My definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over without any fruit. I am motivated by cause and effect. I like to know what I am sowing into it, actually creating or changing something. Is anyone else like me? Parenting is no different. If you want to spend the next 18 years on ‘repeat’ saying the same thing over and over and over and over again, then parent a child’s behavior. If you want lasting fruit that will carry on and spill over into other situations, then parent the principle behind their behavior. Ex. If a child hits their brother, do not just parent the incident, but parent the principles behind it, which could be a lack of self-control, kindness, or impatience. If a child fails to complete a task you have asked of them, the principle behind it could be a lack of self-control, irresponsibility, or disrespect to authority. Parenting based on principles will create a lifestyle vs. rule-based living.
PRINCIPLES VS. RULES
The whole job of a parent is to teach! I know some of you are saying “duh,” but some of you might be like me and have not realized just how early it starts and what all needs to be taught! Holy Spirit-led parenting is rocking my world. He is flooding us with the tools of heaven that not only makes sense to the kids but also hits me right where I need it! There is not a one-and-done answer or one magic class that can teach us as parents. It is all hands-on, and in the moment, and THAT is why we NEED Him!!
Hear what this mom had to share: “One day, I brought the kids out to the trampoline. We talked about Jesus being the light and how light casts out darkness. I was using examples and reading the Scripture when my son said something along the lines of, ‘So you’re saying when there’s a gap between us, more darkness comes in?’ YES!!!! So the image below popped into my mind. I thought of the game ‘Red rover, red rover, bring _____ right over.’ We had two big guys in our class growing up. As we played this game in the gym, they sent over a smaller guy! This guy came running as hard and fast as he could, and he got LAID OUT! I’m pretty sure he got a concussion! It is the perfect imagery of just how strong we are as a family UNIT when we are UNITED!!!!! The enemy doesn’t have a chance! So I told the story as the kids held hands and then asked them to separate. How easy was it for the enemy to get into their circle and cause a big fuss when they were not a unit?”
I’m telling you. If you are ready to throw in the towel, DON’T DO IT. Get desperate. Desperate people get stuff done! Seek first His kingdom, and HE WILL ANSWER. Our families hold the answer, not the problem.
What happens inside of you when you hear, “Mommy, will you come play with me?” If you have a strong reaction to that question, may I encourage you to ask Jesus this question? “Jesus, what about play makes my heart so uncomfortable?” So often, children are told that play is loud and messy and are taught to shut it down. As a result, children grow up being adults who do not know how to play and partner with JOY. It is God’s plan to redeem that in you through your child’s natural ability to play. If we do not learn to be re-introduced to joy, we will simply pass on to our children what was taught to us. So break the cycle – GO PLAY!
Do you want to be a part of the solution? Do you want to do your part so that we do not pass this on to our children’s children? Are you hungry for cultural change? Do you desire to see heaven invade our nation? Have a listen as I expose some of what is going on in the spiritual realm and give you keys and tools for your family.
When the kids were really little, I would have them say, “I am sorry.” Once they understood that correction/discipline meant they did something to cause harm, I would have them ASK for forgiveness, such as, “I am sorry. Will you please forgive me?” And they had to wait for the reply of the other person. When they were around 4-8, I would have them say what they were sorry for, such as, “I am sorry for hitting your arm.” When they got older, I had them ask for forgiveness and state WHY what they did was not okay, such as, “I am sorry I hit your arm. It is not okay because I used my strength instead of my words.” Now that they are in their teen years, it is common for them to clean up their messes by asking forgiveness and releasing compassion and validation for how their choices have affected others. I am confident my grandchildren will reap the fruit of this because a successful marriage is not built upon perfection but on the ability to clean up one’s mess well.
How many of you have to do things in life that require a sacrifice for your child? Selling a house? Long car rides? Going grocery shopping? Look at what this real estate agent did to EMPOWER the kids to be on the team rather than set it up for conflict and chaos.
“At my listing appointment tonight, I had the smallest residents sign their own contracts promising to keep their rooms clean, and toys picked up while the house is on the market. If they hold up their end of the deal, they each get a gift card from a store of their choice.”
