Archives For secrets

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By Lisa Cherry

If you are not prepared to discover your child's disturbing secret, you could make a devastating error in your response to the problem.

I know, because I did.

When you find out the precious child you love has a secret double life, your world is turned upside down. In fact, it felt to me like I had suddenly stepped onto the movie screen of someone else's story.

I was shocked, horrified, devastated, afraid, hurt, wounded, grieved, alarmed, angry, depressed, ....and did I say shocked?

Obviously, with all those emotions rushing my mind at once, it would be easy to not be on my best parenting game! And that's the problem!

A crisis is a crisis because it comes as an unwelcome, urgent intruder!!

So what can we do as parents to help guard against parental errors when the stakes are so high?

(Honestly, you need to get a copy of my family's book Unmask the Predators if you want my full answer to this question! I feel uneasy about throwing out a few tips without directing you to my best, well thought out answer! But here is a taste....)

1.  Stop

Usually, but not always, crisis scenes feel like they demand an immediate response. However, this is often untrue. We so badly want out of our pain and to be rid of the problem that we can be hasty in the heat of the moment. Hit the pause button! Give yourself, your child, and God time to work.

2. Drop

Drop the false expectations. Many Christian parents today are facing unfair tough battles. Know you will immediately feel like the colossal parental failure you always feared you would be. Resist this attack of the enemy over your mind.  Errors may be true. But you cannot afford emotionally charged responses that paralyze your ability to hear God's voice.

3. Pray

When our world collapsed with our daughter's revelation of a secret relationship with a 46 year old family friend, we did not do what I am advising you to do next. We should have sent Kalyn to her room for a bit to allow us time to regain our composure and pray for His words of response to our daughter. I would love to go back and replay that scene!

I know my God! He responded to our cries for help. But we spoke too many words before our time of prayer! And those words cost us and our daughter dearly.

See links to more helpful posts on this topic at the end of this post.

Parents, we may face some tense moments before our children launch from our homes. This is a season of great turmoil. But our Heavenly Father is right here with us empowering us to lead our children through this cultural land-mine.

I am praying intentionally for you and your family today. And please know I would count it an honor to hear and agree with your family's specific prayer requests!

Blessings,
Lisa

Image Source: Ivan Dervisevic
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 Related posts:

A Double Life: 13 Ways to Detect if your Child is Hiding Something
A Double Life, Part 2: The Breakthrough Prayer to Pray Over Your Kids

10 Keys to Confronting Your Child on Tough, Hot-Button Issues
Am I Ready for a Parenting Crisis?

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Double life - praying hands 4329432316_b9eec851fe

By Lisa Cherry

This post is pretty simple.

Even if you and I read and studied every one of our 13 tips on how to detect a double life in our kids, we will not see what we cannot see!

Only God knows the true condition of the human heart. He is the revealer of hidden things, (See Daniel 2:22) and only He can see what is cloaked in darkness (See Psalm 139:12).

So here is the prayer that can totally transform your family's future:

Father, whatever is in the darkness, I ask You to bring it to the light.  I stand on Your word and command everything in the darkness—everything hidden or secret that is affecting my family—to be revealed right now, in Jesus name. Amen.

Last winter we prayed that prayer in POTTS meetings in two different cities where parents had gathered.  Each time, within two hours, parents ran back into the meeting sharing jarring revelations they heard from their teens over their lunch break.

Are you ready for a breakthrough?  Will you have the courage to pray that prayer???

Don't do it until you are prepared!

For more information, watch for my next post: What to Do When the Secret is Out!

Image source: Josh Kenzer
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Related Post::  A Double Life: 13 Ways to Detect if your Child is Hiding Something

A Double Life, Part 3–When the Secret is Out: Three Important Things to Do

 

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By Lisa Cherry

Surely, it has never been easier to live a secret life.

In fact, living multiple lives is just kind of expected.  Who we are at church...who we are at home...who we are at school or work....who we are online....these are each separate profiles with separate personalities, behaviors and standards. Right?

Or wrong?

