30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 29

With our adult kids also comes their significant other, and there are times we know that we know that we KNOW something is not quite right. And just because we think we raised our kids right doesn’t mean the significant other’s parents stepped up to the plate. In this instance, they didn’t bother showing up to the game.

Nothing angers me more than a person who pretends to be a Christian to the point of being quite the actress at it. I will never understand how anyone can deal with the bondage of being so deceitful. It’s quite the heavy bag to carry. I am so glad God gave me the gift of discernment. I saw right through her at the onset but hoped for the best that maybe I was wrong…this is one such time I wished I was.

“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25

So much happened that I will not go into, but suffice it to say that it was TWICE I let my guard down to be burned again. When someone hurts one of our kids, his or mine, I nearly come unglued…momma grizzly here. I will never understand how people can be so evil to each other, especially other Christians. It makes me question their salvation, although I cannot judge it, that is for God to do.

So then I pray. And pray. AND PRAY that God will convict her for how she is trying to destroy our son. He’s got this, He is in control. God wants our son to be victorious and He will get His Glory. So for all her effort to hurt our son, God will gather his sheep, especially the ‘one’. She has no idea that God is working extra hard to help him, not her:

“v12 If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? v13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. v14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 8:12-14

Pray today that the one will come back to the fold and be victorious. Be a parent, not a friend…I assure you, they want their moms and dads when all seems so hopeless.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 27

Is life really that hard or are these adult kids just not getting their way? Has society really slipped so far that they are quite comfortable that everyone sees their pajamas at the mall? Do they hate society so much that they won’t [not can’t] shower and wash their hair once in a while? How has life and parents become so inconsequential until they need something from us? Isn’t it always everyone else’s fault?

It should be apparent that I’m picking on ALL adult kids, not just ours. When I was in secular work, I processed credit applications for vehicle loans. It is shocking how much bad credit these adult kids have, tens of thousands in arrears. Most of them do not pay their cellular phone bills much less other incurred debt. They looked at us in amazement that they could not be approved for a 30K automobile loan. To be fair, I do understand that life can happen and mess up a credit score, but that is not as likely as it should have been. Instead we have heard them say that since they were fired they didn’t have to pay the debt they owed.

We are in the land of ENTITLEMENT. And like it or not, a lot of it started in their own childhood, my kids included. Having never been entitled to anything as a kid or teenager, I thought I was doing a great thing by doing more for my kids. You see, my dad thought that if I wasn’t cleaning the house somewhere all the time that I was being lazy; ‘outside’ was a luxury. So, by doing more for my kids, I mean being a stay-at-home-mom, cleaned after them, cooked and baked all the time so that their time would be free to have friends and participate in sports or activities…all the the things I couldn’t do as a kid.

Balance. While I thought I was more balanced, I was really enabling them to have more free time to do bad things rather than being engaged with school and it’s activities to keep their free time not so free. I sure wish I knew where the ‘middle’ was then. I see now that not being a Christian when my kids were little set them up to be ‘free thinkers’ who depends on everyone else rather than themselves. The economy of God tells us so much, mostly from the book of Proverbs, of how to live, not be in debt, to be better wives/husbands, live within the community, to be a hard worker, and to love God.

“The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:

v2 To know wisdom and instruction,
To perceive the words of understanding,
v3 To receive the instruction of wisdom,
Justice, judgment, and equity;
v4 To give prudence to the simple,
To the young man knowledge and discretion—
v5 A wise man will hear and increase learning,
And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel,
v6 To understand a proverb and an enigma,
The words of the wise and their riddles.
v7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
But fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:1-7

Pray for this generation, all of these adult kids need our constant prayer and love. They need to learn how to be adults rather than grown up kids. I pray so much for them to come to Jesus…we are nothing without Him!

 

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 26

Many years ago I was forced to leave the area in which I was born to begin a new life. I had to leave my family because of my now ex-husband to do it. My ex, who was raised by hard working never-in-debt church-going family-oriented people, was an adult kid that had a drug, alcohol and gambling problem [that led to domestic violence] which eventually became my problem. I remember so vividly my EX-mother-in-law saying, “You knew him when you married him“. NOT true, I did not know these things…but that really isn’t the point. The point is that SHE knew he had addictions and did not warn me; it was as if she was passing him off to me so she didn’t have to deal with it anymore.

