FLESH WASN’T THE ISSUE

FLESH WASN’T THE ISSUE

My youngest two have always been super close; however, they have been snapping at each other a lot. I finally sat them down to dig deeper. It was obvious that one of them was carrying some hurt, but they didn’t know what or why. Not a problem, Jesus knows! Psalms 139 tells us He can search our hearts and reveal things to us. So, we asked Jesus to shine His flashlight into her heart. She started crying and said that during Christmas break, she asked to play with him on numerous occasions, and he told her NO (I assume it was because he was busy playing with his new toys). She took this very personally and has built a wall around her heart with him. I could have disciplined her flesh for snapping at him, but her flesh wasn’t the issue – her hurting heart was. As soon as Jesus revealed the truth of what was going on, she could forgive and be free from the hurt that was agitating her heart.

LANGUAGE OF LOVE

Sibling connection is important, yet without tools, language, or empowerment to create a peaceful environment, sibling conflict can be a great source of chaos in many homes.

HEART SPLINTERS

John 10:10 states that the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. What does this mean? The Bible says in 1 Peter 5:8 (TLB), “Be careful – watch out for attacks from Satan, your great enemy. He prowls around like a hungry, roaring lion, looking for some victim to tear apart.” I think that it can be in a literal sense, but it goes even deeper than just the loss of material goods. First, let me highlight that it does not say we will just have a bummer of a time, a bad day, discouragement, or disappointment. It says: 

STEAL – take what belongs to someone else without permission or legal right and without intending to return it. 

KILL – cause the death (end of life) of a person or other living thing.

DESTROY – put an end to the existence of something by damaging or attacking it, utterly defeating something, ruin something emotionally or spiritually. 

He doesn’t care how young or cute your child is. He doesn’t care if your child is born or unborn. We are all born into a fallen world and have the same enemy bent on one purpose. How does he do this? Through splinters in our hearts. Stealing, killing, and destroying comes in the form of hurts, lies, and offenses against God, ourselves, and others. People of all ages, inside and outside of the church, feel hurt; they feel God has harmed and hurt them and experience profound hurt at the hands of those who were entrusted to love and care for them. They are wrapped in lies about their worth and value about who God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are and have glasses on that distort their vision of those around them. Many are offended and bitter toward God, at themselves, and those who have been used by the enemy to inflict harm. We live in a fallen world, and ALL have experienced hurts, lies, and offenses, some more than others. Christ said to Satan while fasting, “You have nothing in Me – no hooks.” He had no wounds that the enemy could use against him. If the hurt, lie, or offense remains, then something is going to be out of alignment with God, ourselves, or others. Things like peace, love, and unity go out the window really quickly when lies are present. Why? Because that is the purpose of a lie: to steal, kill, and destroy. Steal, kill and destroy what? Our connection with the truth about God, ourselves, and others. Simple, isn’t it? When our soul gets so heavy and wounded with hurts, lies, and offenses, we begin to medicate ourselves with band-aids. Some ways are more harmful than others, but they can include: running away, putting walls up, partnering with fear, becoming angry, lying, turning to drugs, sex or porn, drinking, withdrawing, yelling, swearing, isolating ourselves, etc. While these do serve to protect us (otherwise, people wouldn’t use them), the band-aids create a whole new set of problems. You won’t find any band-aids in the Bible, in Jesus’ ministry, or in heaven. They are FAULTY coping mechanisms that help us to manage the pain of an offense or wound. 

Order your copy of HEART SPLINTERS today and defeat the works of the enemy in your family room.

Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

KEEPING OUR HEARTS OFFENSE FREE

FORGIVE – fərˈɡiv/, verb. To stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw, or mistake. It is okay to have to forgive your children in your heart. In fact, keeping our hearts offense free is key to healthy lifelong connections. 

THROW IT OUT

 When my kids were little, we would play a game of ‘Hot Potato’ where we would stand in a circle, and I would toss a beach ball to one of them. As I threw the ball, I would make a statement, “You are kind,” and they had to grab the ball, discern if it was a truth or lie, and then throw it back to me, declaring which one it was.

“You are wanted” – TRUTH

“You are ugly” – LIE

“You belong” – TRUTH

“You are stupid at math” – LIE (math might not be their strong suit, but they are not stupid).

I was teaching them that not every thought they have, or words spoken over them are the truth. In fact, some of them are downright LIES and can be thrown out. Little did I know back then just how profoundly it would shape them as they got older. They are so quick to grab the thought, discern it (generally because it feels awful), and then toss it back out. Jesus tells us to take every thought captive (2 Corinthians 10:5)! Grab a ball today and teach your children to discern what is a LIE and what is TRUTH.

