of those who claimed to have a great childhood and still confessed something was missing. Because it was HIM who put that void there. NO child is wired to be 100% filled by their mom and dad. There are some places in our hearts that are reserved for Him. This is great news. If Jesus is ultimately who our children need to be connected with in order to be whole, then maybe 18 years of parenting is less about us and should be more about Him! Even if you were perfect, it would not be enough, so let’s stop trying (and feeling guilty about it when we are not) and usher our children to the only perfect Parent.
I get messages daily from parents sharing challenging and painful experiences with their children. They are overwhelmed and need help. My heart goes out to them and only fuels my passion for empowering parents. But here’s the truth – something isn’t a quick ‘try this, and it will work.’ There is a family dynamic and lifestyle that needs to come into alignment. The old ones aren’t working. That doesn’t mean God doesn’t have a solution. It means you haven’t discovered it yet. That is exactly how I help parents through the online Kingdom parenting class. It isn’t intellectual teaching, but rather together, we walk through the process of going deeper in your parenting journey to impact the generations.
FIRST – When an issue comes up, you must ask yourself, “Have I taught, trained, and equipped them in this area?” That means, have you proactively taught them how to handle disappointments, the difference between right and wrong, how to handle when someone else wants your toy, or how to respond when someone is being unloving before the conflict? These things require intentional parenting in times of peace. This is where you get to cuddle, connect, go on dates, have family meetings, etc. You get to fill up their love tanks by connecting through intentional teaching with Mom and Dad. Much of the early toddler years are spent doing this very thing – some days without ceasing! It is the heart that says, “Hey, son/daughter, I have something to show (or teach) you.”
SECOND – Look for opportunities in real life to apply the thing you are trying to teach. This is where the training part comes in. You practice, practice, practice with real-life situations. Will a 2-year-old master self-control in the first week? Nope! You will be an intentional parent for 18 years and will need to teach and train them in the area of self-control in every stage of their life. Perhaps with a 2-year-old, your training subject will not be getting the toy they desire. When they are 10, it will be about completing their homework each night, and perhaps when they are 18, it will be having self-control with the opposite sex. These character traits should be something we build upon as they get older.
THIRD – You now have a foundation upon which you can build. Say you have already laid the first and second part of the foundation in the area of self-control. Now, when you take them to a meeting where they need to sit quietly, you can pull out that teaching and training to prepare them for what you expect from them. You can begin role-playing in certain situations. I would often park the van at the grocery store parking lot to do a quick family huddle about what was expected and how we could proactively use the skills I had just taught them. Here’s what it would sound like: “Hey guys, who wants dinner tonight? Okay, we are going to go into the grocery store for food, not toys. Hudson, will you get the door for us? Lauren, do you want to push the cart? Emma, will you be my big helper and put the food in the cart for me?” I am now leaning into the skills that I have taught them and cashing in on them. I am building us all up for a successful shopping trip. We are all doing our part while we are connected and creating fun family memories versus an unfruitful and frustrating experience for all.
LAST – When a foundation has been established, THEN you can add discipline, such as time-outs, consequences, removing privileges, etc. Can you see how confusing it would be to a child when parents keep disciplining them for the ‘NO’ behaviors but never spend time teaching them what IS acceptable? You could say it looks like this:
- An issue arises that you want to see a change in (every family will be different on this).
- Proactively teach during times of peace, using it as a connecting time to get to their heart.
- Now coach them by role-playing that issue in real-life situations.
- Look for opportunities where they can proactively apply that skill.
- Discipline is now appropriate if the child chooses not to use the training you have established for them.
Here’s another real-life example: Let’s say you are shopping, and your kids are touching everything, running crazy, and having a meltdown for a new toy. You have a few options. You can: #1. Conclude your children aren’t old enough for an outing to the store, and thus put the burden on yourself to either pay for a sitter or go late after they are in bed. #2. Get mad, yell, scream, and then feel awful! OR #3. Teach and train your children what it looks like to have self-control at the store. I heard a story of a mom who was so fed up with her grocery trips that she sat her kids down and explained to them what was required. Then every single day for an entire week, they would go to the store, not to buy anything, just to walk up and down the aisles so the kids could practice! That mom is now reaping the tasty fruit of grocery shopping in peace. Oh, did you hear that? What was the Kingdom of God again? Righteousness, peace, and joy! What is a specific area you need to intentionally go after in teaching and training your child?
God speaks, heals, and saves out of COMPASSION! Children need to be intentionally taught the character trait of compassion. When they see something ‘bad’ or ‘ugly,’ purposely talk to them about how you can seek to see underneath it and what God wants you to do to call out the GOOD and value in them. Compassion is the heart of the Father.
To that girl you called a slut in class today. She’s a virgin. The pregnant girl walking down the street. She got raped. The boy you called lame. He has to work every night to support his family. That girl you pushed down the other day. She’s already being abused at home. That girl you called fat. She’s starving herself. That old man you made fun of cause of the ugly scars. He fought for our country. The boy you made fun of for crying. His mother is dying. You think you know them. Guess what? You don’t! Your actions affect those around you.
