THE HEART BEHIND INTIMIDATION
THE HEART BEHIND INTIMIDATION
SAFEST PLACE FOR CHILDREN
Teaching children about God-designed authority – both under their parents and over the enemy.
Self-rejection is lie-based thinking and often starts in childhood when life circumstances ‘prove’ the lie to be true. Children can partner with lies about themselves, such as, “I am fat.” “I am a loser.” “No one likes me.” “I am a mistake.” My face is ugly.” “I am too small to ever be good at sports.” “I am not acceptable.” “_____ disqualifies me from ever fully belonging.” “I will never measure up to my big brother.” “If I were a boy, my dad would accept me.”
These are lies that feel true because the circumstances around them serve as evidence. They then partner with the lie as if it were the truth, giving the lie a legal right to influence them. Lies are just thoughts, but what makes them so damaging is that our thoughts and beliefs dictate our behavior. Proverbs 23:7. All of the above statements are LIES. When a child believes a lie about themselves, it is like a splinter in their heart, and they begin to act it out because it is NOT supposed to be there. If all we see is their outward behavior and aren’t digging a little deeper into the WHY of the behavior, we can serve to push the heart splinter in further. We want the lie out, not for it to be masked with perfect behavior. The less-than-pleasant acting out is pointing to the splinter that needs attention. This is not a parenting formula or 1,2,3 step program; it is about PARTNERING WITH THEIR CREATOR, who knows exactly how to search their heart and reveal what is going on. Say Johnny comes home, slams down his backpack, and declares, “I hate math!”. Parents often rush to correct little Johnny that we don’t use the word ‘hate.’ Instead, perhaps we could pull on the rope a bit more and discover what is going on underneath his newfound passion for hating math. “Buddy, why do you hate math?” and he says, “Ms. Jones is mean.” Keep pulling on the rope with validation and questions, “Oh no, how is Ms. Jones mean?” “She called on me today and I got the answer wrong and the whole class laughed at me. I am so stupid.” BAM! There is the lie. Hating math wasn’t agitating his heart; the lie of “I am stupid” was. Again, this is where parents want to rush in and remind Johnny of his intelligence, but the lie is not in his mind; it is in his heart. This is where he needs an ENCOUNTER with His Father to remove the lie. While *I* know the truth that God didn’t make him stupid, that is *his* truth. So, I ask if we can ask Jesus for his truth (after, of course, we have walked through forgiving the teacher for putting him in a position that made him feel vulnerable and unsafe and his peers for laughing at him). Jesus always shows up with His PEACE and TRUTH, which is what sets us free!! This is where parenting becomes a partnership with their Creator and where God takes what the enemy meant to harm and uses it for GOOD! The world has yet to see a generation who grabs hold of the hurts, lies, and offenses in childhood and destroys them IN childhood. His heart SHOULD be agitated if the enemy is whispering lies about his identity. His behavior and less-than-ideal vocabulary about ‘hating’ math were simply signs pointing to the heart splinter that was speaking a lie about his identity. A child who has never been intentionally taught the TRUTH of who they are will have an easier time biting the bait of lies about their worth and value. As parents, we have the incredible honor of teaching our children who they are and building them up in His truth. Identity focuses on who God says they are – worthy, valuable, important, lovable, belong, etc. – and not just what they do, such as good grades, sports, or excellent outward behavior.
So let’s review: A child who is partnering with turning on themselves is believing a LIE. A child who believes a LIE will act it out with less-than-ideal behaviors because the heart splinter is agitating their heart. You can pull on the rope with validations and questions to be on the lookout for a HURT, LIE, or OFFENSE. Once you identify the hurt, lie, or offense, you help your child walk through forgiveness and then ask Jesus for His truth. We can help children resolve childhood issues IN childhood so that childhood owies don’t become adult-sized woundedness, childhood lies don’t become adult-sized strongholds, and childhood offenses don’t become adult-sized bitterness. Look for ways to intentionally speak the truth over your children about who they are. “Do you know that God loves you even when you mess up?” “You are so important to God; He even knows the number of hairs on your head.” “God created you to look like Him.” “God wants you on His team.” “This family wouldn’t be the same without you.” “You are perfect just the way you are.” “Know what I love most about you? EVERYTHING!” I declare the lies revealed and TRUTH to reign in your homes!
GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD
It is important with all of the noise in the world and atmosphere that children are declaring with their mouth the truth. This is the double edge sword the Word mentions in Hebrews 4:12 (NIV).
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Watch this short video with your child and then have a special date to write out their own declarations. Hold them accountable each morning by asking if they have filled their mind with His truth (just like they care for their teeth, fill their belly, and put clothes on their bodies).
GRACE AS A PARENTING TOOL
When my kiddos were younger, I was learning about God’s grace. That sweet, love-filled gift of grace. I was so moved by His grace towards me that I decided I would give my children grace when they acted out… and all hell broke loose. I was perplexed that my kindness and goodness were being met with utter chaos. God showed me that grace without authority is nothing but entitlement. My children did not know how to handle the grace given because they had not yet fully been established under my authority. Let me say it this way – if you give grace to your children as a parenting tool BEFORE you have established your authority, you are not giving grace but empowering their flesh. Grace can only be received in the backdrop of understanding what they are given grace for. This is why character training is so important. It establishes for the child right living and positions them under your authority and covering. Do not mistake ignoring, avoidance, or checking out as giving them grace. That is laying down your God-given role to teach your children about His Kingdom structure. Justice is getting what you deserve. Mercy is not getting what you deserve. Grace is getting what you absolutely don’t deserve.
SICK AND TIRED!
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.
I want to encourage you to make a small yet significant shift in your parenting. First, switch your focus from trying to rid them of conflict to growing them to avoid the conflict. There is a radical difference between the two. Move from being a constant referee to being their teacher to set them up for success. Second, we cannot help someone if we first do not know what the issue is. The next time they are in conflict, instead of reacting, stop for a moment and watch what is going on. It is not about who has what toy, but rather issues of selfishness, impatience, lack of self-control, rudeness, etc. – pinpointing where your child needs to grow and mature is vital to helping them. Third, teach them what you want in times of peace. The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy (Romans 14:17), and it is okay to teach and equip our children with the tools of JOY. Make it fun, be creative, and partner with joy in your parenting. Training in the times of peace will give you tools to use in the moments of conflict. Teaching during conflict has proven to be far less effective. Fourth, children are creative. You could tell them ‘NO’ all day long, and they will still come up with another creative way to do something. Focus 90% of your parenting on teaching and training in the times of peace what you DO want. Role-play what selfishness looks like at the table, in the car, with toys, and then model for them what you DO want from them during those situations. This empowers them with how to succeed.
BE THAT MOM/DAD
What kind of parent do you want your child to have?
Video – Be U – YouTube
Podcast – Ellie – Be U by Lisa Max – Let the Children Fly! (anchor.fm)
HURT IN THE CHURCH VIDEO SEGMENTS
Hurt in the Church – Hurt in the Church – YouTube – Why? How?
Hurt in the Church #1 – Hurt in the Church #1 – YouTube – Why God Told Me
Hurt in the Church #2 – Hurt in the Church #2 – YouTube – Exposing Real Enemy
Hurt in the Church #3 – Hurt in the Church #3 – YouTube – Purpose of Family
Hurt in the Church #4 – Hurt in the Church #4 – YouTube – Familiar Spirits
Hurt in the Church #5 – Hurt in the Church #5 – YouTube – Orphan Leadership
Hurt in the Church #6 – Hurt in the Church #6 – YouTube – Judgement
Hurt in the Church #7 – Hurt in the Church #7 – YouTube – Children Are Watching
Hurt in the Church #8 – Hurt in the Church #8 – YouTube – Holy Services
Hurt in the Church #9 – Hurt in the Church #9 – YouTube –The Truth Sets You Free
Hurt in the Church #10 – Hurt in the Church #10 – YouTube – Spiritual Abortion
Hurt in the Church #11 – Hurt in the Church #11 – YouTube – Sibling Conflict in Church Family
Hurt in the Church #12 – Hurt in the Church #12 – YouTube – Get Back in the Game