At church, Hudson asked if I would buy him a muffin and began to tell me how he didn’t have any time to eat. It rubbed me the wrong way, so I stopped and asked if that was true. He had 45 minutes, and ‘all’ he did was get dressed, which provided enough time to eat. I needed him to see something. He was coming at me as a victim, trying to motivate me to meet his need. I want him to approach me as a son. I want him to see me as a mother who cares. Yes, I want him to take responsibility for managing his responsibilities and time, but this isn’t his norm or weakness. I helped him to see that he wasn’t a victim but instead chose not to eat and was now paying the price for it. I asked him to approach me like a son and humble himself with his need. It is risky asking someone for help when you have messed up, but I don’t want my children to partner with being a victim to motivate me (or others) to help them. If I had bought him a muffin without helping him to own his choice, I would have indirectly taught him that there is power in being a victim. He enjoyed his muffin and grew in learning how his Father deals with His children.
VICTIM VS. SON/DAUGHTER
JOURNEY isn’t about a moment, a one-time fix, or a parenting program. This is about a journey of going deeper with Him. This precious mama changes her children’s lives simply by being willing to go further in her journey with Him.
“This lesson really revealed a heart splinter of my own that has been festering for two decades. As a child, I had a strong desire to go to the Air Force Academy. Looking back, I know this idea was planted by my father, a pro-military man. Being the youngest of seven kids, I also think there was some pressure to perform for the financial gain as well as sort of the ‘last-ditch effort’ from my dad. I had always been closer to my dad and felt I didn’t measure up to the perfect daughter ideal that my mother had. I would rather be in the barn with Dad than shop for the latest styles at the mall. I wholeheartedly partnered with the lie that I could achieve favor with my earthly father IF I could just get into the Academy. I worked on every piece of my life to make the Air Force Academy a reality. I pushed and pushed to be the best at all things – school, sports, standardized tests, volunteering… anything that would get me ahead and get me in. The irony is I didn’t get in, and my dad never forgave me. This year on my birthday, he mocked and ridiculed me for it again in front of my closest friends. I finally realized it wasn’t about me – my Heavenly Father was carrying me and loving me through a whole decade of self-hatred after that event. I felt abandoned by my family and was in a real state of self-defeat. I tried relationships, alcohol, and eating disorders and all those lies created more hurt and heart splinters. I prayed daily for relief from the sadness, and in hindsight, I saw God was carrying me and protecting me from myself through all those years. As I surrendered my experience, I vowed not to do that to my children. They will know God’s peace, His enduring love for them, and the truth that their worth is from Him and nothing I put upon them. I also see now that I am worthy of His love and that nothing I have done has separated me from His love.”
Parents, I invite you to join the JOURNEY. Your children will thank you for it! Journey – ONLINE CLASS – Let the Children Fly
How many of you were parented in a way you do not wish to repeat with your children? If that is you, please hear this!!! When you vow not to parent like your parents, you fix your eyes on them and what they did/didn’t do. We yoke ourselves to whatever our eyes are set upon. Guess what? You will not be able to enter the fullness of what God has for you as a parent because your eyes are on man, not Him. Dad was intimidating – “I will never make my child feel intimidated”, Mom was emotional – “I will never show my child out-of-control emotions”, Dad was absent – “I will never leave my child alone”, Mom was angry – “I will never get angry with my child”, Dad was dominating -“I will never control my child”. While all of these may be true to some extent #1. You are seeing your parents through the eyes of a child. #2. You are replacing their less-than-ideal parenting with another faulty parenting plan. #3. You will rob yourself of parenting skills and tools and may look and feel like your parents, but it isn’t. The heart and motive behind parenting tools make all the difference in the world. You are using your parents’ choices to guide you, which will not lead you where you need to go. We can only parent fully when our eyes and heart are on HIM. We need to break the vow, “I will not parent like my mom/dad did,” and need to release to them their choices so that we are free to make our own.
I encourage you to spend some time today and walk through the following. Forgive your parents for the ways they parented you outside of the way God parents us. Repent of making a vow not to be like them. “Jesus, I confess I have yoked myself to my parent’s choices. I repent of putting my eyes on anyone other than You. Will You please forgive me?” Don’t just ask for forgiveness, but truly receive His reply. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what was going on inside my mom/dad to partner with that parenting style?” Allow Him to reveal to you what He sees in their heart and what is going on for them. The true fruit of forgiveness is the ability to have compassion for one’s ill choices, not because you like or accept them, but because you have a greater understanding. Ask Jesus, “Jesus, will You please show me what lies I have believed regarding my parenting?” Ask, “Father, will You please show me a picture of how I can model my parenting after You and Your heart?” Invite Holy Spirit to be your teacher. “Holy Spirit, I give You permission to show me how to parent after the Father’s heart. Please teach me what it looks like to parent as a Son/Daughter.” Thank Jesus for aligning you so that your children can reap the fruit of healthy parenting that reflects His heart.
