We were sitting in a restaurant when I noticed a mom squeezing the life out of her son’s arm as she yanked him out of the store across the street. The look on her face wasn’t of anger but rage. About ten long minutes later, they came back. She looked like she had released her anger and was now ‘fine’, but the boy’s eyes were swollen and red. As I watched them return to the rest of the family, the boy immediately looked into the eyes of his younger brother sitting across from him and kept giving him pathetic, fake, forced smiles as if to say, “Do you still look up to me?” The shame that was over that boy broke my heart. Guilt is a built-in emotion that God gave us to tell us what we DID was wrong, but shame is what the enemy uses to tell us WHO WE ARE is wrong. Therefore, our parenting should always deal with the guilty person in a way that still communicates they are FULL of worth and value.
Ellie came to me one night with a nervous smile and tears in her eyes. I asked what was going on, and she said that she needed to come clean about an email she got from the school saying she BOMBED a math test. I said, “Okay, thanks for letting me know,” and her lip began to quiver. I asked what was wrong, and she said, “I need you to pray for me. I know it is okay that I didn’t do well, but I feel so slimed with shame right now (tears).” Can I just say how HAPPY it made me that at 13, she can catch the shame slime and be so articulate about it? We asked Jesus what lie she was believing, and she said, “Something is wrong with me (aka shame).” We broke agreement with it, and I just held her. She KNOWS it is okay not to get straight A’s every single time, and she KNOWS I would not be upset with her. But the enemy tried nonetheless to throw a blanket of shame. She wasn’t coming under it. She just needed help throwing it off. Not today, Satan.