Overcoming Negative Thoughts About Our Children
Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:7-9
“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” – Henry David Thoreau
- Good morning sweet Mom! Prepare your heart and let Jesus minister to you as you find your Bible, journal, a pen and your favorite hot beverage (if you like). Jesus dearly loves you. His thoughts toward you are consistently pleasant and good.
- Read Isaiah 55:6-13. Write verses 7-9 into your journal. (If you want, memorize these verses).
Overcoming Negative Thoughts about our Children
Isn’t it mind-blowing how God’s thoughts toward us are always good? In verses 10 and 11, a beautiful picture is painted for us to understand what God’s imagination is like. Isaiah explains that God’s thoughts become words that go forth out of His mouth like waters that water the earth. Because his imagination is always right, his words are continually life-giving, and they satisfy (give seed to the sower and bread to the eater (verse 10)). Beyond that, His Word even makes things bring forth (grow) and bud. It won’t return void but WILL accomplish God’s purpose wherever He desires for it to prosper! How amazing and life-giving!
One of the greatest challenges I’ve faced as a mom is negativity in my thought life toward my children. It seems like there is usually one child (or more) going through a hard time or an identity crisis of some kind at any given time. It’s easy to harbor an evil imagination and only focus on the ugly behavior on the surface.
Yet, I know God wants me as a mom to have a healthy and positive imagination about my children the same way He does: To generate good thoughts, to speak LIFE into them by blessing them with God’s words. To carry the same vision He has so they can be who God created them to be.
How can this be done?
In verse 7 there is a clue. It says an unrighteous person should forsake his thoughts and RETURN to the Lord. This implies our thoughts can take us away from the Lord or bring us back to Him. They are extremely powerful because they guide us, sort of like a steering wheel on a car. God wants us to return to Him by thinking like He does.
God’s thoughts are higher than our thoughts and he desires for us to surrender our imagination to Him. In other words, the way we get back on the right road is to recognize the bad thoughts (lies), replace them with good ones (God’s truth) and choose to meditate on those instead.
Here is a humbling story I would like to share with you as an example. At some point in my life, at a young age (unbeknownst to me), I picked up a negative mindset about large families. It gradually became a stronghold in my mind, and I didn’t even know it was there until I became pregnant with our sixth child. Rejection toward my children began to surface, and negative thoughts constantly bombarded my mind about the size of our family. Thoughts followed with feelings and resentment came out in my actions toward them. I knew something wasn’t right, so I prayed frequently and kept asking God to change my heart, to help me love them deeply the way He loved me.
It wasn’t until I became pregnant with our seventh child, that my heart changed. During that time I was continually asking God for his heart regarding my family. One morning, I woke up very discouraged because I had extreme morning sickness. I cried out for God to help me and I had no idea he was going to expose the lie I had believed for years. He led me to Psalm 127:3-5 (KJV) which says:
“Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.”
I was completely undone as I read. Tears streamed down my face as I began to recognize and repent of the lie I had believed. I mulled over and meditated on these verses, and I began to think new thoughts like: “Children are a blessing and God’s personal inheritance to me! I should be happy! My children are going to defend me. Wow! God is so good to me to give arrows!” My imagination about my family began to change as these brand new ideas and thoughts filled my mind. I asked God to forgive me for the wrong mindset I had embraced and told him I believe what He said instead. An exchange of thoughts took place, and a miracle happened. I am so very proud of my family now instead of being ashamed!
Satan wants us to stay stuck in our thoughts and attitudes about our kids, but God’s Word can set us free and help us think new ones. I am still learning, but I have listed below some steps that have helped me turn negative thoughts into positive ones.
- Be mindful of God’s love.
- Guard your thoughts toward your children and don’t let them go unchecked.
- Recognize depressing, negative thoughts. Address them and give them to God.
- Repent and forsake them. Ask God for and look for a Scripture to counteract a lie you are believing.
- Ask God for revelation as you memorize, meditate and mull it over in your mind until you actually believe it.
- Stay thankful.
As you begin to do this, I promise you will see change happen. God’s Word is powerful. When you believe the Truth about your children, you will begin to act differently toward and speak life over them. Eventually, your children will begin to see a difference in your attitude and often their attitude will change too. They will be more drawn to Jesus and begin to recognize who they are created to be.
Questions to ponder: Write the answers to these questions in your journal. (Be very honest with yourself, confronting thoughts from the evil one can be very painful).
- Are there any lies you believe about a specific child or your children in general?
- Are you willing to let God reveal bad thought patterns you may be having and forsake them?
- What kinds of actions are coming from your thoughts (positive or negative) toward your children?
- If you are in a rut, can you choose to replace lies with Truth according to God’s word?
Faith filled ideas
- Pray and ask God to help you fill your mind with the Word of God by reading, meditating or memorizing it every day. Ask the Holy Spirit, the best teacher, to lead you with your child/children (Hebrews 4:12).
- Recognize and cast down every evil thought or negative imagination, anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God about them (2 Corinthians 10:5). Then you can also ask the Holy Spirit to change your thinking and to overshadow your mind by bringing key scriptures into your thoughts, specifically for them.
- Begin to glorify and praise God out of faith, because he has good things in store for your child (Romans 1:21 and 1 Corinthians 2:9)
- Thank God. Children are your inheritance from Him! (Romans 1:21 and Psalm 127:3).
- Ask God for a specific word for your child. Then speak and pray that Word over them. (Isaiah 44:3 and Jeremiah 29:11)
- Tell each child every day you love them, and God does too!
- Hug them often throughout the day.
- Bless them (not flatter) with your words; affirm them often.
- Enjoy and spend time with them!
- Say “I’m sorry” more often.
Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.
Mari Jo had an encounter with the living God in 2000, and was freed from the bondage of legalism. She is passionate about Jesus and his love, and desires for everyone to know He is alive!