Eva, my youngest, was named after my grandmother.
Eva is stunning! She is a firebrand of Gods love. A couple days after her fifth birthday party, my wife, Karen, and I were lying in bed telling stories of our kids. Like all amazing parents, our amazing kids mesmerize us. We are overjoyed with how cute, and caring, and kind, and sweet, and loving, and giving, and… they are brilliant! As far as we are concerned, they are the best kids that have ever walked the planet.
While Karen was reliving an Eva moment she had earlier in the day, I realized just how much our parenting had matured over the years, especially in how we discipline. We have grown in our understanding that discipline is about revealing and releasing, and empowering identity.
For instance, if Eva lies about something, my greatest desire is not for her to learn and understand the consequences of lying. My greatest desire is for her to know that she is not a liar.
You see, our heavenly Father doesn’t see her as a liar. He sees her as stunningly honest. So if she lies, she is not acting like how our Father sees her. As a parent, it is my privilege and charge to empower her into that truth.
It doesn’t mean we don’t teach repentance; it’s just that repentance isn’t a form of punishment, it’s a privilege. Repent simply means to change the way you think; it’s an about face. Repentance is about changing your mind until you are in agreement with Gods.
In fact, that’s what we tell our kids. When there is an issue where their hearts are self-focused, you will often hear Karen or myself say, “Change the way you think.” And because we have had the talk many times, our kids understand that what we are saying is, “start thinking about yourself like your heavenly Father thinks about you.” Here’s the thing, if we learn to agree with how our heavenly Father sees us, we will start acting like He sees us - behavior follows identity.
So that evening while Karen and I lay in bed, she told me how Eva earlier in the day had an intentionally forgetful moment and threw a tantrum. Karen sat down on the floor with her and kindly said “Eva, change… what?” Eva, who had just been given a necklace from her Aunt Aimee that read, “I’m a world changer,” looked at her mom and with a sudden sunny attitude shift and a mischievous grin said, “the world?”
Change the world. Yep, that will work too! In fact, if you become brilliant at changing the way you think, you can’t help but change the world.
I laughed with Karen as she relived the story and then we both agreed again, our kids are brilliant! And Eva is correct; she is a world changer, that’s how her heavenly Father sees her.
I would like to suggest that’s how He sees you as well. You are prone to love, to change the world through love. The trick is simply learning to agree with Him.
Go ahead, try it, change the way you think…
Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children. Website: www.afamilystory.org