PARENTING & FEAR
There was a time God brought my daughter through some deep healing of trauma where I almost called 911 because she couldn’t breathe. The breakthrough brought such freedom that it literally changed the direction of her life. God was removing something in her heart. We once had a family meeting that was so messy I wasn’t sure any good would come of it. It brought forth the biggest breakthrough with the children’s father, and they have had a growing connection ever since. God was building something. We pulled Lauren from school halfway through the year, one of the hardest choices for her to make. Looking back, she learned some life lessons that shaped her identity and cemented her worth in Him. God was shaping her. Another child made such a big mess when she flat out rebelled against counsel and was playing with fire. She tasted it and decided it was not for her, and in the midst, God gave her the keys to help set other children free. God was building something in her. What’s my point? My point is that as parents, we have been crying out for God to move and act on behalf of our families. We have cried out about gender issues, sexual exploitation, the media that fills their minds, the attack on parental authority, lack of character, bullies, sexual perversion, promotion of sex, sex trafficking, online predators, threats to our parental rights, and on and on. LET GOD MOVE! We can’t cry out one minute, and the moment He moves, partner with fear. We have to stay in faith just as much TODAY as we did when we were crying out. God knows what He is doing. The world is messy right now, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t working. You are feeding faith or fear whenever you open your mouth. Whatever we feed grows. Either we can sit and call out every detail of the process in fear and worry, or we can zoom out and SPEAK and DECLARE the truth about who God is. Messes do not mean God isn’t working. Often, God allows the mess to be seen before He steps in.
Self-rejection is lie-based thinking and often starts in childhood when life circumstances ‘prove’ the lie to be true. Children can partner with lies about themselves, such as, “I am fat.” “I am a loser.” “No one likes me.” “I am a mistake.” My face is ugly.” “I am too small to ever be good at sports.” “I am not acceptable.” “_____ disqualifies me from ever fully belonging.” “I will never measure up to my big brother.” “If I were a boy, my dad would accept me.”
These are lies that feel true because the circumstances around them serve as evidence. They then partner with the lie as if it were the truth, giving the lie a legal right to influence them. Lies are just thoughts, but what makes them so damaging is that our thoughts and beliefs dictate our behavior. Proverbs 23:7. All of the above statements are LIES. When a child believes a lie about themselves, it is like a splinter in their heart, and they begin to act it out because it is NOT supposed to be there. If all we see is their outward behavior and aren’t digging a little deeper into the WHY of the behavior, we can serve to push the heart splinter in further. We want the lie out, not for it to be masked with perfect behavior. The less-than-pleasant acting out is pointing to the splinter that needs attention. This is not a parenting formula or 1,2,3 step program; it is about PARTNERING WITH THEIR CREATOR, who knows exactly how to search their heart and reveal what is going on. Say Johnny comes home, slams down his backpack, and declares, “I hate math!”. Parents often rush to correct little Johnny that we don’t use the word ‘hate.’ Instead, perhaps we could pull on the rope a bit more and discover what is going on underneath his newfound passion for hating math. “Buddy, why do you hate math?” and he says, “Ms. Jones is mean.” Keep pulling on the rope with validation and questions, “Oh no, how is Ms. Jones mean?” “She called on me today and I got the answer wrong and the whole class laughed at me. I am so stupid.” BAM! There is the lie. Hating math wasn’t agitating his heart; the lie of “I am stupid” was. Again, this is where parents want to rush in and remind Johnny of his intelligence, but the lie is not in his mind; it is in his heart. This is where he needs an ENCOUNTER with His Father to remove the lie. While *I* know the truth that God didn’t make him stupid, that is *his* truth. So, I ask if we can ask Jesus for his truth (after, of course, we have walked through forgiving the teacher for putting him in a position that made him feel vulnerable and unsafe and his peers for laughing at him). Jesus always shows up with His PEACE and TRUTH, which is what sets us free!! This is where parenting becomes a partnership with their Creator and where God takes what the enemy meant to harm and uses it for GOOD! The world has yet to see a generation who grabs hold of the hurts, lies, and offenses in childhood and destroys them IN childhood. His heart SHOULD be agitated if the enemy is whispering lies about his identity. His behavior and less-than-ideal vocabulary about ‘hating’ math were simply signs pointing to the heart splinter that was speaking a lie about his identity. A child who has never been intentionally taught the TRUTH of who they are will have an easier time biting the bait of lies about their worth and value. As parents, we have the incredible honor of teaching our children who they are and building them up in His truth. Identity focuses on who God says they are – worthy, valuable, important, lovable, belong, etc. – and not just what they do, such as good grades, sports, or excellent outward behavior.