Hudson likes to wear his sports pants every single day! He walked out of his room with them on AGAIN, and I told him he needed to dress nicer. As he walked away deflated, I heard God say, “Let it go!” I called him back and shared how his Father defended him and apologized. We hugged, and all was fine. He came to breakfast with a whole new outfit on. A tear rolled down my face as I realized that he was motivated by the Father’s love (not my expectations).
This is a powerful testimony from a mom who took our online Kingdom parenting class: “Thank you, Lisa, so much for this. This course feels like it really has changed my life. I was thinking this morning I am so grateful that I did it now and can’t even imagine not knowing these truths like two weeks ago!!”
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!
Moms and Dads, we have some important work to do today. I was on a prayer call with some mama bears and God had me go after this hard with them. A few messaged me immediately afterwards saying this was for their child.
There is a spirit of hopelessness, death, and suicide being released in waves to the Body of Christ in this hour. Many adults have heard the whisper themselves, catching them off guard.
It is one thing to have a mature adult brain and hear that spirit whisper lies of hopelessness, and it is another to be a child with a brain that isn’t fully developed to try and process what they are hearing. Children naturally assume anything they hear inside their head is them when in reality, part of it can be a spirit.
Yes, some children are so overwhelmed by life, lack of coping skills, and the trauma they have endured that they are partnering with death as a way to escape. They need legitimate help and care as they process their pain.
That is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about a demonic spirit of death that has whispered an invitation to end life. I am talking about helping children discern that this spirit is not them. I am talking about the enemy’s lies in this hour to get people to partner with him in his agenda to take us off course.
I want to give you the steps to help them. They need to know you are there to help them fight this lying spirit off of them.
First, confess to Jesus if you have heard, entertained, or come under the power of this lie-based invitation to end it. “Jesus, I confess that I have…”
Second, break agreement with it. “I break agreement with the lie of suicide. I break its hold on me and influence over me in Jesus’ name.”
Third, invite Holy Spirit to come and fill your mind, body, and spirit with His peace. Ask Him to wash your mind, eyes, ears, and words with His truth. Let Him saturate you with His perfect love.
I encourage you to partner with Holy Spirit on how to move forward with your child. I suggest doing this 1:1 or as a family meeting.
You don’t have to start out using the words suicide, death, or killing yourself. You can approach it more gently.
Be led by the Holy Spirit in the conversation. He will guide you as you yield to Him.
I suggest filling their love tanks first and affirming your love and care for them. I would use language such as, “Sweetie, some people are sharing that they just feel like life isn’t worth it anymore, or they don’t want to be around anymore. Have you ever thought that or felt that? It is okay if you have and you haven’t done anything wrong, but I want to help you with that if you have.”
Just speaking about it loosens the enemy’s grip. You can invite them to write you a letter if they need to share anything with you but don’t feel comfortable telling you directly.
If a child admits they have heard the thoughts to harm themselves, I encourage you to #1. Keep your peace. #2. Don’t assume they are moving into acting on it. There is a difference between being suicidal and hearing the lies about it. #3. They are overcoming and defeating it by confessing it. Praise them for being honest and bringing it into the light. Ask them, “I am sure hearing that thought to harm yourself was scary. Is that something you desire to do, or was it an unwanted thought?”
If they admit they desire to act on it, it is time to get them additional direct help. If they express it was an unwanted thought, the following will be helpful.
Explain to them the difference between throwing up and being sneezed on. Throwing up is something sick inside of you that needs to get out. But being sneezed on is being slimed by someone else who is sick. Hearing a random unwanted thought is being sneezed upon. It is important to realize it is coming ON you and not from WITHIN you.
You can confidently speak when you tell them it wasn’t from Jesus, and therefore they can reject it. Read together 2 Corinthians 10:5-7 – “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Tell them they can cast down that thought.
You cast it down by confessing it, declaring it is a lie and that you do not accept it, telling it to go, and asking Jesus to fight for you.
Moms and Dads, I would pray over your children, ask for a hedge of protection, and invite the angels to shield them from this demonic spirit. This is part of your spiritual covering over them.
Give your child permission to come and tattle-tell on the enemy when they hear these thoughts and that you will always help them win the battle.
This one stirs my heart, and I want you to know that there is hope and VICTORY in the name of Jesus.
I was teaching parents about identity and how to call it out in children. This is a testimony from a father in the class. Why not give it a try yourself and allow your children to be a source of rich encouragement to those around them?
“Today, I used these ideas to have my girls express love to their cousin by writing encouragement cards with statements or Scriptures and leaving them hidden in various parts of her room. I asked the girls to listen to hear from God what He wanted their cousin to know or be encouraged.”
I bought the little Etch-a-Sketch, kept it in my junk drawer, and used it as my object lesson for forgiveness when my children goofed up. I remember one time in particular when I was traveling, my son forged his field trip permission slip with my signature since he’d forgotten to ask me to sign it before I left. The teacher caught him. He confessed what he did, and I asked him to get the Etch-a-Sketch. I explained what forgery was, and we talked about why it was a wrong choice. Then, I turned it over, shook it, and said, “I forgive you for forging the field trip form.” We hugged, and I asked him how he would handle it next time. It was a great teachable moment!
“This course is a gift because it’s facilitating deeper intimacy with the Godhead. I do not seek to provide parents with information but rather TRANSFORMATION.”