I AM THEIR TEACHER
Teaching children to walk in character is a VERB, and it is best done in the home by loving parents.
Teaching children to walk in character is a VERB, and it is best done in the home by loving parents.
Moms, does your husband work hard at providing for his family? It has been a scary season for many men with the threat of loss of income, changes at work, and business adjustments. Why not take a moment and teach your children how to celebrate and honor him? First, gather the kids and talk about how hard Dad works to provide (make a list of how his provision blesses you – heat, food, house, car, treats, toys, clothes). Then, together, come up with a way to throw Dad a ‘thank you for providing’ party. Maybe you want to make him KING for the day? Have a special dinner? Write out cards? Show up at work with lunch? Let the kids contribute to the planning and show honor, gratitude, and appreciation for the man who works hard to provide for his family.
Many parents ask me what the best resources for raising children in the faith are. While there are a lot of things we can do to nurture their relationship with God, I firmly believe one of the most significant ways to impact them is merely sharing your own journey with them. I often tell the kids what God is doing in my heart, revealing the things He has spoken to me, or how verses have come alive for me. I am taking what is inside of me and getting it out for them to see, hear, and feel. It is one thing to talk about it; it is another to witness and experience it. This is one of the glorious things about family and living with such a deep connection to those around us. If we get hit with something hard, I make sure the children aren’t just seeing the struggle but also the journey of God showing up in the process. Have you shared your childhood stories about life with/without Jesus and how it has impacted you? Have you told them when and how you first met Jesus? Do they know about your recent revelations and encounters? Your journey with Jesus is powerful – share it!
Our pastor shared a story about buying a pack of gum for cheap. He went in the next day, and they had raised the price because the clerk had made an error the day before. Our pastor digs in his pocket for the change to make up the difference. The clerk says it was his error and that he owed nothing. His response has never left me. He said, “If I am faithful to give you what is yours, God will be faithful to give me what is mine.” A few days later, I let my son play the video game at the table of our restaurant. When we got in the car, he showed me $7 that he ‘found’ under the video game. I heard our pastor’s words in my mind and immediately turned the car around to have my son explain to the waiter what had happened. My son didn’t do anything wrong, as he clearly thought it was lost money, but not making it right would have made it wrong. The following day I got tangled in L.A. traffic and ended up in a lane that required me to pay $20 for parking. I told the attendant I would just drive through and exit. While doing so, I made a comment that the guy would never even know if we just slipped into a parking spot, but my daughter instantly said, “But Mom, that would be dishonest.” Once again, I heard, “If I am faithful to give you what is yours, God will be faithful to give me what is mine,” and we drove off. Teaching children about character and modeling it ourselves is so valuable to the Father.
What happens inside of you when you hear, “Mommy, will you come play with me?” If you have a strong reaction to that question, may I encourage you to ask Jesus this question? “Jesus, what about play makes my heart so uncomfortable?” So often, children are told that play is loud and messy and are taught to shut it down. As a result, children grow up being adults who do not know how to play and partner with JOY. It is God’s plan to redeem that in you through your child’s natural ability to play. If we do not learn to be re-introduced to joy, we will simply pass on to our children what was taught to us. So break the cycle – GO PLAY!
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.
Fear knocked, and I felt seduced by it for an hour. I finally called a friend to pray with me and heard God say, “Your hedge is not high enough.” I knew He meant that I needed to increase prayers and declarations. I needed to put a verb in my prayers, so I asked Holy Spirit for a creative idea, and this is what He gave me. I had the kids all write out their worries, fears, and statements about the coronavirus. We shared our vulnerability as a family and then shredded them. We then wrote out TRUTH statements and hung them on our Cross. We feasted on these throughout the day. We wanted to do a prophetic act about the virus passing over our home, and instantly I remembered these balls I got at the dollar store years ago (they actually look like the virus). We put a bucket of warm soapy water outside our front door, made bold declarations that the virus would pass us over, and threw them into the soapy water. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you are building a hedge of prayer around your family in this hour.