Video – Be U – YouTube
My friend told me about a story with her son, and I think it is GLORIOUS. Her adopted son had a rough year with his dad moving out and his big sister moving away. He recently spent time at his dad’s house while his parents were in town. The young boy returned to his mom’s house and was OUT OF CONTROL! Yelling, kicking, hitting, screaming – unglued. She shared how she normally would have exercised some serious authority over his behavior and would have dealt firmly with him for his outburst. But she could see he was hurting and said, “Buddy, can Mommy hold you for a moment?” He was hesitant but eventually came to her, put his face in her neck, and just wept. He woke up the next morning back to himself again. There is a time and place to discipline a child for negative behavior, and there is a time and place to partner with Holy Spirit and move in the opposite spirit. This boy was simply trying to express the BIG emotions going on inside of his heart. He needed the security of a mother’s love, and whatever was causing his heart so much agitation was released through her affection.
Our children have been walking through so much, and I want to share this in confidence that it will help someone else reach their own child.
While sitting at dinner, I noticed a mark on my child’s hand. It was unusual, and I asked about it. They immediately started telling me how no one had done it to them. I have a strong core value about siblings not using their strength to communicate, and they were trying to protect their siblings from getting in trouble, but something felt off. We were laughing on my bed the following day, and I noticed it again. I asked, and their response was almost pleading with me that it was nothing. I let it go, but about ten minutes later, I sensed God highlighting it again. I asked them to show me how it happened as their story didn’t line up. They acted out how the mark happened, and it was almost comical how impossible it would have been to create a mark like that. I knew something deeper was going on. I could discern two things: #1. They were covering up something, and #2. They were worried they would be in trouble. I told them I was not mad and that it wasn’t about getting in trouble but being free from whatever it was. I asked them to get their journal and process the story with Jesus (because they know they can tell Him anything and that He is their safe advocate). I was in my room praying that Holy Spirit would lead them and convict their heart (because we partner together to raise my children). They returned, holding back tears, and told me they made the mark themselves. Since cutting is a serious issue, I was most alarmed. They began to tell me that the other day they felt alone and wanted someone to SEE them (yes, kids can feel unseen when you are together 24/7 in a household of 7). This is a child in pain and not having the maturity yet to fully walk it out.
Children often make messes in their pain. When we only focus on the ‘mark’ or mess, we will miss the pain that is underneath. If we are not alert, we will push the pain further, causing them to want to self-protect, which only traps the pain. I knew they had just experienced adult-sized rejection and radical injustice and asked how they felt about it, and they burst into tears sobbing. The injustice done to them would cripple most adults, and their pain was valid. My heart bled for them, but it allowed me to help them process the pain and bring it to Jesus. They needed to know that Jesus saw their heart (not just their immature way of communicating). Here is the sad part of the story. They got what they wanted – for someone to see them, but with it came shame and embarrassment for what they did. It gave me a priceless opportunity to sit all of the kids down and talk about healthy ways to process our hearts without the price tag of shame. Things like porn, alcohol, shopping, swearing, lying, self-harming, etc., are just flags being waved, saying, “I am in pain and need help.” Our children are also learning how to deal with their pain as sons and daughters.
I was coaching a mom whose daughter was believing lies about herself. When the mom asked her to ask Jesus, she said, “I don’t hear Him speaking to me.” The mom went on to say she hears Him well when she worships and isn’t sure how to help her ‘hear.’ I encouraged her to have her daughter take the statement she believed about herself and turn it into a song. If it was life-giving, brought peace, and one that people would sing at Church, she could be assured it was a true statement about herself. If the church wouldn’t adopt her song, neither should she. Oh, baby girl, your spiritual ears work just fine!!
Over and over, I have met with parents who had to experience tough things growing up. What made it traumatic was not the event but how those around them responded to the event. How you respond can be the difference between a hard event and childhood trauma.
Is there an area that you burn with jealousy? A spiritual orphan sees what others have and sees lack. They believe that there isn’t enough for them and, therefore, can’t celebrate the blessings of someone else. A Son/Daughter sees what God has done in someone else’s life, and it gives them hope and excitement for what is possible.