Revised Post from January 2018
“ALL THINGS were created by Him and FOR Him. For His pleasure, ALL THINGS were created.” Colossians 1:16 and Revelation 4:11
Once there was a lady gardening in her backyard. As she was digging in the earth with her hands, she saw a little caterpillar climbing up a leaf. The caterpillar quietly climbed the leaf and feasted on it as he climbed. The lady had never seen a caterpillar in the garden before and asked the little caterpillar, “What are you doing?” The little caterpillar replied, “I am just enjoying the day, eating and waiting on the Lord to reveal His purposes to me.” “His purposes, what does that entail?” the lady asked. “I am not sure yet, but inside my heart, I know He created me to be so much more than I am. I know one day, I will discover my true purpose and why I was created, but, until then, I will enjoy eating and crawling up this plant.” Two days later, the lady returned to the leaf looking for the caterpillar. “Little caterpillar, where are you?” asked the lady. “I am over here!” yelled the caterpillar. “Over where?” inquired the lady. “I am enclosed in this cocoon underneath the leaf,” replied the caterpillar. When the lady saw the cocoon, she was frightened. She asked, “Little caterpillar, what happened, you are all covered in a strange net?” The lady frantically yelled. “You aren’t free anymore, you can’t eat, or crawl like you used to! You are trapped! I must do something!” The little caterpillar said, “No, I am good right here. I don’t understand why this is happening to me but the Lord said He created me for His purpose. I don’t like this place, but I know I will be just fine.” The lady didn’t believe him. Thirteen days past and the caterpillar was still hidden in the cocoon. By that time, the lady was overcome with fear. She thought to herself, “I got to do something to save the little caterpillar, he needs me, I need to set him free so he can eat and climb the trees like he used to.” A voice came to her and said, “Why don’t you ask the Lord what to do, after all, He created Him for His purpose and pleasure.” So the lady prayed, “Lord, how can I help the poor little caterpillar who is stuck in a sticky net?” The Lord didn’t say a word. Instead of waiting on the Lord to answer, the lady went into her kitchen, got a knife, pulled the cocoon from the plant, then cut it open. The lady felt so relieved she had rescued the little caterpillar from his misery, she said with joy, “Little caterpillar, you are free now, go climb and eat on the plants like you used to.” But to her amazement, the little caterpillar was no longer a caterpillar but a beautiful monarch butterfly. When she threw the little butterfly up into the air to fly, it fell to the ground, weak and sickly. Then the little butterfly said, “In my cocoon, separated from you and the world, my Lord spoke to me and told me just who I am and why I was created. He said He created me to soar the heavens and to travel from flower to flower to pollinate them so vegetables and flowers could grow. Had you asked the Lord and waited on His response, He would have told you all about His timetable for my transformation. He uses all things for my good and His purposes, even seemingly bondage and isolation. You see, I was created to be in my cocoon for 14 days. I only had one more day in my cocoon to strengthen my wings to fly away on my own, but thanks to you, I won’t.” Then the little butterfly quietly laid on the ground sick, thinking it would never fulfill its purpose. All of a sudden, the wind of God brushed over its little weak and sickly body then the little butterfly began to flutter its wings, and off into the air it flew. The lady was both saddened and happy; saddened because she didn’t wait on the Lord’s answer and wisdom of what to do, but happy, the Lord fulfilled His purposes in the life of the little butterfly despite her disobedience.
I know many of us can relate to this story in so many ways. I want to talk about how we hinder the purposes of God in our children’s lives when we don’t inquire of the Lord for His wisdom and guidance in instructing His children. One way we do this is we rely on our Good Intentions to justify our actions.
