A dad approached me and asked for help with his teen daughter, who was saying really mean things to him, like, “I hate you,” “You are fat,” “No one likes you.” I asked what the consequences were for a child to speak to an adult like that, and there were none other than letting her know his heart was hurt. I encouraged him to learn how to speak firmly but lovingly to draw a line in the sand with her. NO CHILD FEELS GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES speaking to their father that way. He is indirectly teaching her that this is how you treat men, your boss, and those in authority. While her behavior may appear strong, she is actually feeling insecure. A week later, he told me the glorious story of how he lovingly but firmly told her that he would no longer tolerate those words, and she pushed back by accusing him of something he did not do. He was firm in speaking the truth to her, and freedom came to her heart. He laughed, telling me how easy and light the relationship had been since then. When the dad got back in his proper place of authority and covering, the LIE in her heart was able to come out. Together they dealt with it, and connection and peace reigned again. Fearing our children is not in our job description. They do not set the tone in the home, parents do.
I GOT MY DAUGHTER BACK
- Authority, Testimonies
I loved receiving this testimony!!! Crawl into the world of this little boy and how his mom responded to his real heart.
“Hi Lisa, I’m not sure you’ll get this, I know you receive a lot of messages but I just finished your JOURNEY course and had to share something that happened today. My three-year-old has been struggling in Sunday school for the last month or so. When I signed him in he immediately cried and clung to me. I told the teacher I would keep him for worship and try again in a bit. We went in and started singing and he just hugged me and snuggled through two songs. I brought it up that I would take him after singing and he started fussing again. The band started singing Jeremy Camp “Same Power” right then and it hit me – your authority lesson! I asked him if he wanted to not be afraid and then I said, ‘Fear, I see you,’ and commanded it to leave and then ushered in peace. After the song I asked if he was ready and he was a completely different kid!! He walked to the room holding my hand and didn’t look back after saying bye to me. I am embarrassed to say I’m shocked, I shouldn’t be, because this is our God, but I just can’t recall ever feeling this powerful before in my parenting. I’m just so excited to have done this class and learn things I can use to help my kids through life! Thank you, thank you!!!”
I am often asked at what age a girl should begin to wear makeup. In response, I share our journey. Lauren and Emma were 12 years old when they asked me if they could start wearing makeup. For one, I said yes, and for the other, I said no. I asked each of them, “Are you walking as a Daughter and want to put on mascara because it is fun and you want to enjoy it? Or are you walking as an orphan who needs mascara to feel beautiful?” There is a world of difference! If it is the latter, I am not helping my daughter’s beauty by encouraging her to use makeup (or anything else) to become her false identity. I took the one shopping to buy her first cosmetic product while I worked with the other one to know the beauty of her worth and value FIRST, and then we went shopping. Both girls know who they are today and do not need makeup to feel beautiful. They are able to enjoy it as a Daughter and feel secure with or without it.
Years ago, God gave me this picture of a spiritually healthy child with two solid legs to stand on. One leg represents the releasing of the Kingdom (identity, destiny, hearing His voice, healing the sick, Bible knowledge, prophesying, etc.). The other leg represents the tools needed to deal effectively with the things from the enemy that cut off the other leg! One without the other makes for an imbalanced and frustrating walk with Jesus. That vision is one of the founding motives for this and is in alignment with John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”
Years ago, I had my second lump removed from my breast. I scheduled my follow-up surgery on the same day my insurance expired. My doctor ran the test and told me I had a 65% chance of getting the most aggressive form of breast cancer within five years and suggested I go on a low-dose cancer drug. I told her my insurance ended that day, and she said, “Well, you better hurry up then and make a decision,” assuring me she could give me an extended prescription to cover me for a while. I was barely 40 years old, a single mom, and had four little babies at home under five. Flashbacks of losing my mom to breast cancer poured out of my eyes as I wept, sitting in my car in the parking lot. My ability to think and make rational decisions became paralyzed in fear. I was gambling with my life, and it was not something to take flippantly. I called some friends who had their journey with cancer and strongly suggested I take the drug. I cried out to God (literally), telling Him how scared I was (not just for me, but how this would affect my children), and asked what I should do. Suddenly, I got this overwhelming thought, “Why would I treat a cancer I do not have?” The doctor said I had a higher percentage that I COULD get it, but I currently did not have cancer. The tornado of chaos and emotions gave way to deep peace. I attempted to clean up the streaks of black mascara that stained my face and, with bold confidence, went back up to my doctor’s office to tell her, “Thank you, but no thank you.” I was fully aware that fear would knock, wanting me to play the What-If game.
