HEART SPLINTERS

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

FILL THOSE LOVE TANKS!

Many stores have cute Valentine’s Day mailboxes in their dollar section. Pick one up for each child, and instead of using them for V-day, use them to fill their tanks all year long. I would often encourage the kids to write notes of praise, thanks, or encouragement and have them secretly put them in their sibling’s mailboxes. It taught them how to be proactive in speaking love to someone and how good it feels to receive. 

I would keep them and pull them back out again in the summer or fall when they need some help going after filling each other’s tanks. A great thing to bring on vacation or do during school breaks.

SCALES ON THEIR EYES

Years ago, I got entangled in a relationship and fell into sin. I was raised in the church and knew what God said about it, but I became deceived by believing the lie, “Yeah, it is wrong, but God loves me, and He understands.” I even remember having a thought that God was cool with it because He knew how much pain and heartbreak I had in my childhood. The moment the scales came off my eyes, I was mortified at my choices and how deeply I allowed myself to be deceived. Deception is sneaky because the person deceived does not know they are deceived. That is why the enemy tries so hard to whisper lies of deception.

As the Lord began to build my ministry, I would have significant conversations telling Him I was worried about leading anyone astray. What if I got it wrong? What if I hadn’t yet developed or matured in an area? What if I was responsible for teaching something that wasn’t accurate by error or accident? This plagued me, and I took it very seriously. Since then, God has taught me about my lane and my flow with Him. I only share what He has first shared with me or taught me. I am very careful not to jump on bandwagons and use my platform for my agenda but rather as a place to share and steward what He has spoken. When I see or hear people with very opposite views of what He has shared or revealed with me, I have one response – pray that the scales on my/their eyes be removed. People do not see or understand the things of the spirit because they have scales on their eyes.

If the world today would grasp this spiritual concept and humble themselves and allow Him to lead them to greater truth OR walk in love to pray for those who still have scales on their eyes, we would have a whole lot more unity in the Body. I do not want to be ‘right.’ I want my mind and heart to align with His.

LITTLE MESSENGERS

Don’t refuse the message just because you don’t like the delivery of the messenger. So often, children botch the delivery of what they are trying to tell you. They do it with anger, attitudes, imperfection, and less-than-mature ways, but it doesn’t mean that WHAT they are trying to say is to be ignored. This is one of the reasons why we wrote our HEART SPLINTERS book. To give parents additional help in seeing and hearing what their children are trying to tell them.

Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

FUNNEL PARENTING

Picture a funnel. Do you give your child so much freedom at an early age and then, as the year’s progress, begin to take away their freedom? Or do you start with smaller freedoms and gradually increase it as they display self-control to be able to use freedom wisely? Oftentimes, parents have this mentality that if they put restrictions on their small child, they are breaking their spirit, harnessing them, and controlling them. I beg to differ. When we allow our children to do whatever they want whenever they want, we are teaching them that the world is open and free. While that may be a perfect world, it is not the reality in which they live. The truth is if they steal, they will go to jail. If they speed, they will pay a fine. If they do not pay taxes, the IRS will knock on their door. The world is full of consequences and models God’s principle of reaping and sowing. There will be a time when you will have to say NO to your child, yet the more you teach them they can have whatever they want whenever they want it, the harder the battle will be for them when reality hits. Let’s flip the funnel upside down and limit their freedom as they have the self-control to manage themselves. We do not allow a one-year-old to climb the stairs because their little legs are not strong enough to carry them. We do not allow a ten-year-old to drive a car because it will create greater harm. The same applies to our parenting. You are not stifling them; you are building them up for success for the long haul.

P.S. Teenagers do not like their freedoms taken away! You will have fewer battles down the road if you start out small and build upon them. Entitlement is a tricky thing to break.

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!

DIRTY SECRET

Anger, even rage, is a common ‘dirty little secret’ of many parents. Anger is actually an appropriate response for an orphan who has the weight of the world on their shoulders, has to protect themselves, and strive to meet their needs. The answer isn’t anger management; it is experiencing the Father’s love at that moment. He isn’t mad at your anger and wants you to know His love even in those messy places.

THE DIFFICULTY OF BAD CHARACTER

The Word says in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: “But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.”

If this is what our children are up against, how can we stand against this force of reckless rebellion? By intentionally teaching and training character at an early age! What is good character? How can we teach our young children? How do we go after character without introducing legalism? How can we empower them through connection? How can we expect more out of our children?

I invite you to check out our CHARACTER COUNTS Magazine – Character Training SOAR Magazine – Let the Children Fly

GET UP AND FIGHT – WORSHIP

Often, the last thing I feel like doing when I feel heavy is worship, but there is something so powerful about opening your mouth and flexing those weak muscles. Worship ushers in His presence, aligns our thoughts with His, and, most importantly, gets our eyes off of ourselves and our weaknesses and back onto Him and His power, strength, and ability. I have my go-to songs for when I feel tired and weary. 

DIFFICULT CHILD

Most of us have a child who challenges us greatly. I want to expand your thinking a wee bit about their behavior and how it affects you. God is a perfect Father and knows what YOU need. He didn’t create that child to annoy you; He created them perfectly to BLESS you. We often act like we are the wise old ones who know everything, and these little children are clueless and must be molded to OUR image, but the Word says the little ones were knit together in HIS image. I have a child who is extremely JOYFUL – like over-the-top joyful, bouncing off the walls, high-pitched voice JOYFUL. It took me a long time to figure this out, but the goal isn’t to calm her down to be ‘mature.’ God was sending her to me so that *I* could learn to walk in more joy! I have another one who is STRONG – like crazy strong and able to lead, make decisions, and determine right from wrong. She threatens me at times. But the goal isn’t to shut her down and win every argument; the goal is to partner with her to allow her leadership to blossom. Oftentimes God gives adults, who are high-strung, children who are super mellow so that they will learn patience through the child. Or a parent who is very relaxed and mellow, a child who is go, go, go so that they can learn about becoming more disciplined. Look at the child you clash with the most and ask Holy Spirit to highlight what it is that YOU are to be learning from THEM. We can still be adults while being students of our children.

RESTORING CONNECTION

 A mom messaged me, saying that her daughter believed lies and had shut down. She wanted my help with how to handle it. This is an excellent example of being led by the all-knowing Holy Spirit and not just checking off a religious formula to fix your child. I first asked her WHAT the lie was. She replied that the daughter believed her parents were abusive and did not love her. While that was obviously a lie, it was the daughter’s truth. I asked the mom to ask Jesus what He thought of the daughter’s words. The mom humbly returned to me, reporting that Jesus showed her that she was using a tone and responding in a way that was hurting her daughter. Can you see how a religious mindset would have disciplined the child for being so ‘un-Christ-like’ when the reality was that the mom needed to hear something? The daughter doesn’t have the language yet to explain her heart, but the words ‘don’t love’ and ‘abusive’ were the best things she had to describe her heart. The mom repented to God, and then her daughter and their heart connection grew. Can you guess what the daughter’s love language is? Children who hear love through words are very sensitive to yelling, harshly spoken words, and overreacting parents.