People think parenting and raising children are the same thing. We raise chickens, not children. Raising chickens looks like letting them follow us around aimlessly, pecking at our ankles, throwing them some food, and cleaning up poop every once in a while. That should not describe our parenting. As parents of powerful children, we teach, train, and equip them through intentional actions. Simply having a child under your foot 24/7 is not parenting.
My goal isn’t to have perfect kids. My goal is to keep their heart in the palm of my hand and teach them a lifestyle of going to God even in the hard and messy places.
Proverbs 22:6 – “Teach a child to choose the right path, and when he is older, he will remain upon it.”
Teach – verb 1. show or explain to (someone) how to do something. There is a difference between dictating laws and teaching them. Instructions can turn into rules/laws, which is legalism. Teaching is the verb of Jesus! Ex. A child steals something from the store. We can instruct our children that we don’t steal, or we can teach them WHY a loving Father doesn’t desire for His children to steal from others. Ex. A child hits his sister. We can discipline and reprimand the child for his behavior, or we can teach them HOW hitting affects others. Ex. A child doesn’t listen to you. We can pull out parenting tools of control and fear, or we can teach them WHAT obedience looks like. Are you instructing or teaching your children?
What kind of parent do you want your child to have?
In January 1936, the King of England died. Following royal protocol, his eldest son assumed the throne, becoming King Edward the Eighth. But in December of that same year, only months into his reign, King Edward stunned the nation when he formally abdicated the country’s throne and the many benefits of royalty. What is especially alarming is the phrasing of the official decree, which ended in these haunting words: “I, Edward the Eighth … renounce the Throne for Myself and for My descendants.” Imagine. With one stroke of the pen, this man sealed his fate and the fate of his children and grandchildren for generations into the future. As parents, we, too, occupy a throne in the sense that God has given us a position of authority in our kids’ lives. We mustn’t renounce that influence. Children don’t need us to be their friends – someone telling them what they want to hear. They need a parent – an authority figure willing to speak the truth into their lives. Of course, we should listen to our children and consider their views carefully, but our kids should not be allowed to run the home. That’s our God-given responsibility. So, take the lesson of King Edward to heart. Abdicating your authority could risk your kids’ future for generations to come.
There is an area my son lacks. As a mom, I have noticed this, and together we have gone after increasing his capacity for quite some time. However, he seems to be in a season where his faithfulness is less and less. It is frustrating (like UBER frustrating). As a leader/mom, God has spoken deeply to me about what he needs during this season. Is it to be harder on him? Greater consequences? Remind him often of his failure? Let it go and hope he grows out of it? It happened again one morning, despite talking about it the night before. He came to me and said, “Mom, I know I messed up again.” We talked about it for a moment but had to keep going to get ready. About five minutes later, I went to him while he was tying his shoes and sat at his feet. I put my hands on his knees, and the anointing flowed as I blessed his journey into manhood. I told him I was okay with the process because I knew where he was headed. I assured him I would sit with him for as long as it took because that is what mothers do. I told him there was still a spot for him in our family and that mistakes do not mean being sent to the end of the line. Tears began to flow. I blessed his brain trying to manage responsibility and hormones. I blessed his value and worth that are anchored in Him, not his performance. I blessed his messes because God is using them for his growth and refinement.
I speak that over YOU today. There is still room for you at the table. Your messes are part of the growth process. There is still room for you. God has not weakened His gaze or affection over you. You have permission to be on your journey and learn as you grow! We live in a performance-based culture that values your A+ and rejects you for getting a C. God values your process and journey of becoming the full expression of who you were created to be. Break agreement with any voice telling you otherwise!
Want to give your children a gift today? Read through Psalms 139: 1-18 with them at the breakfast table. This is a powerful revelation of the goodness of God and rebukes the lie that we are alone. Anchor them today in His Word.
I have often been encouraged to write a book about all the ways one could release the Kingdom through children. While I love the idea, I believe that it has the potential to feed many people’s religious spirit. If they just go through a book and do 1, 2,3, they might bear some fruit but will miss the connection with God that our heart desires. I believe the greater calling is simply to help parents flip some of their old mindsets that may be super religious but are not of the Father’s heart. Once their mindsets are in alignment with heaven, the flow becomes endless of how we can play in the Kingdom based on our own specific calling, destiny, and unique family design. There is *never* going to be a perfect month for you to put your family first as there will always be busyness and distractions, but I strongly believe that NOW is the time to widen your journey with Him in your parenting.
Many parents ask me what the best resources for raising children in the faith are. While there are a lot of things we can do to nurture their relationship with God, I firmly believe one of the most significant ways to impact them is merely sharing your own journey with them. I often tell the kids what God is doing in my heart, revealing the things He has spoken to me, or how verses have come alive for me. I am taking what is inside of me and getting it out for them to see, hear, and feel. It is one thing to talk about it; it is another to witness and experience it. This is one of the glorious things about family and living with such a deep connection to those around us. If we get hit with something hard, I make sure the children aren’t just seeing the struggle but also the journey of God showing up in the process. Have you shared your childhood stories about life with/without Jesus and how it has impacted you? Have you told them when and how you first met Jesus? Do they know about your recent revelations and encounters? Your journey with Jesus is powerful – share it!
I often hear moms of little ones lamenting that all they do is change diapers, feed, clean, do laundry, and repeat. They feel insignificant as their world revolves around caring for their demanding and helpless child. To which I reply, “YOU ARE KIDDING YOURSELF. You are in the biggest season of your life. You get to be the gateway between the generations deciding what you do and do not want to pass on to the next generation who will carry the baton of your family line. You are deciding what parenting style is best for raising healthy whole children. You are deciding what holiday traditions are worthy of introducing your children to. You are discerning what triggers you and what needs to be brought into wholeness. You are building a foundation with their Father that will be the foundation in which they are raised. You are the one who gets to gaze in their eyes and communicate love to their souls. You are teaching them that they are safe and wanted. Oh, Mama, you are in the most incredible season of your life as you take the helm and sail the next generation into the Father’s arms.”
My children get along with each other most of the time. Yes/No
Honor and respect are evident in our home. Yes/No
I can hear what God is saying to me. Yes/No
I can discern what is going on with my child when they behave poorly. Yes/No
I am excited about the future and all that it holds for us. Yes/No
I live a life that is full of joy and peace. Yes/No
My family brings me an abundance of joy. Yes/No
I enjoy being a parent. Yes/No
If you answered NO to any of the above, then it is time to join our online adventure of going deeper in your parenting journey.