I’ve always heard that being your child’s friend is a bad thing. I agreed with this sentiment for a really long time, until God started showing me what a REAL friend is.
Yes, I agree that you shouldn’t be the world’s definition of a friend; someone who will enable you to do self-destructive things, sugar coat, and tell you what you want to hear for the sake of the friendship.
This is the reason there is a negative connotation with being your child’s friend. Parents who take on this role of “friend” enable their children to remain in the negative life choices they’re making, often being influenced by the parent.
This is the “cool” parent because they buy their kid alcohol or smoke weed with them and sometimes worse.
As you can see, this is no friend. A real friend doesn’t drag you down with them into their addiction or other behaviors that could negatively affect your life. A real GODLY friend will lovingly call you out when you’re going the wrong direction. They will inflict necessary wounds for YOUR good.
Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.
God is our example as a parent. He has so many different aspects to Him through the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit that we can learn from.
God is so many different things to us. He is our father, he is our FRIEND, he is our healer, he is love. (I could go on, but for the sake of time…)
He laid down his life for us, his friends, showing us the greatest love, he taught us the mysteries of the Bible, He has loved us through everything, yet never enabled us. He ENCOURAGES us to rise up and do better.
God is BOTH our loving father AND our friend.
This tells me that I can be that too. I can enjoy spending time with my kids, being silly with them, playing games, laughing, and being able to LIKE each other.
It’s one thing to know you love your kids (and they love you) but to actually LIKE each other too? This is a blessing.
I’ve made it a habit to constantly tell all four of my kids that they are my best friends, and maybe, just maybe they will learn what a true friend is through me.
You are my friends if you do what I command.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts below!
The Church needs to stop treating divorce like the unforgivable sin.
I want to be very careful in writing this blog because this is a very touchy subject.
I think it’s important to discuss the guilt that many abused women feel when facing divorce in order to get away from the rampant unrepentant sin that is causing them physical, mental, and emotional pain.
This blog is not justifying divorce, of course, divorce is an ugly thing for all involved. This isn’t about giving every unhappy person a pass to go file for divorce instead of working through their issues. Marriage is hard! Soldier up!
This is about a special group of women. Those who are not perfect but have poured out their lives to their husband who takes and takes and takes.
This husband is verbally abusive; he talks down to her about her weight, calls her names, says hurtful things and then claims he’s joking, he tells her that no one else would ever want her.
This husband is emotionally abusive; he never validates any of her feelings and tells her that she’s overreacting, he makes her feel crazy, when she wants to discuss something important he tells her that she’s just trying to argue, he cheats on her and lies over and over again, he is controlling and manipulative.
It’s hard for people on the outside to see this abuse because these types of men are usually very charming.
This husband is physically abusive; this is the easiest abuse to spot. He leaves “mysterious” bruises on her arms, face, and elsewhere, he uses intimidation to control her, he keeps her in fear so that she’ll never tell on him or leave, he isolates her from her friends and family, he showers her with love after hitting her to keep her confused.
These are not marriages that we should pressure women to stay in. The Church has made the mistake of putting the restoration of the husband onto the abused wife’s shoulders!
“If you love him like Jesus he’ll change”, “you just need to submit to him”, “you need to pray harder.”
Hearing these types of comments makes me physically ill. No wonder we live in a society where our men aren’t living up to the true authority and masculinity that God gave them!
I personally know a woman who asked her brothers in Christ to come alongside her to confront the obvious sin of her husband and they wouldn’t do it. They were more worried about offending the husband and pushing him away… which is not Biblical AT ALL. (Matthew 18: 15- 17)
Church, our women are fighting these battles alone!
Let me tell you, the type of mental strength it takes to leave an abusive relationship is immense! If a woman in your ministry had the strength to bring the abuse in her marriage up to you do not discourage her with a guilt trip on the sin of divorce!
Do not make these women out to be the “sinner” in the situation. God never called them to be martyrs for their marriage. The true injustice is the way their husbands are treating them.
Now, I want to speak directly to this special group of women. Somewhere along the road, something inside of you was broken. It could have been an absent father, abusive father or some other type of hurt from someone.
