The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy, yet one of the biggest reasons why Sunday school leaders have a hard time finding volunteers is because adults are uncomfortable with JOY. Teach parents how to be restored to joy, and they will be drawn to those who carry child-like joy!
Helping parents align their thinking about family is a big part of what we do through Let the Children Fly. Take a look at this exchange with one precious mama.
Mom wrote: “I’ve been realizing this year just how much having children pushes on and exposes my own childhood trauma. I have been facing brokenness I never knew existed until kids. It is HARD!! I so wish I could have gotten better healing before I had kids! I hate that they are the victims of my process! But I am so determined to get whole and healed and BREAK the cycles in the name of JESUS!”
Lisa’s response: Oh, sweet friend. No, no, no, they are not victims of your process. God knew before He knit them together what you did/didn’t receive. He knit them together in HIS image, but with you in mind. It is God’s love for you that your children carry something that touches that part of you that needs healing and alignment. This is called FAMILY by God’s design. If you make a mess, you need to make it right with them, but there is nothing but grace in the process. Staying that way long term and hardening yourself to growth is how we pass it on to the next generation. But seeing our messy places AND doing something about it is GLORIOUS. You are allowing Him to crash in those places. Your children lack nothing because God is working this out. They are the heroes in your story, not victims. Your breakthrough is their inheritance. He is covering you today, sweet friend.
We all need touch, but for those who have the language of touch, it is super easy to fill their tank!
Here are some creative ways to speak their language: **Put your hand on their shoulder when speaking to them. **Give them a two-minute back rub when putting them to bed. **Start their day with a long embrace. **Hug them every time you leave/return home. **Hold their hand while walking. **Hold them when they are upset. **High-five those successes. **Create a special handshake. **Cuddle with them before bedtime. **Let them snuggle with you while watching a movie. **When driving reach back and hold their hand. **Sit next to them when eating out. **Hold their head when you hug them. **Give them random kisses on the forehead. **Hold them while reading a book. **Tickle their knee. **Play with their hair.
Just because you have teens does not mean they have outgrown their language. Teens need physical touch, too.
When my kiddos were younger, I was learning about God’s grace. That sweet, love-filled gift of grace. I was so moved by His grace towards me that I decided I would give my children grace when they acted out… and all hell broke loose. I was perplexed that my kindness and goodness were being met with utter chaos. God showed me that grace without authority is nothing but entitlement. My children did not know how to handle the grace given because they had not yet fully been established under my authority. Let me say it this way – if you give grace to your children as a parenting tool BEFORE you have established your authority, you are not giving grace but empowering their flesh. Grace can only be received in the backdrop of understanding what they are given grace for. This is why character training is so important. It establishes for the child right living and positions them under your authority and covering. Do not mistake ignoring, avoidance, or checking out as giving them grace. That is laying down your God-given role to teach your children about His Kingdom structure. Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you absolutely don’t deserve.
A dad was struggling to get his teen daughters to understand why their choice of music wasn’t edifying. The girls argued that it was ‘just a little’ bit of bad language and that it wouldn’t hurt anything. The dad prayed for a creative solution to get into his daughters’ hearts on the subject. The next morning, he announced he was making a very special dessert with “a very special ingredient.” He made a big deal of the upcoming dessert all day, and after their dinner plates were cleaned, they were begging for the much-awaited sweet treat. They scarfed down the yummiest batch of brownies, and while smacking their lips, they inquired about the ‘special ingredient.’ The dad sat back and calmly announced, “Dog poop, but don’t worry, it was just a little bit.” They seemed to understand in that moment that ‘just a little bit’ can indeed be harmful. This glorious creative teachable moment can be used with music, swearing, drugs, disobedience, alcohol, lying, slander, etc. Sometimes kids need a visual to understand your point.
