You can write two stories from your experiences. You can write the story based on facts (they rejected me, I am not understood, they do not see me, I am alone). OR you can write the story based on His Truth (I am loved, I am wanted, I have more than enough, He is for me, I am on a journey, I am teachable and usable, I am covered). Facts are not always true, but you can choose which one will become your story. You are not weak. You are not a wet noodle. You are not without hope. You are not done. You are not forgotten. You are not defeated. You are not what your circumstances tell you. You are, my friend, a Daughter/Son of THE God MOST High, and He is for you and has given His life so that you can walk in all victory, power, and strength. This is a CHAPTER, not the whole story. Rise up!
GET UP AND FIGHT – WRITE YOUR STORY
Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom. What do I mean? So many times, parents come to me out of pure frustration over a child who is rebelling, angry or defiant. But once we explore the situation deeper with Holy Spirit, we discover that the parent is partnering with fear, control, or woundedness, and the child is simply reacting to what is out of alignment and will not follow that path. That is ultimately a good thing, as God parents us through our children. Not all conflict in the home is the child’s fault. Sometimes it is God allowing us to see what is in our hearts that need to be aligned. Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom – that’s called God’s redemption!
Picture a Little House on the Prairie scene where a powerful Minnesota blizzard dumps mounds of snow covering everything in sight. Imagine the family huddled in bed, keeping warm in their mud roof home. How much oil would you want to keep the lamp going? While the storm is still present, how much oil has changed their experience? Sitting in the dark in the middle of a storm is not the same as sitting next to light in the middle of a storm. In Matthew 25:1-13, we are told of the story of the ten virgins who went out to wait for their groom. Five were wise, and five were foolish. When the groom appeared, the five that didn’t have oil in their lamps asked to borrow some from the five that were prepared, and they were told NO – GET YOUR OWN! Oil represents our own personal relationship with Him. You can’t borrow oil at this hour. Many have enjoyed the oil of other people’s lamps but are now realizing they have little to no oil of their own. You can’t stand on the oil of your pastor, worship leader, or neighbor. It has to be your own. There are some things no one can give you except God. We are in a season of intense squeezing, and it is revealing how much oil one has. While His love and grace are free for all, it is obtained by exercising it. Those who have received, embraced, lived from, leaned on, experienced, and acknowledged Him have oil in their lamps. We are not meant to live in darkness but to be consumed by the light that burns within us.
We are in an hour where oil is essential, and there is still time to get your own. HOW?
**By receiving Him.
**Surrendering not just your life, but circumstances to Him.
**Reading the Word, not as a religious duty but sincerely embracing His daily food.
**Giving Him thanks.
**Confessing your sin.
**Getting alone with Him.
**Telling Him what you want, need, think and feel.
**Acknowledging Him in specific situations.
**Declaring His word out loud.
**Walking by faith, not sight.
**Crying out for help.
**Being in an interactive relationship with Him.
**Embracing Him as your Father.
**Walking as a loved and covered child.
This isn’t about doing more FOR Him. It is about having an interactive relationship WITH Him.
We teach our kids bike safety. We teach them not to answer the door for stranger safety. We teach them “Stop, Drop and Roll” for fire safety. We teach them to wear a life jacket for water safety. But do we teach them sexual safety? Predators are looking for one thing – a child who has no grid for what is happening and has never been taught about sexual safety. When a child encounters things that are sexually unsafe, their spirit knows something is wrong, but they freeze because they do not know how to handle what is happening. They have been taught to obey adults, not to talk back, to never hit, etc.
#1. Children need to know the proper names for body parts – all of them.
#2. Children need to know what to do should they ever feel unsafe.
#3. Children need to know that they are never alone and can ask Jesus for help in ALL circumstances.
What would our school look like if each child came to school not only with a full belly but their love tank overflowing? What would it look like if we were able to help our children process the hurts and offenses so that healthy connections remained among peers on the playground? What if their character was the key that opened doors to greater favor and opportunities? You have a responsibility to teach and train your children at home so that they can be as successful as possible in the classroom.
“Jesus, will You show me a picture of how wet/dry my heart sponge is right now? What do You want me to do to fill it up today?”
Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or at bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is empowering for children because they witness how God communicates with you, which increases their faith, and together you get to encounter Him. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
Video – Be U – YouTube
I bought the little Etch-a-Sketch, kept it in my junk drawer, and used it as my object lesson for forgiveness when my children goofed up. I remember one time in particular when I was traveling, my son forged his field trip permission slip with my signature since he’d forgotten to ask me to sign it before I left. The teacher caught him. He confessed what he did, and I asked him to get the Etch-a-Sketch. I explained what forgery was, and we talked about why it was a wrong choice. Then, I turned it over, shook it, and said, “I forgive you for forging the field trip form.” We hugged, and I asked him how he would handle it next time. It was a great teachable moment!
Two thoughts consume me at this hour. Years ago, I was in Kiev, Ukraine on a mission trip and the leader had us declare John 11:40 over and over. He said, “When the eyes of your heart see, stand up,” and one by one the revelation moved from our minds to our hearts.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?'”
We have faith and then see; we do not see in order to have faith. This is where many fall short.
I encourage you to read that over and over and over until your heart can see.
The second is the story of His children who were in captivity by unjust rulers and the bondage of slavery. God’s plan was not overnight but over generations. It took 400 years of slavery before God began to free them, but it was a journey. An entire generation missed out because they delayed the process by grumbling and complaining. The promised land God had given them was before the upcoming generation, but they did not get to enter it. Why? “So we see that because of their unbelief, they were not able to enter his rest” (Hebrews 3:19). They stood before the river and complained that He was not good or faithful because their eyes were on their circumstances, not on Him. Grumbling and complaining cost an entire generation to miss out on their answered prayers. Unbelief robbed others from entering what they were contending for. Either God is sufficient to His word to lead His people, or He is not. Settle it once and for all, and let your words follow your faith.
I can assure you that when your child’s love tank is low, you are going to smell the fumes somewhere! Adults have learned (not-so-healthy) coping mechanisms to pretend that a low tank is still running just fine, but a child will not. Kids don’t need oceans full twice a year; they need continuous drops. I encourage you to sit down and write out at least ten easy, simple ways you can speak your children’s specific love language. This will help you to stay proactive in filling their tanks, even when your plate is full. I cannot tell you how many times a “Hey bud, go set up a game of cards, and I will play a round with you,” can change their heart, attitude, and the atmosphere of our home.
I have a rule in my house – if I cannot participate in something and remain in peace, then I will not do it. As a result, I have had to say no, or decline many good things. I have made the choice not to allow even some good things to rob me of my peace or connection with my children.