So let’s review: A child who is partnering with turning on themselves is believing a LIE. A child who believes a LIE will act it out with less-than-ideal behaviors because the heart splinter is agitating their heart. You can pull on the rope with validations and questions to be on the lookout for a HURT, LIE, or OFFENSE. Once you identify the hurt, lie, or offense, you help your child walk through forgiveness and then ask Jesus for His truth. We can help children resolve childhood issues IN childhood so that childhood owies don’t become adult-sized woundedness, childhood lies don’t become adult-sized strongholds, and childhood offenses don’t become adult-sized bitterness. Look for ways to intentionally speak the truth over your children about who they are. “Do you know that God loves you even when you mess up?” “You are so important to God; He even knows the number of hairs on your head.” “God created you to look like Him.” “God wants you on His team.” “This family wouldn’t be the same without you.” “You are perfect just the way you are.” “Know what I love most about you? EVERYTHING!” I declare the lies revealed and TRUTH to reign in your homes!
While fear can be an emotion, more times than not, it is an actual demonic spirit and needs to be addressed. The enemy loves to take an event, even innocent ones, and whispers lies that feel true to the emotions based on circumstances. When we partner with the lie, we activate a demonic spirit of fear to influence us. It looks like this: Mom and Dad go on a much-needed date (normal) and leave the child with a sitter (normal). The child is uncertain about being left (normal), but in that uncertainty, the enemy whispers, “They are never coming back” (lie), and the child partners with that thought as their own, and now fear has a legal right to be there. While the parents return as promised, the lie remains because it opens something in the spiritual realm, not just in their physical minds. The next time date night rolls around, the child is tormented at the thought of being left alone. This is why kids are still afraid of certain things despite telling them the truth over and over. The battle isn’t just in their minds (lie) but is now a spiritual issue. This is why parenting is a verb, and we need to be active in helping our children with their spiritual lives. Lies are resolved through TRUTH. Fear is resolved through AUTHORITY.
It is your inheritance as a Son or Daughter to be FREE from the fear of man. The fear of man is taught. Children are born trusting and carefree. Through experiences and instruction from adults, children are taught to fear man.
“Jesus, will You please show me who I need to forgive for introducing me to the fear of man? I chose to forgive _____ for teaching me (directly or indirectly) that man is to be feared. I break agreement with the fear of man and no longer give it space to influence my obedience, choices, and peace. I declare I am a child of the Creator of the universe, and He has my back. I am covered and protected. What can mere man do to me when God is on my side?”
I feel a bit like a broken record, but when I wake up, God often tells me what to post and lays a theme or words on my heart to share. He has brought this up over and over and over. So, I share once again out of obedience to Him. I once talked about the black sheep of the family and how it is normally the child who resists the family’s operating system that God is using to bring generational things back into alignment with Him. I think the same goes for the church. God sends people – perhaps unrefined and immature – who carry something that the church needs to come into alignment with to reflect Him better. Leaders can embrace the mess and let God move in a new way, OR they can walk in power and control and reject the person in an effort to ‘protect’ the flock, missing the purpose altogether.
If you have been rejected as the BLACK SHEEP OF THE CHURCH, I encourage you to please watch this!!! Process your heart well and allow the wounds to heal BECAUSE YOU ARE NEEDED FOR THIS HOUR! You carry what the Body needs. While others may have misunderstood you, God has not. You might not be responsible for the actions of others, but you are responsible for how you respond. Do not let orphans in leadership roles rob you (or us) of what God wants to do through you. If you do not have time to watch this entire video, listen to it while driving or making dinner. I have also broken up the segments listed on our YouTube channel.
Testimony from a mom taking our online JOURNEY class: “Fear was one thing that had clouded my chalkboard for a long time. I asked God if fear was present in my life, and He said yes. I then asked Him who I needed to forgive for the event. He showed me this: It was Chinese New Year, and all the families got together and spent the night playing and chatting. All the kids were playing upstairs. And my older cousins told my brother and me (we were the youngest) ghost stories. I was so scared. I was so afraid that I couldn’t sleep alone or with the lights off for a long time. I became fearful of mirrors (part of the story). As God showed me this, I commanded the fear to leave and saw myself closing that door. I also asked Jesus to come and seal the door with His blood. I saw Him wiping the door with a brush soaked in His blood. He went over the sides and the door disappeared. And then I saw my heart, red (blameless and without any scars) and pumping lively! I asked the Holy Spirit to fill me and replace the spirit of fear with His joy, peace, and comfort. I feel so light and joyful. Praise God for this healing!”