Parenting is a verb that unfolds over time. We do not sit our children down when they are two and tell them everything there is to know about life. We grow and roll with them as they develop and mature. The same is true for safety. Children under five are mainly going to be with mom and dad, so their world is different than the child who is at the age of going to school, sleepovers, playing with neighbors alone, etc. Giving them the language and tools to be safe will open wider and wider over the years, eventually having them walk out your door prepared with tools to be successful, healthy, functioning adults. When new situations arise (playing alone outside, going to school, sleepovers), you first have to ask yourself, “What have I, as the parent, done to teach them about this in the time of peace?” When a child is begging to go play with the neighbors, that is not the time to teach. Your YES should be dependent upon: #1. Have you equipped them with how to handle that situation in the time of peace? #2. Do they have the skills and responsibility to be successful? Sending them out the door, to the neighbors, or even at school without first preparing and arming them with tools gambles with their success.
EQUIPPING THEM WITH SKILLS
Teaching children to walk in character is a VERB, and it is best done in the home by loving parents.
Are you feeding your child’s spirit daily? What does that mean? Like daily food, our spirits need to be fed to stay healthy and alert. How do we feed their spirit? By worshiping, teaching them about a verse, telling them your God stories, sharing with them a story from the Bible, soaking, talking about God, taking Communion, actively forgiving, hearing God, declaring His goodness, loving each other intentionally, being grateful…
A spiritual orphan will hear that and feel condemned for not doing enough or partner with fear over their child. A Son/Daughter will hear that message, and it will increase their hunger for more of Him in their homes. They will partner with Holy Spirit to creatively feed their child’s spirit TODAY!
Worthy is the lamb is more than a good worship song – it is the position of our hearts. The elders and angels bow down and worship WORTHY IS THE LAMB over and over and over for all eternity. The Lord owes us nothing. Not comfort, morning coffee, electricity, toys, expensive vehicles, nice homes, or a paycheck. He gives these things because He is a good Father, but He owes us NOTHING and deserves it all. In this hour, it is so important to teach our children that He is worthy – all the time – of it all!
Wor·thy – adjective – having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way.
Noun – a person notable or important in a particular sphere.
Have the kids glue cotton balls around a drawn or printed lamb and talk about the countless things He is worthy of.
When you can’t receive God’s truth about you and partner with the lie, “I am not enough,” you will think that you aren’t enough and then act like you aren’t enough. When you act less than enough, your children get the fruit of a parent who isn’t enough – two generations in one with a single lie. Rise, dear one, and reject whatever feels, sounds, and looks true and walk in what IS true. You ARE enough, not on your own, but because He lives inside you, and you are His. Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me who taught me that I am not enough?” Forgive that person for teaching you a lie about your worth. Write out the words, “I am not enough,” and then rip it up, shred it, burn it, flush it, stomp on it, crumble it, toss it. Whatever you need to do to prophetically tell that lie, NO MORE! Then ask, “Jesus, will You please teach me about my worth and value that was inherited when I decided to follow You?”
A few years back, we took a mini trip down to Sacramento to recharge as a family and do some shopping. I got the idea to stop at the $1 store and have the kids pick out a pack of sticky notes. They didn’t know why but when we got in the car, I told them to think of people they love (family, friends, teachers) and to think of things they might want to hear. Things like: “You are loved,” “You are powerful,” “You are seen,” “There is hope,” “It is going to be okay,” etc. For part of the drive down, they wrote those words on a sticky note. When we parked in the first parking lot, I told them to run around and put the sticky notes on the driver’s side window of the parked cars. They had a blast and giggled the entire time. When they were done, I assumed we would go shopping, but they asked to sit in the car and spy on the people coming out and seeing their notes. We saw smiles, sighs, and even tears as people read these TRUTH BOMBS!
Go on a mission to teach your children what it looks like to love others.
I once told the kids I took a picture of their poop and posted it on Facebook. They were mortified. I asked them why and they said, “Because that is PRIVATE, Mom.” I put them out of their misery and told them I agreed and would never do that to them. I then explained that their God-given body parts are private too – just like boogers and poop – there is nothing shameful in going to the bathroom, but we keep it to ourselves. Children must be proactively taught by their PARENTS that #1. No one can LOOK at their private parts. #2. No one can TOUCH their private parts. #3. No one can take a PHOTO of their private parts.
Proverbs 29:15 – “A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.”
Do not see the word ‘rod’ as spanking or beating a child. The rod was used by a shepherd to pull in, correct, and guide their sheep. It was also used to ward off predators. The rod in this concept is loving, kind, and shepherding. Orphans receive this verse as punishment. Sons and daughters receive this word through the heart of the Father, full of love and instruction.
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.
One reason why children look at porn is that their parents are not teaching them about their own God-given body and are too afraid (or ashamed) to talk about it with them, so they go to the internet out of pure innocence only to be exposed to the vulgar side of sexuality. Children need to learn about sex, sexuality, private parts, and body functions from PARENTS in the HOME!
How many of you have memories of your childhood? Is it super powerful and amazing to think that TODAY you have the power to create a memory that will stay with your children for the rest of their lives? The best memories rarely have to do with how much money was spent, how Pinteresty it looked, or how big it was. Instead, they generally circle around how deep they feel seen, heard, and valued.