The point is this, they made you feel like you were worthless. They made you fear rejection. So you people please and pour yourself out until you have nothing left. You allow yourself to be used and abused hoping that your love will change them.
This isn’t how God designed marriage to be. This isn’t what God created you for.
Do not raise your children to believe that this is okay, just to perpetuate the cycle in their adult life.
Separate from the abuse.
Be wise in how you go about this, some men can become very dangerous when they lose control of their victim. Enlist supportive people who will give you godly counsel and protection.
Stay on your face in prayer, you will need all of the wisdom and power God can give you.
DO NOT FEEL GUILTY.
God loves you! He hurts seeing his beautiful daughter being treated this way. He won’t even listen to your husband’s prayers because of the way he treats you! (1 Peter 3:7)
You can not change that man, only God can. So give God full control of your marriage. While you’re separated work on healing your soul, growing into a deeper relationship with God and becoming whole on your own.
Never jump into a new relationship without godly counsel, healing, and seeking God first.
Many women sadly skip the self-reflection and healing and immediately jump into another relationship with a man who ends up being abusive in a different way or much worse than the original husband.
Heal what’s broken inside of you first.
Divorce is not the unforgivable sin. You don’t have to jump straight into a divorce either, you’re aloud to separate from the abuse to get a clear mind and seek the next steps God wants you to take.
I can’t say it any better than Gary Thomas, “If the cost of saving a marriage is destroying a woman, the cost is too high. God loves people more than he loves institutions.”
Please share this for one of these special women out there. ❤️
– An open letter to God –
Who do you say I am? Because I don’t feel like I can be what you’re calling me to be.
Who do you say I am? Because I feel so insecure in who I perceive myself to be.
Who do you say I am? Because I don’t think I’m capable of being who you want me to be.
Who do you say I am? Because I need some reassurance that I can continue this walk with you.
Who do you say I am? Because I need some inspiration to get outside of my head.
Who do you say I am? Because I need some truth to battle the lies that have held me down for so long.
Who do you say I am? Because I need some of you to erase what I am… or was… or what I no longer want to be.
Who do you say I am? Because I feel like I’m not worthy of anything good!
Who do you say I am? Because these voices of past people keep telling me that I can’t, I’m not, I will never… be something better.
Who do you say I am? Because your voice is the only one that matters to me.
Dear Beloved Daughter,
You are more than the birds of the air and the lilies of the field.
You are more than the heaviness that your feelings, thoughts, and insecurities hold.
You are more than the lies that replay inside of your head.
You are worth my discomfort, pain, suffering, and death.
You are greatly loved and cherished.
You are worthy of great things, no matter what your past resembles.
You are purposed to do good deeds in this world.
Through me, you are POWERFUL, STRONG, and QUALIFIED!
It is me that pumps inside of your heart and through your veins.
It is me who gives you the words you need to say.
It is me who puts you on a solid foundation where I will NOT LET YOU FALL.
It is me who walks beside you through every difficult journey.
It is me who makes you good enough, worthy enough, capable enough to be who I am calling you to be.
YOU ARE MY DAUGHTER.
You are an heir to the throne.
You are ROYAL, HOLY, PRECIOUS, MY CHOSEN descendant!
Who do I say you are, you ask?
You are worth it.
Abba Father ♥
It’s so easy for doubt to enter our minds when things don’t go as planned.
My business has hit a sudden lull. I’ve been optimistic and full of faith thus far declaring, “God is going to provide for me! God will open a door for me! He’s got me!” But, things haven’t gone as planned…
Each potential deal falls through the cracks for one reason or another and each new project, I endeavor to do, ends for reasons that are out of my control, and I begin to shrink back.
Thoughts start flowing through my mind as I try to calculate and figure out how God might provide for me. Due dates for bills begin to slip by and I feel a panic wanting to rise from deep within me.
Then I remember; “don’t trust your feelings.” So, I look at a Bible verse and say a short prayer, or two, or a hundred each time this panic tries to rise. I declare, “God, I know you’re taking care of me, I know you’ve gone ahead of me, I know your purpose is for good and not for evil!”
