“If I had only known I would have done something, I would have done more… I would have strangled that man for hurting my daughter.”
This is a comment I’ve heard from many parents after sharing with me how their daughter or son was molested. But – unfortunately, they did not know at the time.
The ‘father of lies’ at work.
Satan, the ‘father of lies’, places his negative messages into the child’s heart when he or she is molested, violated etc. And those lies are like a time bomb, with the fuse burning, the timer ticking. But the parents do not find out for years… until the bomb goes off. at that point, their daughter starts changing drastically… rejecting them, rejecting the church, rejecting God, being angry all the time, or depressed. Sometimes she will start drinking, cutting herself, having panic attacks etc.
The same child who was a good student is now failing her classes – classes where she knows the information and has always been able to complete the homework assignments.
Other times the son or daughter have not experienced abuse, but for different reasons, they are no longer walking with the Lord, choosing a different path, leaving the parents feeling like failures, wishing they would have done a better job of raising them.
(This blog is referring to parents who want the best for their children. I have worked with many people whose parents were manipulating, demanding, demeaning, physically, verbally or sexually abusive, engaging in mind control, play ‘god’ seeking to create their children in their own image. Even worse, they have no repentance, just anger at the loss of their ability to control their children when they finally leave. This blog is not about those parents or the children of those parents. Previous blogs share about how Jesus identified with all the abuse from these parents who will some day be held accountable by God for the damage they have caused to their children and the evil ways they have misrepresented His character.)
And of course, the ‘father of lies’ does at lease two more wicked things, consistent with his nature at this time:
Satan places negative thoughts in the parents hearts… without them realizing that these messages are coming from him… that they are not their own, that they are terrible parents, that they should have known – they should have seen the signs, that they are failures etc:
Satan capitalizes on the truth that we are all imperfect parents, we have all made mistakes
- Pursuing his goal of the parents defining themselves by his lies and negative messages, and by their son or daughter’s pain… instead of God’s identity for them, including HIS forgiveness for their failures and HIS perfection for all their imperfections, HIS peace for all their guilt and sense of loss.
- Satan places more lies and negative in her heart as well, because she is angry, drinking, depressed, cutting herself etc., leading her to think about what a terrible, horrible person she is, and how hopeless it is to even try to get healing for the incredible pain welling up inside her… pain she can’t seem to escape:
- Satan capitalizes on the truth that she is imperfect
- pursuing his demonic goal of defining herself based on bad things others have done TO her, (even though Satan is the one who set her up to be abused)
- instead of receiving healing, grace and hope in Christ, where her identity is based on everything Christ has done FOR her… all the ways Jesus suffered all of her abuse, an embracing all the ways she has tried to numb her pain, so she can receive HIS forgiveness, HIS healing, HIS purity and HIS peace.
How can Jesus identify with our losses?
Jesus and His Father lost 1/3 of their original family/children in Heaven, in a perfect environment, and they lost Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden as well.
Jesus lost some of the disciples who started to follow Him, but were not willing to receive His Spirit of surrender to His Father’s will.
Jesus felt the loss of the rich young ruler walking away.
Jesus felt the loss of Peter denying Him.
Jesus felt the loss of Judas choosing to betray Him, because Jesus created Judas to spend eternity with Him. Yet Judas was choosing to walk into the night, away from hope, away from forgiveness, into the hands of the enemy, an enemy who was planning on using him and then throwing him away. But first, Satan would not pass up the opportunity to torment Judas, oppressing him with condemnation and regret, without hope, so that he would take his own life.
Jesus knew he could not stop Judas from making these terrible choices without violating his will, his power of choice. And Jesus will not use His power to do that. This is why the gospel of John tells us that Jesus was troubled in His soul, for Judas, at the last supper. And this is why we don’t have a 5th gospel, the ‘Gospel of Judas.’
Jesus understood loss as the “Lamb slain from the FOUNDATION of the world,” (Rev. 13:8)… as He cried out, “Oh Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her. How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a he gathers her chicks under her wings, but were not willing!” (Matt.23: 37).
Parents with Children out of the Church/Being rejected by those you love:
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you Jesus for personally going through the experience of being rejected by those You were seeking to save… feeling the loss and rejection of those who would not love You, who would not turn to You, grieving over them as You entered Jerusalem with the words, “How often I would have gathered you under my wings, as a hen gathers her chicks, but You would not…”
So You could suffer and die for me, embracing all my sadness, guilt and regret as a parent, with my (son’s/daughter’s name) ___________________, forgiving me for everything I DID know, and everything I DID NOT know… releasing all my guilt, regret and shame – replacing it with Your supernatural peace so I can pray for him/her with Your power, Your love, Your forgiveness, based on Your finished work You have already completed on his/her behalf.
Thank You for revealing all the ways I have failed, and all the ways I feel I have failed, so You can release all the true guilt and all the false guilt from my heart, replacing it with the power of Your peace. Thank You for giving me YOUR passion for praying for loved ones YOU have given to me, with YOUR promise that YOU want them to come to YOU so YOU can bless them with YOUR healing, YOUR freedom and their truest, deepest identity as YOUR son or daughter.
In Your name Jesus, Amen.