IDENTITY STABILITY

IDENTITY STABILITY

I·den·ti·ty – Noun – the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

Sta·bil·i·ty – Noun – the state of being stable. synonyms: firmness, solidity, steadiness, secureness, strength, fastness, stoutness, sturdiness, security, safety.

According to the dictionary the word IDENTITY is a noun and is based on FACTS. A fact is something that is known and proven true. Some will say that our identity can be anything one wants it to be, but that defies the definition of identity. A cow can’t just decide they want to be a monkey and swing from the trees. Attempting to ‘be’ a monkey would reap a lifetime of defeat, not to mention bumps and bruises. An ant can’t decide they want to carry their young in a pouch like a kangaroo because they don’t have a pouch! Wish as you might, but a clock can’t just start operating like a car because they are wired completely different.

In order to fully be alive, we need to answer two questions – WHY was I created and then HOW was I created? My parenting is anchored in these truths about my children.

Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG) – “Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb. I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation! You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.”

Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG) – “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations— that’s what I had in mind for you.”

Do you have faith in what God says about your child’s existence? Oh friends, this is the GOOD news! We aren’t here by chance or accident. He didn’t mess up the design, switch parts or make an error. We are purposely created with the utmost of care and intention. We are not manufactured at record speed; we are knit together by our Creator with a plan and purpose (the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists). We are ANCHORED when we understand that we were created by design for an incredible purpose. The world will tell you otherwise because they are without the hope, promise, and mindset of Christ. To know your identity is to also know that others haven’t yet discovered theirs. Discovering how we were created is not about reading a manual, but a glorious process of discovery with our Creator. This is one of the reasons why God put young vulnerable children in families and not as orphans. As parents, we get to blow on their areas of strength and empower them in their areas of weaknesses. We have the privilege of helping them unpack what is inside of them by God’s intentional design to impact those around them. The more this is discovered in childhood the easier adulthood will be because they already have a grid for who they are. You can’t operate successfully unless you know your original design and purpose. Establishing identity is a building block that is essential to building a strong foundation. If you don’t know who you are then it is going to be very hard to walk in the fullness of all that is inside of you with confidence and boldness. If you want your child to grow up bearing good fruit in their life, they must be first taught who they are. Our identity is who we ARE, and our destiny is what we are called to DO with our time on earth. Identity always comes before destiny because you have to know who you are before you can discover what you were created to do (and it is a loving Father not to move you into your calling before you have established your identity as His Son and Daughter). When a person doesn’t know who they are they become double-minded. Their mind tells them one thing and their heart tells them another. Each one cancels the other out rendering the person motionless. “I should”, “I shouldn’t”, “I am”, “I am not”, “I do”, “I don’t”… The cycle rages on in all areas of their life reducing their capacity to a cycle of unanswered mental questions. James 1:8 says, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” God calls us to walk in confidence and assurance, not double mindedness.

Here’s the deal – if we, as parents, do not partner with our child’s Creator and help them discover who they were knit together to be, the world will. The two worlds are vastly different in views, purpose, and identity. More than ever the world is reaching children with a non-Biblical worldview which does not line up with God’s intention, plan, and purpose for your child. It is crucial that we shift from the parenting mindset of ‘shaping’ and ‘molding’ our children into something and learn how to partner, call forth and pull out what God has ALREADY created them to be. Paul was never meant to be a football player. Moses was never meant to be a worship leader. David wasn’t meant to be the president of a company. They changed the world because they discovered and then walked in who they were designed to be.

HeartWork – I want you to take out a sheet of paper and draw an outline of a body. Spend some time with your child’s Creator and ask Him to show you who He knit your child to be. How do they see the world? How does their brain work? What makes them come alive? What are their gifts, skills, and talents (even at a young age)? Allow Him to introduce you to the child He knit together.

