I hear this ALL the time – a person falls radically in love with Jesus and has excellent ‘quiet times.’ They get up early and spend tons of undivided time with Him, and they have a close relationship. The kids come, and soon those quiet moments together give way to sleepless nights and the demands of their new addition. As time passes, the relationship suffers, and they begin to feel exhausted, dry, and burned out. They begin to feel guilty for not investing hours into their relationship with God, which only makes them feel worse. The time we spend with our children in this season is 24/7, but there is a Biblical command to let them leave and cleave to their future mates, meaning our 24/7 relationship will transition into a new way of connecting and relating, yet the love and relationship are still there! Could it be God intended all along for our time with Him to be transitioned, as well, when the baby comes? Do we not think that God KNEW that our relationship with Him would change when He gave us the gift of our child? Instead of feeling guilty that your former way of relating to Jesus isn’t working, ask Him to show you what the NEW looks like. “Jesus, I miss our times together. I miss knowing You and feeling Your Presence. I miss our deep connection. Will You please show me what our relationship and time together look like in this season?” Be blessed with the fact that your relationship is growing, changing, and being transformed into something NEW!
REDEFINING QUIET TIMES
Be kind to the first child God gave you – yourself. You will be accountable for how you treat, accept, reject, love, scold, champion, deny, uphold, tear down, believe in, deny or embrace that child. God is fiercely protective and crazy in love with that child; you should be too!
We had a Let the Children Fly team meeting and I could sense many people were dealing with spiritual resistance (the refusal to accept or comply with something, the attempt to prevent something by action or argument). As I was sharing my experience, I saw this picture of workout resistance bands wrapped around one’s legs. They can still walk, but every step requires more effort because resistance is set up to oppose their steps. I got the idea to grab rubber bands and put them between our fingers to feel the resistance. I put on some worship music, and we just spent time aligning our hearts with His.
During worship, God reminded me of a story where a man came up against great resistance, but God put up the block for his training and development. When the challenging season was over, he knew his anointing had doubled. I began to process that some resistance is good and from the Father’s hand to develop us more like Jesus. But then I saw this picture of the enemy using resistance and disguising it as being from Him. And that is when God showed me the strategy. Many people are experiencing resistance and simply accepting it, going low, and submitting to the Father when in reality, it needs to be dealt with in the spiritual realm. The more they partnered with the resistance saying, “Well, it is just for my development,” or “It comes with the territory of breakthrough,” they were actually partnering with the enemy who was bringing the wrong kind of resistance against them, their minds, calling, assignments and relationships. What’s the difference? Your level of peace! God’s training, character development, increasing our capacity, and seasons of refinement are not always pleasant, but they come with a layer of peace. Only God can discipline you in a way that still somehow feels loving and protective. If the resistance you are experiencing makes you feel uneasy, unsettled, full of lack, discouragement, or hopelessness, then perhaps it is not more patience that you need but a revelation of your authority to resist the resistance and watch it flee. I gave each team member scissors, and we stretched the rubber bands between our fingers to feel the resistance and then cut it. The bands went flying everywhere, and joy broke out. We all felt lighter and restored to hope and confidence that He will complete the work in us and fulfill the promises over us in His way and in His timing.
What is your number one parenting question right now? Ask Jesus and learn how to partner with Him in parenting your child – together! He alone knows what they need more than 100 earthly wise men. So give it a try, and then spend the next 18 years strengthening your partnership with their Creator.
Often, the last thing I feel like doing when I feel heavy is worship, but there is something so powerful about opening your mouth and flexing those weak muscles. Worship ushers in His presence, aligns our thoughts with His, and, most importantly, gets our eyes off of ourselves and our weaknesses and back onto Him and His power, strength, and ability. I have my go-to songs for when I feel tired and weary.
I hear this all the time – “I believe God is good and loves people, but I don’t think of Him as this fun God. I grew up with a picture that God is always very serious. His Kingdom is serious in that it’s life-changing, but the idea of playing and engaging with Him seems foreign.”
If this is your view of God, I want to invite you to sit with Jesus, His Son. Ask Him, “Jesus, will You please give me a picture of the FUN side of Your Father?” You might want to set an alarm on your phone and ask Jesus to introduce you to this part of His Father every day until you can begin to see and experience this part of YOUR Father, too. Yes, God is Almighty and serious and powerful, but He is also the most fun-loving, tender, and engaged Father.
On the first day of our JOURNEY class, I explain that there is always more and we can always go deeper with God. The goal is not to be airdropped in the middle of the ocean just to be able to say, “I have arrived,” but to enjoy the JOURNEY with Him every step of the way. I ask parents if they can see God’s invitation to come out deeper with Him, and the #1 response I get from parents reflects fear that He will ask something of them (like sell everything and move away) or make them do something their heart doesn’t want to. This reflects areas of our heart where we have yet to discover that He is indeed a GOOD Father. He knows the desires He has placed inside of us, and they are to prosper us and give us hope, not shut us down. It is like parents crave and hunger for more but at the same time do not want it because they fear what He will require of them. If this is you, I want you to know that this is not God’s heart or voice speaking but the enemy to try and get YOU to shrink back from His goodness.
Parents, do what it takes so your children don’t reap the fruit of your wounds and hurts.
This is perhaps one of the most fascinating things about God and mankind. He knows what parents/leaders need and lack, so He sends children/people who carry it better than they do. Yet often times parents/leaders use their authority to protect that part of them that needs to come into alignment instead of allowing God to yield their heart through that person. They build walls, shut doors and disempower the very person God sent to BLESS them. The nature of conflict does not disqualify a person. Often times the conflict is just revealing something isn’t in alignment, and God wants to parent the area the conflict is revealing. It is what you do with the conflict that is God’s desire and plan for your life. Your areas of greatest conflict with a child/person could very well be the area God sent that person to touch in you so that it can come into alignment. Disempowerment and control kill the process for all parties.
If this testimony describes your heart’s desire, join us for the next online class to learn HOW.
“I felt immensely inadequate. One day I just fell to the ground in tears and cried out, ‘God, I cannot do it all; I am not capable! My children need more than me; I am not enough!’ He said back to me, ‘I am enough, teach them to come to Me!’ BOOM! Right there, I realized so much of me was still working in my own efforts, and the Holy Spirit corrected me; He is what they need, not me. They needed to learn to go to Him, hear Him, and know Him. I love this lesson and the steps to guide our children to get to the source of the issue. So many times, we circle around the issues repeatedly, never getting to the root of the problem. In our own human efforts, we try to gain ground by dealing with the superficial symptoms instead of addressing the true issues, the hurt, the lie, or the offense. When we take ourselves out of the picture and teach our children to go to Daddy, He is the one that can deal with the truth of the circumstances, and He does it SO much more efficiently than I do. I hope to embed these steps more and more as I lead the hearts of my children. I hope to grow them up in a way where they are empowered. I am, again, thankful that God has led me to this class to bring more focus and direction in leading my children by the Spirit.”
Join us here: Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
Once you learn the incredible ways earthly relationships can impact or distort a child’s view of the godhead (God, Jesus, Holy Spirit), it changes the way, you parent. I am constantly looking for ways to reveal to them the reality of who God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit really are. There have been times when I have not modeled it well and have responded harshly or with impatience. When I go back to make it right, I will say, “Holy Spirit is never harsh or impatient with you, and I am sorry that I treated you that way.” One of the most helpful things you can say to a child going through a divorce is, “Do you know God will never leave you?” or to the child being bullied, “Jesus would never treat you like that.” Humans fall short, but God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit do not.