I made an agreement with God that day. I reminded Him that He is my great Physician (years earlier, I was scheduled for a double transplant – until God stepped in). I already had faith in what He can do through my body, so I turned the issue over to Him and told Him, “I am not going to pay attention to this report. This one is on You, and You can alert me if something is wrong, but I will not let fear talk to me.” Over the years, I have had to remind myself of that agreement on a few occasions, and when fear knocks, I answer by blessing my body and cursing cancer. Fast forward to one summer. We have always spent our summers on the road doing family ministry. That summer, we had our trip all planned down to the details, but the more things came together, the louder my lack of peace became. I finally laid it all down as I no longer wanted to fight for peace. A week later, I found a mass in my breast. Between swinging from one doctor appointment to the next and waiting for appointment day to arrive, we spent our summer walking out the reality that a tumor was found. I got the call while standing in the swimsuit section of Target and would be lying if I said the room didn’t spin a bit when I hung up the phone. But I asked God, “Is this my time?” and clearly, I heard, “NO!” My mind never played the What-If game, and I kept my peace all summer.
It doesn’t make it true just because someone speaks a word over you. Just because the odds are against you doesn’t mean you have lost. Just because a doctor says so doesn’t mean you have to partner with it. Just because fear speaks to you doesn’t mean you have to listen. I am happy to report that I am okay, and we are on the other side of this journey.
There is the natural realm – all things on earth. There is the heavenly realm – all things in heaven. There is also the unseen spiritual realm that operates between the two. Have you ever walked into a room or house and felt so much love? Have you ever gone somewhere, and fear met you at the door? Someone is releasing that into the atmosphere, and you are coming into that presence. Sometimes children walk into an atmosphere and react as if it is coming from them. Those most sensitive to feeling atmospheres are often described as ‘flip of a switch’ since they can be fine one moment and a ball of emotions the next. Chances are, they walked into the atmosphere. The sensitivity to atmospheres is generally a sign they have the gift of discernment, but until one understands how to use it, they often feel like they are tossed against the waves of atmospheres all around them. I often stop and ask, “What are you feeling in the atmosphere right now?” They never cease to amaze me at how strongly they feel JUNK! We simply take authority over it. We do this with certain people, in a new situation, over their classrooms, at Wal-Mart, after an interaction with a rude person, at a restaurant, etc. I am training them to first discern the atmosphere and then second to use their authority over it.
A parent was asking me about the child who slams their door and remains in the room upset. Their question included, “I can’t control them,” and something profound rose within me. No, they are right that control-based parenting is ineffective for the long haul and does little to address the child’s heart. However, I think there is a lot of space between “I can’t control them,” and “there is no way I will lay down my authority that fast when the enemy comes to build a wall with my child.” Let me explain. The purpose of a wall in the natural (bushes, fences, room dividers, retaining wall) is to hold something in and/or keep something out. It creates a physical boundary line that communicates “you can’t get through.” We build walls in our hearts when we are hurt or afraid to keep the bad out and to self-protect ourselves from getting hurt again. This makes logical sense, EXCEPT #1. It keeps the bad out but also keeps the good out. #2. It traps the bad so that it can’t escape and causes us to carry the hurt/offense around. #3. God never intended us to carry the job of self-protection. That is His job. When the enemy is working my child to build a wall to keep pain in (and me out), I agree I can’t control them, but boy, mama bear comes out in the spiritual realm. I bind whatever is in operation, ask Holy Spirit to bring into light whatever is in darkness, release comfort to their hearts, and I go after their love language BIG time. When I see my child struggling and needing the comfort of a wall to feel safe, I BACK OFF from parenting their flesh and wrong behavior and go after their heart. My goal isn’t to have perfect kids. My goal is to keep their heart in the palm of my hand and teach them a lifestyle of going to God even in the complicated and messy places. Control? No. Power and authority, YES!
