LOVE COVERS YOUR SINS

LOVE COVERS YOUR SINS

1 Peter 4:8 tells us, “Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.” I also took that to mean that we should love those who are in sin because of the transformation that love can bring. But in parenting, I am seeing another dimension of God’s Word, which has messed me up on more than one occasion. Like many of you, I am walking out my own redemption story, and God is still doing a deep work in me. I don’t always do the things I desire to do with my children. I still have triggers, get upset and make messes. When I go back and make things right with my kids, I am blown away over and over and over again by how they respond. They are filled with so much grace and compassion for me that it makes no sense when you look at some of the messes I have made over the years. I had a season where I became concerned about their “Oh, it’s okay, Mom” responses and worried that maybe they were, to be honest, fearing me with their real heart. God showed me that because I go after love, connection, seeing them, giving them a voice, and communicating their importance regularly when I blow it, the love in their bank account covers it, and it is a bummer of a moment, but not a wound.

Parents, going after connection in times of peace stores up and covers you in those moments when you are walking out your own journey. This is obviously not a message about permission to make messes, but in reality, we all make them. This is a message that what you deposit into their hearts creates a currency that covers when you make a withdrawal.

I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get a copy of our HEART SPLINTERS book so that you can continue to work through your own journey. Order yours here! Heart Splinters BOOK – Let the Children Fly

TRUTH-BASED PARENTING

Ask, “Jesus, what lies am I believing about my parenting?”. I am fairly certain I know your response. No, I am not a mind reader, but I do know that the enemy throws out these seeds to all parents, hoping to get us to partner with them because it may feel or sound true. The lie you believe about your parenting most likely sounds something like the following: I am ruining my children. I am not enough. My child will grow up to hate me. I do not have what it takes.

Friends, the enemy is a liar, and you ARE enough. Not because of you, but because GOD gave you your child, and He trusts Himself to work all things out (even your shortcomings, wounds, and messes). When a parent partners with this lie, he is taking out two generations in one because a parent who believes they aren’t enough will act like they aren’t enough. If you struggle with the lie that you aren’t enough, are ruining your child, or don’t have what it takes, write the lie out and destroy it (burn it, trash it, shred it, stomp on it, flush it or rip it). THEN ask, “Jesus, what is Your truth about my parenting?” The next time the enemy throws that lie at you, counter it with what Jesus said.

JOY!

The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and JOY (Romans 14:17)! If we want God’s Kingdom in our homes, it has to be one filled with JOY. Many of us have heard of the Make-A-Wish foundation where they network to provide an ill child with a JOY-filled event. But what we don’t see is that the child is hours away from a major life-threatening treatment or surgery. Statistics were showing a small percentage of children surviving life-threatening illness, so they did a study on those who survived and found only ONE difference between the two groups. Those who survived had a larger amount of a particular chemical in their brain that is only produced through JOY. When God says laughter is medicine (Proverbs 17:22), He wasn’t kidding. So, they coordinate these JOY-filled encounters for children to raise the chemicals in their brain to boost their survival rate. Joy matters! My kids and I sat down to create a list of fun things you can do to keep your children’s energy moving and carve out pockets of joy. 

Create an indoor obstacle course with pillows, chairs, and jumping over a stack of books. Put kids in the shower with a can of shaving cream. Let them paint the walls. Network with a local middle school girl to see if she can come as a mother’s helper to help entertain the kiddos (it gets her out of the house, too). Mom stays home, but the mother’s helper occupies the kiddos. Blow up balloons and play indoor volleyball – my favorite! Get an indoor exercise trampoline and let them burn off some serious energy. Buy a bunch of inflatable beach balls and kick them around – Hudson’s favorite. Do a family puzzle. Finger paint with pudding. Hide-and-Go-Seek game (you can hide forks, socks, or pens – it doesn’t have to be anything big). Flashlight tag with the lights off. Walk around the mall looking for someone who needs a smile or kindness. Extra-long baths with lots and lots of bubbles. Create an indoor movie theater with another family. Bake cookies or muffins for your neighbor. Go bowling. Have a slumber party in the living room. Network with friends and have all the boys at one house and all the girls at another. Play a round of charades. Write letters/draw pictures for the firemen. Play Pictionary. Give them $5 and ask them who they can bless, and then go do it (buy someone’s coffee, give a meal to a homeless person, buy flowers for a worker). Pop some popcorn and have a quiet reading hour. Everyone in their places, even the little ones, flipping through books. Create a mall scavenger hunt with a check-off list of things they need to find and then take a photo of them with that item (a gal with a hat, a mannequin wearing shorts, a stuffed animal, a water bottle, a necklace, etc.). We did this for Ellie’s birthday, and it was so much fun. Rotate with friends taking the kids for a day and run a mini daycare giving other moms a break and allowing kids to have extra fun peer interaction. Have you heard of Studio C? It is like Saturday Night Live, but for kids and CLEAN! Have an indoor spa with pedis, manis, facials, etc. Put on a family talent show – hilarious! Have dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner. Break out in a dance party – YouTube has some great ones. Skype family members and friends. Host another family for a picnic lunch in the living room. Play elimination card games to see who the winner is! 

DEFENDER

Pray this powerful prayer and allow Holy Spirit to restore connection with your child. “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to be my child’s Defender and Advocate. Would You please reveal to me where I have been wrong, caused a hurt or made a mess so that I can make it right?” If He showed you something, go low and ask for forgiveness.

