Yes, there is a better way to parent our children than yelling but you do not need more of God so that you stop yelling. You need more of God so that He can comfort and heal those places in your heart so that you do not need to yell anymore.
It is very difficult for a child to release the Kingdom at the store if they are on the floor pitching a fit because you did not buy them a toy. They will have a harder time hearing God’s voice if they haven’t been taught to listen to yours first. You will have a greater challenge getting them to be ‘others’ focused if they have been taught that they are the only ones that matter. Character matters!
The Bible teaches us there is a RIVER OF LIFE flowing from the throne of God. Gather everyone in the family room and read together: Revelations 22:1 – “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the Throne of God and of the Lamb.” Have everyone stand in the same direction with your back facing the throne of God. Picture the river water rising and moving past you as if it were removing things off of you like shame, guilt, worry, fear, sin, temptations, strife, etc. Stand in the river for as long as you need and allow the River of Life to move in, on, and around you. Removing whatever needs to be taken care of, let go, washed, or aligned. Now collectively, turn around facing the same direction with the throne of God in front of you. Picture the River of Life releasing the things of heaven, such as peace, joy, identity, forgiveness, acceptance, belonging, faith, etc. Grab them, pick them up and hold onto them. They are yours!
Read Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” I came down for my quiet time with Jesus one morning and so badly wanted to encounter His love, but a nagging issue was demanding my attention. It was heavy and consuming. I so wanted to let it go but couldn’t seem to find my way to peace about it. I was reminded of this encounter (above) that I had years ago and stood with my back facing the throne and allowed the River of Life to wash this demanding issue off of me, to consume me with His presence. Then I turned around and received the flowing gifts of peace, joy, and alignment to His power! It was breathtaking, life-giving, and so freeing.
Give it a try! The River of Life is waiting for you to encounter the throne of your Living God.
Let’s talk about JUDGEMENTS. Judgments are when we jump in the judge’s seat and determine the verdict about someone. When we say, “They are controlling,” we are judging them. While being discerning and aware of how people’s choices affect us is good, we are never called to act as judges. Maybe that person is ‘controlling’ because they were orphaned as a child and have never learned to depend upon someone else. Perhaps they are controlling because they are rooted in fear and need to be delivered. God judges us based on our heart and story, not our outward appearance. Here is the issue with judgments. When we judge someone, we condemn them with our words (think of how prophecy unlocks and frees a person – judgments bind and lock a person up). The Bible says when we walk around as judges, we are binding OURSELVES to the very thing we are judging. That is why children who judge their father for being an alcoholic grow up to marry one. Or the girl who judges her grandma for being overweight and struggles with her issues.
HeartWork – Get a piece of paper and write down your JUDGEMENTS against your dad, mom, siblings, and even your children and friends. Go deep and allow Jesus to show you where you are holding onto judgments against someone. Ask Jesus to forgive you for holding them in judgment. Break agreement with the judgment over that person. Rip up the paper and declare God’s truth over their lives. Children can do this with their parents and siblings, too.
Hebrews 12:15 – “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”
This is perhaps one of the most fascinating things about God and mankind. He knows what parents/leaders need and lack, so He sends children/people who carry it better than they do. Yet often times parents/leaders use their authority to protect that part of them that needs to come into alignment instead of allowing God to yield their heart through that person. They build walls, shut doors and disempower the very person God sent to BLESS them. The nature of conflict does not disqualify a person. Often times the conflict is just revealing something isn’t in alignment, and God wants to parent the area the conflict is revealing. It is what you do with the conflict that is God’s desire and plan for your life. Your areas of greatest conflict with a child/person could very well be the area God sent that person to touch in you so that it can come into alignment. Disempowerment and control kill the process for all parties.
I encourage you to get a box of name tags and write on them, “Hello, my name is… kindness, a gentleman, compassion, helpful…” and all day, call them by their identity name. “Hey, Compassionate One, can you come and help me with this?”, “GENTLEMAN, please pick up your shoes.”
I got this message from a mom: “Yesterday we did the name tag activity. My 6-year-old loved it so much that he wore it all day and stuck it on his PJs at bedtime so he could wear it to bed last night.”
We don’t want to use our parental authority to control our children to keep our childhood wounds comfortable. We want to use the way our children trigger us to get healed so that we can respond to them as a loving parent.
One of the biggest lies about Christian parenting is that you have to master things yourself first (knowing the Word, hearing God’s voice, praying for others, soaking in His presence, etc.). Maybe, perhaps, it was God’s plan all along that you grow together as a family going after the things of the Kingdom. There is NO way I would be where I am now if it weren’t for my formal Kingdom training that was married with my children’s child-like faith. The KEY is in sharing what you are learning WITH your children and TOGETHER playing in the Kingdom.
Too many believers have limited their relationship with God with the written Word (which is very important and must be our anchor of truth), but He wants us to relate to Him, hear Him, feel His love, and experience Him. I liken the difference to wives whose husbands are overseas; while they may exchange beautiful love letters, it is not the same as the wife whose husband is there every night holding her, kissing her, and protecting her. The latter is the kind of love Jesus wants to have with us. We all know no marriage would be healthy or survive without communication. That is how personal God wants our relationship with Him to be. How could anyone find that level of intimacy with someone without talking, listening, and responding to each other? I have often heard people say that they believed God loved them in the “He loves the world” sense but had never fully understood how much He loved THEM personally until they heard Him speaking to them.
Let’s invite Holy Spirit to do what He does best. Pray out loud: “Holy Spirit, I invite You to come and remove everything and anything acting as earmuffs. I want to hear my Father’s voice more and more. I grant You permission to teach me anything You want about my Father’s voice. Come and have Your way with me.” Do we think that after all He went through to get us to come to Him, He suddenly has nothing more to say to us? God wants to speak to YOU!
I had a dream. We were having a gorgeous church potluck-style gathering in a massive lodge. There was so much activity going on, from bean bag tosses to archery to great food. Everyone was lively and having a great time. Something caught my eye, and I wandered outside, where I found these larger-than-life boulders that you had to climb down a bit to get to this raging bonfire that radiated heat. It was memorizing. Many fires were going on, but each required some effort to get close to it. I was lonely outside by myself, so I decided to go back to where the party was, but as I did, I noticed a fire at the end that was really bright, and I wondered if it was unmanaged or even getting out of control. I hiked to it and found the most beautiful fire sitting all by itself. It felt so strange to have a fire with no one around. I wanted to be with the people but couldn’t abandon the fire. I woke up and heard the Lord say, “My people do not know how to be entertained by MY fire.” There has been a profound invitation to be still and at peace with His fire and to allow it to transform as fire transforms whatever it consumes. I am finding a place of peace I am not sure I have ever encountered.
How about you? Are you still longing for the party, or have you wandered alone to the fire?
The number one reason why people can’t hear God speaking to them isn’t because God isn’t speaking. It is that they don’t really believe God loves them enough to speak to them. It is a heart issue, not a listening issue.