IDENTITY

Have you figured out yet there is a war raged against the next generation? The name of the war is IDENTITY. Matthew 4 outlines how Satan attempted to steal, kill and destroy Jesus’ focus, calling, and identity. I love Jesus’ response each time as He simply declared, “It is written…” The Word was the weapon that anchored Him in victory. Jesus didn’t have to ‘fight’ this battle. He simply declared, “Nope, Daddy said so,” and that was enough. We already know the enemy is defeated but we must do our part as parents to respond as Jesus did to protect the attack on our children’s identity. We learn from Matthew 4 HOW the enemy works to steal, kill and destroy identity. There are countless examples all around us of people who are losing or have lost the battle over their identity. But take heart, dear friends, because God, as always, provides us with strategy in the midst of the battle. He is looking for those willing to pick up the sword of the Word and claim victory in their family. The enemy came to Jesus when He was ISOLATED. God puts us in a family for a reason. The church is called to be a place where the parts of the Body come together as One with Him at the center. This is the epitome of being seen, covered and known. When we are connected in family and community it is like a pack of lions surrounding the young. When the enemy shows his head, the lionesses arise. However, when families do not offer children a “You matter” and “I see you” type of community, the child feels isolated, even in their own home. Parenting styles that operate out of legalism, control and continued anger isolate the child leaving them open to the temptation of the enemy. The enemy tempted Jesus with a WARPED VERSION of the very thing that He was hungry for. Jesus was hungry for His Father and denied Himself physical food so that He could spiritually feast on the intimate connection with His Father. The enemy attempted to feed Him with food that could not nourish His soul. There is a longing in the soul of man for his Creator, yet the enemy fills him with the tastes of the world that satisfy the flesh and leave the soul empty. The more one feasts on porn, addiction, drugs, phone addiction, alcohol, video games, anger, control, etc. the deeper the hunger for it grows. All of these things DO meet a need for connection and power, but it is a warped version of the real thing God has intended for us. People who are isolated (physically, mentally, or emotionally) have deep hunger pangs to be in community which is why they make easy targets for warped versions of the real thing. Have you heard of people in desperate situations where they are isolated and get so hungry, they drink their own urine? While it sounds extreme to us, it is survival to the one in isolation and lack. The enemy offers ‘urine’ and they are so thirsty they do not fully realize what they are consuming. God did not design our bodies to be nourished by urine. The enemy then whispers seeds of DOUBT by attempting to give ‘evidence’ that God can’t really be who He says He is. Doubt comes wrapped in lies that may even look, sound or feel true, but are still false. The nature of deception is to cause someone to believe something that is not true, typically in order to gain some personal advantage. The enemy gains advantage when the lie is embraced because it gives him an invitation to influence that person. It is like going to the front door and welcoming him in our minds. This is also why it is pointless to shout at someone, “You can’t believe that” or “That is not true.” To them, it IS true. Children who have a big Daddy are less likely to get bullied. The bigger our faith, the less we are subjected to the temptation or ‘evidence’ to doubt.

Parents, it is vital to teach children that not every thought that crosses their mind is to be considered their thoughts or truth. We grab a hold of those thoughts that create arguments against God and toss them out. Oh, I long for you to see this. The war for our children looks like this: Isolate them in their own homes, feed them with the world that feds the flesh but empties the soul, cause doubt through lies that may sound true but are still lies, become their own god rejecting all others. God’s plan for our child’s identity looks like this: Put them in families where they are seen, heard, and valued, feed them with the Word of God, anchor them in His Truth and hold them accountable for living in a way that is pleasing to God, speak truth over them OFTEN, teach them to submit to God’s authority. This is an active, intentional strategy that requires parents to be engaged, plugged in and alert. 

HeartWork – Which area is being highlighted that needs to be increased in your family? Increasing connection? Speaking truth over them? Teaching them about His Word? Learning how to submit to God? Take some time and process this with God.

FAILURE TO SEE

This story broke my heart when I heard it, and I haven’t been able to shake it. A young man was raised with legalistic parents. He went into the homosexual lifestyle and was cut off from every family member for not renouncing his ungodly lifestyle. He is in the midst of writing a book about his journey, which includes being raped as a small boy but never telling anyone. This I know for sure. After the rape, he acted out the splinters in his heart, as our bodies are not wired to hold onto that type of trauma. He was most likely angry, defiant, aggressive, rude, and/or withdrawn, yet was met with parents who had a high value for outward behavior. Could you imagine for a moment what it is like for a child to endure such brutal agony and then be spanked, isolated, or rejected while trying to process it? My heart screams out for children to be HEARD and for parents to understand what is happening inside their hearts. Our online class is not a product I am selling. It is a lifeline to HELP parents see and help their children. You cannot afford NOT to be empowered and equipped. Your children need to know you have the answers and tools to help them.

FILL THE TANK

Do you love your child? I realize that is a silly question to ask a mom, but if you were to ask children many would report they don’t feel like they are loved. Love is what we feel for them, but we have to be empowered in how to get that love OUT of our hearts and into THEIRS.

