I have noticed a horrific trend. Our girls in puberty are being bombarded with messages that breed anxiety in them, affirming accusations of the enemy that because they aren’t all the same as each other that there is something wrong with them. This directly contradicts God’s Word that tells us we are each set apart unto Him to “be different”, also that He might be that iron sharpening iron through us to lead us into His whole heart to reveal His whole Body through us.
In some of our churches this struggle through puberty with the media screaming at our children and granchildren, is exacerbated by perverted and twisted doctrine that decrees our children and grandchildren as possessed by the devil or evil/disturbed because they are merely experiencing fears in this dark world.
Remember the Words of the apostle about the trembling and fear of exercising our faith – Jesus – in us, as in our weakness He perfects His power for us.
And in others this is further exacerbated by horrific emotional and even sexual and spiritual abuse (being swept under the carpet) in our houses of God. And we Christians are letting it happen – when we decree those who speak up as divisive and disrespectful of authority, or when we as Christian leaders of churches refuse to speak up to other churches we know are spreading lies that are stealing and destroying and killing our children (and us too).
And we adults aren’t doing our kids any favors either, when (in trying to “set a good example”) we hide our own weakness and refuse to confess our own sins (past and present) with them freely, nor come before the throne of grace together with them in prayer. In this environment of self-righteousness and hypocricy, judgment and condemnation rages for these little ones, who long to bare their heart before us and their God.
I have been that bad example to my own girls and to my friends – and in no way condemn you if that’s where you are today. But I do urge you to turn away from your sin and receive God’s grace, as I am too. Praise God He is still daily delivering me from hypocrisy.
He has also in the past rebuked me and led me to repentance for applying the false doctrine of my church upon another also. I followed the example of my church leaders and mentor and the freedom teaching they followed, and tried to command the so-called “evil spirit” in my friend, who began to experience the very triggers of trauma (from spiritual abuse) I was experiencing myself, to leave her. But that made it even worse, so I stopped that, after two fearful attempts, and kept doing what I had felt the Holy Spirit actually ask me to do: the very things He had led me to myself through my own triggers of trauma: listening to worship music (which led her to weep and weep on our couch) and having her write out the beautiful truth of Scripture verses next to every accusation she was hearing inside of her and send her worship songs that she later told me were such a gift.
Not long later, I followed God’s prompting to speak up about the evil of the “freedom” course that advocated such “casting out of evil spirits” and spiritual abuse against the very ones who (like myself and my dear friend) had already been through horrific trauma. This doctrine goes even so far as to condemn those who have been sexually, physically and spiritually abused, who are experiencing massive triggers of trauma, as being possessed with an evil spirit, when in fact grave evil has actually been perpetrated against them.
I have repeatedly asked God to humble me that I might not again become a stumbling block for my children and spiritual children (and future generations) – and He is answering those cries, also using my illnesses to strip away that self-righteous cover hiding His light. I find myself now daily confessing my weakness, praying out loud for God’s help and confessing my sin freely before my husband and girls and Prodigal and seeking friends and family: as I watch God draw them into the light of His love through that also.
Is it any surprise that when the world begins to bombard these young ones with awful messages that they listen? They are growing up surrounded by messages that they “are ugly”, “too fat”, that they “must be a boy” and could have all their problems “solved” by not eating, vomiting up their food and having an operation to “make them” what they “truly are”. In these attacks, these already severely wounded by (our/others’ self-righteous and hypocritical behavior) and our churches’ perverted doctrine that denies the finished work of the Cross, our children and young growing adults, are beginning to listen and believe that maiming their beautiful bodies given by God, will take away that perpetual condemnation raging inside of them.
For, they have learnt that baring their hearts and souls in our Christian homes and churches is unsafe- and in idolizing us in our hypocrisy – that their God is unsafe also. Perhaps you too have grown up in such an environment and are, like me, also still healing and having fear cast out of you to enable you to come before Jesus as a little child. I am sorry for this wounding done to your precious soul and I bless you with that same perfect love of Jesus.
