SETTING CAPTIVES FREE

SETTING CAPTIVES FREE

Picture a jail. Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 both talk about captives and prisoners, but what is the difference between the two? Both of them are in jail. One is a captive, meaning he was brought there against his will but is free to walk back out. The other one is a prisoner who has committed a crime and must have keys to walk out. The keys are in Matthew 18:23-35. When I first read these verses, I couldn’t believe my eyes. We cannot overlook this Scripture. I want to highlight verse 35. WHO? So shall WHO? It says, “So shall my Father in heaven do to you.” Guys, we have to grasp this. When hurts, lies, and offenses come our way, we have to get out of the jail they create around our lives as soon as possible, or else the unforgiveness we hold onto will hinder God’s best for us. If you are sincerely trying to get out of bondage but can’t seem to find freedom, chances are that you are a prisoner, and the name of the key to open the door is FORGIVENESS! 

Here is a rough model to follow but let the Spirit lead you: “Jesus, who do I need to forgive?” Choose to forgive and pray to release them. “Jesus, what lie have I believed because of this hurt/offense done to me?” Choose to break agreement with the lie. “Jesus, what is Your truth?” Choose to receive what He has to say. I want to add that sometimes people have sincerely forgiven yet still are not experiencing full freedom. Sometimes we have to forgive not only the offense but the FRUIT of the offense. Say someone was abused as a child, and they have walked through forgiving their abuser. But there is fruit to the abuse, such as being unable to trust people, being self-protected, feeling isolated, not feeling safe at night, etc. Sometimes we have to walk through forgiving them for how their hurt/offense affected your life. 

HeartWork – I encourage you not to be introspective about this but to ASK JESUS to show you. “Jesus, would You please show me if there is anyone I need to forgive?”

BLACK SHEEP OF THE FAMILY

Black Sheep – a family member who stands out for being odd and different. They go against the flow of the family, often causing issues. The term has to do with sheep having white wool, and the one that has black wool not only stands out but typically has less value. They have been judged to have ‘less value’ alone, which tells us this term is not the right kingdom. Typically, the child who rebels against the family’s operating system does so with anger, resistance, attitudes, and conflict because they are young and immature and do not yet have the communication or skill sets to address the issues they are coming up against. But just because their delivery is flawed doesn’t mean WHAT they are trying to say is wrong. Countless times in coaching sessions, parents will come to me with the one child who brings so much chaos into the home. After we explore the situation with Holy Spirit, we learn that the child is rebelling against something in the parent that needs to come into alignment. God knits our children in HIS image, but with us in mind. Let’s not be so quick to label a child as the black sheep when God is using the purity of their heart to align something in us. Maybe they aren’t the ‘black sheep’ but the HERO of your story! 

SEEDS PLANTED

Testimony from a mom who took our online Kingdom parenting class years ago. What I love about this is that God was putting seeds deep inside of her when her children were so little and grew them in His timing for her time of need. 

She shared: “In the middle of taking your class, I didn’t know how I could use the tools you taught at the time, as they were just two and three years old. But now that they are four and five, I am starting to see the breakthroughs happen, and it’s such a blessing to be able to touch the heart splinters and have Jesus take care of them now than years from now. Lisa, thank you for choosing Jesus when it felt like all hope was lost many years ago!!!! I am a work in progress, but I am so grateful for your ministry!!!”

PROVE THEM WRONG

Having three teenagers so close in age has created some competition for crossing milestones, such as who will get their driver’s license first. One child came to me in tears, saying they wanted to get theirs first to “prove them wrong.” I asked what she meant, and she shared that the others were poking fun at her, saying she would be a terrible driver and would probably be the first to crash. That did not sit well with me, so I called a family meeting to talk about it. I asked if anyone had made jokes along those lines, and 3 of them raised their hand. I told them that for their ‘joke’ to come true, my car would be damaged, and if my car went out of commission, not only would they lose a chance to drive it, but their world would change significantly without a family car. I began to list all of the ways my car blessed them. I told them that they were prophesying that their sister would not only hurt my car, but chances are another car or, worse, another human being would also be affected. I shared with them the amount of the loan on my car and that I am required to pay for it whether the vehicle is operable or not, and it would be a significant financial hardship to me if that happened. I asked, “Why in the world would you want to ‘prophesy’ hardship, financial ruin, heartbreak, and loss over your family?” They started to catch on. It isn’t funny to make fun of someone else failing so that you can be the first. That is not being a success; that is being a bully. A truly successful person celebrates those around them and champions them to greatness, which goes for siblings.

CANDY CRUSH

Do you play Candy Crush? Everyone (and their mama) kept sending me requests. It got so bad I ended up blocking Candy Crush from my computer. Well… while on the road, I picked up my child’s tablet and discovered the world of Candy Crush. It is more addicting than sugar, and I love it. Ha. One morning God showed me something, and I think it is quite brilliant. He said any time we pray or declare something that is in alignment with heaven, it is like the Candy Crush pieces that gush down and fall into new places. Come on! Having that visual makes me want to increase my prayer life. Let heaven gush down into our lives, hearts, finances, situations, dreams, and passions. If your child plays the game, use it as a visual to teach them that their words and prayers are powerful!

PHYSICAL TOUCH

I had four little children under four hanging on me ALL DAY LONG. It took a while to realize the reason it agitated me deeply was that touch IS my love language, and it was being used in a way that was depleting my tank, not filling it. The solution?

FIRST – Acknowledge that your love language matters and give yourself validation that it is hard to have touch being used in a way that drains you.

SECOND – Make sure your love tank is being filled with life-giving touch.

THIRD – Take breaks and have some intentional ‘no touch’ space. Hire a mother’s helper to come and play with the children while you are still home. Use nap time as downtime. If you do not have nappers, you can still create quiet time where everyone is in their own space playing quietly.

