Don’t refuse the message just because you don’t like the delivery of the messenger. So often, children botch the delivery of what they are trying to tell you. They do it with anger, attitudes, imperfection, and less-than-mature ways, but it doesn’t mean that WHAT they are trying to say is to be ignored. This is one of the reasons why we wrote our HEART SPLINTERS book. To give parents additional help in seeing and hearing what their children are trying to tell them.
Not everything you hear is God – in fact, some of it is pure trash from the enemy.
Ask, “Jesus, what is something I have spoken about myself recently that needs to be taken out to the trash?”
Write it down and then prophetically trash it.
Then ask, “Jesus, what is Your truth?”
Gather as a family in the living room, in the car, at the dinner table, or bedtime, and ask Jesus together. This is so empowering for children because they get to witness how God communicates with you, which increases their faith, and together you get to encounter Him. Spiritual hearing is a muscle that is strengthened by worshiping and praying. The more you do it, the stronger you become at it.
If you are a parent, you NEED to understand what your child NEEDS from you in the moment of their discomfort. You have the power to stop an event from becoming lifelong trauma.
I have been camping out in these testimonies of God’s goodness with the next generation and am undone by His power and goodness to them. Two younger ladies came to me asking for prayer. They shared how their relationship with their father was strained, and wanted prayers. I thought they meant for reconciliation and began to pray accordingly, but they interrupted me to say, “No, we want prayer for Jesus to give us the keys to our father’s heart.” Another gal who has battled self-harm for years due to her father’s alcohol consumption and believing the lie she is rejected asks Jesus why he needed alcohol. She heard, “Because he feels rejected by his parents.” She wept as she realized he was battling the same lie she was plagued with and wanted Jesus to give her the keys to his heart. Another gal asked to meet with me and shared some of her dad’s choices over the years that brought the family a lot of pain. When we asked Jesus what her dad’s heart needed, she began to cry as Jesus showed her he felt like a failure and ashamed. She realized she had punished him and how it was causing him further hurt. She asked for forgiveness, and Jesus began to give her the keys to mending that relationship. We ministered to a boy who said, “All these years, I thought my dad was just mean, but Jesus showed me today that he has a heart splinter from his own journey.” This is so powerful as kids move from victim to empowered. Hurt to authority. Walls of self-protection to love. Jesus loves restoring the family and does not look down on a child due to age. They have the same size Holy Spirit as their parents and can be powerful weapons against the plans of the enemy to destroy the family.
My friend told me about a story with her son, and I think it is GLORIOUS. Her adopted son had a rough year with his dad moving out and his big sister moving away. He recently spent time at his dad’s house while his parents were in town. The young boy returned to his mom’s house and was OUT OF CONTROL! Yelling, kicking, hitting, screaming – unglued. She shared how she normally would have exercised some serious authority over his behavior and would have dealt firmly with him for his outburst. But she could see he was hurting and said, “Buddy, can Mommy hold you for a moment?” He was hesitant but eventually came to her, put his face in her neck, and just wept. He woke up the next morning back to himself again. There is a time and place to discipline a child for negative behavior, and there is a time and place to partner with Holy Spirit and move in the opposite spirit. This boy was simply trying to express the BIG emotions going on inside of his heart. He needed the security of a mother’s love, and whatever was causing his heart so much agitation was released through her affection.
A mom shared: “Thank you for your incredible heart and practical tools. It has transformed my parenting and what has been happening in my home continually brings me to tears of thankfulness and wonder. From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU. We are so blessed by your ministry, and your life lived out.”
Is sibling conflict breaking out in your home? It did in our house, and I AM SO GLAD! I am keeping our days moving by having a balance of rest, school, and movement. I got two of them settled on a project and took another for a brisk walk with the dog. While coming back inside the house, I could FEEL strife and knew there was conflict. My daughter came to me sobbing, telling me how she was mean to her sister and pushed her. Her tears were massive, and she was fully repentant, confessing her wrongdoings. I told her she was indeed wrong and that a consequence was appropriate, but that life was pretty hard these days, and I wanted her to spend an hour in her room alone processing and giving her heart a voice to herself. She is my easy-going, always smiling, glass-is-half-full child, and her heart needed to get real – life IS challenging right now. I moved to the other child involved, who flashed this massive smile across her face as I approached her. She did not know that I knew about the conflict. I asked how she was doing, and she said, “Great.” I said, “Really? How can you be doing great if your sister just pushed you?” and she burst into tears. I instructed her too to go into her room and spend an hour giving her heart a voice. She not only lied to me but herself. I went to her after a bit, and she began to unpack how her sister doesn’t like her and has been rude and disrespectful to her for days and that her heart was hurting. I went back to the offending child and asked what was going on, and she, too, broke down, telling of pains and hurts that have been piling up between them.