I was one of these girls maiming her beautiful body. After experiencing severe spiritual abuse in my home in puberty, as I stood up and spoke out against the physical abuse of my adopted brother (in the Name of God), and God consequently began to pour out His Holy Spirit upon me for healing: a Christian school leader deemed me as disturbed/troubled because I started to confess my weakness freely and come into the light to confess my sins openly.
What that experience taught me is to turn inward and to hide my broken heart from man and God. It’s there I began to choose to numb my traumatized body in sin and to descend into depression. Yes: it was my own fleshly desires of pride and idol worship that led me astray. I take full responsibility. But God also saw the wounding that was done to me in His Name and it grieved His heart.
I can assure you that our God does not stand by and do nothing as our children are wounded so deeply. When they come to us with the truth of Jesus and open their arms for His compassion and grace and we turn them away from the arms of Jesus, in our adherance to false doctrine and self-righteous hypocrisy, He does not just sit by idly.
How do I know that? Because Jesus opened my own eyes to His love in 2014 by the power of His Holy Spirit falling upon me, after around 20 years of me living bound in sin and fear. He did this after binding me together with a family of Prodigals in the Netherlands who have been through horrific abuse in the Name of God. This blindfold being lifted from me unfolded exactly when my Mum beautifully humbled herself beneath God’s mighty hand and repented of her sin against my little brother, in the very last months of her life. She hadn’t seen what she was doing, until God put it right before her eyes – and in that place she couldn’t stop weeping and weeping, seeing how deeply she had wounded an already traumatized little boy.
And that little boy opened his arms to offer my Mama restoration and redemption, as she offered him the compassion and grace of Jesus (instead of physical punishment), giving him the love of Jesus he had so longed for as a little boy. Yes! Our repentance carries the power of salvation not just for us but for others too – if we are prepared to bow our knees and admit our wrong doing. So, rather than now pointing my finger at these broken and wounded children and young adults, or at you or at myself:
I pray for God to humble us all – every single believing adult – of any sin forming a stumbling block for our children and granchildren and future generations. May God convict us (me included) of any self-righteousness and pride and lie-telling that is turning away God’s children at the gates of salvation. May God embolden us to no longer keep our mouths shut where we have before, when our churches feed us and our children lies (to “respect” our elders and in so doing deny our Jesus in doing so) and may He embolden us to expose all abuse being kept hidden.
May we also no longer hide away ashamed when we have spoken up and been turned away by our churches (as I have been- harming my body and my family and friends in the process and really again denying the very truth of the Cross I had spoken so boldly, in doing so).
May God embolden us to arise and stand alongside our children and grandchildren in the truth of the Cross- in God’s deep abiding compassion for us all in our weakness and His grace available for us all, when we, just as trusting little children, humble ourselves to come into the light of Christ’s invincible and perfect love that casts out all fear.
May we no longer be ashamed of our weakness and all freely admit that we need our Jesus and His empowering grace EVERY SINGLE DAY. I am praying this just as much for myself as for you – as I know that I – just like my Mama – need God to continue to open my own eyes to the blind spots I have allowed to lead me into turning others away from Him.
So may God also humble me beneath His mighty hand, where I am blinded in my own pride and sin, convicting me, leading me to repentance and compelling me to stand up boldly in the light of the finished work of the Cross for myself – and for all. May Jesus bring us all – and our wounded child-like hearts of trust and faith – home into His open arms. For there is now NO condemnation OR regret for those in Christ Jesus, who humble themselves to declare and live out the beautiful truth of our Savior’s all-sufficient and perfect sacrifice on the Cross:
See bits in italics added – fruit of the prayer God gave me to pray. This is the first time I have admitted this publically. Praise God for stripping away condemnation and shame in the light of His love and grace for me. I am no longer ashamed of the Gospel and its power to save me and others through me.