Parents, do what it takes so your children don’t reap the fruit of your wounds and hurts.
DO WHAT IT TAKES
Testimony from a mom taking our online parenting class: “I often feel that I struggle so much with my son’s behavior, and I’m starting to truly believe that it’s mainly because his love tank isn’t getting filled. I’ve been wondering this for a little while, to be honest, and I always kind of thought it to be random thoughts, but after reading this lesson, I think it was more of the Lord speaking to me. I care for him, give him gifts, speak loving things over him and give him lots of hugs and touches… I know that I struggle to spend quality time with him; he’s young and just wants to play with me. I love the idea of having a morning date with him after breakfast. Really encouraging stuff.”
We are in a never-seen-before season on earth. I passionately believe God is reviving families back into alignment with His original design and purpose for advancing His Kingdom on earth.
I walked through some deep betrayal years ago and wrestled it deeply with God. I had this mental picture of Jesus holding both of us on His lap, and it made me mad. This person brought me so much turmoil and pain, and I didn’t like the fact Jesus loved them so much (this isn’t my true heart, but it was a moment in my processing the pain). I finally called my mentor because it was making my heart feel unsafe with God. How in the world could He love someone who has brought so much pain? Her response was brilliant and literally shifted something so deep within me. She said, “Lisa, you do not fully understand the picture. God loves this person just as much as He does you because He created them, but God is only on the side of righteousness, and this person isn’t choosing righteousness.” It wasn’t a matter of whose side God was on as much as it was who was on His side. It was like my hands opened, and I dropped whatever offense, pain, or fight I was holding onto and clung to righteousness. It altered decisions and outcomes dramatically.
I love this testimony from my friend: “Last week one of my kiddos came home from an after-school class very distraught. He had experienced some relational pain with his peers and did not ever want to go back to this class. While I know I didn’t handle the situation perfectly; I tried to ask questions, listen and empathize. Then I shared some stories where I had had similar experiences as a kid, and I chose to quit almost every time. I told him I always wished I had the emotional capacity and support I needed to stick those hard situations out and see them through. He seemed responsive and willing to keep trying. But when that class came again this week, the panic alarm sounded, and he told me he would not go. I ended up getting him to class, honestly not knowing if I was making the right call. I got into my car to drive away with a plan to reach out to his class teachers, and then I also fervently prayed for him with two of my other kids. We asked God to intervene and show up in class today miraculously. When I went to pick him up, I saw that the teachers had called him after class, so I walked up to see what was going on. They had been seeing that he was struggling and were able to recognize and validate the issue he was having with one of his peers. Then they shared how much they valued him and how sad they would be if he left the class. They gave him a place of belonging and showed him how wanted he was. I almost burst into tears on the spot. God had heard my prayers and cared for my boy as only He could. My son left encouraged, seen, and more committed than ever to his class. Thank you, Jesus, that you hear when we cry out to you. You are our provider! And thank you for providing a beautiful school with a loving staff. My heart is full and oh so grateful.”
How many of you were parented in a way you do not wish to repeat with your children? If that is you, please hear this!!! When you vow not to parent like your parents, you fix your eyes on them and what they did/didn’t do. We yoke ourselves to whatever our eyes are set upon. Guess what? You will not be able to enter the fullness of what God has for you as a parent because your eyes are on man, not Him. Dad was intimidating – “I will never make my child feel intimidated”, Mom was emotional – “I will never show my child out-of-control emotions”, Dad was absent – “I will never leave my child alone”, Mom was angry – “I will never get angry with my child”, Dad was dominating -“I will never control my child”. While all of these may be true to some extent #1. You are seeing your parents through the eyes of a child. #2. You are replacing their less-than-ideal parenting with another faulty parenting plan. #3. You will rob yourself of parenting skills and tools and may look and feel like your parents, but it isn’t. The heart and motive behind parenting tools make all the difference in the world. You are using your parents’ choices to guide you, which will not lead you where you need to go. We can only parent fully when our eyes and heart are on HIM. We need to break the vow, “I will not parent like my mom/dad did,” and need to release to them their choices so that we are free to make our own.
