A New Way of Living and Some New Goals

I’ve been sharing a series on social media on “Mistaken Goals.” These are goals our kiddos (and we) can get stuck in. These mistaken goals don’t produce the outcomes we desire nor are they from the foundation of truth.

Today, in honor of good Friday, I’m sharing some new goals we can help our kiddos aim for and we need to aim for ourselves!

New Goals

Once we have identified our children’s mistaken goals and beliefs, we must work to replace them.

“In many cases the child’s erroneous ideas and mistaken goals underlying his misbehavior are so well entrenched that it may take more than a correct response to the various acts of provocation. One may have to work toward a deep reconstruction of the child’s basic assumptions, of his personality pattern.” – Children: The Challenge

Here’s a quick list of the new goals we should strive for:

1. Constant attention —> I am valuable even if you are not always paying attention to me. I am a son of God and therefore a sibling of Jesus and heir to the promises of God.

2. Total control —> I am not in control of everything, nor do I need to be. God is in control and He will take care of me. I can submit to some authority and trust God is in control.

3. Retaliation and revenge —> I do not need to retaliate. I can forgive, and I am forgiven. I do not need to stay in an angry, defensive state. I need to strive for trust and acceptance.

4. Giving up —> I do not need to give up on life. I have a purpose. God created me to do good works, and I will do them regardless of my past circumstances. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

“For as many [of you] as were baptized into Christ [into a spiritual union and communion with Christ] the Anointed one, the Messiah] have put on (clothed yourselves with Christ).

There is [now no distinction] neither Jew, nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free there is not male or female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you belong to Christ [are in Him who is Abraham’s seed], then you are Abraham’s offspring and spiritual heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:27-29)

This is a new way of living that says, “I can’t act the way I feel like acting anymore. I can’t act impulsively. I cannot run around in survival mode and be a functioning member of a family.”

Survival Mode

Most of us came into the family of God in survival mode — i.e., still in the flesh, although born of the Spirit. Our names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The adoption decree is sealed. We legally belong, but our assumptions haven’t caught up. We don’t believe it.

“And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) and have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.

If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit [If by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward, walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit].” (Galatians 5:24-25)

In order to be controlled by the Holy Spirit, we can no longer be controlled by the flesh. In this letting go, there is a dying to old ways and habits. This is important, because the habits of the flesh lead to death (spiritually and physically). 

Children from hard places — as well us converts — need to know that in order to live the abundant life, we must let go of the past. The problem is, too often we let our past and their past dictate our present. It has been absorbed into the core of every part of our “old unrenewed self” (Ephesians 4:22), who we carry about like a huge rag doll on our backs. 

How do we know this new creature we have become? Oh, if it were only a few simple steps to victory, we would be there in a moment. But, for us and for our children, the attachment to this new father figure is gradual. We renew our minds by studying the Word. They renew their minds by studying us. If we continue to react in our old ways, bearing the fruit of the flesh (enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, and selfishness), then we will all remain enmeshed in a war.

*This is an excerpt from How to Have Peace When Your Kids are in Chaos.

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