FEAR IS NOT PROTECTION

FEAR IS NOT PROTECTION

A mom asked to meet with me and began to share how she is deathly afraid that her children would be violated sexually. She won’t let them spend the night at a friend’s house, does not like for them to be outside alone, and worries about them all the time. We began to process with Holy Spirit, who revealed there was a sexual door open in their family. The previous generations opened the door through affairs, porn, and living a perverted lifestyle. Her mom (grandma) grew up with the tension and fear of the atmosphere. When there is an adult who is not managing their sexuality well and is making comments or jokes, welcoming pornography into the home, or acting in inappropriate ways, it causes children to feel unsafe and unprotected. The mom (grandma) partnered with a spirit of fear over feeling sexually unsafe. Because the fear, even if the threat was real, was never addressed and resolved, she carried around a fear of being sexually violated and passed that atmosphere on to her daughter. So while my friend was not abused in any way, she grew up with the fear of sexual violation through her mom. And now she was partnering with the fear for her children. 

Let me spell that out – one man’s choices affected his daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandchildren. I am so thankful for the blood of Jesus and the work of the Cross. I helped her forgive her grandparents for opening the door and her mom for introducing her to it, and she confessed her own partnership with the fear. We closed the sexual door and broke agreement with the fear. We invited Holy Spirit to be their Protector. She suddenly felt a deep peace because that spirit that had been following her around was finally gone.

FEAR IS A LIAR

Please remember: Fear is a liar and not everything you feel is coming from within you. You have power and authority in the name of Jesus to come out from under that fear.

PASSING FEAR ON TO OUR CHILDREN

Ask any adult who grew up in Minnesota in the ’80s who Jacob Wetterling is, and they will tell you. He was an 11-year-old boy who was abducted while riding his bike home, and his body was not found for 27 years. It left a bone-chilling fear in parents that the same thing could happen to their child. Parents kept their children safe by not letting them go out at night or roam the neighborhood like they once did. Countless parents partnered with FEAR over what happened to Jacob, and it shaped their parenting. The children watched their responses and learned how to handle uncertainty and danger. As a mother now myself, I get it, but what happened is that it taught a generation in that region about fear and feeling unsafe. Those kids, myself included, grew up with an undying fear that something terrible could happen. It was nearly 30 years later that I broke agreement with the fear and learned that I was safe at night.

How you respond to current events NOW has the potential to shape your child and how they respond to future crises. Are you teaching and modeling for them how to walk in fear and panic or confidence and faith? They are watching you and are learning how to respond in times of crisis.  If you are partnering with fear and want to be free from it, let’s talk about it. We have got to realign our children so that they do not grow up being afraid and managing fear. There is a difference between truth-based concern that should move us into wisdom vs. creating a demonic stronghold.

NO FEAR

Love this testimony from my friend about how she walked in her authority as a parent. We don’t manage the fear; we deal with it.

“My son has been fearful of blood/bleeding ever since his pinky finger accident in January. This week he got his first wiggly tooth, and I immediately saw fear come when we talked; he said he was afraid because when the tooth comes out, it will bleed. He talked about his wiggly tooth constantly for days (not wanting to play certain games/eat certain foods because his tooth might come out). 2 nights ago, I went into his room while he was sleeping and commanded fear to leave him, that he wouldn’t fear bleeding, and would have joy in the process of losing his tooth. The next day he didn’t bring up his wiggly tooth AT ALL, and, this morning, he came out and wanted all the family to wiggle his tooth because it was more wiggly, and he was EXCITED about it… NO FEAR!”

SEXUAL SAFETY

One of the most vulnerable households for child sexual assault is the house that is run by ‘because I said so,’ and a legalistic one because they operate out of a list of rules and total parental authority and often fail to listen to the child. Children cannot hold in such a horrendous lie and/or the worry that abuse causes. They might not come right out and say that XYZ happened, but they will let it leak out, and we need ears to LISTEN TO THEM!

Here is a sad but true example: A little 4th grader came home from his youth group in a foul mood. The mom repeatedly disciplined him for his attitude, but he would not shake it. Finally, she asked him how youth group went, and he said, “I hated it.” She replied that he must go anyway because it was expected of him. He yelled out that his teacher was gay, and the mother swooshed him to his bedroom for talking inappropriately about someone. Had the mother listened to the child, she would have seen that he used to love youth group, and the sudden change warranted investigation. When a young child talks about an adult being gay, it should warrant you to find out why the child thinks that way, how he knows that of the youth leader, etc. If she had only asked and inquired deeper, she would have learned that her son was molested that night, only to come home and be disciplined for not wanting to return. I call it ‘pulling on the rope.’ When a child makes a harsh comment, pull on the rope by asking WHY questions. Not all ill words are a character issue; sometimes, they are flags waving to get our attention.

