The Best Way To Raise A Child

Another dream…

This time I was a young woman, newly married.

My parents had raised me with simple Christian values, but they never felt the need for us to go to a church, read the bible, or pray. And that was fine with me as well, for I could see that we were doing o.k. on our own.

There were some things that I had strong beliefs in,
and one of them was how a child should be raised.

When I became a mother of a beautiful baby girl,
I spent as much time as I could with her,
Convinced that this was the way to bring them up successfully. My husband, her father, was away busy working, and did not have much time to spend with us. But every little lesson she learned, I was there beside her.

I realized, when she was around a year or so,
That I should not just give her everything she wanted,
For then she would end up a spoiled brat.

So there were times when I told her no, for example when she wanted to open a certain cupboard door, and it would be dangerous for her health and safety if she did so.

At first she cried, and showed her temper,
But soon moved on to other explorations.

She grew up to be a beautiful and caring girl, whom I loved greatly.

I had a second baby girl, when my first was almost eight, and I brought her up in the same manner as I did the first.
She also grew up to be a loving, caring, and giving girl. For this reason, she was one I was also very close to, all of my life.

I had another baby girl about five years after the last one, and began raising her up as I had the first two.
After she was a few years old, I realized, that for some reason, she was slightly less thankful for something that would be given to her, than her older sisters had been. But I brushed this off as simply being a quirk of her personality. (She was more reserved in other ways as well.) But as she reached the older teenage years, she became wild and rebellious, which would hurt me greatly.

One day, when she was almost eighteen, (and incredibly beautiful with her model slim body and gorgeous waist length blonde hair,) she stood there, in front of her bedroom doorway. I had just gotten done refinishing her bedroom to the way she had wanted it done. I asked her, how she liked it, hoping this would make her thankful, for not even her sisters had been given such a makeover for their rooms.

“Yes,” she said, “it’s great. Perfect.” But then she gave a long pause, as if she was still considering it. “Well, almost. There’s just one thing still wrong with it.”

“What is that?” I asked her, eager to make the change.

“You’re in it.”

With that, she pulled a lit cigarette from behind her back, pulled a big drag from it, and then blew the smoke right into my face.

I gasped in shock.

Pain was then my response, pain that went so very, very deep. It felt like my heart was actually breaking, and then shriveling up inside. I did not know how to cope with such pain. I was immobilized.

How could my daughter do this to me? She knew she was not to smoke at all in the house. She knew that I was very allergic to the cigarette smoke. My eyes and lungs were already beginning to swell up.

I told her that I was not leaving, for this was my house, and if she really wanted to get away from me, then she should be the one to leave. I also told her that if she left like this, I would never bother her or be a part of her life again. It would be as if she was dead to me.

I had hoped that she would back down at this, but she acted like she was quite happy with it.

She packed up her stuff, and left me with great excitement, and as I watched her leave, I noted that she didn’t even look back once.

It took some time for me to recover from what she had done. In essence, she really did become dead to me. I was also resolved to have it remain this way in the future, for I felt I could not survive another blow to my heart like that one.

Several years after my third child was born, I had another baby, also a girl, and knew it would be my last. (I was old at this time, and was quite surprised at the news, for I had thought that my child bearing years were over.) This baby was doted on by my first two girls, as well as me. But I made sure she was still brought up like the first two had been.

She turned out fine as well, thought she had a way of trying to make sure that everything and everyone in the family was doing o.k..

The third (dead) child would call and talk to her sisters, but ignore me. When my girls then went to tell me how she was doing, I told them that to me she no longer exists, and to keep their news about her to themselves, and to not talk to me about it. If they disobeyed me and talked about her, I would ignore what they said and leave the room.

I supported the first two girls in whatever they wanted to do with their lives, and when they decided to leave the nest, I gave them my full blessing, and still supported them in making their own nest, when they requested my help or my opinion. I remained close to my first two girls, and even to my youngest one.

At one point, my girls told me that their (dead) sister wanted to get in touch with me, for she was getting married and wanted me to go to her wedding. I told them no, and that I didn’t want to hear about it. I no longer knew this person they were talking about. She had been dead to me for so many years now, and would remain so.

My daughters tried to get me to change my mind, but I refused.

More years passed, and at one point, while my youngest daughter and I we were walking around in a big mall, I seen my two older daughters coming towards us, with their arms linked around their other sister, the one still dead to me.

My first thought was ‘So…she’s still alive then,’ but I quickly shifted my eyes to look away from her. Even if she had somehow survived all those years, she was still dead to me.

