A mom recently asked me what to do when her child has to face hard things that are outside of her control to change. We talked for a moment about how to keep our children safe, but then I introduced her to what I have called ‘touchpoints.’ Touchpoints are those places where two places touch each other. The one end is our child’s need, lack, or hard circumstances; the other end is heaven’s tools and strategy. When the two of them touch, it no longer becomes just the hard or challenging circumstances but where our child gets strengthened, equipped, armed, and empowered to overcome, grow, conquer and become victorious. While I may not be able to prevent every negative thing that comes their way, I surely can give them the tools of heaven to win the battle. Where is your child enduring hardship, lack of pain? How can you, as their parent, equip them in that area with the tools of heaven?
Picture a Little House on the Prairie scene where a powerful Minnesota blizzard dumps mounds of snow covering everything in sight. Imagine the family huddled in bed, keeping warm in their mud roof home. How much oil would you want to keep the lamp going? While the storm is still present, how much oil has changed their experience? Sitting in the dark in the middle of a storm is not the same as sitting next to light in the middle of a storm. In Matthew 25:1-13, we are told of the story of the ten virgins who went out to wait for their groom. Five were wise, and five were foolish. When the groom appeared, the five that didn’t have oil in their lamps asked to borrow some from the five that were prepared, and they were told NO – GET YOUR OWN! Oil represents our own personal relationship with Him. You can’t borrow oil at this hour. Many have enjoyed the oil of other people’s lamps but are now realizing they have little to no oil of their own. You can’t stand on the oil of your pastor, worship leader, or neighbor. It has to be your own. There are some things no one can give you except God. We are in a season of intense squeezing, and it is revealing how much oil one has. While His love and grace are free for all, it is obtained by exercising it. Those who have received, embraced, lived from, leaned on, experienced, and acknowledged Him have oil in their lamps. We are not meant to live in darkness but to be consumed by the light that burns within us.
We are in an hour where oil is essential, and there is still time to get your own. HOW?
**By receiving Him.
**Surrendering not just your life, but circumstances to Him.
**Reading the Word, not as a religious duty but sincerely embracing His daily food.
**Giving Him thanks.
**Confessing your sin.
**Getting alone with Him.
**Telling Him what you want, need, think and feel.
**Acknowledging Him in specific situations.
**Declaring His word out loud.
**Walking by faith, not sight.
**Crying out for help.
**Being in an interactive relationship with Him.
**Embracing Him as your Father.
**Walking as a loved and covered child.
This isn’t about doing more FOR Him. It is about having an interactive relationship WITH Him.
A parent was asking me about the child who slams their door and remains in the room upset. Their question included, “I can’t control them,” and something profound rose within me. No, they are right that control-based parenting is ineffective for the long haul and does little to address the child’s heart. However, I think there is a lot of space between “I can’t control them,” and “there is no way I will lay down my authority that fast when the enemy comes to build a wall with my child.” Let me explain. The purpose of a wall in the natural (bushes, fences, room dividers, retaining wall) is to hold something in and/or keep something out. It creates a physical boundary line that communicates “you can’t get through.” We build walls in our hearts when we are hurt or afraid to keep the bad out and to self-protect ourselves from getting hurt again. This makes logical sense, EXCEPT #1. It keeps the bad out but also keeps the good out. #2. It traps the bad so that it can’t escape and causes us to carry the hurt/offense around. #3. God never intended us to carry the job of self-protection. That is His job. When the enemy is working my child to build a wall to keep pain in (and me out), I agree I can’t control them, but boy, mama bear comes out in the spiritual realm. I bind whatever is in operation, ask Holy Spirit to bring into light whatever is in darkness, release comfort to their hearts, and I go after their love language BIG time. When I see my child struggling and needing the comfort of a wall to feel safe, I BACK OFF from parenting their flesh and wrong behavior and go after their heart. 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 complicated and messy places. Control? No. Power and authority, YES!
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!
If current events are causing your heart grief, please know there is an action that is demanded in response. Your mama’s heart was not designed to carry this weight, but He is allowing your heart to feel His heart SO THAT you rise up and release the burden back to the One who can move. I encourage you to intentionally spend some time carrying your mama’s heart into the Throne Room and interceding on behalf of those involved in the situation. Your voice is powerful!
Every once in a while, the Lord nudges me to be a student of my children’s evaluation of me as a mom. I have authority in the home, but that doesn’t mean I can’t learn from my children. I called a family meeting and reminded each of them of a recent event where they made a mess. I asked them to come up with a list together on #1. What could I have done better (in that situation), and #2. What did their heart need from me? They went to the back room and began to create a list of answers. While I already knew the areas I could improve in as a parent, what was highlighted was their deepest desire for me to HELP them in their mess. It is so easy for a parent to focus on the fruit of their choices, but I was given yet another reminder to stay focused on empowering them with tools and solutions to not only clean up the mess but also prevent them in the future. This is a profound way to let their voices be heard now, in childhood, about the things their heart needs.
Do you have a child who is a PEACEKEEPER? Those that avoid conflict at all costs and run into the other room when tensions mount? While peacekeepers are made in His image, it is super important to help them learn how to process the conflict other than just dislike it and pretend it is not there. Ignoring is not the tool of Heaven. Many kiddos are having a hard time in this season of so much chaos in the atmosphere. They have felt the conflict and yet don’t fully understand it. I encourage you to praise them for their desire for peace and validate that the presence of God is PEACE, but that sometimes we feel the opposite and can be used as agents of peace. Give them some additional tools: they can talk about their feelings, draw them out, act them out, release peace, dance, write a letter, journal, and go do sports. We want to empower their natural bent for peace without forcing them to bury their heads in the sand and walk in fake peace.
I once told the kids I took a picture of their poop and posted it on Facebook. They were mortified. I asked them why and they said, “Because that is PRIVATE, Mom.” I put them out of their misery and told them I agreed and would never do that to them. I then explained that their God-given body parts are private too – just like boogers and poop – there is nothing shameful in going to the bathroom, but we keep it to ourselves. Children must be proactively taught by their PARENTS that #1. No one can LOOK at their private parts. #2. No one can TOUCH their private parts. #3. No one can take a PHOTO of their private parts.
It is impossible for a child to feel like they have significance when they are raised in a legalistic household because they never measure up.
I had the privilege of ministering to a group of moms in an 18-month rehab program for drugs and alcohol. I wasn’t sure exactly how it would go when I said yes, but I have to say these mamas have stolen my heart, and I have fallen in love with them. They are so hungry for change and transformation. One precious mom sobbed the week before telling me of her daughter’s outbursts and anger. She would get so triggered by her daughter she would have to leave the room. I gave her tools and taught her how to partner with Holy Spirit in her parenting. The next week, she was so excited to tell me that her daughter had another meltdown, and while she was leaving the room, she could see her daughter NEEDING her (before all she could see was the anger), so she went back to her and just held her. She said out loud, “Spirit of rejection, I command you to leave my daughter,” and her daughter went limp and said, “Mommy, what did you just do to me?” OH my goodness! She walked in her God-given authority over the spirit tormenting her daughter and got free. Jesus!
The Kingdom is righteousness, peace, and joy, yet one of the biggest reasons why Sunday school leaders have a hard time finding volunteers is because adults are uncomfortable with JOY. Teach parents how to be restored to joy, and they will be drawn to those who carry child-like joy!