A FOUR-YEAR-OLD TAKES ON THE SEX INDUSTRY

We were at a store years ago, and I instructed the kids to stay by the cart while I ran down the aisle to get something. When I came back, Ellie, who was four then, said to me, “Mom, this is really bad.” I asked what she was talking about, and she pointed to the display of calendars. I saw things like Hello Kitty, cute puppies, etc. She kept saying that it was really, really bad. Finally, she pointed to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit calendar. What was so incredible was she had NO reference for sexual inappropriateness. We seldom have the TV on, and the movies they watch are highly screened. I hadn’t explained to them about inappropriate dress because it was never an issue then, and they are always with me, but her SPIRIT felt the atmosphere. Using it as a teachable moment, I pulled the kids aside and asked what we should do about it. One said we should hide all of the calendars so no one could buy them. I explained how that would be very dishonoring to the manager, who had a legal right to sell them. Another child suggested we buy all of them and throw them away, so I explained how that would only encourage the store to buy more. I reminded them that they had authority over the atmosphere (in this case, a sexual one) and could exercise it. Without skipping a beat, Ellie said, “Jesus, send Your angels to hide these inappropriate calendars.”’ Just then, a man passed us, and as soon as he got side by side with the calendars, his head flipped in the other direction. Then another man walked by, and the same thing happened. The THIRD guy walked by (by now, we were all watching), and the moment he got to the display of calendars, his head immediately turned in the opposite direction. While we all left with a bit of awe over how God did that, what was most important is that we exercised our authority on earth as it is in heaven. In heaven, women are not used for casual sexual gratification, so we had every bit of authority, and all of heaven backing us, to bind that up! When a four-year-old uses her authority in Jesus’ name, it is as good as if Jesus said it Himself. That’s pretty powerful! Could you imagine a generation of little ones who knew who they were and saw it for what it was – ‘bad’ and had the tools of heaven to do something about it?

WHEN FEAR KNOCKS

I sensed something in my spirit – the kind of thing that makes you very alert. I fully trust that Father God has my back and lets me know what I need to know in order to protect my family. It was discovered that a homeless camp nearby was recently broken up, and some of them have made our backyard their resting place (including under my porch). After talking with the neighbor, we learned they attempted to enter her home. Fear – cold as ice fear – had every ‘right’ to reign, but I know too much about fear to give it room. The following night, fear tapped me on the shoulder almost hourly, waking me from a deep sleep. I would get out of bed, turn the lights on/off and use my authority over it. Fear is a lie that says God isn’t in control and isn’t able to help me. It makes me MAD that fear was knocking so hard at the door of my mind, heart, and family, but I refuse – REFUSE – to let it in. Every and any time it knocked, I would say, “Fear, I will not and do not partner with you. I command you to go now in Jesus’ name.” The following night I handed our safety over to the Father, turned off all the lights, and slept like a baby. We welcome the very thing we fear when we partner with it. This is my home, and I have a legal right to stand firm and not answer the door. Whatever door the spirit of fear is knocking on in your life, rise up and declare, “Not in my house! You are not welcome here,” and then invite Holy Spirit to come as your Protector and Defender.

TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT FEAR

Since the enemy is fear-based, I never wanted to teach my children in a way that educated them so much they were afraid of being afraid. I simply explained that God has an enemy who is jealous of Him and wants to be like Him (enough said). It is wrong to think that God is on one side and the enemy on the other, battling it out. The enemy is ALWAYS on the bottom because he is already defeated. Children need to have an accurate view of the ‘battle.’ The battle isn’t of random wins and loses like a football game, but that we are always victorious over the enemy and his ways always! While it feels true at times that the enemy is winning, the truth is that God is unmoved from His throne as ruler over A-L-L things. Read together 1 John 4:4.

Teach the children – Take out a sheet of paper and fold it down the center bringing the left side of the paper to the right side. Write God on one side and enemy on the next. Under God write out the things associated in their life with Him right now (provision, peace, safety, joy, covering). Under ‘enemy’ write out the things associated with him (fear, worry, doubt). Rip up the paper and tell them that this is not the truth about what is going on. Grab another sheet of paper and fold it in the middle (fold the top part of the paper down) and write God on top teaching them that God has no equal. Read Isaiah 40:12-31 together. Then take a pen and draw a line an inch from the bottom edge and show them the truth is the enemy is Jesus’ footstool. Romans 16:20.

CHILDLIKE FAITH

It never ceases to amaze me how much children actually have the Kingdom right, and we have it backward. In the natural, they are the ones that get afraid and automatically cling to their daddy for protection. Yet it is when parents are partnering with fear and refuse to go to the Father that creates the greatest hindrance in the family’s spiritual health. Fear is a LIE used by the enemy that prevents us from holding our Father’s hand and trusting Him to protect us. So instead, be childlike and jump in His lap!

PARTNERS

Over the years, I have gone after making sure the kids know the following safety boundaries:

We move in partners – period. To this day, we have a rule that whenever they want to check out another aisle at the store, go to the bathroom or hang out at the mall, they have to have a partner. It is non-negotiable and one of the ways to safeguard vulnerability. It has been a bit of a challenge over the years with my son, especially with public bathrooms. I generally find the family bathroom and wait for him outside. If he has to use the bathroom alone, I would stand at the door and say something like, “I will wait for you here,” but loud enough for others to hear. I do not believe this is helicopter parenting; I believe it is standing on guard in an area where people have preyed on vulnerable children. 

LET HIM WALK WITH YOU

I just spent some time walking with a father who is dealing with the trauma (and horror) of his pre-teen daughter being groomed and seduced by an online predator. Seeing him take every step with Jesus in the process has been breathtaking. Jesus is not afraid to do the messy and hard things with you. He wants to carry the burden, the grief, and the fear and has so much to say and give you in exchange.