Ponder this for a moment – EVEN IF you were perfect in all you do as a parent, you still wouldn’t be able to meet all your child’s needs. God designed it that way. There is only one God, and it is He who needs to fill certain places in a child’s heart that even the best of moms and dads can’t reach. That should encourage you that it isn’t all up to you and that you can partner together with the one and only perfect Father to parent your child.
Does anyone ever have a moment when God shows you something in your parenting, and you feel profound guilt and shame? Instead of viewing the revelation through the eyes that you have harmed or hindered your child, view it through the eyes of God using your child to restore what was lost in you. The sudden attack of condemnation is the enemy’s attempt to remind you of your lack so that you do not partner with God’s goodness and redemption. You have permission to step over the condemnation and fully embrace God’s goodness and kindness towards you.
I hit a low one day. My heart ached, and nothing seemed to relieve it. It was intense. I felt like I was just managing life one breath at a time. I got up early to spend time with Him, and it felt heavy. I opened my mouth to pour out my heart despite it feeling like a two-ton elephant on my lips. The Lord replied. He said, “You are accusing Me of being an unfit Father.” The weight was lifted as I repented for wanting anything or anyone else to be my hope, anchor, and confidence. Oh, You are anything but an unfit parent. You are faithful! You are alive! You are present! You are capable! You are able! You are willing! You are powerful! You are MINE!
When my sweet Emma was little, she had the hardest time grasping the concept that she could not help herself to whatever she wanted in the stores. She would come home with her pockets filled with unpaid goodies. I kept trying to teach her, but it wasn’t sinking in. When I found a pair of dangling earrings, I knew I had to take things to the next level. I took her to the store and asked for the manager. I had Emma explain that she took the items and came to return them. To my utter surprise, the manager told me to relax and then looked at Emma and said, “That is okay, sweetie!” I was dumbfounded and asked the manager if she would be okay with that response if she were 15 or 55, still stealing from her store. I was sad the manager was working against what I was trying to set up and instill in my daughter. I share that story to say we must know the bigger picture of what is happening. I was a mom trying to teach my daughter the value of not stealing, but the manager spoke against it and encouraged Emma that it was no big deal. There is SO much going on in the world right now, and we must must must hear from God what He is doing and align our prayers, comments, and voice with His. We do not want to be like the manager and speak out against what He is doing. We want to partner with Him.
May I encourage you to gather the children and spend some intentional time as a family asking: “Father, what are You doing right now?” “Holy Spirit, how do You want me to pray today?” “Jesus, will You show me what You see?” He is a good Father and knows what He is doing. Let’s partner WITH Him and align our voices with what He is doing.
I heard the Lord say to me, “April showers bring May flowers,” and was reminded of the scene in The Shack where Sarayu (Holy Spirit) was collecting the tears of Mack, who was deeply grieving the devastating loss of his daughter. Later in the movie, Sarayu used those same tears to water the seeds that would become a massive tree. God is doing something profoundly deep within you in this season. Spiritual Daughters, I am so proud of you! I am proud of the one who stepped away and caught her breath. I am proud of the one who went outside to let the tears flow. I am proud of the one who chose faith over fear. I am proud of the one who showed her gorgeous vulnerability. I am proud of the one who sobbed in her closet. I am proud of the one who called a friend and shared her heart. I am so proud of the one who owned her heart and what she was feeling. I am so proud of the one who kept her eyes on Jesus. I am proud of the one who dropped to her knees, asking God for help. I am so proud of you for choosing to let God have His way with you and not medicating your heart with the novocain of the world. The only way to lessen the pain is to feel it. Let Jesus continue to have His way with you, and He will allow those tears to blossom into something so beautiful.
One word from God can flip an entire situation. Ask Him to lead you to Scripture and meditate on it. Sometimes I get one line or even one word and chew on it all day. It may not feel true. It may not look true. It may not look possible. But it IS true! Camp out on HIS truth until it becomes your truth.
When you partner with the pressure of perfection, you will reap anxiety, worry, and lack of joy. On the other hand, when you partner with His perfection, you will reap peace, joy, abundance, clarity, movement, and solutions in your parenting.
Some of you are battling things that are consuming you and causing you to be so weary. While we live in a fallen world with a real enemy, many of you are losing the battle simply because you are not armed with heaven’s tools. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, becoming equipped and empowered is not only available to every believer, but it is God’s mandate on your life. It is the honor and privilege as a Son/Daughter to walk in strength, radical love, and a clear mind. Whatever you are dealing with today does not need to defeat you. Heaven has tools and strategies to help you overcome, come out from under it, and bear fruit. There is hope!
Don’t refuse the message just because you don’t like the delivery of the messenger. Oftentimes children botch the delivery of what they are trying to tell you. They do it with anger, attitudes, imperfection, and less-than-mature ways, but it doesn’t mean that WHAT they are trying to say is to be ignored. God speaks through those who haven’t yet matured more than you realize.
If you want God to move in your family, you have to give Him ROOM to do so. When our agenda, need for control, and schedules are wound up so tightly, it doesn’t give room to depend on Him for what only He can do. Busyness and control are two killers of the supernatural in our families.
Get out your journal and recall the last time you had an above-average reaction to something your child did. Ask Jesus some questions and allow Him to minister to your heart. Do not be introspective; instead, ask and listen to what He has to share.
Ask, “Jesus, was this their issue or mine?”. If it was your issue, ask, “Jesus, what was my heart feeling at the time? What made my heart so uncomfortable at that moment? When was the first time I felt that emotion? What did my heart need?”
Use these questions the next time your child triggers you and allow those uncomfortable moments to be the times you are molded to be more like Jesus. We don’t want our wounds or lack to parent our children. We want to parent from a place of wholeness and freedom. Understanding this is important because we often react to our children who aren’t doing anything wrong. Yet our reaction, out of a wounded or hurt place, teaches them that it is not okay to be who God made them to be. Allow Him to parent you through your child! I am proud of you for doing the hard things so that your child doesn’t reap the fruit of our wounds.