I encourage you to spend some time today and walk through the following. Forgive your parents for the ways they parented you outside of the way God parents us. Repent of making a vow not to be like them. “Jesus, I confess I have yoked myself to my parent’s choices. I repent of putting my eyes on anyone other than You. Will You please forgive me?” Don’t just ask for forgiveness, but truly receive His reply. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what was going on inside my mom/dad to partner with that parenting style?” Allow Him to reveal to you what He sees in their heart and what is going on for them. The true fruit of forgiveness is the ability to have compassion for one’s ill choices, not because you like or accept them, but because you have a greater understanding. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what lies I have believed regarding my parenting?” Ask, “Father, will You please show me a picture of how I can model my parenting after You and Your heart?” Invite Holy Spirit to be your teacher. “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to show me how to parent after the Father’s heart. Please teach me what it looks like to parent as a Son/Daughter.” Thank Jesus for aligning you so that your children can reap the fruit of healthy parenting that reflects His heart.
A mom in class shared: “Let me encourage all of you, even with young ones. My boys are 3, 5, and 7, and we have spent the month of July focusing on love languages as a result of Lisa’s JOURNEY parenting class. We made a calendar and rotated through the languages in order, then picked different ways to show it every time in the month. We have been talking about it and naming it when it happens naturally and working on how to show it. The peace in our home and the connection among my boys have been like never before. It is such a joy and blessing to watch them connect and work together from full live tanks and a place of life!!!”
In the natural, things have been hard, overwhelming, scary, and filled with many uncertainties. We all have had to walk that out. But deeper in the spiritual realm, there is a brewing excitement about what God is doing, how He is using this for our good, and what He is doing deep in the hearts of many. This is a season that will shape generations to come.
I am looking for parents who feel a hunger for more. Who wants to go deeper still? Who feels a stirring for more in their families? I invite you to join me for our online parenting JOURNEY class, where we will go deeper, empower you on how to model your home after His, and give you the tools needed for connection, sibling conflict, resolving hurts, and changing the world around you. You can register here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
The other night my daughter was ANGRY and lashing out at everyone for the smallest things. Clearly, this was not her, as she is normally sweet as chocolate. The following morning, I asked her to do the dishes, which should have been a four-minute gig, and 1.5 hours later, she was still there. It was time to go, and she still hadn’t finished. I came to her and put my hand on her heart and said, “Babe, I do not know what is going on, but you were not wired to hold onto sin, and something is clearly coming out crooked. When you are ready to talk, I am here.” I didn’t know there was sin, but those were the words that came out of my mouth. She asked to talk hours later and, with tears, began to tell me that she was invited by her friends to vape at school. She declined the offer, but the realization that she had to stand alone was overwhelming to her. I wanted to assure her that it wouldn’t happen again, but the truth is she will have to stand alone and make choices against the pressure of the crowd for the rest of her life. It was a beautiful and tender conversation about what it really means to be a follower of Jesus in today’s world. We talked about the ‘high’ of popularity and the joy of obedience. The next morning at Church, worship began, and I leaned over to her and said, “Sweetheart, focus on this song with your situation in mind. Is He worthy of following, even if it means not vaping with your friends?” I HATE that she was asked by her friends to vape, but I am SO glad it agitated her soul to the point of being exposed and that God used it to be yet another building block in her story with Him. He IS worthy of it all!
When we neglect to call out who our children are, the world will step up and do it for us. However, their truth is often different from ours. Calling out identity is not about what they do, such as, “You are the best soccer player,” or “You always get A’s,” but more so about who they are; “You are patient,” “You are kind,” “You are worthy,” “You are capable.” Calling this forth sets them up for taking on the world and the challenges set before them. The first increases pride as it focuses on their performance and ultimately hinders connection as they learn they are only as good as their successes. The latter increases their identity as it focuses on Christ in them and what He has done. We want our children to walk out the door overflowing with the confidence of how God made them, not feeling the pressure to earn something or strive to become what they think others want them to be.
This is going to be fun and encourage many. A friend told me that when she was younger, she damaged the family vehicle. The dad made her get a job to pay it back, which she did at Taco Bell. It was there that she met a couple who introduced her to Jesus. I love these stories of how God uses things to bring us to Him.