Pray and Speak God’s Vision into Existence
Now another basic understanding we need to have for our children is that they are MORE than how they are behaving. Our actions and behavior do not define who we are more than what God says we are. His vision wins out. That being said, we need to get into the habit of not calling our children or labeling them as things that they are NOT. An example is if they are ACTING disrespectful towards you, you should NOT say, “child, you are a disrespectful brat.” I understand we can all become frustrated in hard moments with our children, but we must be careful with our words and make sure that they are aligned with the truth of who our child IS and not who satan wants them to become.
A more productive and life-giving correction for your child in a situation where their behavior is not reflecting their true identity would be to say, “child, this is not you. You are acting disrespectful, but you are a respectful, and honoring child. That is who you are. I do not like this behavior because it does not align with who you are. Let’s discuss what is going on inside you that is leading you to behave in a way that is contrary to who God has made you to be.” Then, we talk with our children and connect with them on a heart to heart level and find out what is going on on the inside. I have heard that behavior can be thought of like a glacier; more is going on under the surface than can be seen. Maybe bad behavior should be seen as an ask for help rather than an invitation to be punished and shamed.
Now again I want to remind you that the list of vision statements listed in Step 1 of How to Mentor Your Child are God’s vision statements for your children that you must speak and pray into existence. You must be the best advocate for your child and it starts with BELIEVING these things about your child. YOUR CHILD IS MORE THAN HOW THEY BEHAVE. Part of loving your child is believing in them, and we do that by believing these things about them even in the face of them displaying behavior contrary to these vision statements.
The most powerful thing anyone can do for someone else is to love them when they are acting unloveable. It truly is life changing. Maybe, it would be helpful to see bad behavior in our children as a soul crying out to be shown that they are worthy of love regardless of how they are acting. I know that is something that I wanted so badly when I was a child. I just wanted to be understood and pursued. I think if you are honest with yourself, you might recognize that in yourself as well. I think this is possibly something that has been stamped on mankind. That is why, while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us (Romans 5:8). That is why it was so powerful. He showed all of mankind that we are valuable to Him in the midst of our ugliness. We don’t have to earn our value, it is an intrinsic fact. We are made in His image and as such, have immeasurable value. That is why in the midst of us not choosing Him, He choses us. Our children need this message, and they need it from us too. You, me, your child, and everyone else in this world is deeply loved and pursued by God and we all need this kind of Love. Knowing this for me, makes it easier for me to choose mercy and grace and connection with my child in the face of their bad behavior. What about for you?