If your child is your friend, then you have already lost your authority. A child needs a mom and dad who know how to say no, set limits, intentionally teach them to do better next time, and call them higher. You will have a season of friendship with your adult children, but childhood is the time to parent them, not be besties with them.
NOT MY FRIEND
- Authority, Kingdom Parenting
Going through a crisis in and of itself does not make one stronger. In fact, in the natural, tragedy has the recipe to make one hardened, full of fear, and erect walls around their heart to keep it safe. How does a crisis make you stronger, then? By allowing God to purify those areas that are coming up while you are enduring the crisis. If we don’t allow God access to those places (the fear, poverty mindsets, lack, smallness in thinking, lack of faith, feeling unsafe, etc.), we will gain endurance in the crisis, not strength. We will be able to say, “I went through a divorce/disaster/death,” but you carry the same weight with you. Others allow God to purify them in their crisis, taking whatever is coming up to the surface to Him. They are the ones who say, “I went through a divorce/disaster/death and am a stronger person for it.” The choice in a crisis is to either medicate your flesh with things that make you feel temporarily safe (food, shopping, porn, denial, social media, avoidance, anger outbursts, etc.) or to steward the uncomfortable emotions and give God room to purify you. You may not be able to stop the crisis, but you do have a choice in either partnering with God’s redemptive work in you in the midst or resisting it. Tough has to do with endurance and how much you can go through. Strong has to do with strength. We don’t just want to say we endured hard things. We want to allow it to build our faith, emotional, relational, and spiritual muscles, which makes us stronger. Whatever the weight that is in your heart/mind is the very thing that, when given to God, makes you stronger!
We want to model our home after His and allow our children to taste and see that His ways are good so that when they are older, they will not be enticed by what the world has to offer them. I am not talking about legalistic head knowledge of ‘thou shall not’ but the ability to experience it as part of their own journey. Let me give you some practical examples.
Stealing – God says do not steal. When we set up our homes with a value system for not stealing, we are teaching our children that God’s ways work. To steal means to open yourself up for discipline, consequences, and broken trust. We are allowing them to taste and see that God’s ways work. We give them the message, “It isn’t going well for you because you have chosen something outside of God’s protection for you, i.e., stealing.” To ask for something and be denied is hard on the flesh, but as children learn to accept the ‘no’ answers in life it builds character, which will profit them for a lifetime. We don’t punish our children because they chose something outside of God’s best, we use it as a teachable moment to show them why it is important not to steal. (Not saying consequences aren’t warranted, I am saying we don’t want to use Biblical standards for our children and then punish them for not honoring it).
Respect – God says honor your mother and father. When we set up our homes to reflect a core value of honoring authority, we are providing for them covering and protection. This is showing them the beauty of God’s Kingdom. When we allow our children to walk all over us and be rude and disrespectful, we are subjecting them to insecurity, lack of favor and broken connection. They will experience God’s Kingdom by being taught to walk in respect and honor for those in authority over them. Once the twins started high school, they witnessed things they didn’t see in their Christian school. Naturally, I was concerned how this would affect them but because I built a foundation around their identity, we continued to use it as a teachable moment. One day my daughter came home and said, “Mom, I always knew you told us why it was important to walk in who we are, but today I saw with my own eyes what it looks like to have a life not knowing who you are.” Another time she came home really hurt by someone who acted like a true spiritual orphan. She understood the hurt was stemming from them not knowing Jesus and went in her room and wept for them. She spent nearly two hours in her room praying, crying and journaling. When she came out, she said, “Mom, I have got to have more of Jesus. I couldn’t imagine a life without Him.”
Does our parenting model heaven? Think about it – spankings, punish, taking away favorite possessions, isolation, harsh words spoken, exasperated parents… Could there be a better way? God is our perfect Father and knows how to run a family well. Is our parenting modeled to look like heaven? Does God give us three warnings and we are out? Does God spank us and then just leave us to deal with our mess? Does God isolate us when what we really need is enlightenment, understanding or better tools? Is He mad at us when we are acting out the hurt and pain in our heart? Is overwhelmed by our needs? Please hear my heart. I am NOT saying discipline, spankings, or time alone can’t be a valuable tool. I AM saying that when those are the ONLY tools in our parenting tool belt, we might be missing the mark. If it is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance, could it be some of our control-based parenting tools aren’t bearing good fruit simply because we aren’t modeling it after God’s Kingdom?
Teaching children about God-designed authority – both under their parents and over the enemy.
We do not manage fear. We do not become a slave to overcome it. We do not coddle fear. We use our authority OVER it so that it is resolved once and for all. I see so many parents living life managing their fear. This is spiritual orphan living and a recipe for defeat. Christ died to give you authority over fear. I declare that it can be resolved and dissolved in your life!