Some of us, who never exhibited addiction, have children who may eventually have an addiction. But should a parent just pass them off? When did they stop being a parent? I have a myriad of cousins that are grandparents already, and they are still battling alcohol, meth, crack, etc. At least half of them are still living with their parents. I know their mothers, not one of them is an addict of any kind.

Dear Mom & Dad: Your children’s poor choices are not your fault. But enabling them to continue their ‘choices’, is. Don’t clean up their messes, pray over them – they need restoration.

There are some parents that have children and practically gift them the generational sin they have. How often have we seen a generational problem with alcohol and claim it’s in the DNA to justify it? Generational sin is passed on through mimicking what we see while we grow up. God has never created one single person that is an alcoholic or addict BUT they are born into sin with the propensity to sin [the sin nature] BECAUSE of the Fall of Adam:

“v1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. v2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2

And then:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

The answer is that we NEVER stop being a parent. EVER. Ignoring or passing off a problem and acting unaware is just plain evil. However, I do realize we can’t make these kids do anything. But one thing we can do is PRAY and NEVER FLINCH.

Pray to be an open book to your children, not an open checkbook. They need to hear about Jesus incessantly, they are our ministry!

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 25

We live in a fast food drive-by world. If you blink you missed it. As I mentioned in a previous post, we also have adult kid in-laws and step adult kids. Like tons of families, we are a blended family. And it can become a tangled web, for sure. But never at any time did we dare to replace the other parent or grandparent. We are who we are, we are who we identify with, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold“, [Prov 22:1]

Society has changed so drastically and with it the family dynamic….or rather, a cluster of people that have set aside the true gift of family for me me ME.

God is not pleased. He put us together for reasons only He can provide, but a plan He has! He has knit us together for a purpose.

I know my family is a mess but I can’t imagine changing the lineup would have had a better result:

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Pray that these kids not lament where they came from. God knows where they ARE and will BE. He is in control!

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 24

When dealing with our adult kids, we also deal with their adult spouses….or ex-spouses. Everyone takes a corner in the ring, waits for the bell and it’s been 12 rounds ever since….with every one of them. I lamented in an earlier Prayer Challenge that our grandkids hardly ever see us…but how can they when everyone wants to go to court, sue, take custody, get money, etc. ALL THE TIME. These so-called adult kids are teaching our grandkids how to work the court system rather than play sports or go to camp.

Then, rather than just being a kid, they are taught hate and how to lie. They hear one side bad mouth the other side…on both sides. No child should have to know such information about their parents and family. I distinctly remember my grandmother saying bad things about my dad and I told him what she said. He flipped out, and rightly so. Now, let me explain one thing: She may have been right. But it was not her place to talk over me, at nine years old, to other adults about my ‘lousy’ dad.

We put way too much on our kids when we speak of things that have nothing to do with them. We put the responsibility of knowing such things on tiny shoulders that grow up too fast. They try to understand, they ask questions, and before you know it they are acting out. They consider themselves adults rather than kids.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

Even in Christian households we are training up our kids to be lousy adults by keeping them in the loop about things that are none of their business. Christians expect Sunday School to teach their kids about God rather than themselves. Christians aren’t teaching how to be Godly but how to circumvent the system God created.

We have to be the stewards that God made us so that the next generation will have a better chance at making better choices at life.

Pray for the children and their parents; the anger is so great that they don’t see who is in the line of fire. Pray for God’s guidance rather than hoping for the best.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 23

Has the earth somehow flipped on its axis? Society has turned a 180 with the way we deal with our family. My husband and I were talking about our grandmothers and how we revered them…respected them because we should. I mean, why wouldn’t we? Isn’t that NORMAL? I certainly thought so. Our adult kids believed their grandmas walked on water! But here we are, our adult kids think we are of no real use and don’t bother teaching their children to respect their grandparents: US.

These kids make us feel like we have to do some real recon to see our grandkids or at least see a photo now and then. And since the advent of social media and smart phones, this should NOT be a problem or an inconvenience….but it is.

This ain’t rocket science, this is minute-to-minute real life that we are missing out on because some of our adult kids think their kids don’t need us. We know what the problem is, and what the one common denominator is: GOD.