Fearing we will harm our children if we cause their discomfort can actually harm them more!
You cannot take the parent out of parenting any more than you can take the child out of childhood. Your journey, heart, and needs matter and shape your parenting more than anything. If you want to love your child to the fullest, you are going to have to allow God to love you. If you want to empower your child to the fullest, you are going to have to allow God to empower you. If you want to train your child to the fullest, you are going to have to allow God to train you. If you want to see/hear/value your child to the fullest, you are going to have to allow God to see/hear/value you. If you want to embrace your child to the fullest, you are going to have to allow God to embrace you.
What is most important to you in your parenting? Fill in your own blank. “I want to _______ my child to the fullest.” Now ask yourself how you are doing with allowing God to do that with you.
WISE & EMPTY WISDOM (Excerpt from my book)
I was ticked. Okay, more like mad at hell that these wise men in front of me were clueless about suicide and the hopelessness that consumed me. Their only solution was to have me be babysat by one of my friends for the night and make her promise not to leave me out of her sight. Suicide is a lie. A demonic lie, and they had little to no awareness of how to help me get free. Instead, I was left alone to face the demonic spirit with a babysitter. Did they never consider that I would wake up with the lie the next morning? Would anyone ever understand what was swirling around my mind and heart? Ever??? Suicide is not an emotional issue; it is not solved in the natural. It is not about death; it is a self-hatred issue. A demonic lie has a legal right to speak to your mind because of unresolved emotional issues that have convinced you to turn on yourself. The enemy has a legal right to influence you and get you to do his dirty work in the first part of John 10:10. He wants you dead and is cashing in on your trauma, shame, and hopelessness that has caused you to turn against yourself. You cannot reason with this lie through the mind or emotions. Giving them a list of reasons why their life is worth living is like handing an anorexic a mirror to convince her that she is not fat. While the emotions and mind were a part of ushering in the demonic spirit, it is a spiritual issue and must be fought with spiritual tools. When the church fails to recognize this, it only pushes the despair that there truly is no hope for freedom. Instead of people being fully free, they learn to manage it. That is, until life circumstances create enough pressure to crumble the inferior operating system. If the second part of John 10:10 declares Jesus’ victory over death, then the church needs to be equipped and empowered to help set people free – fully free!
It is one thing to reject a person because of their looks, style, personality, or character flaws. While it hurts, there is a deeper form of rejection when someone ignores, dismisses, or devalues your destiny because your destiny is the core in which you were knit together. It is not rejecting a part of you, like your personality, character flaws, or weaknesses. It is rejecting the very core of your existence. This is why learning our identity is so critical. We have to know who we are so that when others, who don’t know who they are, speak demonically-influenced words over us, we can stand on His truth about our worth, value, and calling and not cower. The world needs what you carry. You are the answer to someone’s prayer. God knit you together to be a part of His plan for the world around you. It is time to break up with and flush the words and actions done in an attempt to shut you down, silence you, and render you useless.
May I encourage you to make a list of the actions or words that have crippled your ability to move forward? Write down the offense, but also write down the fruit of the offense. Ex: Someone spoke over you that your gifts aren’t good enough (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have partnered with fear and intimidation, which has caused you to shrink back from other opportunities. Ex. Someone spoke over you that they don’t believe in you (offense), and the fruit of it has been that you have wandered around from place to place looking for someone to see value in you because you were too afraid to see it in yourself again.
FORGIVE the person for being used by the enemy to put a hook in your heart. HAND OVER the pain, hurt, and regret to Jesus. ASK Jesus to show you what lie you were believing about yourself because of this event. ASK Father God what His truth is about you. INVITE Holy Spirit to teach you how to activate and use your gifts again. BLESS your spirit and tell yourself that you believe in yourself and have permission to carry on. The attack on your calling gives evidence that it is something that causes the enemy fear. It is time to stop partnering with it and get back in the game. The world is waiting for YOU!
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