This week, we are skipping right to verse 14. It's a verse that many may never associate with parenting. But if you have ever parented a child with attachment issues, or whose trauma prevents them from fully connecting - then you understand intimately how critical this verse is in parenting children from hard places.
Persecution. The very word provokes a sense of defense. A need to be on guard. To protect or flee.
Jesus told us we would face persecution. The Word of God warns us to be prepared, for the enemy lurks about like a lion, seeking whom he can devour. It is often through the words and actions of others that the devouring takes place. Persecution is an avenue often used to wear down those who are valiantly fighting to remain true to the Word of God.
It is difficult to feel peaceful in the face of persecution. It is challenging to remain joyful. And since most parents seek to make their homes a peace and joy filled safe haven, what do we do when persecution isn't banished to the other side of the ocean - or even the other side of town - but is present... and at the hands of the very children we are parenting?
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Romans 12:14 NIV, NKJV, TLV
bless and do not curse.
It isn't very often that we see a scripture written identically in these three translations of the Bible. These words are powerful - and clearly they are precisely what God wanted to convey to us: bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.
Even when - especially when - "those" are our children. Our words should be words of blessing, not cursing. Our words should build up, instead of tear down. Our words and actions should bless.
I think definitions 3 and 5 are the most applicable in this sense: to bestow good of any kind upon; and to protect or guard from evil.
Attachment issues, behavioral diagnosis, cognitive delays, trauma --- they can all impact the way our children relate to and treat us. Many foster and adoptive parents truly reach the point of persecution from their own children - and that very fact must be acknowledged as heart breaking. But following the heart break, often comes anger, bitterness, resentment, and cursing. Maybe not like a sailor - but certainly unlike a saint redeemed by the glorious grace of God that sent His Son to die for us while we were yet sinners.
Guided by Scripture Parenting Challenge!
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what this is... and is not.
Blessing our children, and speaking blessing over various aspects of their lives is Biblical. It is dwelling on the pure and the lovely. It is speaking life, and not death. It is encouraging our children, and ourselves, to draw closer to God.
However, it is NOT name-it-claim-it, blab-it-grab-it doctrine. Speaking the words isn't a magical way to get what we want. We must continue to address issues as they arise, and speak truth to, about, and with our children always.
Choosing to speak and act in ways that bless our children is not to be done manipulatively, but from a heart that is overflowing with God's gracious love, and the kindness He has shown to us.
areas to speak blessing over:
It is not easy, friend. In fact, it is downright hard to choose blessing over cursing in the trenches of living every day as the target of the wrath of your child. Hurting people hurt people - and often the people closest to them. It is good and right to seek help for your child and family - speaking blessing does not replace treating trauma and attachment issues. But the next time you are presented with an opportunity to respond to your child's persecution, ask God for the grace to choose to BLESS.
Can I pray for you this week? How are you doing in the process of allowing scripture to guide your parenting? Have you had any moments of victory? If you haven't already, join our Guided by Scripture Parenting Challenge, and receive emails that include prayer targets with accompanying scriptures and a free 5x7 printable of that week's memory verse!
Here you will find the musings of a homeschooling, work from home, adoptive Momma of 6! Adventures in faith, family, adoption, and training up a tribe of little people to follow hard after Jesus are spilled into these posts --- most often written with a cup of coffee in hand. I hope you'll stick around a while and find something - more likely SOMEONE! - that brings you hope!
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