But the rent can only be so late, and I wonder, “How long is God going to wait until he provides my provision? Is he testing me? Will it come through at the last possible minute?”
Things are not going as planned and I don’t understand. Why is every door I try to walk through closing? Why is every source of help drying up?
I turn inward and think, “Did I do something wrong? Did I not work hard enough, smart enough? Did that one sin I tripped into mess up my blessings? Am I being punished?? Was I not sincere enough when I asked for forgiveness?”
I just don’t understand…
This feels very familiar. Memories of a very similar situation begin to fill my head. I was stuck; a stay at home mom of four with no money or car of my own whom God told, it was time to leave my home and destructive relationship.
I happily applied at different jobs, interviewed and just knew that God was going to provide for me because he told me it was time to leave. Month after month passed by, then I found THE job.
It was in my comfort zone of the medical field AND I’d be able to bring my technical skills too! The hiring Nurse loved me and was ready to bring me on right away, I even spent a day shadowing another employee to be sure this was the position I wanted.
She told me she would contact me as soon as she had the date for my training to begin. I was so happy, this was it! God made a way!
A few days later I received a call from the nurse informing me that one of their doctors had put in their two weeks’ notice and without that doctor, they had no need for another Nurse Tech. I was crushed.
I was so tired and broken. I cried and yelled at God, “I can’t leave if you don’t provide for me! How am I supposed to leave without a job!?”
A couple of weeks later I was contacted by my dream client who I asked about work a year prior to this. They wanted to bring me on to do some contract work with them. I would work from home, be able to start my Virtual Assisting business and the kids didn’t have to go into daycare!
Though I thought the Nursing job was good, God knew he had better. I couldn’t see what the future looked like, but He knew. He provided the best job, then a reliable car, then a house nicer than I could have imagined myself having as a single mom.
As I sit here and remember how good He was to me when I didn’t see the whole picture, I come to a peace that this world will never understand. God’s got me.
I don’t know what the future is, but I know he hasn’t let me down yet. I don’t know what will happen next, but I know he will use it for my good. I believe Lord; Help my unbelief!
God is working and I’ll continue seeking His will and waiting on Him to walk me through this, even when it doesn’t go as planned.
I’m not feeling “perfect” social media… As I scroll through Instagram, I’m bombarded by beautiful, perfectly posed women with immaculate homes.
These women seem to have a closet full of cute shoes and a stylish outfit for every day of the year. It looks as if a professional photographer follows them around to take perfectly timed photos in perfect lighting. I’m not feeling it.
She has cute hair and beautiful makeup, a home that looks like it was designed by Joanna Gains herself. Kids posed on a perfectly clean WHITE rug in their perfectly clean home. She casually talks about her routine on her days off from wrangling children…
“Try new food at a new restaurant.” “Get a mani/pedi.” “Hang out at the coffee shop and journal.”
I’m not feeling it. The more I read into it, the more my insecurities SCREAM, “What is wrong with me??” My photos are very obviously NOT professional, lighting is sketchy, I don’t know how to pose as if paparazzi were in my home taking photos of me laughing with my kids, all while I’m dressed up in a beautifully stylish outfit.
No… My closet is full of maybe, 10 pairs of shoes, the majority of them converse, some of them are older than my children. I own about 5 pairs of good jeans and don’t really have many “stylish” outfits. I do a lot of my occasional shopping at Ross and Walmart.
I’ve slowly decorated the walls of my home, but I do not have an eye for home design like Joana Gains, and I FOR SURE don’t have the budget to match. My house is CONSTANTLY a mess with four kids.
Maybe I’m not structured enough… Maybe I don’t discipline enough… Maybe I don’t teach enough… One thing I do know is, a WHITE rug wouldn’t last a day in my house.
And all of these things make me feel like maybe I’m not enough…
I don’t have a picture-perfect marriage, I don’t have “well trained” kids who do chores without a fuss, I don’t have a pristine home that I keep beautifully maintained, I don’t have a wardrobe full of the latest trends, I don’t have a different, cute, strappy shoe for every occasion.
Why does it seem like these social media famous Christians have all these things? As if it were a mark of God’s favor on their lives.