Is your heart caught in a cycle of saying “I am sorry” over and over from a mess you made with your children? I ministered to a mom who said with tears streaming down her face, “I will beg my son for forgiveness for the rest of my life.” I told her that needed to stop and that I wanted to help her resolve that once and for all. While the world would tell her she messed up and made poor choices, I see it differently. She is a product of choices that her parents and grandparents made. She did not have the language or tools to discern what was going on in her world. She needed drugs and alcohol to escape the torment and pain. I don’t think that is a bad mom. I think that is a mom who needs help becoming a Daughter. When we make messes with our children (we all do) and partner with the accuser, we wallow in guilt and condemnation. We then come to our children in a bent over, broken, pathetic, insecure way that only makes THEM feel unsafe. We are teaching them that mistakes are fatal. We need to be modeling for them grace, forgiveness, and connection even when we are at our worst. I coached this mom on how to forgive herself, and then I taught her how to minister to her son’s pain. Yes, he suffered heartbreak because of her choices (he was taken away when she was in jail), but IN THAT PLACE is where we get to show them who Jesus is. I coached her on how to begin to have conversations with her son that mistakes do not equal rejection or abandonment. Just like he gets time outs for his choice, mom had hers, but Jesus never left him. This mom who is becoming a Daughter just got reunited with her son full-time! If you think about them, pray for them as they continue to walk this out – together!
I walked through some deep betrayal years ago and wrestled it deeply with God. I had this mental picture of Jesus holding both of us on His lap, and it made me mad. This person brought me so much turmoil and pain, and I didn’t like the fact Jesus loved them so much (this isn’t my true heart, but it was a moment in my processing the pain). I finally called my mentor because it was making my heart feel unsafe with God. How in the world could He love someone who has brought so much pain? Her response was brilliant and literally shifted something so deep within me. She said, “Lisa, you do not fully understand the picture. God loves this person just as much as He does you because He created them, but God is only on the side of righteousness, and this person isn’t choosing righteousness.”
It wasn’t a matter of whose side God was on as much as it was who was on His side. It was like my hands opened, and I dropped whatever offense, pain, or fight I was holding onto and clung to righteousness. It altered decisions and outcomes dramatically. The question is not “Is God on my side?” The question is, “Are you on God’s side?”
When I hear a child speak a lie about themselves (I am not smart enough, I am slow, I can never figure this out, etc.), I simply tell them that they are partnering with something from God’s enemy. Do they want to continue to partner with that (they do have free will), or do they want to throw that one out? Then, I told them they could kick out or throw out whatever thoughts came to their mind that wasn’t of God. Hudson, who was only four then, literally went to the front door and motioned like he was kicking something out before slamming the door. Yeah, like that! Kids need to be taught that not every thought that crosses their mind is theirs, and they can be empowered to say NO!
A lady in her 40’s was so paralyzed by groups that she would not attend classes, go to Bible studies, church, restaurants, or anywhere else where large groups gathered. Finally, she could not take the isolation anymore and began seeking help. When they asked Jesus to show her the first time she felt paralyzed by a large group, she recalled the story of when she was just three years old and remembered feeling loved and secure with her large family. They were at her house, and there was a lot of excitement and love, but on a particular day, when she walked into the room, they all hushed really quickly, and she could tell that something was wrong. They all just stared at her, and the silence was paralyzing and awkward for her. For years the question, “What is wrong with me?” haunted her. Jesus showed her that the family was in town for her surprise birthday party and that they were all discussing how they would surprise her. When she walked in, they all got silent, not wanting to ruin the surprise.
Doesn’t that story break your heart? ONE lie for FORTY years! But this is what I want you to see – when the heart splinter (in this case, a lie of “what is wrong with me?”) entered, it was the PARENTS who surely saw a change in their daughter. You cannot believe a lie like that and not have it change how you think, feel and act. Had the parents been empowered to help her, the splinter could have been pulled in childhood.