We Weren’t Qualified, Either by Susan Hamilton – I don’t know ANYONE who has adopted or is an adopted family member, but my husband and I celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary last spring, and over the last few years have finally become able to laugh about our journey. I want to address National Adoption Month because no matter the shape, size, or color of your new family – God ordained it and it’s worth the trouble.
My Backstory – In a Nutshell
Our marriage wasn’t a first for either of us. After failed marriages, we had both been single parents for the previous 3 years. He was raising his 2 daughters and I was raising my 3 sons when we met, and neither of us came without significant baggage.
Three years prior to meeting the love of my life, I had spent 7 years in a violent marriage that at one point had landed me in a women’s shelter for a month. My sons were 5 and 3 when their father eventually died from the same drug and alcohol induced behavior that ended our marriage. For the 9 months before he died, we had finally become friends divorced between state lines. My sons and I attended his funeral and I proceeded to believe we were doing well in spite of our histories.
My current husband and I didn’t go to church, we never got premarital counseling. It never occurred to us that the nights my sons spent hidden behind the sofa or huddled under the bed as their dad threw insults, fits, furniture, and remote controls at me, would EVER be more than an unpleasant memory for them. The fact is, children exposed to abuse at young ages absorb things that we wish we could erase.
My husband’s previous marriage had baggage, too. His wife had been unfaithful, and he had been a workaholic – between them both, those precious baby girls had been fought for and won in a custody agreement that favored their father, primarily because he had supportive family, made good money, and could provide stability.
He didn’t, however, know much about how to shower young girls with appreciative attention, and we now know just how important it is to do so. Without it, they experience a dangerous craving for male attention that can steer them off course in some pretty major ways. He struggled with trust issues, and that also came into play during our early years. His ex disappeared, and that didn’t help.
Advice for Men
MEN, I cannot stress this enough. ADORE your young ladies with time and physical attention both to teach them they are fine china to be handled with extreme care and gentleness – and how to set up healthy boundaries – and to teach your young men to do the same.
Without the benefit of a church home and new social relationships, we pretty much went at it alone. I don’t recommend it. The only thing we had going for us was a determination to NOT be counted among the expected 60% failure rate combined families face. After a busy and rocky start, we decided to recommit our marriage to Jesus Christ on our 10 year anniversary. Our kids were teenagers by then.
There Isn’t a Do-Over – but There IS Redemption
You’d think they’d have spent enough time in pseudo-normalcy to avoid the pitfalls of their young experiences, but we didn’t know to pray over them for the healing they needed, and we didn’t know we could speak life into them with the Word of God to build their faith OR ours.
Consequently, 4 of our kids have mug shots, and have had to rise from the ashes of addictions, assaults, and single parenting. The only one who didn’t go through those things has had to learn to forgive, and self-righteousness is its own hell. No one can measure up to the one who does it ‘right.’
Fact is, even though we had begun to go to church, we had no idea how to invoke the power made available to us over demonic influences through the precious blood of the lamb. His sacrifice meant SO much more than we knew!
It is Finished
Like many parents in the church today, we lived reactionary, not proactively. We begged God, “PLEASE do something!” God dealt with Paul about this, too. We don’t approach the “It is finished” work of Jesus half-believing it IS finished. That releases no faith at all. Once we learn this, we ARE truly strong in Divine Strength!
Instead of putting on the blessed armor of the Lord every morning, we had ‘disciplinary’ discussions and spent all our time trying to correct behavior according to the flesh.
Paul tells Timothy in his second letter that a victor doesn’t get the crown unless he runs according to the rules laid down. As citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, we have an embassy, and embark as new creations doing more than Jesus did on this earth, right now, by following His example. Here are some take-aways you’ll find in the Gospels to support that claim:
Speak things that be not as though they are. (She is not dead, only sleeping. Lazarus, arise! Open the fish’s mouth. YOU feed them, etc.)
Ask whatsoever you will and the Father is glorified to provide it, proving Jesus His Son in Whom He is well pleased. John, chapters 14-17.
You will have whatsoever you say when you don’t doubt it but believe in your heart – which incidentally, is where your Spirit Man watches and hears, so don’t grieve Him. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Mark 11, and various Psalms and Proverbs.
If it doesn’t exist in heaven, you can bind it here. If it does exist in heaven, you can loose it here on earth. Spend more time loosing love, joy, freedom from bondage, divine health, abundance, peace – SHALOM – than binding, and over time you will see for yourself that you have what you focus on most! Mat 16.
You have the power and authority, just like Jesus, to forgive sins, heal, be compassionate, and provide for others through reliance on His authority and presence inside YOU. YOU, after all, were anointed with the Holy Spirit, too. Luke 4, John 16-17, Mat 9.
From the days of the prophets until John the Baptist, the Kingdom of Heaven has endured violent assault, and the violent take it by force. You will have to get VERY firm with that mouth of yours, it’s your ONLY offensive weapon. His Words in YOUR mouth are irrefutable on this earth, invoking the laws of heaven over your circumstance. Mat 11.
PRAY honoring the Father with your whole heart, and command that the kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Mat 5. PRAY He keep your foot from evil and protect you from the evil one. Jesus didn’t beg the Father, and neither should you. It’s far more honorable to approach His Majesty with a knowledge of His Will – that is how RELATIONSHIPS work – and if you have a copy of the scriptures, you have access to know what His will IS. The Holy Spirit leads you into ALL Truth – just how much Truth IS that?? If you haven’t done so, ask Holy Spirit to guide and reveal scripture Truth to you for your edification and preparation for each day in accordance with His will.
He Heals Us
Friends, He is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. He created family and wants it to be a successful representation of the Kingdom of God to your neighborhood, community, and in business. That is not a place of poverty or failure, drug addiction, or incarceration, but of Psalm 23, Deuteronomy 28, and Isaiah 57.
We suffered significant failure and have seen the Lord be faithful and heal us. We now understand why we ‘live for the praise of His Glory.’ Ephesians.
I Dare You
When our expectations changed, our language changed, and manifestation happened, which increased our faith and grew our expectations. As this cycle continued, success ensued. My prayer is that you discover how to walk in victory, no matter who is bringing the baggage and what it tries to do to your family.
His ways are above our ways alright, but He told us to walk in His ways to have good success. Kick religion to the door, and go take back your families, neighborhoods and organizations for the Kingdom of God, I dare you to speak life and see what happens.
Susan Hamilton is the CEO and Program Director for OffBeat Business Media, a business for business media platform engaging the Christian patriotic business community with production, programming and promotion through 24/7 talk radio, TV, magazine, and member directory. Download the OffBeat Business app to access shows, articles, membership directory and event calendar information. Call 214-714-0495 or go to OffBeatBusiness.com for more information.
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