THEIR ISSUE OR MINE?

Imagine you are in your car and stopped at a light. The car in front of you is your teen driver. You start hearing a loud sound and wonder if it is the engine rattling. You veer off to the side of the road and call a tow truck. You wait for hours for them to show up and then invest another several hours at the auto repair shop waiting for your turn. They say nothing is wrong with the car, but you have to pay for the towing, mechanic’s labor, and diagnostic testing. What a waste of time, energy, and finances.

So what was the sound?

It was coming from the car in front of you.

They did not veer off and stop to get it looked at. Failure to fix what was wrong and continuing to drive on it caused even greater damage extending to other parts of the engine that were dependent upon the engine to work properly. The domino effect of not addressing the issue causes greater expense of time, energy, and finances.

Friends, this is a word picture for what happens in the Body.

Did you hear the noise coming from a vehicle? Yes!

Did you discern something was wrong? Yes!

Did you do what it took to take care of your own vehicle/heart? Yes!

But you failed to ask Jesus to show you if it was their issue or yours.

We waste our time and get worn out when we assume an issue is ours. We must ask Jesus to show us when we feel, discern, and experience things if this is coming from us or others. I can’t tell you how many parent coaching sessions I do with people who have been in the mechanic shop waiting and waiting to figure out what is wrong with them, only to have Jesus show us it was something going on in the other person.

Here’s where we miss it.

If it was the car in front of you, they need your help! Focusing on yourself and trying all sorts of self-diagnostic testing gets your eyes off of the assignment in front of you and puts it back on you.

If what you are discerning, feeling, and experiencing is coming from the person in front of you, they need:

  • Your love, kindness, and grace
  • Your authority over the issue declaring it defeated and resolved
  • To be reminded of who they are (they aren’t a broken part but called to be fully functional)
  • Prayers for the root of the ‘rattle’ in their lives to be revealed and dealt with
  • When appropriate, a conversation to help them to hear it. Not everyone can hear their own ‘rattle.
  • Your wisdom and guidance on how best to solve the issue.
  • To know they aren’t driving alone but have someone following them (or in the passenger seat) to help them on their journey
  • They don’t need your judgment, accusation, and condemnation

Stop doubting yourself. You are hearing, seeing, experiencing, sensing, and discerning something because something is there. While we always want to be humble and let God examine our own hearts, sometimes you are on assignment to help the person in front of you. How you choose to respond significantly impacts how much damage that person’s ‘rattle’ will cost them and affect others.

JUDGEMENTS

Let’s talk about JUDGEMENTS. Judgments are when we jump in the judge’s seat and determine the verdict about someone. When we say, “They are controlling,” we are judging them. While being discerning and aware of how people’s choices affect us is good, we are never called to act as judges. Maybe that person is ‘controlling’ because they were orphaned as a child and have never learned to depend upon someone else. Perhaps they are controlling because they are rooted in fear and need to be delivered. God judges us based on our heart and story, not our outward appearance. Here is the issue with judgments. When we judge someone, we condemn them with our words (think of how prophecy unlocks and frees a person – judgments bind and lock a person up). The Bible says when we walk around as judges, we are binding OURSELVES to the very thing we are judging. That is why children who judge their father for being an alcoholic grow up to marry one. Or the girl who judges her grandma for being overweight and struggles with her issues. 

HeartWork – Get a piece of paper and write down your JUDGEMENTS against your dad, mom, siblings, and even your children and friends. Go deep and allow Jesus to show you where you are holding onto judgments against someone. Ask Jesus to forgive you for holding them in judgment. Break agreement with the judgment over that person. Rip up the paper and declare God’s truth over their lives. Children can do this with their parents and siblings, too. 

Hebrews 12:15 – “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” 

CELEBRATION TIME

Why not grab a balloon, pack a picnic lunch, or pick up some cupcakes and tell the kids it is time to CELEBRATE just how much they have not only endured but overcame this season.

ISOLATION

Emotional and mental isolation is worse than physical isolation, as it is a breeding ground for the enemy’s lies. A real war is happening for your child, but you are not a prisoner, and there IS a way out. So rise up, Mama Bear! We need you, protective Father! We must help our children process their grief and help them stay connected to the family, others, and even themselves in this hour. JOY releases a chemical in their brains that gives them the will to fight and endure hard things. One of the most profound ways you can help them is to find pockets of joy throughout the day.

What is a pocket of joy? It is finding those little moments to crack a smile, giggle, or roar with laughter. It is dance parties in the middle of math, eating chocolate chip cookie dough, running in the rain, jumping on the bed, and being silly and childlike. Whatever your day looks like, let it include pockets of JOY! It is NOT entitlement and buying them whatever they want. It is joy through connection and face-to-face smiles, not just things.

LIES DON’T FIT

My daughter started to cry, more like wail. I came running into the room thinking she was hurt, and she said, “He called me a boy!” I reassured her she was a girl, but the crying would not stop. I asked her what she would think if I told her she was a puppy or had purple hair. She thought that was pretty silly. Exactly! Just because someone calls you a boy doesn’t make it true. She was distraught because she accepted what he said, which didn’t fit.

Children need to learn that rejecting words spoken over them is okay. They need to be taught that not everything they hear (from others and in their minds) is true. Lies don’t feel good, make sense or bring peace because lies are demonic. Children can be empowered to say NO to lies!

PRAY FOR MY DAD

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.