So proud of this mom for this glorious example of partnering with Him to parent your son.
“Last night after dinner, I started cleaning up the kitchen, and my two-year-old was just impossible – screaming, crying, hanging on my leg, etc. I sensed the Holy Spirit telling me, ‘Leave what you are doing for later and go sit with your son.’ Even though everything in my perfectionist self shouted, ‘Look at the kitchen!’ I picked up my son and went to sit with him, just doing what he wanted to do, which ended up just sitting close on my lap and being with me. He was immediately calm and, at one point, looked up at me with so much love and gave me a kiss – which is something he very rarely does spontaneously, and it ended up such a special moment we spent together. Afterward, everything else also went smoothly (bath time and bedtime). I realized that he needed his love tank filled. I am so happy I listened to the Holy Spirit.”
How many of you have had some unpretty moments of your mouth releasing things that you later regretted? YEP! I know because many parents have confessed this to me. I want to share something if this is you. There is so much gossip, hatred, wickedness, strife, offense, and slander being released IN the atmosphere.
Picture it like a spray bottle or someone sneezing. If you were to walk by as the water droplets were being released, the water would get on you, and you would now be wet. The water is not coming from WITHIN you; it is coming ON you.
In this hour, there is a real temptation to partner with the venting and releasing. Sadly, children often get the brunt of it. I need not tell many of you how powerful the atmosphere has been. You are called by your Father to use that tongue of yours to declare LIFE, PEACE, TRUTH, and FREEDOM. If the kingdom of darkness is felt, I can assure you how much more powerful the Kingdom of God is to change the atmosphere.
As God was showing this to me, I sensed Him reveal that many have used such sharp words that have caused you to move behind guilt and shame. This is the strategy of the enemy to cripple and render you powerless in this hour. If this is you and you have sinned with your speech and anger, REPENT – go low – confess it to God – make it right with the hearts you have hurt, and then use that tongue of yours to speak life, peace, truth, and freedom. Open your mouth again, and do not allow yourself to be sidelined because you came UNDER something that is not you.
I had a great conversation with a friend about her parenting challenges. She said sometimes she looks at her child with the thoughts, “GEE!!! If you would just be like XYZ, it would make my life so much easier,” and then she said, “… and would make me feel like I was doing a good job.” I responded, “You can either pursue parenting that makes you look and feel like you are doing a good job, or you can allow God to do a good work. The latter will always cost you something.”
This testimony is one of MANY. Parents are waking up to the fact they have been managing things in the spiritual realm that require their authority. Sudden and instant changes are happening in their homes as soon as they deal with it.
“I was dealing with this (spirit of rejection) in a major way and repented of it last week after watching your live call. Things have been completely different in my house since then. My connection with my first has been so healthy and peaceful.”
Thank You, Jesus! Why was there a sudden change? Because our children feel the spiritual realm, too, and often respond to it negatively. A spirit of rejection will cause them to feel unsafe, insecure, and alert to their surroundings. The moment mom resolved the spiritual conflict, the children felt at ease again.
There is the natural realm with our flesh – all things on earth. There is the heavenly realm which is all things in heaven. There is more to what we see and hear. There is an atmosphere of things unseen all around us. Have you ever walked into a room or house and felt so much love? Someone is releasing that into the atmosphere, and you are coming into that presence. Have you ever gone somewhere, and fear met you at the door? Again, it is an atmosphere that has been released. We have power and authority over all things (Matt 28:18) and can flip anything in His name! The key to shifting atmospheres is: Realizing what is being released (and not assuming it is just you) and releasing the opposite spirit. We do not need to go around rebuking demonic spirits. Chances are, others have opened the door and have a legal right to be there, but they must submit to your authority when you are present. This is a lifestyle for my family. We know our authority and use it everywhere we go: school, church, grocery store, library, friend’s house, etc. If I walk into a room and suddenly feel super angry, but know it isn’t ME, then I know I have come under an atmosphere. I simply say a prayer/declaration like this, “Anger, I see you and forbid you from influencing me and those around me. I release JOY, happiness, and PEACE right now in the Name of Jesus.” That’s it! It’s like being a police officer and walking into a room and saying, “Hey you, bad guy, get out,” They have to obey because you have authority as a law enforcement officer in the name of Jesus. We are heaven’s law enforcement officers! This is one of my all-time favorite teachings to share with parents.
POLICE BADGE – Talk to the kids about the authority a police officer has. The law and courts back up an officer operating within their proper training. We are just like police officers when we do as Jesus did, and all of heaven backs us up. We get to tie up the bad and then unleash all the good stuff. Do not skip over this teaching. Make it FUN, and make sure your child knows they are powerful in the name of Jesus and things shift when they speak.
I share more about the police badge teaching and authority in this video. Watch it with your children: Teaching Children Their Authority – YouTube