Well God, am I doing something wrong because I’ve been stuck at 600 followers for the past year and they have 35k+? Am I doing something wrong because a new money struggle seems to ALWAYS pop up? Am I doing something wrong because I can’t keep my home clean?
Since when did this become the mark of favor? What about Esther? What about Joseph? Job? Moses or Rahab? Their lives weren’t picture-perfect.
Esther’s life may have seemed glamorous, being the wife of a king, but, she hardly even saw the guy! Only because of God’s favor did she live after approaching her husband without the permission she needed, even as his wife. (Esther 4:10-16)
Joseph was sold as a slave by his own brothers! That wasn’t all, later on, he was falsely accused of sexually assaulting Potiphar’s wife and thrown into prison. (Genesis 37,39)
Job… EVERYONE knows about Job. Not a glamorous life at all. In fact, he was attacked by the enemy because he was greatly favored by God!
Moses… his life did begin pretty glamorous after escaping genocide as a baby. But, once God got a hold of him and revealed who he really was and what his purpose was, he left the glamorous life in Egypt. He spent YEARS as a shepherd before he even approached his, adopted brother, Pharoah to request the release of his people.
Keep reading that story and you’ll see that he spent additional countless years roaming around the desert after taking his people from the captivity. Side note: God totally Mr. Miyagi’d Moses during his shepherding years, training him for this journey to the promised land.
Here’s the biggest kicker about Moses, he died before they ever reached that promised land. (Exodus, Deuteronomy)
And lastly, Rahab. She was often referred to as a prostitute and a harlot (not picture-perfect), but because of the help she offered Joshua’s spies, she was considered righteous and ended up being in the lineage of Jesus Christ himself! (Joshua 2:1-3; 6:17-25, Matthew 1:5, Hebrews 11:31)
I’m not feeling “perfect” social media, because it isn’t real and when I take my gaze off of Jesus and His word… I end up feeling like I’m not enough.
Thank God for His grace, because of Him, I AM ENOUGH and so are you!
Have you ever felt like you were fighting to find something to be thankful for?
We have all failed in appreciating God as we should. The fall of man came when Adam and Eve became unsatisfied with all that God had given them. Eve allowed the whispering of the serpent to put doubts in her mind about who God really was. The first lie she believed was that God would withhold something good from her.
Psalm 84:11 says, ” For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
Eve could have looked at the whole garden and all that God had given her and her husband Adam and seen that her life was good, she had all that she needed.
But, the serpent’s whispering in her ear moved her focus to that one tree, the one tree that she didn’t have. Instead of opening up the lenses to see all that she did have, she instead zoomed in on the one thing she did not have.
I think we are all guilty of this at one point or another. Like my anger with God for not stopping all of the pain I had to endure for two years and failing to fix my marriage the way I wanted.
I was zoomed in on the one person I was losing and being hurt by instead of opening up my focus to all that God was providing for me and more importantly, what He was doing in my life and inside of me.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, ” in EVERYTHING give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
Perspective is a powerful thing. My mom used to always tell me, “Instead of complaining that the rose bush has thorns, why don’t you be thankful that the thorn bush has roses.”
Do we dare believe that the painful thing we’re going through can be used for good? Do we dare believe that the major desire of our heart that is being withheld from us is for good? Do we dare believe that everything we have right now is all that we need?
Do we dare believe that this life is nothing but a vapor, a mere blip on the map compared to the eternity we have with God in heaven?
We will not live our best lives now, but we can live blessed lives now, the best is saved for heaven. If you’re sitting here still wondering, “what do I have to be thankful for?” I’ll tell you…
You have a God whose love can fill that emptiness you feel inside, you have a God whose grace can heal the shame that holds you down, you have a God who says, no matter what is in your past, you are worthy, you have a God who has a plan for your future and a purpose for your life and he says that it is for GOOD!
You have a God who can take the pain, the abuse and the brokenness and use it for your good, you have a God who calls you son, daughter, friend, justified, a new creation, free, forgiven, redeemed, accepted, blessed, you are the righteousness of God.
Let’s start being thankful for THAT truth today.