Go to The Love Language™ Quiz (5lovelanguages.com) with your child and have them complete the online Love Language quiz for children over the age of five (under five needs all of the languages spoken). Print out their results and spend time connecting by coming up with a list of 15 ways you can speak love in their language. This is important because if you don’t know what love looks like, you can spend years pouring your heart out, but to them, it sounds like a foreign language, and they don’t understand it. Speaking it the way they *need* it spoken is like getting a bullseye right into their heart. Do not get overwhelmed by this as a ‘one more thing I have to do.’ Chances are you are already doing many things to show your love for them. Wouldn’t you rather invest your energy where it was actually being deposited rather than unaccounted for? Also, many of you are dealing with issues with your children that are draining you greatly (attitudes, walls, anger, disrespect, poor grades, lack of attention, etc.) and nothing shifts circumstances more than going after their heart (above circumstances and behavior) and filling them with love. The Word says if you have everything, but have no love, you have nothing (1 Corinthians 13:2). This tells us love has to be a foundation above everything else. The challenging thing about a child’s heart is that they are small and EMPTY quick, but the good things about a child’s heart are that they are small and FILL fast. Children often come home from school with lowered love tanks and not only need a snack to nourish their bellies but love to fill their heart tank. This will improve the way they interact with their siblings, respond to you, as well as, how they perform in school. Like watering a wilted plant, they come to life no matter what they have been through when watered with love in a language they can understand. The difference between a wound and a hurt is how much love they received in the midst of their circumstances. Your love as their mom is the greatest balm you smear on anything that happens to them, but you have to know what that balm looks like to them. Set a reminder in your phone to go off daily as a reminder to fill their heart’s love tank. This is one investment you can’t afford to neglect in your child’s life. Love is essential to thriving!

ORPHAN SPIRIT

The term ‘orphan spirit’ is a little misleading in that it is not a demonic spirit that can be resolved by using your authority over it, like a spirit of fear or rejection. The ‘orphan spirit’ has more to do with the POSITION of a believer and which kingdom they are aligning their thoughts with. We are all born spiritual orphans because we all fall short of His measuring stick and have disobeyed. The Good News is that Jesus took our spanking for our mistakes, messes, and disobedience. For those who humble themselves and accept this profoundly kind free gift, He gives to us in exchange our adoption papers and the right to be included in His Father’s house and enjoy everything that is available to Him. It is like one big giant slumber party in the palace where there is plenty of food, joy, and laughter. Except the party does not end the following morning. We get to live like that for the rest of our days on earth. However, the process of discovering our full adoption takes a lifetime of exploration. The Bible calls it sanctification, which is the process of being set apart for His purposes. The moment we believe we are justified or adopted, there is a process that comes with learning to become a true Son or Daughter. Let’s say it this way. You were born into the foster care system and lived in a group home until God walked in, looked you in the eyes, and declared that He wanted you as His own. From that moment, He is your legal guardian, but it takes some time to learn how to walk as a Daughter and Son and leave the orphan life behind. My hope is that you will take a few more steps toward your Father and live out what Jesus has made available to you, His Kingdom!

GIFT BAG

Take an index card and write words that fit your child: ‘smart,’ ‘loving,’ ‘kind,’ ‘secure,’ ‘special,’ etc. Wrap up that card inside tissue paper and place it deep within a gift bag (or brown paper bag). Do this before you bring it to the children. Now have a stack of Kleenex or tissue paper, and one by one, as you wad it up, call out lies: ‘stupid,’ ‘mean,’ ‘ugly,’ ‘useless,’ etc. As you call out each lie, place the Kleenex ball in the bag. Do 8-10 lies/balls of paper. It’s okay to get crazy and have fun with this (they don’t know what’s coming, and the more they participate, the better the ah-ha moment will be). Now, explain to the child that the gift bag represents the heart that is in each person on earth. Remind them of the mean lies that were deposited into that heart. If a person hears that they are ugly, mean, unwanted, gross, etc., ask how they think that person will act. Keep going until they take out each lie one by one until they get to the truth card. Ask them to open it up and read the card. Explain that each person on earth has something of value written on their heart FROM GOD, their Creator. We are to go around FINDING that nugget of gold in each person. When they walk by someone at the store and say, “You have beautiful eyes,” they are calling out the TRUTH about that person. When they speak life over someone, they are calling out the good!

“Identity” is a very big word with a loaded meaning. This is just a tiny sampling of what we can teach our children about identity, but the most important thing is that they realize that there are two opposing views – what God says about us and the lies the enemy says. We need to choose which one we will believe and which one we will kick out the door – about ourselves and others.

Talk about ways we can call out the truth/good, as well as ways we deposit the lie/bad into someone’s heart. Which one do we want to be?

RE-VIVE

We are in a never-seen-before season on earth. I passionately believe God is reviving families back into alignment with His original design and purpose for advancing His Kingdom on earth.

HEALTHY SEXUALITY

Are you concerned about all of the gender confusion and what it means for your child? Does talking about it make you feel intimidated? Are you unsure of how to respond to those around you? Not only do we need to start conversations, but we also need to become empowered so that we can enter the discussion with our children to empower them to walk in gender stability. 

