I’ll never forget sitting in my mentor’s house in college and learning about core lies — the lies we believe deep in our core about ourselves, others, and God.
Learning about my own core lies was a game-changer in my life. Later, after having kids, and in the early days of my first blog (which is no longer around), I interviewed that college mentor. One of the questions I asked her was, “If you could only pass on one piece of wisdom for young wives and moms, what would it be?”
She replied, “Deal with and repent of your own core lies so you don’t demand from and damage your child as much.”
She went on, “To determine your core lies, watch for things that make you angry, anxious, or depressed. The core lies are usually under there. Whatever goals we’ve created because of them have to go. For me, I wanted everyone to think I was a good mom. I had to let go of what other people thought of me because it was affecting how I dealt with my girls.”
That original interview was over ten years ago, but today I can say with confidence that her best piece of wisdom on parenting is, in my opinion, the key to healthy parenting. When we attune to what God wants to heal and set free in our hearts and minds, we will love and nurture our kids in freedom, truth, and grace instead of bondage, lies, and fears, which then allows our children to grow in freedom.
I’ll give you one example of how dealing with my own lies and subsequent freedom has impacted our family.
Almost twenty years ago, the Lord led me to face and process the abortion I had when I was sixteen. He led me to a counselor who was gentle and kind and walked with me through a study called, Forgiven and Set Free. Through counseling, I was set free from several lies, one of the biggest being that I had to keep my abortion a secret. Learning to tell the story of my abortion, the truth and the impact of it, began a process of freedom and healing that ripples through my life and ministry today.
Around ten years ago, the Lord led me to share my story of abortion online, which I did through tears. I was so scared, but I was never alone.
In the last few years, the Lord has led me to speak to women all over the country, and I almost always share my abortion story because I know so many women are still in bondage because of an abortion they had, and they are assaulted with lies by the kingdom of darkness. It’s an honor to work on behalf of freedom and truth.
But you know what the scariest thing the Lord has led me to do was? Telling my then twelve-year-old daughter about my abortion. I knew I had to do it because it was time and that was how the Lord was leading. So I did it and told her. We talked about it, and she cried, and we lamented together. The glory is this: Now that daughter of mine, who is now fourteen, travels with me as I share my story, and she is witness to the power of telling our secrets, facing our pain, dealing with our lies, and getting on the path of healing and freedom.
When we get free from the places of our hearts that are in bondage, we become generational bondage-breakers.
The more we are willing to face what God brings up and trust Him to hold us and help us as we process and grieve and work it all through, the more we believe and speak the truth and renounce the lies, the better parents we will become. We’ll still fail our kids sometimes, but if we are free we can lead them toward true freedom.
If God is bringing something up in your life, something painful, ask God to help you walk through the healing process. He is with you and will guide you. Find a counselor or safe friend or mentor and begin.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
Psalm 139:23-24 (NLT)
Related Resource: How Not to Put Our Junk On Our Children (Interview with Cathy Bowman)
When we get free from the places of our hearts that are in bondage, we become generational bondage-breakers. -@sarahmae: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I think this is spot-on advice from your mentor friend. I know that I grew up thinking that I had to earn my parents’ love and the love of my Heavenly Father. I was the consummate perfectionist – earning, striving, pleasing, doing all the right things in order to gain affection. I know that inadvertently I demanded the same kind of obedience from my kids. Maybe it wasn’t as pronounced, but my expectations were high. Also, I was a people-pleaser. I wanted people to like me. That included my children. I often think I did them a great disservice in trying to be their friend instead of first and foremost being their parent. If your children say that they hate you at some point, chances are you are being a GOOD parent. I can see how my own unaddressed issues perpetuated problems in my parenting. Wish I could have read your post years ago…
I am a kindred spirit to @Bev! Going to take this to Jesus as I raise my little boy. Thanks Sarah for this beautiful wisdom and bravery.
Such beautiful, freeing truth here. I echo similar sentiments in my book, Purposeful Parenting. It is my assertion that we must first deal with the “dirt” on the filter of our own hearts so that we are clear and unclogged to freely give children the love they need and deserve. Thank you so much for this sweet reminder today.
Thank you for sharing your brave story!
Kimberly Coney says
Sarah: I am a kindred spirit. The forgiveness part is hard for me. I know my Savior has forgiven me but why is it so hard to forgive myself. I have confessed it and I laid it at the cross so many times. I have told others my story. My 3 babies are in heaven and I know I will run to them in heaven and I hope that they will forgive me too. Pray for me ladies that I can leave this at the cross and truly forgive myself. I have 2 wonderful children who are 19(young woman) and 22(young man) whom I cherish. They do not know my story. God loves me and I know that with all my heart. I cherish these devotions and I share these with my friends. Blessings. Kimberly
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
I never had kids and I never will. Because that is my own choice. I just not brave to give birth. I admire people who give birth. Like you and my other people and my two sister’s. Even though I am the eldest in my family. I happy the way I am. But my heart go out to people who try to have kids and can’t. Get pregnant then loose the baby. Or the baby is born early and does not live that long Doctors work so hard to keep that baby alive. The young teenager that has got pregnant. Now does not want the baby. Your case you telling your story to the whole world. How brave you were to listen to God and through your tears tell that your story. I know your story has probably went on to help others just like you. God will honor you for telling it. We are as Christian to pray for all theses things. As we don’t know what any of theses people are going through. Especially when we hear a story like any I have just said about. If we ourselves have not gone through any of the things ourselves. So what comes to my mind right away. An good Christian of mine who alot older than me who is now in glory would say. Pray for them. Don’t talk about them as you don’t know anything about how they are feeling or what they are going through all there sutations are different. God knows their pain. She was so right. Key to helping them to healthy life of healthy parenting. Is prayer and looking at Gods word. Look at Hannah in the Bible if a person saved they want kids they trying for a family they can cry on to God like Hannah. God gave her Samuel. If they really trust God in prayer God can answer that prayer. Give them that Child they long for. When the Doctor tell them they will never have kids. Nothing is impossible to God. God can help heal all the other wonds like the Mum that baby has died. So keep looking up on to God trusting his word the Bible and Prayer. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little
Beth Williams says
Oh how the devil wants us to dwell on our past. He enjoys seeing us feeling destroyed. Thank God for your mentor. She is spot on about releasing the lies of your past. We need that healing for ourselves. It makes us whole again. Never more in bondage by Satan & his lies. Thank you for sharing your story, especially with your daughter. It will help cement a bond between you & your daughter. She can better understand why you acted how you did. By doing so you are helping many other women. It is so nice to know you aren’t the only one going through a trial. Great post! Thanks again for sharing your story.
I saw the title of this post and was thinking, “Nah. My Kids are older. This post probably isn’t really for me.”
And then it was.