First, let’s talk about Good Intentions. There are two trees always standing before us in the center of our souls; The Tree of Life (Christ’s Life and Wisdom) and The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Our Father forbids His children to eat from The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil but we do it anyway and past the fruit on to our children and loved ones, with Good Intentions. Eve did not pass the fruit to Adam to eat and kill him, but because she loved him, she had Good Intentions, right? In our failure to ask the Lord what He wants to do in handling the struggles, disobedience, or sinful behaviors in His children’s life… we take matters into our own hands. Our techniques such as using common sense, what others are doing, what we heard or read about in books, and what seemed good at the time seems to work for us. Instead of life, peace, and freedom, our children experience fear, rejection, and bondage. I know, it is not always our fault because our children make some very bad decisions too. I do agree. I want you to remember, our Papa was the best parent in the universe who gave loving boundaries to His children and they violated His desires for them and they suffered the consequences. So true. However, I have witnessed over the years in working with parents crippling children’s souls, always enabling them in the name of Good Intentions and the reason, “I was trying to help them.” Besides having Good Intentions, why we do what we do, I would like to focus on the result of enabling.
Second, let’s define this word enable. I learned this definition from a parent who had enabled her son over and over again until he couldn’t make his decisions without her, so he drank and drugged his life away. He eventually ended up in prison without her.
Enable means, to do for another what they are capable of doing for themselves… because we won’t teach them. To enable a person to say in essence, “You are not capable or smart enough to make this decision, figure out the right answer, do this task, so you need me to do it for you.” In other words, I am rejecting you and your abilities because you are not as capable as I am. Parents always think if I do it for them, it will make it easy for them. True, but how many children are paralyzed when their parents are not around to do it for them? I have spoken to countless children and adults who state, “My mother or my father won’t let me or they did it for me, so I never learned how to do it for myself.” Grown men and women are crippled because of being enabled. Enabling really is not about the child; it is really about the parent because:
- I don’t want them to suffer or make sinful mistakes.
- I don’t want them to go through what I went through.
- I don’t want them to lack anything.
- I want them to grow up to be what I feel they are capable of.
- What will people think about me if my child doesn’t succeed or be what I think they should be?
Well, Tresca, if you say I have been enabling my child and not helping them, then what does it mean to help my child? To help means to do something for a person who doesn’t have the ability, capacity, or has severe limitations so they can’t do something for themselves, even if you tried teaching them.
There is a word that comes to mind that our Father asks us to do with His children and that is the word, train. Train means, ‘to instruct, discipline, guide.’ One of my favorite models of parenting I taught parents to use was Love and Logic (online resources). It helps children learn from their choices. Parents are empathetic and loving who guide their children and teenagers through the perils of life. Our Father uses that technique on us all the time. He lays out choices before us, life or death, flesh or spirit, Christ or the Evil One, sin or peace, fear, or faith. We get to choose. He also explains the consequences so we know ahead of time what will happen if we make wrong choices. When or if we do, He talks to us about the choice we made and we talk about whether another choice should have been considered. Then, we face the consequences for our actions, without condemnation, only remorse. This was used for children and teenagers.
OUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS THE PARENT OF ALL OF HIS GROWN CHILDREN… EARTHLY PARENTING IS OVER. THEY MUST LEARN TO HEAR HIS VOICE AND FOLLOW HIM FOR THEMSELVES.
Finally, this story is a reminder, ALL OF US WERE CREATED FOR OUR LORD’S PURPOSE. Many are hindered from fulfilling the purposes of His heart because of our Good Intentions. We also are made aware, we don’t know the timetable our Father has for our loved ones to change and become what He created them to become… He knows! If we are not careful, the pain, struggles, and failures in their lives may be the ones He is allowing to bring them back into His arms, so they will trust and depend on Him. So Let Go… and pray for them, ENTRUST them into His hands. HE LOVES THEM MORE THAN WE EVER COULD. His plan is always for our good and never for our harm. And, sometimes, when we TRUST HIM, HE GIVES THEM BACK TO US, WHOLE, AS HE HAD ALWAYS INTENDED… ONCE WE LET GO!
Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, for showing me and correcting me so I can be aware all people were created by You and for You. Please, Lord, don’t let me hinder the plans You have for my loved one. Please let me know Lord when I am turning to the flesh to help them instead of letting You care for them. AMEN