LOVE MATTERS

It is so important that we understand this reality: Every person speaks a language, but that does not mean that he or she is communicating. We often assume that children should know we love them because we express it in a variety of ways. The reality is, however, that children are living in homes where parents are fluent in a language they know nothing about. Just because you work hard, provide a big home, clean, cook, do laundry, wipe snotty noses, change diapers, travel to Disney, and then repeat, does not mean that you are speaking their language. It means that you are an incredible parent who loves your children so much that you are willing to sacrifice your time and finances for them but have perhaps missed how to make sure all your hard work is actually being received. 

Have you ever had those days when you feel like you are constantly butting heads with a child or when they seem to be going out of their way to be a bully to their siblings, yet nothing you do seems to work? Children with empty tanks, even with siblings, will often fight to get it filled. Disconnected kids act out like kids starving for attention! We are sending our children out into the world where they will encounter a wide variety of situations. They are growing and learning spiritually, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and physically at a rapid rate. Sending them out with a heart tank full of love helps them process, weather, endure, overcome and succeed far greater than the child who is on empty. The more they experience love at home, the more they will be able to handle what comes their way. Isn’t that true for you?

Picture an airport full of people wanting to board a particular flight going overseas that is only made once a month. It is a crucial connection for many people. There isn’t an option of getting there by another airline. People need THIS flight. An announcement is made that the plane has moved to a different gate, but it is in Arabic. How many people would miss their flight simply because THEIR language was not spoken? All the components to make the connection are there: the plane, pilot, purchased ticket, and even the announcement, but the communication was not received. How many kids miss that their parents love them simply because THEIR language isn’t spoken? These parents have given them everything, worked hard, and have a heart full of love, yet their kids wander through life not experiencing it. I find it interesting that CONNECTION is one of the words used to describe communication and that the opposite of communication is defined as WITHHOLDING. This is where understanding our individual love languages is such a vital key. I look at effectively speaking someone’s love language like an umbilical cord connecting two people. When you accurately speak another person’s language, what you release actually enters into their heart and soul. Knowing their language is like hitting the bull’s eye!

Homework – Go to The Love Language™ Quiz (5lovelanguages.com) and have YOUR CHILD take the quiz. Print them out and talk about them as a family (even Mom and Dad’s language). At the end of the quiz, there is an option to sign up for the weekly email, which is a short and sweet list of creative ways to speak love each week. Make sure you sign up for the newsletter, and they will send you short, quick, easy weekly reminders and creative suggestions for how to speak each language. A child’s heart is smaller, so they leak quickly. But the good news is that they fill fast! We owe it to our children to do our part in giving them what they need each day to succeed. Be intentional. Fill the tank. Reap the results!!

LOVE WINS

Mom of three shares: “I loved how this teaching exposed the strategy of the enemy and the current cultural and spiritual battle going on around the issue of gender and identity. I have been feeling these things for a long time in our culture and in many of my relationships but haven’t had the clarity to really understand the underlying forces at play until this course. So many great tools for helping my children and any lies or struggles they may face as well as walking in grace and truth with my co-workers and friends who still need the invitation to freedom and encounter with Jesus. And beyond the amazing tools, I also feel a new passionate fire within me to bring this revealed strategy of Heaven into my home, workplace, and church!” 

LOVE KEY

I am not seeking to offend anyone with this, nor am I turning this into a debate, but I believe that the following story is KEY to understanding the NECESSITY of communicating LOVE to our children. 

Years ago, I led a small group with a friend I had known for years. I adored him and felt like he was my brother. One day he announced to me that he struggled with same-sex thoughts. I was dumbfounded; how could a man who loved and obeyed Jesus struggle with something so profoundly and I did not know of it before as his friend? Something in my heart demanded a breakthrough to understand his journey. I remember him telling me that his mom and dad were the best parents ever and that they loved their four kids passionately. The dad, however, never spoke his love language. The other kids shared the language of quality time, and the dad was excellent at that, but my friend’s language was touch, and his dad was not a touchy-feely kind of guy. He explained that as a child, he longed to be held, touched, kissed, patted on the back – just touched by his dad – and he never got it. He explained how he was almost obsessed with being touched by a man as a child. When he entered his hormonal teen years, he would find himself fantasizing, not about sex with another male, but about a man’s strong arms or big chest and what it would feel like to embrace them. The enemy will use anything, and soon, as his hormones were raging, confusion began to wage war, and he found himself moving inch-by-inch into sexual thoughts about another man. At that point, he had never acted on it, but it was a daily battle to control his longing to be held and touched by a man. 

Do you want to know what the saddest thing about this story is? Think about those struggling with these desires, and what happens to a person when they finally share their deepest secret with the parent from whom they long for love? They get rejected and stamped as unacceptable. And guess what that fuels? Their need and longing for love. Love matters!