Worthy is the lamb is more than a good worship song – it is the position of our hearts. The elders and angels bow down and worship WORTHY IS THE LAMB over and over and over for all eternity. The Lord owes us nothing. Not comfort, morning coffee, electricity, toys, expensive vehicles, nice homes, or a paycheck. He gives these things because He is a good Father, but He owes us NOTHING and deserves it all. In this hour, it is so important to teach our children that He is worthy – all the time – of it all!
Wor·thy – adjective – having or showing the qualities or abilities that merit recognition in a specified way.
Noun – a person notable or important in a particular sphere.
Have the kids glue cotton balls around a drawn or printed lamb and talk about the countless things He is worthy of.
I hosted a parenting class and asked the parents why they were there. Seriously, there was a motivating factor that drove them to sign up. They wanted something. I encouraged them to dig deep and discover why they said yes to joining me. Around the room, the answers were the same, and my spirit was soaring with each response. Friends, we are entering a tipping point. One by one, parents stated they were SICK AND TIRED! Sick and tired of the fighting in their home, the disunity amongst siblings, the lack of respect, the lukewarm temperature of their hearts, the complacency, the addiction to screens, the fear of man – the pressure to perform, the weight of the atmosphere, the feeling like a victim to circumstances, and the lack of joy. Oh, my friends, it is good to be sick and tired of this in your homes. One by one, there is a tipping point of families joining the ranks of I WANT TO FOLLOW HIM WITH EVERYTHING I’VE GOT! It will cost you something, but you will gain everything He has to offer.
Please read PART ONE first.
You Have Work To Do!
If you have a white lineage, I encourage you to go before the Lord today and ask for forgiveness on behalf of your family line, heritage, and ancestors for any way they participated in the dehumanizing, abuse, and control of black people in the name of slavery (through purchase or attitude). I encourage you to ask for forgiveness for any way your family line has partnered with the attitude and belief of supremacy and hierarchy based on race.
Gather your children and talk about the issue of race. Talk about how it would feel to be excluded your whole life simply because of your hair color. We owe them their history, even if it isn’t always pretty. We owe them the truth so that they can be empowered to change their world. Have them write out an “I am sorry” card and offer it to Jesus. Have them write out declarations and speak into the atmosphere that we are all equally made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-28).
If you have a black lineage, I encourage you to get before the Lord today and ask for forgiveness on behalf of your family line, heritage, and ancestors for any way they have come under the spirit of control and partnered with rebellion or rejection (victim spirit) in defense. I encourage you to spend some intentional time today forgiving those who have caused you and your family line harm, hardship, and cruelty. This will not be won naturally because we are reaping the fruit of the strongholds created generations ago. Each person must do their own part to clean up the mess we were handed, put their stake in the ground, and declare we will not tolerate this any longer.
Is anyone noticing an increase of bickering, cranky kids, and sharp tones in their family? I know I have, and let’s call it out – it is ANNOYING! There is nothing more grinding to my ears than listening to my children use unkind tones with each other over trivial things. As I was exploring what was going on in my family, I remembered ALL of the sugar they had been consuming. Normally I let them enjoy their Halloween candy for a day or so and then collect it all, but I had forgotten to do that. I told them to get their candy, and I was mortified when I saw the massive pile of SUGAR sitting on my counter, waiting to be consumed. Yeah, NO. This will not go well to allow them to have a steady drip of this much sugar. We are mind, body, and spirit, and we cannot feed our bodies poison and expect to produce sweet results any more than feasting our eyes on violence and expecting peace. Or allowing our ears to consume gossip and slander and expect connection. In one day of removing the sugar, I noticed a massive shift in kindness, care, and gentle words!
One day, Emma came to me in tears with her beloved Pinkie Pie (pink horse), whose leg broke off. Pinkie Pie was no ordinary toy. She had waited months to get it and had lavished more love on that horse than on any other toy! To have it broken was truly a sad loss for her little heart. My heart wanted to rush out and buy her a new one, but Holy Spirit showed me that Emma was learning compassion. I realized that she needed to know how to deal with things in her life that were broken because life is messy, and we can’t always just ditch the broken and replace it with new. I asked her if she loved Pinkie Pie any less because she lost her leg, and she said no. To play with a Pinkie Pie with only three legs required an adjustment, but that’s life! We still have her, as she is our reminder to love all things, even when they are broken. Jesus always healed out of compassion, not need. We need to be looking for ways to teach our children to walk in compassion for others.