Sunday, March 9, 2014


From Beth:

I have no illusions about this; it is clear, sometimes painfully clear, that I do not have control. Parenting is not about control, though, is it?  

But just because we parents don't have ultimate control doesn't mean that we don't have influence, power, and authority. We are co-laboring with the God of the Universe as we raise our children, and I would say that is a role of powerful significance!

So today I want to share one of the key ways we parents can make use of the authority we have for the benefit of our children. I am talking about the unique role we have to bind and to loose in our homes. It is the "superpower" for parents!

Think of it this way: we "stand at the gate" of our home in a similar way to the city authorities who stood at the gate of their city in ancient times to refuse entry to anyone they deemed a threat. Likewise, dear friends, you and I refuse entry to fear, chaos, selfishness and anything else that is not of God. 

But we don't stop there! This superpower is not limited to our "NO." We always follow our "no entry" with a big WELCOME to peace, healing, order and whatever else we know is our inheritance in the kingdom. Our welcome is the allowing of free access to the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit in our homes. 

You and I have authority to bind an orphan spirit and to loose a spirit of sonship.

This Binding and Loosing, Allowing and Disallowing, are ours to do. 

For us "standing in the gate of our home" has looked different over the years, depending on what is going on. 
Stephen and I have made a decision that in our home we are going to welcome, that is we will loose, an atmosphere of peace, honor, and unity. 

This is our choice to make. We can't control the choices that others make, including our children, and we are actually ok with that because we see that this is by God's design. We are raising people created to have the power to make choices!

But we have a better super power than control! We have authority. Stephen and I have put this idea to the test many times; we have seen immediate change in the atmosphere of our home, and we have seen gradual change. But the truth is, sooner or later, we inevitably see the fruit of the two of us, in the unity of agreement, binding and loosing. 

Here are some of the ways we have done this:
  1. Play worship music. Anointed worship seeds the atmosphere of your home with truth, both in word and in spirit. I have watched an oppositional child soften before my eyes without me saying a word. I used to have music playing when our children came home from school, which for a few of our guys who had trouble with transitions was always a rough time of day. I found that for both me and my children, anxiety levels decreased and peace increased.
  2. Pray as you walk through the rooms of your house. Stephen will occasionally walk through the house simply interceding for our children and speaking words of Truth about who God is, inviting Him to fill our home with His presence. When we sense disunity and destruction at work in a child or in our family as a whole, we do address it directly through discipline, but we also address it directly in the Spirit.
  3. Speak directly, and aloud if possible, what you are binding, and then also what you are loosing. At one stage we were experiencing a lot of sibling meanness and division, and it wasn't "going away" easily. Of course we talked to our children about it, and we planned some family outings that would build unity, but we realized that for whatever reason this time, more was needed; we needed to change the atmosphere in prayer as well. "A spirit of division and meanness is not welcome in the Templeton home. This is a home of peace. We loose again the spirit of peace and honor in our home. We authorize unity amongst the members of this family."
  4. Be intentional to let your children hear what you are allowing and what you are not allowing. They will not always see or understand this authority we have (often we pray these things when they are not around), but letting them hear about how you are praying and letting them see this position you have in the family is great spiritual training.Tell them that you see some things going on that are simply not allowed in this home. Let them know that you are talking to God about it. We have said things like, "I know you are really struggling right now and you feel angry. That is ok. I understand. But we are not having foul or dishonoring language in our home. This is a home of honor and peace." Saying this does not necessarily change their behavior at that moment, but it absolutely does make a statement that is important for them to hear. 
We have experienced many difficult times over the years as we walk our children through the realities of their losses and the trauma of the past. And we have seen what an orphan spirit looks like up close and personal. 

It is ugly. 

It seeks to push away peace, hope and freedom with its dark weight of fear, self-hatred, and rejection. 

There have definitely been times when you could have walked in our house and thought, "someone forgot to bind a few things here!" I so enjoyed a post I read while I was writing this by a fellow adoptive mommy blogger about how she managed the "eviction of the the unwanted tenants" of fear and insecurity. You'll want to check that out for some encouragement and practical ideas in this area. 

But even in the heat of the battle, I can honestly tell you that we do experience the abiding presence of God's peace in our home. When we find that any unwelcome presence is working to settle in, we have learned to once again stand at the spiritual gate of our home and do some evicting and welcoming. It has been a real encouragement to us that many times people have commented on how peaceful our home feels. And I sometimes think, "if you only knew!" 

But I believe the peace of God abides in us and in our homes in the most chaotic of parenting seasons when we are intentional to welcome and release the Spirit of God through the authority He has given us as parents. 

Yes, other spirits have tried to make their home with us, but when the Holy Spirit is welcome, those spirits are displaced. 

Let's take up our authority in this area my friends. It is ours to do. We are qualified for this role, even in our weakest parenting moments, for God has made it so. It is not a role reserved for the "super spiritual" mothers and fathers. 

You are the parent God has chosen for your children. 

You have authority to bind and to loose! 

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matthew 16:19)

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