Jesus did not have complimentary words for those striving to live double lives. (See Matthew 7:16 and 23:27-28)

A few weeks ago a close friend of mind was devastated to learn of her child's secret other life. When the hidden online accounts were reviewed, she found answers to questions she had not even dared to let herself ask. Immorality. Blasphemous darkness. Lewdness and rebellion. "How could my child have fooled me for so long?" she cried.

I understood the sting of her bitter tears. For I will forever remember the pain of discovering our daughter's secret other world.

I hated to even know what she had partaken of and a part of me wanted to run from the truth! But all secrets eventually come to an end and denial is never a helpful friend.

I asked myself a hundred times the question so many have asked me. "Lisa, did you not see the warning signs that Kalyn was hiding something? How could you not have known about her other life?"

That question used to haunt me. Now, it saddens me. But I have determined to learn from my errors.

Yes, I did miss some signs. I did ignore some things that I would later regret ignoring!

So, for all of us, I want to share some of the top ways I experienced myself or have learned from others about detecting when your child is leading two or more lives.

Maybe you can share some others with your fellow parents. Maybe you yourself have been enslaved by a double life and remember some of your own behaviors! Let's work together to box out the forces of darkness trying to deceive our kids.

1. Unexplained absences: Missing hours that are not reasonably explained are not a good sign. If the excuse is lame, do not receive it at face value. Investigate.

2. Wardrobe changes: Often our kids wear their new lives like a banner on their bodies. A style change often means more than just taste. They are making a statement. What or who is the statement? I discovered Kalyn's new desire to carry her backpack was so she could change her clothes after she left our house and before she arrived with her new "friends."

3. Silence: A person living a double life is often mentally and emotionally exhausted. It is easier to withdraw from social contact, throw up thick walls, and quit talking.

4. Changes in media tastes: Pressing past or sneaking around the family regulations on media rules such as movies, Internet, TV, or music is a significant warning sign. The kingdom of this world has a familiar sound and language. When your child's heart is attracted to darkness, it will show up in his tastes for entertainment.

5. Lies: Lying becomes a habit. Kalyn says she got so used to living her double life of deception, she found herself habitually lying about little insignificant things and then just laughing to herself. Never ignore a pattern of lying.

6. New friends: this seems obvious. Birds of a feather flock together. Face it. If the new friends have certain issues or problems you are seeing, your child's friends' parents may be noting the same thing....in your child!

7. Arguments that are out of character: "But mom, a little cussing is really not a big deal...." coming from a child who you have never heard use profanity. Perhaps cussing is normal in her other life!!   See Luke 6:45.

8. Eye rolling: Every teenager is tempted to dishonor their parents at times. But when you suddenly become the "enemy" in daily life, watch out. A guilty conscience will always look for a misplaced location to dump blame.

9. Suspicious online behaviors: Reluctance to reveal passwords to parents, quickly moving screens or signing off when you approach them, odd purchase orders showing up on your Amazon account. If your family's online behaviors are not in the light, chances are they are in the darkness! (Have you signed up for an internet monitoring service such as Covenant Eyes yet?) 

10. Underperforming or over-performing:  My friend's child's schoolwork fell way down. Kalyn's schoolwork went way up! A change will often mean something.

11. Obvious changes in sexual countenance: When sexual thoughts are being aroused somehow in a child's life, a teen will often exude sexual overtones both in dress, demeanor, speech, and behavior. Trust your gut instinct if you note a problem. And investigate. Wow, do I wish I would have followed this advice!

12. Physical problems: A double life is a stressed life. So is it any wonder that sicknesses follow the increased stress and pressure. Kalyn lost weight and suddenly needed naps. My friend's child had constant stomach complaints.

13. Loss of interest in spiritual things: It is not normal to dump God. But it is common to move away from Him when filled with guilt, fear, shame, or doubt.  The enemy is wooing our kids with promises of "freedom and fun" in the secret life. We, of course, know his plan to steal, kill, and destroy.

Have other ideas for detecting a double life? Post them in our comments!

 See the next two posts in this series:
A Double Life, Part 2: The Breakthrough Prayer to Pray Over Your Kids

A Double Life, Part 3–When the Secret is Out: Three Important Things to Do


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