Welcome to our fifth post in this series!
In our last conversation, we discussed beliefs and how they help us make sense of life.
Those beliefs are formed by what we see and experience in our daily lives. We operate in this nice, happy bubble, sealed in by what we KNOW to be true.
In fact, my “mama pride” was strong in what I saw in my family. This belief (my children as such strong little Christians) was literally tied to my identity as a mother.
But what happens when things happen that we cannot see? As Eric shared with you, he was experiencing things that he hid from the parents.
Here’s the thing. When I learned that my son was consuming pornography I was devasted.
But eventually, I had to decide how to handle this new info.
Well, through the Grace of God, this is what I did: I went into research mode. I basically educated myself about pornography. I learned why it was so attractive and why it lured. I learned how to talk about it effectively.
That decision not only changed my life, it strengthened my marriage and it changed how we parented Eric as well as THE OTHER SEVEN CHILDREN.
Now. We still have two more posts in this series and if you would like to stay at that pace and do those things, fantastic. But if you are chomping at the bit and want to delve deeper into these teachings and how to apply them specifically to your family, then I invite you to take a closer look at our online course, “The Parenting Dare 2.0.”
I won’t spend time talking about it here, but just click this link if you want to learn more about that very special series:The Parenting Dare 2.0.
Now, through the years, Eric and I have given many presentations and we have talked through this entire process of what happened in our home and how to help others families operate so it does not happen in their home.
We’ve learned a lot and as I’ve stated before, Eric has this unique need to say things that truly hit the mark. If I say an overused phrase he will challenge me to rethink what I am saying and to phrase it in a way that truly hits the heart in a real way.
So when we were at this stage of the game, thinking about how my belief system (wow, I have a great family) and his belief system (I am looking at things I should not be looking at but i don’t want to stop) he drew a line.
What we, the parents, saw was “above the line” and what he hid from us was “below the line.”
Is that not just about the best visual you’ve ever seen?
As a parent, you can give the most amazing gift to your child. You can parent them “below the line.”
What does that mean? Many things. But basically, it’s about meeting your child where they are and loving them. As they are.
Many of us grew up in a home of “if/then.” IF you act a certain way, THEN you will receive the parent’s love and acceptance.
Well, what happens when a child struggles with something? They will hide it. And they will spend their lives “hustling” for a sense of worthiness.
There is SUCH A BETTER WAY. Know that your child will struggle. In fact, that’s how you and I are “wired,” as Brene Brown states. We are WIRED for struggle. Your child is wired for struggle.
Life is not always pretty. The best gift you can give your child is your WILLINGNESS to walk with them in their struggle.
How can we do that?
Well, if you think about it, God the Father sees us and loves us BELOW THE LINE. We cannot hide from Him.
When we can be honest with our own crap, then God can redeem it. When we hang onto it because of pride, He allows that, too.
Allowing Him into our sin is what saves us. Seriously.
And you loving your child AS THEY ARE, with all of their muck and misery, will be how they first experience the love of God in their lives. And true love transforms. It radically transforms.
Parents, never EVER underestimate the power of your blessing on your child. How we speak, how we smile, how we accept them...all of it matters.
We’re going to delve into some specifics of this in our next conversation, “Parenting with Love vs Fear.”
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