FOURTH – It is okay to teach your children HOW you want to be touched. I had to intentionally teach them not to hit, tap or hang on me. I explained the tank in my heart, and when they came and hit my arm to get my attention, it made my heart feel sad. I role-played how I wanted them to get my attention. When they were little, I would often say, “When you shook my arm, it made my heart feel sad. Can you do it in a way that gets my attention AND heart?” They were learning self-control, honor, and respect.

HURTING HEARTS

Testimony from our JOURNEY class: ”I am so thrilled about the class and already see breakthroughs in our family, even though I am just learning. Today I heard both our girls, ages 4 & 5, crying and being upset at the same time. After hearing that one said ‘Eww’ to a song the other was singing, she ruined the floor puzzle they had been building. I explained that they both hurt each other’s hearts, and they told each other how they felt. Then I had them apologize and ask for forgiveness. One apologized, but the other refused. Not sure what to do, I asked her to draw a picture of how she felt. 2 minutes later, she returned with a picture of an upside-down heart and a regular heart. She said her heart felt upside down when she didn’t say sorry and that it felt right when she did. So, she went right away and apologized. All was well once again! I was pretty amazed that is how she felt when not apologizing! Anyways, thank you, Lisa, for sharing your experiences and journey and what you’ve learned with Holy Spirit. I can’t wait for more breakthroughs with Him.”

MY YES

I knew God wanted me to write the book HEART SPLINTERS – Resolving Childhood Issues in Childhood. But I was walking through a season of deep discouragement and feeling disempowered. It is super hard to feel confident in your calling and put your voice out there when feeling disempowered. The manuscript was always a work in progress on my desk, but I was dragging my feet. I saw a Facebook post about a well-loved husband who had committed suicide leaving behind a precious family. While I had not met them, we had many mutual friends, and it rocked our community deeply. His wife shared her raw experience on social media, and it came across my news feed countless times.

One day, I saw it pop up again, but I kept scrolling since I had already read it. I so clearly heard God tell me to go back and reread it. I did, unsure of what He wanted me to see. I heard Him tell me to print the picture of this family. It was so strong that even though my printer was out of ink, I went to the local drug store to obey. I felt a little odd holding a picture of a family I had never met and who was going through so much tragedy, but I held the picture in my hand and asked, “God, what do You want to tell me about this family?” and He said, “This is your YES – this is why I want you to write HEART SPLINTERS. People are perishing without this information.” The tears were instant as I fell out of my chair on my face, and wept for hours. “Oh, Jesus, forgive me for partnering with being disempowered. Forgive me for walking small. Forgive me for not opening my mouth. Forgive me for laying down what You have called me to pick up. JESUS! Use me to tell Your sheep there is hope. Let what You did in my life, and the lives of my four children serve as a testimony of what You can do. Light and life always trump death and darkness.”

And with that encounter, the manuscript was finished.

EQUIPPING THEM WITH SKILLS

Parenting is a verb that unfolds over time. We do not sit our children down when they are two and tell them everything there is to know about life. We grow and roll with them as they develop and mature. The same is true for safety. Children under five are mainly going to be with mom and dad, so their world is different than the child who is at the age of going to school, sleepovers, playing with neighbors alone, etc. Giving them the language and tools to be safe will open wider and wider over the years, eventually having them walk out your door prepared with tools to be successful, healthy, functioning adults. When new situations arise (playing alone outside, going to school, sleepovers), you first have to ask yourself, “What have I, as the parent, done to teach them about this in the time of peace?” When a child is begging to go play with the neighbors, that is not the time to teach. Your YES should be dependent upon: #1. Have you equipped them with how to handle that situation in the time of peace? #2. Do they have the skills and responsibility to be successful? Sending them out the door, to the neighbors, or even at school without first preparing and arming them with tools gambles with their success. 

POOL JOY

We were enjoying a day at the swimming pool. Hudson asked for a sip of my pop, and I felt led to lavish him with the whole thing. Lauren came over and robbed him of his joy by being bossy, controlling, and ‘self-focused.’ I decided to treat the girls to one, too (it is a treat and not something I usually do). I gave it to Lauren to share, but she was being mean-spirited and controlling about it with her sisters, too. I called her over and pointed it out to her. She was frustrated with herself for being like that but didn’t know why. We asked Jesus to shine His flashlight in her heart and show us what was going on. She began to cry and say that the other girls would move away from her whenever she joined them. Bingo! Hurts, lies, offense. She was hurt and offended that her sisters were working on a skit together and were not including her. I explained that she was partnering with control and meanness to make herself feel better and listening to the lie that she couldn’t be weak and show tears (something she struggles with) and that in doing so, she was releasing the wrong kingdom. I asked if that was what she wanted (because she does have a free will, and I would rather parent with her will than try to control her against it). She didn’t want that and agreed to let her sisters know how she felt. She learned that it is safe in God’s Kingdom to show tears and weaknesses, which she revealed to her sisters. I declared over them that they were powerful and incredible world-changers who could devise a plan to resolve the conflict and then left them to figure it out, and the joy returned! Can you see how spanking, time outs, removing the treat, etc., would not have even come close to addressing the real issue of her hurt heart?

WHAT LIES AM I BELIEVING ABOUT RAISING MY CHILDREN?

When parents find themselves parenting harshly, it generally stems from a belief that love must be earned. While this is not true about their heart for their child, it was the belief that they were raised in. Performance and pressure are the ingredients to be loved. This operating system is not Kingdom and will not produce the fruit of love, connection, and trust that we desire with our families.

Do you find yourself being overly harsh, firm, and rigid in your parenting? Ask, “Jesus, will You please show me what LIE I believe about raising my children?” Verbally break agreement with the lie. Ask Jesus for HIS truth.