OK where am I going with this one? This has been on my heart for a long time. But first, let me explain a few things. I don't believe there is a demon under every rock, and I also do not have answers to the problems I am seeing and analyzing right now. But I will share with you some things on my heart concerning this issue.
I see a lot of problems in homes. In fact, most homes have a touch of the problems I am going to be writing about. Granted, some have serious problems with this issue.
Let me go through a true story, that might help us understand what is at stake. When I was in my 20s, my husband led a fellowship group at out house. Our group had mainly young people, like us. A new couple started coming to our group. I got to know the woman through many conversations, which were 99% one way conversations. Through the conversations, this woman expressed a lot of bitterness toward her husband. The husband really was very patient with her though, which was amazing. They seemed to be committed to marriage, no matter what. But the woman continued to pick her husband apart continually. She was bitter toward others as well, but mostly toward her husband.
Through the course of getting to know them, I learned a little bit about the woman's background. Her parents were not Christians, and her father was very controlling. He expected her to have a college degree in a specific category. The woman's mother let this man walk all over her. She never responded, which made my friend angry. At one point, the woman actually said, 'No man is ever going to treat me like that!".
I get it. She had a father who was controlling her and making her life's decisions. In her mind, men were tyrants. Sadly, when a parent treats their child as this man did, the child will respond. If the child is mature enough spiritually, he or she can usually be patient and see that there is a problem. But most children are not mature spiritually and do not understand what is going on. So, they react to the problem.
In my friend's case, she had to protect herself from the tyranny of her father. When she married, she assumed her husband was the same person and in order to protect herself from him, she degraded her husband. People tend to think that the sex of the person they are violated by is represented by all who are that particular sex.
Imagine years down the road. Her sons will grow up. She will respond to them in a way that is similar to the way she responds to her husband. "No man (this includes her sons) will ever treat me like that." How do you think the sons will turn out when they are adults? How will they look at women? They will have been degraded by their mom because she has to protect herself from all males who are a perceived threat to her dignity.
People don't have to respond this way to life's situations. But most people are not even aware of what is going on around them. This is reality to them. People will instinctively protect their dignity. The parents' responsibility is to protect the child's dignity and to set accurate boundaries for them. But some of these parents, probably many of them, were treated this way when they were children. It goes back many, many generations.
When we respond to life in such a way as my friend did, we open the door to Satan. We believe the lies he tells us, and the garbage he throws at us. We assume these lies are true. For example, let's say a parent is very critical of their child. Or even worse, let's say a parent calls his child, 'stupid' or other choice names (I am not talking about a one time incident, but a continual repetition of name calling and criticizing). The child will grow up thinking he or she really is stupid. God, of course, does not want people to think that way about themselves, but how can you not believe the words of a parent?
We give Satan a foothold, then we build a stronghold around us to protect us from perceived danger.
I think we can even cast spells on people by the way we respond to our children. I remember my mom telling me about her mom's grandmother. She was a perfectionist. Sometimes, you would do something that didn't please her and she would give this glaring look. Whenever someone was a recipient of that look, it meant trouble, and those who were the violators had to respond. What is another name for this? Could it be.... manipulation? Manipulation is another word for witchcraft.
We can also lead people to believe things about us that are not true. The Enemy loves to lie to us and make us believe things that aren't true at all, even concerning other people. The Enemy plays the divider in many families. Rumors appear to be true, and someone is sure that another family member is really doing things that are suspicious or has traits that the person really doesn't have. The Enemy may even whisper that one family member hates another one. We need to be ahead of the game and see through the schemes of the Enemy.
So, what is the answer to all this? I don't know. I do know that praying is effective. Praying is one of the spiritual weapons God gives to believers. Praying can also help disarm the Enemy.
We can't do the work of the Holy Spirit in a person's heart, nor can we open their eyes to things unseen. Most people who are operating in response to how they were treated by a parent have no clue what they are doing to their families. The key for all of us is to be open to the fact that we really could have faults and issues that we are not aware of. We have to humble ourselves and look at our own hearts first. Not to condemn ourselves or make us feel less than human. But we must look for any blind spots that we have so that they can be dealt with. We are primarily responsible for ourselves, not for everyone else. As we look at the issues in our own hearts and as we deal with them, others may want to do the same.
As with anything in life, humility is the key. God will respond to us when we can be honest with ourselves and not try to hide our faults or pretend they don't exist. Humility, honesty, and a praying spirit are needed for change. There are probably many more ways we can respond, but for now, I will leave it here. Maybe in a couple of years, Lord willing, I will have more clarity and direction with all this. When that happens, I will post it.
And remember, humility is not the same as humiliation. Humiliation destroys the dignity of people. Humility recognizes what is true about us and about God. It is an honest evaluation of who we are before God and it provides the means for us to ask for help.
I hope this is helpful for my readers. I pray that this blog will serve many. We cannot be ignorant of the devil's devices. We need to be spiritually equipped to fight the Enemy and serve the King of Kings.