I can’t require my child to deal with the issues in their life without showing them that I’m in the trenches doing the same.
I can’t expect them to battle generational iniquities, learn repentance and forgiveness if I’m not showing them every.single.day. that I’m 100% in the same battle with them.
Until they see us owning our own struggles, walking in vulnerability and making things right with them, they will stay locked up in those very things that we battle with! Do you see your child struggling with a sinful pattern? Then pay attention to what YOU are walking in. Because I can tell my son all the livelong day to control his anger, count to 10, pray, repent and all the other things, but if I am not repenting of anger and asking my son to forgive me for setting that example for him, then he can’t be fully released from that stronghold. I opened the door by being angry. I set the example. Why am I surprised when my son is angry??
This isn’t an easy thing to write about, but it’s powerful and necessary for us as parents to walk in.
We have been dealing with some issues with my oldest son for a while now. He is a really wonderful kid, but there are times when he really loses control of himself and lets anger rule. I have struggled with this very thing in the past and have gained a lot of victory, but the damage was done when the kids were younger. I opened the door and now I must gently lead my own children out of it. Do they make the choice? Yes, they do. But as young children, we are the shepherds of their hearts. To wound them with angry outbursts or responses at a young age causes deep wounds that they don’t even understand.
I have spoken with my boys before about this and repented to them when I lose my cool. But restoration is a process, and my sons behavior was telling me that there was still work to be done. There are some unmet emotional needs that need to be addressed, but I also knew my part was still undone. This morning on the way to school we talked about an incident that had happened the night before. I told them that I knew I hadn’t always set a good example of handling angry feelings well and I am still working on it. I asked their forgiveness for not setting a good example for them in this area. I’ll be honest, I have been so discouraged. The feelings of failure when I see the worst in me surface in him threatened to overwhelm me. Then this afternoon, I happened to open his notebook from school (first time I have looked at it), and at the top of the page it says, “Prayer requests” and his two prayer requests were: “Big Buck Down” and “Help with my anger.” Well I cried, y’all. A lot.
Do you know that forgiveness unlocks things that had been previously impossible to open up?? He was locked up and I had no idea how to get through. All I knew was to keep pressing in and let him know that I’m struggling too, but I’m taking responsibility for my part. Do you see how that opened him up to be able to recognize his need for help?
What if I had stood over him scowling and shaking my finger, demanding that he “shape up or ship out”? I doubt I would have seen such a victory. Do we allow bad behavior to go unchecked?? I assure you NO. But we want to get to the root of the behavior, that’s where healing needs to take place. Making things right with our children shows them how much we value them and washes them in Truth. Seeing them walking in wholeness is what I’m chasing after. Anyone with me?