I could tell that my older girls had hoped for a reconciliation, and probably figured that if I could just actually see her, then I would relent. But they were wrong. I knew the statistics, I had heard the heart-wrenching accounts of the other mothers who had to deal with their wayward, wild children. These kids would say they were sorry, but still go back out and return to the crappy behavior and actions that they had before. Why would I think that my child would be any different from them? There was no way I would ever go through that kind of pain with that child again. The girl she had once been to me had died, and someone else now occupied her body.

A few years after that, my girls told me she was pregnant with her first child. “Mom, they pleaded with me, “Don’t you want to see your own grandchildren?”

“Sure,” I replied. “But that woman’s children would not be my grandchildren.”

They gave up trying to get me to go see them, when they realized I still wanted nothing to do with her.

When my own children had children of their own, I would be the doting grandmother, and shower their kids with attention and presents. Their own children were respective and loving towards me, so caring for them was easy to do and caused me no pain.

But I knew that no matter what, that other woman and her family, would remain dead to me till the day I died.

 

I then woke up from the dream, with tears on my face.

*

I wondered, as I lay there in bed, still feeling the inner pain, coldness, and fear that controlled this mother, just what was the best way to raise a child.

It was clear, that simply spending time with the child, and raising the child myself, (instead of handing them over to the overflowing nurseries and then into the public school systems,) would not prevent such wild behavior.

When I went to the Lord about it, He told me that spending the time with the child was still of primary importance, but without an intimate one-on-one relationship with HIM, there would still be problems of this kind. When a mother spends that much time with her child, the parent can sense RIGHT AWAY when something is wrong, and can then petition the problem to Me, and then cast the demon away from the child. (This is done through My Word and through prayer to Me.) But if the parent doesn’t even believe that evil spirits exist, and can try to attack their children, (or of course themselves,) then there is much less hope of fighting off satan’s attacks.

It made me realize, how important a Christian’s spiritual viewpoint is. If they do not believe in evil spirits being able to affect them, then it is almost impossible for them to see some of the person’s negative and hurtful behavior as being separate from the person themselves. One then tends to take it all personally, as an attack on them. And they also might not have much hope of real heart-felt change. What they don’t realize, is that demons can set up and execute the attacks. In this case, the attacks were (at least,) on both the mother and the daughter. But for the most part, the heart of that person themselves, is still yearning for love and reconciliation with their family. And with Jesus, hearts and behavior CAN be changed!

*

“But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
(Matthew 19:26, KJV)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.” (Proverbs 1:7-9)

“Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” (Proverbs 20:11)

“Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18, KJV)

“Now these are the commandments, the statutes, and the judgments, which the Lord your God commanded to teach you, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go to possess it: That thou mightest fear the Lord thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. (Deuteronomy 6:1-9, KJV)

“And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32, KJV)

* * * *

The Spirits of Christmas

“The Spirits of Christmas”

It was December 24th, 2010.
Everything was ready. The tree was fully decorated, and the lights were glowing brightly, the presents were wrapped and tucked underneath it, right next to the antique miniature barn that held baby Jesus, His parents, and the wise men bearing gifts. Even our house was outlined in icicle lights, and the illuminated sign that said PEACE, with a lighted dove next to it could be seen by anyone who drove by.

But something wasn’t right, something still did not feel right, yet again.

This was not the first Christmas that our family felt this; for the past six or more Christmases had been tainted by these same emotions.

Christmas had become known in my family, as a tension-filled mine field, where at least someone (often more,) in our family started a fight with each other, over something small and trivial, and it would get blown all out of proportion. There were two Christmases that my husband stormed out of the house, not even saying when or if he would return. Usually, it was the kids that broke down and fought with each other, often over who got to open up the next present. There were the usual whines from those who never seemed quite satisfied with whatever had been gifted to them.

This was all very odd behavior from my family; in our every-day-lives we usually got along well enough and were very thankful for anything that was given to us.

I was determined that this Christmas would be different.

All of us noted that familiar feeling, of something not being quite right, so we stood in a circle, read some scripture out loud, and then prayed that we would have a peace-filled evening.

But once again, the fighting broke out among our children, this time under their mumbled breaths, (thinking if they were quiet enough we would not hear them,) so I immediately called a time-out, and went into the bedroom to pray.

“We can stop this right now, Lord!” I said to my God. “We don’t have to open up the gifts. If You want us to walk away from all this, just say the word, and we will!”

