We treat children like they are in blatant sin and punish them when what they really need is HELP. My passion is to empower parents HOW to see beyond the behavior and into what is going on in their hearts. There is hope in parenting our children in peace and authority that reaps a generation of kids who are whole, confident, and secure.
Teaching children about God-designed authority – both under their parents and over the enemy.
I once heard a leader say he never once responded to his children in anger (not once, people!) At first, I thought he was bluffing as he has three children. Never? Not once? In all honesty, it agitated me for a few weeks. Maybe because I knew I couldn’t say that, or maybe because him saying that cut him off from anyone else being able to relate to him. I wanted to ask him further about it when God spoke this to me. He said, “Lisa, this son is a FIFTH-generation believer. His life is what it looks like when generations honor and follow me.” WHOA. I became deeply encouraged that my children and children’s children will do it much better than I did because of what I am sowing into. Give yourself some grace for how God has chosen to use your generation to impact future generations.
We all must stand at the crossroads and decide what part of our parent’s parenting we want to keep and what needs to be brought into alignment with His Kingdom. We do so honorably to our parent’s own journey knowing that they were simply walking out their own story of what they experienced.
I want more families to be intentional about their children! I want YOU to embrace all God has for you and your family. I burn for more. I yearn that we, the Bride, all of us, would know that there is NO weapon formed against us that shall prosper but that WE will march forth and walk in victory because God Himself is leading us. I want your connection with your children to remain intact so that they are spared from the countless years of agony we endured. I want them to know how amazing and powerful they are because you speak it over them daily. I want them to know, like second nature, how to go to Papa God and discuss the burdens of their heart with Him directly. Ah, that the children would be trained and equipped by intentional parents who do not partner with feelings of inadequacy but know who they are themselves. Oh, I burn for this.
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Do you have a child who is a PEACEKEEPER? Those that avoid conflict at all costs and run into the other room when tensions mount? While peacekeepers are made in His image, it is super important to help them learn how to process the conflict other than just dislike it and pretend it is not there. Ignoring is not the tool of Heaven. Many kiddos are having a hard time in this season of so much chaos in the atmosphere. They have felt the conflict and yet don’t fully understand it. I encourage you to praise them for their desire for peace and validate that the presence of God is PEACE, but that sometimes we feel the opposite and can be used as agents of peace. Give them some additional tools: they can talk about their feelings, draw them out, act them out, release peace, dance, write a letter, journal, and go do sports. We want to empower their natural bent for peace without forcing them to bury their heads in the sand and walk in fake peace.
As a parent, how does this story make you feel? Johnny walks up to his younger sister, minding her own business, punches her, and then tells her she doesn’t belong in the family. OUCH! What if mom walked in and got all the other siblings against Johnny, making him feel like the outsider, as if his bad attitude meant he no longer belonged? This is the recipe for some serious family dysfunction and pain. Johnny’s behavior clearly needs to be addressed because it is not in alignment with God’s heart, but he is operating out of being an orphan and needs the love of a Father, not rejection. This would not be okay in our family and should not be okay in God’s family. Can’t you see? It is not a gay/straight, John/Beth, He said/She said, Kanye/Church, Pastor/Flock issue. This is a dividing issue from the enemy bent on destroying God’s family. DO NOT PLAY THE GAME. Do not pick sides. Do not pick a winner because if there is a winner, there must be a loser, and we do not treat family that way.
There are only two camps of people – those who are Sons/Daughters and those who are still operating as orphans (even Christians can be orphans). If Johnny does not have eyes to see his sister’s worth, then he needs a revelation from God. The Bible says people cannot see because they have scales on their eyes. Isaiah 44:18 reads, “They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.” Your prayers that the scales from a brother’s eyes be removed will be more effective than your social media posts against him. If you are taking sides and have not prayed for the scales to be removed from his eyes, then you could very well be just as guilty of participating in dividing God’s family. We are ONE family. ONE Body. If a brother and sister argue, they need love, not sides. I ache over the words spoken against family members, but I want to be an agent of restoration (through prayer), not further division. Which side are you on? Neither! We are on the same side, serving the same God as ONE Body.
I had a great conversation with a friend about her parenting challenges. She said sometimes she looks at her child with the thoughts, “GEE!!! If you would just be like XYZ, it would make my life so much easier,” and then she said, “… and would make me feel like I was doing a good job.” I responded, “You can either pursue parenting that makes you look and feel like you are doing a good job, or you can allow God to do a good work. The latter will always cost you something.”
A dad came to me for parent coaching because they were having issues with their son. While the son was indeed behaving in a way that brought great chaos, as we partnered with Holy Spirit, it revealed a significant trauma the dad went through as a young boy. I watched as this adult man walked through the very hard and painful healing process. My heart swelled with pride for his yes to do the hard heart work and fight for his freedom. Months later, they returned, still having issues with their son. Again, after partnering with Holy Spirit, it was revealed that a family secret was affecting not one but three generations. I watched as this dad continued to press into the hard and uncomfortable emotions to fight for freedom, not just for himself but for his own father. I was undone with emotion when I heard of the events that unfolded once he was willing to expose secrets and bring healing. So much breakthrough. I respect this father so much for his willingness to engage and be wildly uncomfortable as God was doing a good work in their family. I asked what his motivation was for pressing and showing up over and over. With tears in his eyes, he said, “For my children. If my father had fought half this hard, I wouldn’t have had the life I did. I do it for my children.”
Dads, may you do whatever it takes to fight for freedom for your family. Not sure how? Don’t know what that looks like? Sign up for PAPA’S POCKET. PAPA’S POCKET Tool Kit for Dads – Let the Children Fly
I am passionate about the languages of love! But do you know there is also a language of how you need an apology spoken? Nothing is worse for me than someone saying, “Sorry!” It actually makes the offense worse for me. We have a family of FIVE, and there are FIVE languages – one for each of us. It has been challenging to speak someone else’s language, but it has allowed us to be more like Jesus in the process. I encourage you to have your family take the test, print it out, and discuss the results.