Jesus doesn’t have band-aids.
I hate that many people have been duped! They think that the fear they feel is real. If only they could see it for what it is – a smoke screen from the enemy to get you to partner with letting go of the goodness of God. Satan can’t alter the finished work of the Cross, nor can he change God’s love for you, so he strives to make YOU believe something else which diminishes your experience with the Cross and His love. But it is just all a big lie! “I can’t trust God,” “I am afraid of the unknown,” “What if I can’t handle what He tells me,” “I will be out of control,” “I am afraid I won’t hear right,” “I am afraid that I will lose my family,” “I am afraid that…” on and on!
The whole job of a parent is to teach! I know some of you are saying “duh,” but some of you might be like me and have not realized just how early it starts and what all needs to be taught! Holy Spirit-led parenting is rocking my world. He is flooding us with the tools of heaven that not only makes sense to the kids but also hits me right where I need it! There is not a one-and-done answer or one magic class that can teach us as parents. It is all hands-on, and in the moment, and THAT is why we NEED Him!!
Hear what this mom had to share: “One day, I brought the kids out to the trampoline. We talked about Jesus being the light and how light casts out darkness. I was using examples and reading the Scripture when my son said something along the lines of, ‘So you’re saying when there’s a gap between us, more darkness comes in?’ YES!!!! So the image below popped into my mind. I thought of the game ‘Red rover, red rover, bring _____ right over.’ We had two big guys in our class growing up. As we played this game in the gym, they sent over a smaller guy! This guy came running as hard and fast as he could, and he got LAID OUT! I’m pretty sure he got a concussion! It is the perfect imagery of just how strong we are as a family UNIT when we are UNITED!!!!! The enemy doesn’t have a chance! So I told the story as the kids held hands and then asked them to separate. How easy was it for the enemy to get into their circle and cause a big fuss when they were not a unit?”
I’m telling you. If you are ready to throw in the towel, DON’T DO IT. Get desperate. Desperate people get stuff done! Seek first His kingdom, and HE WILL ANSWER. Our families hold the answer, not the problem.
I bought the little Etch A Sketch, kept it in my junk drawer, and used it as my object lesson for forgiveness when my children goofed up. I remember one time in particular when I was traveling, my son forged his field trip permission slip with my signature since he’d forgotten to ask me to sign it before I left. The teacher caught him. He confessed what he did, and I asked him to get the Etch A Sketch. I explained what forgery was, and we talked about why it was a wrong choice. Then, I turned it over, shook it, and said, “I forgive you for forging the field trip form.” We hugged, and I asked him how he would handle it next time. It was a great teachable moment!
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.
Rest is not being inactive. Rest is the position of our heart after we have released something over to God and left it in His care. We cease taking matters into our own hands and operating in self-sufficiency. We hand over the transaction to Him, and at that moment, we are in restful confidence He can act on our behalf. We rest in the assurance that He is able, capable, mighty, willing, powerful, and active in our lives. Simply put, spiritual orphans can NOT find rest because the world’s weight is on them to self-provide, self-protect, self-defend, and self-secure. But as Sons and Daughters, we have a Father who is alive and well and wants to help us. Have you ever sat on an aircraft and watched people attempt to put their luggage in the overhead compartment? They struggle to lift the weight of their carry-on above their head while juggling their coffee, trying hard not to hit the person in front of them. Along comes a flight attendant in full confidence in their ability to help lighten the load and get them situated. Have you ever watched a child struggle to tie their shoes or fasten their pant button? They get frustrated easily with their lack of ability. A loving parent comes alongside them and, with ease, eagerly helps them. The Father is like the flight attendant wanting to carry your load. The Father is like a loving parent wanting to help in your time of need. Rest is not simply doing nothing. Rest is releasing your burdens for Him to do something.
HeartWork – “Jesus, I surrender and hand to You my burden of _____.”
One of the biggest lies about Christian parenting is that you have to master things yourself first (knowing the Word, hearing God’s voice, praying for others, soaking in His presence, etc.). Maybe, perhaps, it was God’s plan all along that you grow together as a family going after the things of the Kingdom. There is NO way I would be where I am now if it weren’t for my formal Kingdom training that was married with my children’s child-like faith. The KEY is in sharing what you are learning WITH your children and TOGETHER playing in the Kingdom.
The church is not closed – never has been – never will be, according to Ephesians 3:21. If you are not able to go to the church building of your choice tomorrow, CREATE YOUR OWN. Doing church at home is a great way to come together as a family. Have someone pick out a verse to share and discuss it as a family. YouTube is loaded with worship songs that have the words on the bottom. Pass juice and bread/crackers and take Communion together, talking about the meaning. Go around in a circle and share one thing you are thankful for (keep the game going until you run out of things to think of). Put on worship music (with or without words) and just lay quietly as a family, enjoying the peace of His presence. Ask Jesus what He wants to say to each person and spend time asking, listening, and sharing. Spiritual intimacy is great for family connections. Gather the kids and ask them for ideas – they always come up with great ideas.
Remember that the Kingdom is JOY – partnering with JOY as a family for your home church brings the Father great delight. Play a game, laugh, be silly and enjoy the JOY. Invite another family over to join you!
The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy, yet one of the biggest reasons why Sunday school leaders have a hard time finding volunteers is because adults are uncomfortable with JOY. Teach parents how to be restored to joy, and they will be drawn to those who carry child-like joy!
Character matters because it matters to heaven. The Word is loaded with commands on the way we should be conducting ourselves, and children need opportunities to grow in self-control, discipline, and character.
Years ago, we were traveling as a family and arrived at our hotel late but had a super early am flight. Within minutes, our hotel room was trashed; stuff everywhere, covers all over the place, trash on the floor, towels all over, etc. I called the kids in and asked how we would feel if we walked into our hotel room like that. Would we want to stay here? Not really! I told them that the housekeeping staff is paid to make it look nice for the next person. It’s their job. No matter how big of a mess we make, they have to clean it. I then asked them, “But is that what we WANT to do?” Do we want to be known as yet one more dirty, messy room, or do we want to be known for the mysterious family that blessed her socks off when she opened yet one more room to clean? Since that defining moment in our family, at every hotel we have stayed at, the kids have gathered the trash in one spot and piled dirty towels together, they ask Jesus what He wants to say to the maids and place notes with $1 bills around the room for her. It isn’t always about our ‘rights’ but about having the character to lay down our rights in order to be a blessing to others. This was a defining moment in our family, deciding who we wanted to be as a unit. In order to be who we are called to be, we had to reject the norm and march to our own drum. Every family has an identity. Ask yourself: “What matters to me? How do I want people to experience us? What is the greatest way we can impact the world around us as a family? What will we stand for?”
Ask your children this question and privately share their replies with him. “Hey, kids, what is the one thing you want most from your dad?” Then have him ask the kids about you.
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