BLACK SHEEP OF THE FAMILY

Black Sheep – a family member who stands out for being odd and different. They go against the flow of the family, often causing issues. The term has to do with sheep having white wool, and the one that has black wool not only stands out but typically has less value. They have been judged to have ‘less value’ alone, which tells us this term is not the right kingdom. Typically, the child who rebels against the family’s operating system does so with anger, resistance, attitudes, and conflict because they are young and immature and do not yet have the communication or skill sets to address the issues they are coming up against. But just because their delivery is flawed doesn’t mean WHAT they are trying to say is wrong. Countless times in coaching sessions, parents will come to me with the one child who brings so much chaos into the home. After we explore the situation with Holy Spirit, we learn that the child is rebelling against something in the parent that needs to come into alignment. God knits our children in HIS image, but with us in mind. Let’s not be so quick to label a child as the black sheep when God is using the purity of their heart to align something in us. Maybe they aren’t the ‘black sheep’ but the HERO of your story! 

TRUTH-BASED PARENTING

Ask, “Jesus, what lies am I believing about my parenting?”. I am fairly certain I know your response. No, I am not a mind reader, but I do know that the enemy throws out these seeds to all parents, hoping to get us to partner with them because it may feel or sound true. The lie you believe about your parenting most likely sounds something like the following: I am ruining my children. I am not enough. My child will grow up to hate me. I do not have what it takes.

Friends, the enemy is a liar, and you ARE enough. Not because of you, but because GOD gave you your child, and He trusts Himself to work all things out (even your shortcomings, wounds, and messes). When a parent partners with this lie, he is taking out two generations in one because a parent who believes they aren’t enough will act like they aren’t enough. If you struggle with the lie that you aren’t enough, are ruining your child, or don’t have what it takes, write the lie out and destroy it (burn it, trash it, shred it, stomp on it, flush it or rip it). THEN ask, “Jesus, what is Your truth about my parenting?” The next time the enemy throws that lie at you, counter it with what Jesus said.

LOOKING BACK

I want you to look back for a moment. Do you have siblings? How was your connection with them as a child? Were you taught to respect and love each other? Were strife, conflict, and physical violence tolerated? Did you feel like you belonged? Were you accepted? What things did your parents do that cultivated your relationship with them? Looking back, what things do you wish your parents would have done to help with your relationships with your siblings? This is important because you are deciding what things you want to keep in your generational line and what things you want to change. Siblings matter because they are part of God’s plan for family. God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit are ONE, yet they all have different characteristics to them. Such as, my son is one human, but he is a son, brother, and friend. He relates differently as a son than he does as a friend. Family is so dear to God because the earthly family mimics the nature of Himself, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Our earthly father is where we get our sense of identity (who we are), being provided for, and protection, which is a reflection of the character of God, our Provider, and Father. Our earthly mother is whom we get our comfort, nurture, and learn about life from, which is a reflection of the character of Holy Spirit, our Helper, Teacher, and Comforter. It is through siblings that we get our sense of BELONGING, which is a reflection of the character of Jesus, our Companion, and Friend. When siblings are not taught, trained, and expected to get along, it affects their deep sense of belonging in the world. There is great insecurity inside of them when those closest to them are allowed to reject them. The fact that there is conflict isn’t the issue (and is not a reflection of you being a bad parent). The conflict in itself is actually quite normal. Children have flesh that is selfish and self-seeking. Part of parenting is equipping our children with the tools to GROW. The conflict isn’t a reflection of anything ‘wrong’ but rather highlighting areas in which you, the parent, have some work to do to teach and equip them.

JOHN 10:10

John 10:10 is a life verse for me, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” I preach on it, teach on it, live from it and believe it. But for years, I have always said, “kill, steal and destroy,” which is NOT what the Word says. It says, “steal, kill and destroy.” When I realized this error, I repented, as it is important to me to have a pure Biblical message. While this may seem insignificant to switch the two words around, God showed me it is extremely significant. Kill means to be done with – period. Destroy means to damage to the point of no return. The enemy can’t kill or destroy unless he steals from you first. How does he steal from us? By lying to us at the moment when it looks, feels, and sounds true but is still just a LIE. Partnering with the lie opens the door for him to come and kill and destroy. Jesus came to help us walk in truth and gave us tools and power to destroy the lies of the enemy. That is a loaded revelation!

SOMETIMES WE NEED AN EXTRA DOSE OF JESUS

A mom shared how her girls were at it all day. Cranky, mean, and unkind words. She had them soak in God’s presence and taught them that their hearts are like a sponge. We spend time with Jesus so we can drip His love on others. Later they brought out their journals, and the sister had so much to say about her younger sister to encourage and lift her up. No person feels good when there is sibling conflict, and sometimes we need an extra dose of Jesus to help move us from bickering back to kindness.

Jesus, fill our hearts to overflowing so that we may love each other the way You intended.

WATCH YOUR MOUTH

Mamas, you can’t speak badly about your body and not have it affect your son’s and daughter’s belief about women. They learn to honor, respect, and value a woman’s body through you. So watch what you say about yourself!