When I hear a child speak a lie about themselves (I am not smart enough, I am slow, I can never figure this out, etc.), I simply tell them that they are partnering with something from God’s enemy. Do they want to continue to partner with that (they do have free will), or do they want to throw that one out? Then, I told them they could kick out or throw out whatever thoughts came to their mind that wasn’t of God. Hudson, who was only four then, literally went to the front door and motioned like he was kicking something out before slamming the door. Yeah, like that! Kids need to be taught that not every thought that crosses their mind is theirs, and they can be empowered to say NO!
THAT’S A LIE
- Authority, Heart Splinters
If everyone was born with a deep need for connection, why then are so many children feeling alone and without a best friend? I believe one of the reasons is that they are so ill-equipped to deal with bumps in relationships. Somewhere along the lines, we believe that if something is hard or even painful, it means it is wrong. But what if God knew what was inside our children and brought them the right people who would reveal what needed to be strengthened, healed, or redeemed? This normally happens through conflict and offense. Like every other parent, my heart longs to shield and protect my child from hurt, but that is not reality. Plus, it lacks faith in a God who knows what my child needs more than I do for deeper growth and character development. I cannot tell you how many times one of my kids came home from school, sharing that they got their heart hurt by a friend. Conflict is not a sign of a bad friend. Often, it is the ones who get deep into our hearts that God uses to reveal what is inside us. This is not always a reflection of how ‘mean’ the friend is, but rather that they are touching something inside of us that God wants to grow. Example: It may be true that a friend was rude or made an unkind comment, but perhaps God wants to grow my child to have thicker skin and not be easily offended. It may be true that a friend chose another friend to invite for a sleepover, but perhaps God wants to grow my child in knowing that their identity is not in how many invites, likes, or messages they receive. It may be true that a friend failed to respond to a message or text, but perhaps God wants to grow my child in believing the best and giving people the benefit of the doubt. It may be true that a friend ignored them, but perhaps God wants to grow them in having the confidence to try again. It may be true that a friend got mad and misunderstood their heart, but perhaps God wants to grow my child in an area of being vulnerable. It may be true that a friend failed to reach out in their time of need, but perhaps God wants to grow my child in forgiveness and not holding grudges. It may be true that a friend gossiped about them, but perhaps God wants to grow my child how to have brave conversations with someone who has not protected their heart. It may be true that a friend _________, but perhaps God wants to grow YOUR child in _________. As the school year unfolds, I encourage you to camp out in this statement. Validate their hurt and pain, show them compassion, and then ask Jesus what area He wants you to help your child grow in. Children can learn to fight well, push through the bumps, and not only become strong friends but become more like Him.
When my kids come home with stories about how someone was unkind, rude, or disrespectful, we walk through forgiveness and then release the opposite back to them in the spiritual realm. You can’t be a victim when you are partnering with the Creator of the universe.
Homework – Call a family meeting and ask your children what would happen if you walked into the middle of a busy street and held up your hand. Nothing would probably happen. Next, ask what would happen if a police officer walked in the middle of a busy street and put up his hand. Because of his badge, he has authority. Not only that, but all of the courts back him up. We get to be police officers in the spiritual realm because of the badge of Jesus, and all of heaven backs us up. We get to tie up the bad and then unleash all the good stuff.
This is a follow-up to my recent post about pornography.
I am getting messages from parents who are confessing this has been a real battle in their home, and they are bringing it into the light and dealing with it but want to know how to close the door for their children. These are great questions and need to be addressed.
“What do you mean ‘open/close the door’?” The Bible tells us not to give the enemy a foothold (Ephesians 4:27). We open the door to him when we have patterns of sin. When the door is open, he now has a legal right to influence, and we know he operates with the goal of stealing, killing, and destroying.
“How can my choices affect my children even if they were never directly exposed to pornography or sexual sin?” While these things are done naturally, there are spirits attached to sex in any form outside of God’s design. When parents are involved in sexual sin, it opens the door for those spirits in the home. Susie doesn’t need to see anything with her eyes in order to be affected by the spirit that was allowed in. Oftentimes for girls, this doesn’t translate into sexual behavior but a profound sense of shame and an attack on her identity as a female. Fathers are to be the covering over the home, and when the door is open, children often feel a sense of lack of security and unprotected. Mothers are to be the sense of comfort and nurture, and children often feel a lack of attachment or connection when the door is opened.
“What is so damaging to children about pornography and sexual sin?” Sex is good – by God’s design. The enemy takes what is pure and righteous and uses it as a weapon to steal, kill, and destroy. The main targets are a child’s gender/sexual identity, sense of worth/value, and protection.
“How do I close the door?” Two things must be done in response to sexual sin – repentance and authority. Repent means admitting your wrongdoing and turning the other direction. I realize sexual sin creates a powerful stronghold for many and can be a journey of getting free, but we can’t ever let sin communicate to us that we have expired Jesus’s blood. If you fall 100 times, there are 101 drops of blood for you. The second is realizing that the behavior attracts and invites the wrong spirits into your home and using your authority to close the door. “Jesus, I confess that I have _____. Do You forgive me?” Don’t just ask for it, receive it.
Once the blood of Jesus covers you (forgiveness), you can operate in your authority. “Sexual spirits, I see you, and you are not welcome in my home. I am forgiven for my sins, and it is by the same blood that I command you to go now. I close the door to you and forbid you from entering this home again. I will not give in to your temptation. You are no longer welcome here and are forbidden from speaking to me.”
Pray over your children specifically. “You may not speak to (child’s name) eyes and the things they see. You may not influence their thoughts and the things they think. You may not influence the words they speak or the words they speak to themselves. I command you to leave this house now in Jesus’ name.”