I often hear moms of little ones lamenting that all they do is change diapers, feed, clean, do laundry, and repeat. They feel insignificant as their world revolves around caring for their demanding and helpless child. To which I reply, “YOU ARE KIDDING YOURSELF. You are in the biggest season of your life. You get to be the gateway between the generations deciding what you do and do not want to pass on to the next generation who will carry the baton of your family line. You are deciding what parenting style is best for raising healthy whole children. You are deciding what holiday traditions are worthy of introducing your children to. You are discerning what triggers you and what needs to be brought into wholeness. You are building a foundation with their Father that will be the foundation in which they are raised. You are the one who gets to gaze in their eyes and communicate love to their souls. You are teaching them that they are safe and wanted. Oh, Mama, you are in the most incredible season of your life as you take the helm and sail the next generation into the Father’s arms.”
My children get along with each other most of the time. Yes/No
Honor and respect are evident in our home. Yes/No
I can hear what God is saying to me. Yes/No
I can discern what is going on with my child when they behave poorly. Yes/No
I am excited about the future and all that it holds for us. Yes/No
I live a life that is full of joy and peace. Yes/No
My family brings me an abundance of joy. Yes/No
I enjoy being a parent. Yes/No
If you answered NO to any of the above, then it is time to join our online adventure of going deeper in your parenting journey.
The Cross is the solution for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G! Spend a few minutes and ask Jesus if there is any unforgiveness between you and your child. I encourage you not to be introspective and mentally feast on every mistake, but rather ASK JESUS to show you if there is a hook of unforgiveness in their heart. If God shows you something, make it right TODAY! Perhaps you will want to spend some 1:1 time with them after school, take them out for a treat, or write a note and put it on their bed.
Parents do not lose respect by admitting their mistakes, they gain it. When you go low with your children, it makes them feel seen and heard. It validates their pain and this is the ministry of Jesus! When parents go to their children and say, “Jesus, showed me I was wrong when I _____. Will you please forgive me?” it is teaching your child that Jesus has their back, cares about their pain and sees their heart. Actually seeing the Cross applied is one of the most powerful experiences for a child in a Christian home. Moms, it could be YOU are the one who needs to forgive your child. Perhaps you are holding onto offense for being stretched too thin, getting your heart hurt or that life doesn’t look the way you thought it would. It is okay to need to forgive our children – we are all human beings in a fallen world. I would release the offense privately and not share this with your child. “Jesus, I confess my heart feels _____ because _____. I chose to let go of this offense towards (child’s name). I hand over my offense/pain/disappointment to you (In your mind picture handing it over to Jesus). What do You have in exchange for me?” (Wait until you see/hear what He has in exchange for you). Clean the spiritual pipes between you by applying the Cross today!
When my kids come home with stories about how someone was unkind, rude, or disrespectful, we walk through forgiveness and then release the opposite back to them in the spiritual realm. You can’t be a victim when you are partnering with the Creator of the universe.
Homework – Call a family meeting and ask your children what would happen if you walked into the middle of a busy street and held up your hand. Nothing would probably happen. Next, ask what would happen if a police officer walked in the middle of a busy street and put up his hand. Because of his badge, he has authority. Not only that, but all of the courts back him up. We get to be police officers in the spiritual realm because of the badge of Jesus, and all of heaven backs us up. We get to tie up the bad and then unleash all the good stuff.
If your child is your friend, then you have already lost your authority. A child needs a mom and dad who know how to say no, set limits, intentionally teach them to do better next time, and call them higher. You will have a season of friendship with your adult children, but childhood is the time to parent them, not be besties with them.
Gather the kids and walk through these verses. Make them come alive by explaining them and adding real-life stories and examples. Let His word be written on their hearts.
Psalm 7:17 – “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High.”
Psalm 100:4-5 – “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
Psalm 118:29 – “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.”
Psalm 9:1 – “I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.”
Colossians 2:7 – “Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”
Colossians 3:15 – “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”
Colossians 4:2 – “O Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.” Ps. 95:1-3 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Philippians 4:6 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Psalm 103:1-5 – “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Psalm 107:1 – “Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!”
Ephesians 5:20 – “Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,”
Psalm 28:7 – “The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.”
Psalm 69:30 – “I will praise the name of God with song, and shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.”
Psalm 136:1-5 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever; to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;”
Hebrews 12:28-29 – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.”
2 Corinthians 9:15 – “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!”
Revelations 11:17 – “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”
Revelation 7:12 – “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”