The goal is not to be airlifted and dropped in the middle of the ocean just to say you have arrived in the depths. The goal is to do the journey with Him every step of the way. He is much more interested in your JOURNEY with Him than He is with your destination. So, what do you have going on today? Do it WITH Him.
JOURNEY NOT DESTINATION
Corporate love works well for the one in authority but not so much for the receiver because it denies their creative expression and teaches them they need to look like, sound like, and act like everyone else. Each child is different, and we must learn how to dance with them alone. They have different styles, personalities, likes, interests, talents, desires, and ways of connecting. The sooner we realize this as parents, the greater joy there will be in our homes. It is impossible for a child to feel seen, heard, and valued when expected to be someone other than who God knits them together to be.
Examples of corporate love: expecting everyone to work, eat, get dressed, and do homework at the same speed. Some children just move faster/slower.
Expecting everyone to respond to the same style of communication. Some children need things spelled out more, said with greater tenderness or more engagement, such as eye contact.
Expecting everyone to adjust to your spoken love language. Children speak their own language and may not have a natural high appreciation for yours.
Expecting everyone to value and appreciate what you value and appreciate. Some children are just simply not going to follow in your footsteps but need to find their own journey.
Expecting everyone to be happy when you are happy, tired when you are tired, or hungry when you are hungry. Children have different needs based on their own bodies.
Ask Jesus to show you if you are expecting your children to be mini-you’s in an area that God wants them to BE who He created them to simply be.
The opposite of judgment is not acceptance; it is affirmation. Affirm – af·firm – Verb. 1. state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly. 2. offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement. “There are five common ways parents fail to affirm their children.”
When was the last time you intentionally affirmed those around you in their identity, value, or destiny? It is Kingdom to do so.
God created us to be fully alive, deeply accepted, and belong completely. The aftermath of the fall is that man became a spiritual orphan separated from God and wandered around life, feeling profound feelings of abandonment, loneliness, and isolation. The Good News is that Jesus came to restore us back to that place of deep security with the Father. We can accept Christ yet still be wandering like an orphan striving, begging, and doing life on our own. Imagine a child digging through the dump fending for themselves and meeting their needs for food and clothing all on their own day in and day out with no rest in sight. Now picture a palace where the table is always set, and there is a room with your name on it. When we become Christians, we get the honor of living in the palace, yet some enjoy the view and go back to the dump laboring daily to meet their needs. It is impossible to raise a child as a Son/Daughter in God’s Kingdom when you occupy the dump yourself. If you want to raise them in the palace, you have to enter yourself.
Orphan Parenting is when we parent our children from the place of isolation, abandonment, self-protection, striving, loneliness, self-sufficiency, and lack. We are modeling to our children how to live like an orphan, not from Kingdom reality.
Kingdom Parenting stems from a confidence that you are more than enough and God is doing a good work in YOU; therefore, there is no need to compare yourself to others. You are fully aware of the journey and process the Father has you on because you are intimately walking it out with Him, and you trust Him that He knows best.
The following list is NOT a pass/fail. It is the JOURNEY of becoming more and more like Him. Everyone starts out as an orphan, and we will spend the rest of our days on earth discovering, realizing, and embracing the love of our Father.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel insecure about themselves, their performance, and their worth. They are competitive with others internally and are jealous of others’ success because it reminds them of their lack.
Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters know they are loved and, out of that place, feel deeply secure to take risks, adventure out, and explore new things. When they see someone else gain what they desire, it gives them hope for what is available.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans cannot rest because they have to constantly be doing ‘good’ in order to feel worthy of His love. They are agitated when children are joyful and carefree because they do not feel they have the right to relax.
Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are able to experience the Father’s pleasure over them even when they are resting and are able to be at peace knowing He is well pleased with who they are, not just what they do. They welcome the joy children release.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans feel a gaping hole in their heart that is painful. They strive to fill it with outside sources (shopping, alcohol, porn, social media, etc.), but it only leaves the hole bigger. They often get annoyed with the confidence of a child who operates without the gaping hole.
