If parents could learn the rhythm of their child’s heartbeat, their world would be changed.
IF PARENTS COULD…
Giving up control-based parenting does not mean giving up your God-given authority. It does not mean the child is in control, nor does it mean they get to make the decisions.
If you have read many posts of Let the Children Fly, you will know that hearing God is a core ingredient to partnering with Him in your parenting. The fruit is literally changing the next generation!
Someone recently asked me if I ever think my kids will surpass me in the things of the Spirit. I laughed and said, “They did that a long time ago – and I am okay with that!” You see, I am on a journey of UNlearning things, tearing down strongholds, and experiencing the Father where there is no earthly experience. My children have a very different story. While they surely know heartbreak and pain, they have always had a family, been in connection, been seen and heard, and have been introduced to the real living Jesus in a tangible way since they were very young. Their foundation is different. When they were little, I once watched my child have an angry outburst with their sibling, and I told them that they learned that from me. I modeled that for them, but I could not allow them to walk in the same footsteps. Anger was a stronghold for me as a reaction to staying safe in unhealthy environments, and God was dismantling it. But for them, they were CHOOSING it. There is a difference. You are not being a hypocrite for calling your child to a higher standard in an area you may struggle in. It is called tough love and breaking the cycle. If this is something you are aware of in your parenting, keep going low and keep cleaning up your mess, letting them know that your responses are not in alignment with the Father’s heart.
Obviously, the goal is for the parent to get free, but in the meantime, it is okay to call our children to a higher living and hold them accountable for right behaviors.
No child profits from a parent who is worn out, exhausted, and has reached their capacity to give.
You are not the potter; He is. We must 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. Isaiah 64:8.
I want to talk about compassion – for yourself. Compassion simply means having tenderness towards the areas that cause our hearts concern. Compassion is a balm to our hurting hearts. While it would be fabulous if everyone around us ministered this ingredient to our hearts daily, it doesn’t often work that way. In reality, when we aren’t able to be compassionate to our own heart, it makes it even harder to receive it from others.
When was the last time you sat and intentionally championed your own heart?
Many of us feel traces (or bucket fulls) of shame during the day – shame over our looks, belonging, parenting or relationships. The only antidote to shame is compassion. Shame can’t be rebuked, ignored or fixed. It only leaves when compassion is smeared all over it.
I encourage you to print the following list out or write a few of them on a sticky note and place them on your mirror. Speak them over yourself at LEAST once a day but allow them to be your go-to when your own heart needs tenderness.
It feels silly, I know. But trust me when I say that applying compassion to your own heart is a key to connecting with His heart because we can’t receive (from Him and others) what we don’t give ourselves. This is quite simple, yet deeply profound.
- I see you trying so hard
- I am proud of you
- I am sorry you feel sad
- I am sorry you feel alone
- I am sorry you feel scared
- I can tell you care so much
- Take all the time you need
- You are going to be ok
- I will sit with you until you feel safe
- I accept you
- I value you
- I am sorry you feel trapped
- I think you’re brave
- I don’t want to get rid of you
- I don’t see you as broken
- I see you
- I enjoy you
How does this make you feel?
What was it like reading the list?
What kind of parent/person would you be if you were a pro at being tender to your own heart?
Back in my 20’s, I was hospitalized for three months, and upon waking from my coma, I discovered I had kidney, liver, and respiratory failure. I was pretty sick and very weak. My vital organs were all compromised, and I almost died because of it. One of the hardest parts of that journey was physical therapy, where I had to mentally train my body to work again. All I wanted to do was lay down and quit. It was too hard. I did not have the muscle strength to do what my circumstances demanded of me. My muscles felt like a wet noodle. I wanted to stop. I wanted to quit. I wanted to be left alone, but my PT cared about my health journey and knew it was best to push me, call me further, and expect more of myself SO THAT I could be strong and healthy again. I am so glad they could see further down the road than my eyes could at that moment. I needed to trust their wisdom in order to pull myself out of that pit.
Here’s the deal – many of you have been in a spiritual coma. Things have happened and caused your muscles to feel fatigued. You are like a wet noodle in the spiritual realm and have simply laid down and quit. You have allowed the toxins of life to affect your spiritual health. I get it more than you know. But we cannot remain in bed, hoping and praying that God will supernaturally step in and heal us where He has invited us to take our place. We must do our part. You have to get out of bed and begin using those muscles again, as hard as it is and as weak as you may feel. You have come too far to quit now. Your children will reap the fruit of your choices one way or another.
While you may be going through a change, it is a lie that you are alone. On this day, God calls you His. Anchor yourself daily in this truth.
Declare this out loud, “I am not alone. God is with me.” Say it again and again and again until the eyes of your heart get it.
Hosea 2:16 (NIV) – “In that day,” declares the LORD, “you will call me ‘my husband’ you will no longer call me ‘my master.'”
Hosea 2:16 (MSG) – “At that time” – this is God’s Message still – “you’ll address me, ‘Dear husband!’ Never again will you address me, ‘My slave-master!’ I’ll wash your mouth out with soap, get rid of all the dirty false-god names, not so much as a whisper of those names again.”
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.
Be kind to the first child God gave you – yourself. You will be accountable for how you treat, accept, reject, love, scold, champion, deny, uphold, tear down, believe in, deny or embrace that child. God is fiercely protective and crazy in love with that child; you should be too!