THIS is what, or really WHO, offends some of our kids…GOD. I can’t emphasize enough how much Jesus has brought us through EVERYTHING! We give him Glory and Honor and Praise no matter what. This is the same God that gave them life and breath, the same God that loves them beyond measure, THE VERY SAME GOD that saved my life…and God is the problem? How can anyone reconcile that God is the problem when it is God that SAVES and HEALS?

v6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
v
7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
v8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
v
9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
v
10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power. [Colossians 2:6-10]

Being a Child of God in the world today is tough enough but when our own families and kids come against us, it’s HARD. But we cannot give up the Faith or we have NOTHING. What our kids don’t understand yet is that WITH God we are better parents and grandparents.

Pray that God will send a mentor, a spiritual ‘speedbump’ to our adult kids. Through prayer and fasting we can combat this and be better Christians for it. Remember, this is a TEST. And with every test comes a testimony.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 22

If you don’t know this about me, I also witness on the sidewalk of abortion facilities. Every day that place is open we see teenagers and young adults coming to abort their precious child. They usually don’t come alone; they are literally flanked with their own parents and sometimes grandparents to see that the child is aborted. As a parent, when I see parents giving their thumb’s up to kill their own grandchild, you really ‘get’ how these kids have gotten to where they are in life at such a young age.

Our adult kids and teenagers are children of this media age. They are coerced every day with constant media stimulation of one kind or another. Video games and online gaming has made real zombies of our kids. In the news recently, one dad smothered his infant son and another allowed his child to starve to death because of gaming. While these are extreme cases, they are just the tip of the iceberg. Our adult kids are still playing games and living in a fantasy world. My grandma always said television would ruin our eyes.

The basics of life are totally ignored. And we wonder why some of these kids can’t make it on their own and blame us for it? We teach them, they look at us like we’re some kind of monster. Because of this media age, they have all the answers, we’re idiots. We want to help them with a Godly hand, we’re told they hate God.

This is a sin problem; for them life is fantasy and selfish and never ending. A self professed ‘pastor’ said that his daughter can get an abortion because of free will. And that is true…but this ‘pastor’ and his daughter still have to answer to God for their flagrant use of His gift of free will. Again, this is a sin problem, not a chink in the armor.

 “I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the Lord.” Haggai 2:17

We will all eventually turn back to God. Being backslidden is a heavy bondage to carry.

Pray for the Damascus Road experience for these kids. Pray that the scales will fall from their eyes, “I was once blind but now I see”, [John 9:25].

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 21

I have a friend that has absolutely NO idea where her adult son is. Because she is a Christian, he walked out on their mother/son relationship both figuratively and literally. I understand where she’s at, mine have done the same. They say it’s because they don’t believe in Jesus but the truth is that they are convicted deep in their spirit for what they do and consequently blame us for being ‘holy rollers’ that pushed them out. That’s a real nice explanation, too bad it’s an outright lie. If ANYONE is a Christ follower, they purport the love of Christ, not shake their fist in His name.

Whether or not that actually happens is not the point; I know that is not the case here. When I came to the Lord, I wished EVERYONE Jesus! I STILL grieve thinking of the souls, especially my children, that may not make it because they live for the world. My heart and soul is sick, however my faith is unwavering.

As parents and Christians, we need to remember that the enemy places our own children against us and Jesus so that we would be forced to make a decision: Jesus or them. Just keep in mind that your children cannot get you into Heaven.

The prodigal son? That parable should have been called the prodigal father…but in my case, the prodigal mother. While the adult child goes and lives like he wants despite how he was raised with his fist raised to God, we wait. And sometimes a VERY LONG TIME.

v11 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. v12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood. v13 And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living.” Luke 15:11-13

So many young adults run the system thinking they have everything in control. The truth is that the system has them; they spend what they don’t have in hopes to have it one day. And a lot of times they use their parent’s money to float their disobedience. As a parent with a bank account, I had to finally say no. I cannot fund a rotten lifestyle that does not glorify God.

v17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! v18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you’.” Luke 15:17-18

I don’t know that I need an apology, what I need is to forgive and look forward rather than looking at a past that we cannot change. All that I do ask is they be obedient to God and do what He says. I cannot imagine how they would react when they understand the economy of God and that He loves them. Sometimes provision comes in obedience.