Kingdom Parenting – Sons/Daughters are strengthened by intimacy as they have allowed Jesus access to the aches and pains in their hearts, which position them on solid and secure ground.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans have a deep drive for success, but with the goal of feeling worthy or good enough. It puts them in the driver’s seat of their lives at all costs.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident in the plans God has for them and are led by the Holy Spirit to lead them on a life adventure that is full of favor, open doors, and eternal fruit. Their definition of success is measured by obedience, not popularity, ‘likes,’ or bank accounts.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans use people for their gain and advancement. They see people as stepping stones to their own agenda. They see people as an opportunity to network.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters serve those around them to build them up, following Christ’s example to serve and have a high value on connection.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans are annoyed by children and see them as a hindrance to their agenda who drain them of their time, energy, and resources. They respond with dominance, fear, and shame to control the child’s behavior to meet their agenda.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters understand the foolishness and immaturity of a child and respond with love and healthy authority.
Orphan Parenting – Orphans are often angry and full of rage out of ongoing fear that they cannot control the world around them. They have high levels of anxiety and worry.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are confident that their Father is in control of all things and has the ability to work all things out for their good. Because their circumstance does not define them, they are able to respond in peace and not react.
Orphan Parenting – An orphan only feels as good about themselves as their outward appearance, clothing, number of ‘likes,’ material possessions, etc., allow. Orphans are always the first to get the latest trend and are constantly looking for praise and applause from others.
Kingdom Parenting – Son/Daughters are deeply affirmed by the Creator of the universe that He has created them to be unique and have immeasurable value to Him. They are secure and confident because of their relationship and intimacy with Him.
The ONLY way to cease acting like an orphan is to embrace the love of the Father and accept the invitation to act like a Son and Daughter. It’s already been paid for. All you have to do is receive.
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 _____.”
I want you to consider this: if you are a born-again believer, you have access to two essential things.
First, you have the Holy Spirit inside of you. Teaching isn’t what He does; it is who He IS. His creativity is endless, and He always brings the right teaching tool at the right moment!
Second, you have a teacher’s anointing. It might not be for a classroom or with other children, but if you are a parent, you have God’s anointing, grace, and empowerment to teach your children.
Remembering and accessing these two realities will profit you greatly in your role as a parent!
“Dear Holy Spirit, thank You that as Sons and Daughters, we have You inside of us, and You are creative! Thank You that teaching isn’t what You do, but it is who You are. Thank You for placing inside of me the anointing to teach my children right-living with joy creatively. I break agreement with the spirit of fear – the fear of man and what others think of me and the fear of my children and their displeasure with me when I expect more of them. Fear is not my companion nor the tool I use in parenting. It is simply not welcome in our family. I break the agreement with perfectionism and performance-based parenting. I declare that I have the freedom to flow as the Spirit leads me with my children, and the only standard that I will hold myself to is what He has asked me to do. I break the agreement with the lie that ‘I am ruining my child if I am firm with them.’ I break the agreement with the lie that “It is my job to keep them comfortable.’ My God-given role is to teach, equip, and empower them so that they can go on to lead a successful and fruitful Kingdom-minded life. I break the agreement with excuses for my child, not walking in good character, and excuses that I have given myself for not going after this in our household. I declare that not only am I more than enough for my children, but I was hand-picked for the job to train them! God has entrusted me with much, and I will steward it well. Amen.”
Words are important. God said let there be light and there was light.
Stop for a moment and dream about your ideal summer. What does it look like with connection and activities? How do you want to feel at the end of every day?
This is not a “name it -claim it” teaching, but a model of following our Father and speaking into existence that which is already available into the spirit realm.
Have a family meeting and together make declarations about what you want your summer to be about. Such as, “We will release joy everywhere we go.” “Our summer will be filled with joy.” “We will connect deeply as a family.” “We will love ourselves and others well.” “We will laugh daily.” “We will take responsibility for what is ours.” “We will grow as a family this summer.”
