I cannot think of a safer place for a child to be in than the wells of deep love from their family. Go love deep today!
I cannot think of a safer place for a child to be in than the wells of deep love from their family. Go love deep today!
“When someone slanders another to us, we must remember that we are not mainly fighting flesh and blood, but spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:12). Satan knows that slander deadens and splits churches, poisons friendships, and fractures families. He knows slander quenches the Holy Spirit, kills love, short-circuits spiritual renewal, undermines trust, and sucks the courage out of the saints. So our goal, particularly in the context of the church, is to help each other shed demonic weights and avoid satanic stumbling blocks.
So how do we do this? The best way is to become people who are not safe to slander around. We must ask each other questions like: “Have you shared your concern with this person directly? I’d be willing to go with you to talk to him. Just to be clear, is this information I should know? Do you want me to help you pursue reconciliation? Are you doing everything you possibly can to put away ‘all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander’ (Ephesians 4:31)? How can I help you guard this person’s reputation like a treasure (Proverbs 22:1)?” In other words, friends don’t let friends slander. Friends don’t let friends act like God-haters (Romans 1:30).
“The more we love people, the more we hate slander, because a slanderer hates his victims” (Proverbs 26:28). Let us remember that we are stewards of the treasure of each other’s good names. Let us resolve to avoid sharing information that is unnecessarily damaging to another person’s reputation and to repent to everyone affected if we do. Let us seek to silence the sin nature slanderer within and graciously give and receive others’ help when one of us slips, perhaps unaware, into slander. Let us do damage to Satan’s forces by speaking the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Let us lay aside the destructive sin-weight of slander. In an age of social media, that lacks the functional information-spreading restraints of past eras, let us be all the more slow to post (‘slow to speak’ – James 1:19) analysis, speculation, and commentary on information about another person or group, even if it has become public in our slander-saturated culture, that might eventually prove slanderous.
“All the serious biblical warnings about slander still apply, which should make us all, especially those of us with ‘platforms,’ tremble.” – Jon Bloom.
I love how this mom took the love languages quiz and put it into action! Love is a verb.
“Since taking the love languages quiz, we have implemented daily times with each other as a family. Each day, my husband and I spend 10 minutes with each child and 30 minutes with each other. The kids have 10 minutes with each other as well. One day a week, we have ‘dates’ – we each spend 1 hour with each kid and 1-2 hours with each other. It has been a game-changer. A month or so ago, my son said, ‘I think the reason we are so close and connected is because of our 10 minutes.’”
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.
I am convinced if the enemy can’t get you to turn from God, he uses busyness to get you distracted from God. Busyness is one of the top things that work against families. Too busy to connect. Too busy to hear/see your child’s heart. Too busy to play in the Kingdom. Too busy to rest. Too busy to get in their world. Too busy to empower/teach them. Too busy to work through heart splinters. Too busy to go to church. Too busy to worship as a family. Too busy to read the Word. Yep, you are TOO busy. Busyness is not the same as bearing fruit, and you have permission to say NO to the enemy’s trap of umpteen demands on your time and energy. I have a rule in my house – if I can’t do it in peace, then I won’t do it. I have said no to many good things but will not let even good things rob me of my peace or connection with my children.
The other day Ellie came to me and said, “I know I am loved, but I am just not feeling it today.” The following day I felt led to lavish on her through her language of love. She thanked me, and I told her, “I did not do that to love you. I did it to REMIND you that you are already loved.” As a busy parent, it is easy to feel pressure with the love languages as if it means our children are not loved or are lacking something essential if we don’t fill their tanks daily. The truth is they are ALREADY loved, and speaking their language stirs up what is already there. Take the pressure off yourself of ‘having to’ give your child what they need and view the love languages as a privilege to stir up, call forth and remind them of what was theirs all along.
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.
I was completely engaged in worship one Sunday morning when I heard the Lord say, “I like hip hop.” It was so out of the blue. I heard it again and was like, “Okay. That’s great.” When I heard it a third time, the revelation came. I was raised in a good ole Lutheran church, and in my home, you wouldn’t be caught dead going to church in anything other than your Sunday best which included black patent leather shoes. I had come a long way, but I still had a deeply ingrained belief about what clothing did and did not look appropriate for church. My daughter had slipped her bright pink sneakers on without me noticing until we got to church, and I had scolded her, saying they weren’t appropriate church shoes. I had to humbly repent of partnering with the religious spirit because apparently Jesus likes hip hop and thinks bright pink shoes are just fine in His house!
Your child is hungry to learn and hear your personal stories. Your journey will shape them significantly, and your story’s chapters will be valuable to them. Share with them your experiences as it relates to their world. Tell them about a time you dealt with or struggled with the same thing they are walking through. Share with them what you have learned through your own mistakes. Tell them about your God encounters and what Jesus has said to you. You are not their royal emperor dictating from a throne. You are their parent – empowering, equipping, and leading them face-to-face.
We treat children like they are in blatant sin and punish them when what they really need is HELP. My passion is to empower parents HOW to see beyond the behavior and into what is going on in their hearts. There is hope in parenting our children in peace and authority that reaps a generation of kids who are whole, confident, and secure.
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!
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