There is the natural realm with our flesh – all things on earth. There is the heavenly realm which is all things in heaven. There is more to what we see and hear. There is an atmosphere of things unseen all around us. Have you ever walked into a room or house and felt so much love? Someone is releasing that into the atmosphere, and you are coming into that presence. Have you ever gone somewhere, and fear met you at the door? Again, it is an atmosphere that has been released. We have power and authority over all things (Matt 28:18) and can flip anything in His name! The key to shifting atmospheres is: Realizing what is being released (and not assuming it is just you) and releasing the opposite spirit. We do not need to go around rebuking demonic spirits. Chances are, others have opened the door and have a legal right to be there, but they must submit to your authority when you are present. This is a lifestyle for my family. We know our authority and use it everywhere we go: school, church, grocery store, library, friend’s house, etc. If I walk into a room and suddenly feel super angry, but know it isn’t ME, then I know I have come under an atmosphere. I simply say a prayer/declaration like this, “Anger, I see you and forbid you from influencing me and those around me. I release JOY, happiness, and PEACE right now in the Name of Jesus.” That’s it! It’s like being a police officer and walking into a room and saying, “Hey you, bad guy, get out,” They have to obey because you have authority as a law enforcement officer in the name of Jesus. We are heaven’s law enforcement officers! This is one of my all-time favorite teachings to share with parents.
POLICE BADGE – Talk to the kids about the authority a police officer has. The law and courts back up an officer operating within their proper training. We are just like police officers when we do as Jesus did, and all of heaven backs us up. We get to tie up the bad and then unleash all the good stuff. Do not skip over this teaching. Make it FUN, and make sure your child knows they are powerful in the name of Jesus and things shift when they speak.
I share more about the police badge teaching and authority in this video. Watch it with your children: Teaching Children Their Authority – YouTube
We attended a service, and they announced the little kids would be coming in and passing something out to the adults. I assumed it would be the youth group, but in walked the smallest of kids. They were adorable in every way! Suddenly the worship was ignited, and His sweet Presence filled the room. It was like you couldn’t cuddle deep enough in His lap. It was so safe and secure. I asked God what He was doing, and He reminded me of a vision He gave me years ago about revival. He asked if I would enjoy a family reunion with the great and great greats. I agreed it would be so much fun to see those in my family line. He asked how I would feel if my own children weren’t there, and I would be sad if they missed out. It would bring me so much joy to have them there with me to experience what I was experiencing. He said, “That is how I feel when ALL of my family is together.” Get this – adults are feeling uncomfortable, and He brings the little ones into the room, releasing His presence over the adults, and touching them deeply. The Father’s delight is released when the WHOLE family is present in His Presence.
Oh my goodness. I went to Walmart with my daughter, and we laughed and smiled as we walked inside. I had a mental note of how much joy I was feeling at that moment. We grabbed a cart and took off for our items. I began to feel something, and it was starting to affect me physically, like a deep pit in my stomach. I noticed the empty shelves where cleaning supplies and wipes were supposed to be stocked. It was an eerie feeling. I walked away and felt gripped with a strong feeling. I finally stopped and asked my daughter to check her gut and tell me what she was sensing, and she said, “Oh, Mom. It feels scary, like we aren’t going to be okay.” I asked her if she believed that, and she said NO but was feeling it strongly. We realized it was not us but the atmosphere. We left and renounced the feeling of dread and fear and released peace.
Parents, please be sensitive to your child. It may not be a character issue if they have random outbursts, but simply feeling the atmosphere of fear around them. Ask Holy Spirit if it is time for correction or to pull them in close and assure them Jesus is in control.
I vividly remember the day I was introduced to the fear of not being safe as a little girl. We were out of town on vacation with another family. My friend and I asked for money to walk down to the store. We laughed the whole way there and giggled the whole way back. We didn’t have a care in the world except being a child on a mission for candy. The next day we asked to go again, but this time our moms were hesitant, and you could feel something strange in the atmosphere. We continued to beg them to let us go, and finally, they shared with us that a man had done something really bad and that the police were still looking for him. They allowed us to go but firmly warned us to ‘be careful.’ Our eyes were as wide as they could be the whole way down. Fear had shut down our joy, and when we got back to the cabin, we sprinted the last few feet as if something was chasing us. I was introduced to fear that day, and it remained with me for decades. Did a man do something bad? Yes. Was he still at risk of harming others? Yes. Was there a real danger? Potentially. But what I needed as a child whose brain wasn’t fully developed was not the introduction of fear but to be empowered with HOW to keep safe. John 10:10 outlines that we all have an enemy wanting to bring harm, but the rest of the verse is how we should position our parenting. Jesus has tools to overcome every strategy of the enemy. We can camp out in fear of the enemy OR the strategy and tools of heaven – we pick.
P.S. I am fairly certain my mom witnessed me partnering with fear in the days ahead but she just didn’t have the language or tools to help me. We can parent our children differently.