Teach and practice in the time of peace so that they can use it in their time of need.
We all must stand at the crossroads and decide what part of our parent’s parenting we want to keep and what needs to be brought into alignment with His Kingdom. We do so honorably to our parent’s own journey knowing that they were simply walking out their own story of what they experienced.
CHARACTER TRAIT: Ask for forgiveness/repent.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE IF NOT TAUGHT: Broken/hurt relationships with peers and others.
WAYS TO INSTILL THIS INTO A CHILD’S HEART: After their sin is revealed, say, “I am sorry for (state the sin). Will you please forgive me?” (James 5:16). Put a piece of paper over a picture of Jesus. Hang on the wall and let the child throw something at the paper representing who they are mad/upset at… but then take down the paper and show them that Jesus is under it. When we treat people unkind, we are really hurting Jesus because He loves that person.
Mom guilt is the feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness, or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they are failing or falling short of expectations in some way. Mom guilt is the tool of the enemy to render you hopeless. Faith is God’s tool to render you HOPEFUL because of His power! How would you fill in the blank? “I am guilty of feeling guilt about _____?”
Declare out loud: “I choose to break agreement with the guilt and hand it over to God because I trust in who He says He is.”
Cultivate means to: cul·ti·vate verb 1. prepare for crops or gardening. 2. to acquire or develop (a quality, sentiment, or skill). Gratefulness is a SKILL that is taught, learned, and strengthened. Kids are not born with it. It is something that needs to be tilled, plowed, dug, worked, fertilized, mulched, and weeded SO THAT it reaps a harvest of fruit in their lives. Nothing increases the favor and fruit in our lives more than a grateful heart.
I encourage you to stop whatever you are doing and invite the children to grab their pillows and blankets. Have everyone lay in the living room with you and put on some worship music. No talking, no praying, just soaking in His love and goodness. You don’t need to do this for hours – even one song can shift the atmosphere in your home.
Sometimes life just HURTS. I always tell my spiritual daughters, “If you are going to walk as a Daughter, you are going to have to learn how to feel hard emotions.” Orphans run to things that numb their hearts like a shot of novocaine (porn, shopping, anger, social media, gossip, busyness, checking out, denial, eating, rage, etc.) As Daughters, we need to learn that pain is okay. It reflects our hearts and how we experience life. We need to practice feeling the pain and, in the midst of it, running into HIS arms, crying out to Him. We can tell Him: “It hurts,” “I am sad,” “I feel lonely,” “I am disappointed,” “I am scared,” “I feel anxious,” “I need help,” and then WAIT and rest in His ability to not only care for your heart and wipe your tears but to move on your behalf.
Psalm 56:8 (MSG) – “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights. Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book.”
I was at the mall one day and witnessed something that I wanted to speak into. A child was given a toy by her grandma while the adults shopped in a store. The child was happy and content. A few minutes later, the four-year-old wandered over to the table with perfume bottles and began to play with them. Grandma came and yanked the girl’s arm away, and the girl resisted. She went back to the perfume bottles again and was playing with them. Grandma returned only to scold the girl sharply. A power struggle broke out. I 100% agree that it is not wise for a four-year-old to be playing with perfume bottles BUT can we take a small tour into the world of a four-year-old? She was given a toy and that is okay, but finds something else to play with quietly and is yanked, scolded and reprimanded. How is she supposed to know at four what is and what is not okay to touch unless someone teaches her? What would it have looked like if Grandma understood she was just touching and playing because it was there and on her level of reach and in her mind she honestly did not know the value of the bottles or what could happen if they fell on the floor or worse yet sprayed in her face? How do you think the girl would have responded if Grandma got down on her level, gently held her hand, looked in her eyes, and said firmly, “No, no touch,” and began to train the little girl to honor her voice? Grabbing, yanking, scolding, and yelling, do nothing to teach a child what is and is not okay. It breaks connection and confuses a child. TRAIN them in self-control and responding to your verbal command.
I cannot love this testimony anymore! A mom was trying to be super intentional to keep her daughters spiritually fed during C-19. They were going to a co-op group, but the girls were bored to tears and begged to stop going. The mom then tried another Christian group, but the leader’s daughter was super controlling, and the girls felt like it was more about the girl than Jesus and did not like feeling used and mistreated each week. The daughter finally came to her mom and said, “Can’t we just please do Awana at home as a family?” YES!! There is indeed a time and place to gather corporately, and we learn and gain things in community that are vital, but that does not need to replace the power of the home and feeding our spirits together.
Why not create a once-a-week FAMILY TIME? Let it be a time of worship, soaking, journaling, giving prophetic words to each other, praying, declaring, discussing important topics, going on a hunt to find people to love, creating skits, or understanding certain Bible passages.
Learning to love your children well provides YOU with an opportunity to know and reflect a SIDE of Jesus. Example: If your child has a love language of quality time and values playing together, but you do not value childlike play, God is using the way He wired your child to teach YOU about joy and play. Example: If your child has a love language of words of affirmation and you do not value speaking mushy words, God is using the way He wired your child to teach YOU about using your words, building others up, and bringing praise to your lips. Example: If your child has a love language of touch, but you do not value affection, God is using the way He wired your child to teach YOU about receiving healthy and appropriate touch. Example: If your child has a love language of acts of service, but you do not value having to do things for them, God is using the way He wired your child to teach YOU about joy and play. Pressing in and learning how to speak THEIR language allows US to grow in being more like HIM.
I bought the little Etch-a-Sketch, kept it in my junk drawer, and used it as my object lesson for forgiveness when my children goofed up. I remember one time in particular when I was traveling, my son forged his field trip permission slip with my signature since he’d forgotten to ask me to sign it before I left. The teacher caught him. He confessed what he did, and I asked him to get the Etch-a-Sketch. I explained what forgery was, and we talked about why it was a wrong choice. Then, I turned it over, shook it, and said, “I forgive you for forging the field trip form.” We hugged, and I asked him how he would handle it next time. It was a great teachable moment!