I stood there, under the cross, waiting for some kind of revelation or word to come from Him. But instead of addressing my words, He had me read Psalm 91, and after several moments it did finally have its usual calming effect upon me. He then told me to go back out to where the family was still waiting. This confused me, for I felt as if nothing had really been resolved. But still He nudged me to go back out into the living room. So before I got up to go, I told Him yet again, “Whatever you want us to do, we will do…”

The moment I walked back out into the room, one of my kids came up to me and boldly spoke.

“Mom,” this child said, “Jesus told me that we need to turn off all the lights.”

I frowned. “ALL the lights?” (This seemed odd; why would God want us in complete darkness?)

“No,” this child responded, “He said to turn off all the Christmas lights, even the outside ones, and then cast out the spirits of Christmas.”

Ah. Then I understood.

During our research on the history of Christmas, we learned that the pagan Druids would put lights in their window sills, in the hopes that as the spirits flew above them over the land during the winter solstice of Dec. 21st to the 26th, they would see the lights below and know that they were welcome in that home.

So we went and turned off all the holiday lights on our property, inside and out, and then came back to gather in the living room.

Everything seemed dull now, without the glitter and sparkle of the Christmas tree lights. It felt like even the holiday itself was pausing, waiting to see what we would do next.

We held each others hands, and then together we cast out the spirits of Christmas in Jesus name.

We then sat back down, and my husband and I began discussing the question of who would open up the first present. We then bravely decided to let the children decide.

To everyone’s amazement, they all quickly agreed. My first born son would get to open up the first present!

This son was greatly surprised. NEVER had he ever gone first in opening up the first one! Usually he vied so hard for that first place position that he usually ended up going last.

And so went the rest of the night. Cooperation, helpfulness, thankfulness, and patience re-formed the evening. No fighting or arguing broke out, and we were able to enjoy watching each other open up the gifts. No rushing, no tension, no me me me me.

Just PEACE!

All during the winter solstice, when we put on the Christmas lights, (any of them,) ill will would re-surface, and we would once again have to resort to turning off all the Christmas lights, and casting out those spirits of Christmas.

In the end, we realized that it was a price we were willing to pay. In giving up those Christmas lights, we found the PEACE that we had been longing for.

Thank you Jesus Christ of Nazareth for answering our prayers!
* * * *

The Booming Voice From Above

(Seen through the eyes of one of my children…)

My whole family is gathered around the table for the evening meal. As is our custom, we each take turns thanking the Lord for something we are thankful for.  

This time, unseen to all but one child, was a row of ten demons, lined up on the other side of our kitchen countertop, listening in.
The first child said they were thankful for their new friend that they had just met.

At that, one of the demons turned to the demon next to him, and said “Hey! I know! Let’s see if we can get them to turn against each other and hate each other!”

Right as the other demons were about to chime in and agree to the plan, a booming voice from above, yelled out.

“NO!”

At this, the demons shivered and cowered in fear, but did not address the voice itself. Instead, they ignored it the best they could, and continued listening to what else we were thankful for.

Another child spoke up. “I’m thankful for the dog and this wonderful meal.”

Again the demons began to whisper amongst themselves, but were suddenly interrupted by a booming loud voice.

“NO!”

“I’m also thankful for the new internet games my friend just gave me.”

At this, one of the demons whispered something into the ear of the one next to him. What was said, was not heard.

And this time, the booming voice from above was disturbingly silent.
My husband spoke up next. “I’m thankful that the Lord has moved us up here, and that we have this house to live in.”

But at this, for some reason, it was the demons themselves that remained silent, watching.

Another one of us spoke up. “I’m thankful we still have the chickens that we do have.” (This was after several of our favorite ones suddenly dying.)

At this the demons chortled with glee and exclaimed, “Yeah! Let’s go kill off the rest of them!”

“NO!” slapped the booming voice from up above.

And again, the demons cowered, shook, and tried to hide underneath each other, but they did not look up.

Next, I spoke up. “I’m thankful for still being married to my husband, and that I was well enough to make the dinner.”

Again the demons conspired, but what they conspired was not heard. It did not matter however, for once again, that booming voice was heard from above.

“NO!”

The demons cowered and shook amongst themselves yet again.

This continued till all had spoken their thanks out loud and the prayer had ended.

Then the demons left.
*  *  *  *
Job 1
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them. 7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it. 8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? 9 Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, Doth Job fear God for nought? 10 Hast not thou made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side? thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. 11 But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face. 12 And the LORD said unto Satan, Behold, all that he hath is in thy power; only upon himself put not forth thine hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the LORD.
Job 42
10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. 12 So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 16 After this lived Job an hundred and forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, even four generations. 17 So Job died, being old and full of days.