The Bible says whenever you tell the bad to go, you need to invite the good to come. “Holy Spirit, I invite You to come and fill (child’s name) with Your love, power, and peace over their mind, identity, and relationships. I invite You to stand guard over them and protect them fiercely. Fill them with Your truth and lead them into healthy, vibrant friendships that honor You.”
As the head of your household, declare what your house stands for. “As the head of this house, I decree and declare that this is a home of peace, growth, and love. We operate out of life-giving heart connections. We stand for truth, honor, and purity.”
We are forgiven for our sins and walk in His light.
Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom. What do I mean? So many times, parents come to me out of pure frustration over a child who is rebelling, angry or defiant. But once we explore the situation deeper with Holy Spirit, we discover that the parent is partnering with fear, control, or woundedness, and the child is simply reacting to what is out of alignment and will not follow that path. That is ultimately a good thing, as God parents us through our children. Not all conflict in the home is the child’s fault. Sometimes it is God allowing us to see what is in our hearts that need to be aligned. Your child is not being disobedient to resist the things in you that are not Kingdom – that’s called God’s redemption!
When I was 24, I had a drug overdose and wasn’t found for three days. The first officer on the scene declared me DOA (dead on arrival) and literally went to get the body bag. The second person on the scene declared he found a faint pulse. I love that part of my story because it is so richly prophetic. Light always trumps darkness, and it only takes ONE person to declare life to that which appears to be dead. No matter what you are going through in your marriage, with your kids, your finances, health, or circumstances, DECLARE LIFE and watch God resurrect that which looks, feels, and appears dead! As I walked out my three-month hospital stay, which included being in a coma, kidney failure, liver failure, and respiratory failure, my brother got so tired of the ongoing grim reports spoken over me from the medical staff that he put up signs all around my room that said, “No negative words spoken here.” I am here today because LIFE was spoken and declared over me.
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?”
I have shared about my powerful time ministering to the moms at the rescue mission in California. A friend messaged me saying she wished I could come minister to her girls in Colorado. I just happened to have had a trip planned and an evening free so I took Lauren and Emma to minister with me. What a glorious night of freedom for these sweet mamas. I honor them for the hell they have been through and for the ways God is redeeming, restoring, healing and repaying for all that has been stolen. If you want to see God move, sit with those who truly need Him.
I went to get my nails done and took my daughter with me. The salon was quiet, and there were three other workers sitting down at a computer. We talked as best as we could through the language barrier. About halfway into it, this gripping fear came over me, and I felt really nervous. I could not figure it out. The workers began to talk to each other and move about the salon, and it just didn’t settle right with me. I felt bad for feeling that way, but it was growing louder and louder. I began to role-play scenarios and contemplated leaving, even though my nails were only halfway done. I wanted to whisper to my daughter to stay alert but didn’t want to cause her concern. Finally, I realized there was indeed real and present danger, and I needed to move into action. I began to walk in my authority over it by commanding the fear to go in Jesus’ name and canceled any assignments of the enemy. I prayed for protection over my daughter and invited the Holy Spirit to stand on guard. I had no idea what was going on, what could have happened, or what I was sensing, except my spirit felt sexually unsafe, and I have the power and authority in the name of Jesus to do something about it. Ironically, the moment we got in the car, my daughter said, “Mom! Did you feel that? I felt so sexually unprotected in that place.” I asked why she didn’t say anything, and she said, “I just invited Jesus to come and deal with it.” We can introduce our children to their ever-present Bodyguard!
This was the first time I experienced partnering with God to remove the heart splinters in my children. It was glorious and left me hungry to live this as a family lifestyle.
I finally ordered my son to his room to give us all a break from the constant strife. Moments later, as I walked down to his room, I vividly remember saying, “Holy Spirit, I have no idea if I am going to yell at him, spank him, hug him or play with him when I get there, but You do!” And then I remember adding a little, “… And you better show up quick!” The moment I entered his room, it was like I could ‘see’ pain in him. I got this impression to grab a stack of paper. I sat on the floor with my (then) 5-year-old son and had him wad up a piece of paper and throw it, but while he was throwing it, he had to call out how he felt about his dad leaving. “I am mad he can’t play ball with me” (throws the paper ball and makes a new one), “I am mad I am the only boy in the family” (throws the ball and makes a new one), “I am sad he can’t tuck me in at night.” This hurting child threw nearly 50 paper balls, and by the end, he was weeping. It was one of the most painful moments for me as a mom to watch this pain seep out of him, but it had to get out. In the end, I scooped him in my arms and just held him. I called forth his worth and value and that he was fiercely loved and wanted. From that moment on, the ‘sting’ was gone from being fatherless (not that there wasn’t more to process, but the splinter was gone). There are adult men and women all over the world who are dealing with the trauma of being fatherless, but as parents, we CAN partner with Holy Spirit to give us creative ways to deal with the hurt, lies, and offenses of childhood IN childhood!
Someone once texted me something that was dark, awful, and marinated in fear. I told her, “Do not fight that one on your own, but actively turn it over to Jesus’ courtroom to be judged.” We are not to take on every evil of the world, but boy, when we see it, we have the right, honor, and privilege of handing it over to the One who will judge and deal with it according to His Word.
When you see/hear of something that is rooted in the wrong kingdom manifesting on earth and producing bad fruit, do NOT partner with judgment, slander, or fear, as that only strengthens it. Immediately hand it over.
“I hand _____ over to Jesus’ courtroom to be dealt with, and I release (the opposite spirit) into that situation in Jesus’ name.”
Teach your children how to do this as well. It takes the burden off of us, removes us from coming under it, and aligns us with the One who can effectively deal with it on our behalf.