What we are declaring over our families becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When our children hear us communicating that we are dreading the summer or we are so glad school is starting again, it communicates to them the wrong worth and value. Ask Holy Spirit to highlight any false declarations that you have been declaring over yourself, your parenting or your children for the summer months. Ask for forgiveness, if needed.
Flipping Mindsets – Summer is when you get to regroup and get a new vision for your family. You get to shake off all of the events of last year, re-calibrate as a family, go after character growth, learn new skills for life, grow deeper in your connections, and build memories.
Family Rules – 3 big things were lost in the Garden; our sense of BELONGING, our WORTH and our SECURITY. Whatever our household rules, boundaries, limits, or ‘no’s are with children, it must be done in a loving way that still intentionally communicates that they have a place where they belong, that they are incredibly valuable and important and that they are secure and safe. Things like disunity, arguments between parents, ongoing sibling conflict, atmosphere of worry and stress, anger, belittling, disrespect, and lack of intentional family time can all inflict the orphan spirit. I am not talking about a one-time deal like you had a bad day and yelled once. I am talking about lifestyles and norms. Our goal in parenting should be to model heaven.
Rules – Review your household core values and rules as a family. If your children cannot tell you what the rules are, then it will be hard to expect them to govern themselves by them. Play a round of charades acting out what honor, respect, kindness, etc. looks like.
Vision – What is the vision you have for your family? If you do not know what you are aiming for then you will parent inconsistently, which will produce inconsistent and frustrating results for the whole family.
Parent coaching involves me coming alongside you and helping you become the parent God designed you to be. Sometimes we remove things that were never supposed to be there, such as lies or a wrong belief system. Other times we encounter Him to heal those places that were hurt when you were younger. Sometimes, we increase your parenting tool belt and arm you with resources, creative solutions, and activities to help empower your children.
You can schedule a PARENT COACHING session here: Coaching – Let the Children Fly
Every child of God should be asking this question right now. “Jesus, what season am I in?” If you do not know your season, you will work against the natural flow of God. You will be burned out, worst yet, taken out. This is a time to be awakened to YOUR season in this hour. For some, it will be silence; for others, it will be using their voice. Some will enter rest, while others will tap into the endurance He built in the previous season. Others will be in a season of healing, while some will be ministers. Some are to post; others are to shut down social media. Some will be on the front lines; others will be unseen.
Seasons build upon seasons. You can’t have a harvest time without a planting season. You cannot enjoy the fruit if you haven’t plowed. All seasons are vital. Your role in this season is important, but you must know the season YOU are in so that you can be the fullest version of yourself. “Jesus, what season am I in?”
We had to catch a morning flight out of Sacramento, and I kept changing the time I thought we should leave. Finally, half joking, I said, “Jesus, what time should I leave?” We left at that time. In the middle of nowhere, my light comes on, saying my back tire is low. We stopped, and the nice attendant turned on the air for free. I filled it up but heard God tell me to check the tire. I kept moving to rotate the tire so I could inspect it. Sure enough, there was a nail! I decided to see if it would hold, but I was losing pressure quickly within minutes. I pulled off, and a tire place was right there. But it was only 7 am, and they didn’t open till 8. If I waited till 8, I would have missed my flight. We called, and the manager answered, saying he would start his day early for me. As I pulled in, he was waiting for me. Expecting to walk out with two new, unexpected tire purchases, he said he could patch it and then had the heart to not even charge me. I tried to tip him but to no avail. From the time I pulled off till I was on the road again was *15 minutes*. Had that happened just two miles later, we would have been stranded on the side of nowhere! I swelled with His goodness and laughed when I heard Him say, “I know about nails.” He knew the nail would be in the road and had me leave earlier, stop when and where we did, and provided each step of the way. Wow!
Ever have a child do something that sends you to the moon? Jesus shows up the best when we need Him the most.