“And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him.” Luke 15:20

I think we forget to have compassion for our adult kids rather than staying mad at a situation we couldn’t change. Short of duct tape and zip ties, I cannot force our adult kids to do anything. When they are on ‘self destruct’ all we can do is show our compassion and love.

v23And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; v24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry.” Luke 15:23-24

And it should be a celebration! Standing in the doorway looking like judge and jury is not the love of God. Don’t get me wrong – I am human – but as I get older I see how short time really is. Life is happening right now and death will eventually come. I just want them prepared to leave this earth and go to a place prepared for us, “v2 I go to prepare a place for you. v3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also”, [John 14:2-3].

My prayer today is all adult children understand that being parents did not end when they left. Nothing can shake the love of a parent or the love of God. Our children are always ours, and we are His.

I don’t know about you but I’m still waiting…and it’s okay. I do what Christ would do: Wait with a loving and forgiving heart.

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 19

In these last 19 posts, I have whined and opined how our boys have been our greatest challenge; they see through eyes that don’t see God in everything or anything, even the bad stuff. If we did not see and experience trouble and tribulation, how would we seek God?

I have been putting off one of our fervent prayer targets regarding our adult kids. She is THE epitome of a warrior of Jesus Christ. She really does bring sunshine on a cloudy day. Even her ‘bad days’ are never bad enough to not be that ray of sunshine WE may need. She’s faced adversity from all angles, she has been hurt and tread upon. But NEVER has she EVER hated God.

She knows that it’s sin that has brought her to where she’s at and it’s JESUS that will deliver her. She knows the devil can’t have her because she is a true child of God. She has real Joy in the Lord and PRAYS.

She is a great mom that has a great big mushy heart for her children but rules with a firm, Godly hand.

When she cries our whole world stops. When she is hurt, we hurt. But through it all, she has never stopped loving God no matter how hard her day, week, month or years has gotten.

She gives freely and with love, with her hard earned money or with her time. She wants everyone to know Jesus as their Savior.

And she has a chronic illness, one that can take her life.

NO EXCUSES: So, when our boys act like the overgrown insipid monkeys they are [I am being sooooo kind here :)], we remind ourselves of that ray of sunshine that lives way too far away for us to hold and calm in her times of trouble or when pain goes through her frail body like a cat 5 hurricane. We cannot say enough how much we are humbled that God gave us such a creature to behold and learn from.

v18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. v19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, v20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. [Matthew 28:18-20]

We are forever grateful to God for each of our children; each one has qualities I adore. Our prayer today is that they will understand deliverance and the true nature of who God is – our Friend, our Deliverer and our Father: “And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.’ And he was called the friend of God“, [James 2:23].

30 DAY PARENTING PRAYER CHALLENGE: Day 18

One of our adult kids has gotten particularly hard at life, hard at the things of God. Good Friday…on that day Christ died for our sins; He is our propitiation, our gift. We did not deserve Him but God loved us so much that he gave His only Son. As parents we demonstrate our love for our kids with our sacrifices to give them what they need or want. Certainly I am not God, neither are you. But to our kids, we seem so.

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die.” Romans 5:7

The loyalty we show for our children isn’t reciprocated or even appreciated. My middle son’s birthday was just the other day, he wouldn’t answer his phone. I gave birth to that beautiful redheaded ball of energy and he wouldn’t pick up the phone or call us back. I would give my life for him and he won’t answer his phone? To that I say, I gave birth to you and CHRIST DIED FOR YOU…what else could you possibly want? Your life began with me and it can end in Eternity with Christ; I’d say your needs are taken care of, if you accept Christ.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

Can you even imagine it? JESUS DIED FOR US! How can anyone not be awestruck by that? No one would, at the very least, stand up for me; but not only did Christ stand up for me, He died for me…ME. Dealing with unsaved or backslidden kids is heartbreaking for me, I cannot imagine how that grieves Him after enduring a horrific, humiliating death on a Cross for these kids to ignore.

As our kids get older we want to be what they want but as they grow into adults, we have to become what they need. Some of these kids are not satisfied with ‘need’, they want more and more, and on their terms. Then, rather than kicking against the goads, perhaps they should take the narrow gate?

v4 Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

v5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.”

v6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Acts 9:4-6

In the spirit of thanksgiving, Paul asked what he could do for Him. Even after all of the persecution that Paul [then Saul] had committed to Christians, in that moment he knew he had grieved the Lord for what he did and asked “Lord, what do you want me to do”? Paul spent a lifetime doing what He called him to do. Paul was given a gift he cannot repay, a debt that we all owe.

I pray for my children to be comforted in their time of need and despair with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, not the empty promises of the world.