by Lisa Cherry
I had a very unusual experience this past weekend that I doubt I will ever forget. I spoke to a group of parents lined up on benches in a women's hockey team dressing room!
Why were we in such an odd location? Because our Minneapolis ATF event had a little challenge with its extra meeting room space and it was the only available room we could find. After my main session to our large group of parents, I offered an extra small group meeting for those parents who were either currently in crisis with their kids or for those who wanted to know how to avoid or handle a crisis in the future. I figured I would see a handful of takers. Instead, 35 parents followed me down to the basement "meeting room."
We felt like a covert operational squad gathered together to hear the team captain give the directives. And I suppose that is what we were! Parents eager to hear battle strategies from the Lord to successfully wage war against the Kingdom of Darkness and the enemy's seductive plans to destroy our Christian kids' futures.
The stories of crisis in the room were quite varied and staggering. Addictions. Broken relationships. Depression. Sexual immoralities. .....But as we shared together the truth of God's word, the principles that applied for each family's unique deliverance were remarkably universal. We talked about the 12 step Victory Battle Plan that God led us through when we were struggling with our daughter Kalyn.
I was shocked how much our time together meant to me personally as a mom. As I relived what the Lord had taught us, I recognized my own need to "shore up" my emergency preparedness even today. Living a life of alertness and spiritual sensitivity is critical in parenting today's teens. Learning to control my own reactions can prevent me from accidentally pouring gasoline on smoldering embers and creating my own raging fire of destruction in the lives of my teens.
How about you? Are you prepared with a strategy to handle tough parenting situations? Would you be able to keep yourself together in the face of disappointing, damaging , or dangerous news from your teen? Are you as practiced in disaster preparedness for your children's lives as you are in disaster preparedness for your house and property?
Leading our children through our hostile culture could mean some skirmishes and attacks!
Step one of our 12 step Plan stood out as critical to our group's discussion. Let me take a moment and share it with you today.
Step 1 to handling a parenting emergency..........Stop. Drop. And pray!
I must train myself to interrupt my own tendency to try to fix tough situations with quick parental words. Stop the tongue action, Lisa. Invite the Lord personally into that moment of decision making and then pray for His wisdom. Do not rush the moment. Hit the pause button if you must. Put the child needing assistance on hold and take the time needed to fashion a Godly response.
I remember the night our world came crashing to a halt when we discovered an $800 cell phone bill and a secret sexually abusive relationship with a middle age man and our 15 year old high achieving Christian daughter. You talk about shocking trauma! Unfortunately, out of our parental shock, hurt, and fear, we launched some horrible words toward our daughter that could not be easily retrieved from the air waves. In other words, we blew it.
If I had it to live over, I would have done things so differently. But just as the fire departments of America have trained us to not run if our clothes catch on fire but to stop, drop, and roll, we must train ourselves as parents to Stop, Drop, and Pray during the heated moments of crisis in our parenting.
The bad news is I might face some unforeseen emergency again in our family's future. The good news is I will have many opportunities to hone the needed skills to handle the big moments during the little skirmishes of our daily life together.
Stop. Drop. And pray.
I will never forget our prayer circle in our odd little meeting room in Minneapolis when we asked the Lord to equip us to meet our adversary head on. Equipped. Humbled. And armed with His word.
Are you ready to face whatever the devil would try to throw your family's way? Click here leave a comment. This week I will cover a few more of those critical Battle Plan strategies. If you have not seen our book, Unmask the Predators yet, I encourage you to check it out. A prepared parent is a victorious parent!.
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This month we are featuring our resource kit called Unmask the Predators. Click here to get help for your tough parenting battles.
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