un·so·lic·it·ed

un·so·lic·it·ed

un·so·lic·it·ed

  1. not asked for; given or done voluntarily, uninvited, unrequested, unsought.

     

So, I wanted to talk about being a mom. As a parent who constantly beats herself up about what she “isn’t” – I know how hard it can be when someone swoops in and gives you “unsolicited” advice about your kid.

 
I’ve spent some time talking with moms (four in the last two weeks) who were given unsolicited advice about their parenting skills and their kids. They feel completely betrayed, sidelined and demolished.
 
This has happened to me a few times.
 

What I’ve learned is that EVERYTHING needs to be compared to GOD’s WORD. Everything. Does God say it or is it just a human opinion? Every time someone gives me unsolicited advice, I try to line it up with the plumb line of God’s word. And then I ask God, “What do you have for me in these words? Anything? Or do You want me to let it go in one ear and out the other?” And guess what. He ALWAYS tells me what to do and how to proceed with this advice.

 

UNSOLICITOR (I know this is not a word.)

If you feel the need, the urge or let’s make it sound way more spiritual…‘the conviction of the Holy Spirit’ to share UNSOLICITED advice with a mom…

I strongly, strongly encourage EACH ONE OF US to PRAY FIRST.

PRAY. FIRST. PRAY FIRST.

You MUST have the “green light” from Jesus to proceed to tell someone else what they are doing wrong. Am I saying that we shouldn’t tell others what they’re doing is harmful or wrong? NO!!! I’m saying that with ANYTHING we do in “Jesus’ Name” we should PRAY FIRST! We should bathe it in prayer and cover ourselves and everyone else in that prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to give us the heart and mind of Jesus and the words to say to this person. You can royally mess somebody up if you disregard this.

So ask yourself these questions!

WHY am I saying this? What is your agenda? What’s your motivation?

SHOULD you say it? Is it necessary? Is someone getting hurt or hurting others?

I’m going to just say this out right…I don’t think it’s okay to give UNSOLICITED advice – EVER. I have way too much in my own life to work on and I need to be about working on my OWN stuff. I get that I’m sort of giving advice here, but what I do is share my story and I answer SOLICITED questions from all of you. People write to me and ASK ME to share what has worked for me. That’s my point. THEY ASK ME! The only time I break that rule is when I see evidence of someone getting hurt emotionally, physically and/or spiritually (in the form of abuse). If you suspect abuse, then you must PRAY FIRST and then once you get direction from the Lord, then you proceed.

After we’ve prayed over everything and got the “green light” to move forward and talk to this person, the next thing is to be VERY CAREFUL HOW YOU TALK TO THIS PERSON. 

Is the goal for you to be RIGHT? Or is the goal for Jesus to change hearts and lives?

Are you trying to be the “smart” one and get the credit or are you mercifully loving that person in grace and truth so that you speak LIFE into them and not DEATH?

Are your motives right or are you JEALOUS and need to knock them down a peg so that YOU can feel better about your own life?

A couple more things to keep in mind.

ONE SIZE does NOT fit ALL!
Not everyone does family and kids the same. Even in the bible, God doesn’t tell us every detail of how we are to parent. He tells us the “goal” and through His Holy Spirit we can accomplish anything. Some people do sit down dinners. Some families don’t sit down at all. They drive to a game or a restaurant and they spend tons of time together doing things. BOTH are great if that’s okay with Jesus. Just because a mom does it differently then we do, doesn’t mean she’s WRONG. 

We have to be careful that we don’t IMPOSE OUR WAY on others and then act like our way is closer to God then theirs. It’s God’s word that sets the standard. 

We also need to be cautious and protect our minds and hearts from COMPARISON. It’s deadly. It’s wrong and it is MISGUIDED. It leads to JUDGEMENT of others and THAT is SIN.

We once went to an event with a family from church and was really looking forward to hanging out. It soon became clear as this other family constantly YELLED at each other, that this was how they normally talked to one another. They didn’t talk, they argued and yelled at one another. And the kids were rude and disrespectful to their parents. And the parents let them… and even engaged in arguing WITH their kids. My family sat there with their mouths hanging open because we just don’t do that in our house. If our voices are raised it’s usually laughing or joking or there’s a party. The few times we have been angry, we still don’t yell. I know the difference between talking loudly or YELLING. I’m not saying we haven’t raised our voices but it’s rare. *(See how “judgey” that sounds? But it happened so I’m using that as an example.) I felt so “GOOD” about us not being yellers. Proud, even. Never mind that they are a close family, too. Their kids are great students with tons of opportunities and gifts and talents. They have a very successful life, fun personalities and are kind…and they’re trying to follow Jesus, too.

It wasn’t any of my business trying to figure out what we were doing BETTER as a family then them. It was our job to be the BRUNNER’S no matter what, and continue to do that in every situation – loving each other, loving others and pointing people to Jesus. 

The scariest part of the bible to me is this.

 36 But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” – Matthew 12:36-37

Everything we say matters. It makes a difference. As one who loves to talk, I feel like I might suffocate when I think about this passage.

The tongue is so POWERFUL. What we do with it can raise people to their highest potential or drive the knife through their chest.

UNSOLICITEE (Yep. Still not a word. Work with me.)

So what do you do if you receive UNSOLICITED advice?

Listen. 

Sometimes the advice is TRUE. And I believe it can be used by God to get our attention and to draw our eyes to the issues. Because let’s face it…we can be BLIND to our own CRUD. We love our kids and we are flawed humans. And love IS blind. So if this happens to you, ask God to reveal the TRUTH in the words that were said to you. Whatever is from Him, He will show you. What isn’t, FLUSH that stuff down the hole. It’s of no good to you.
 
More times than not, the advice giver is MORE messed up then US. HA! HA! Can I get an “AMEN”? Is that a reason to easily dismiss what is being said? Maybe. Maybe not. Again, ask Jesus to reveal what HIS truth is in the words that have been said. Ask Him to show you what you need to do to be the mom that HE wants you to be.

All of us have sin. All of us have crud. 

Likewise, YOU must remember this if you’re the one who’s going to open your mouth and tell someone else what they are doing wrong with their kids. NO ONE has arrived at this parenting thing. NO ONE. Some of us have had godly examples, and some of us have not. Some seem to breeze through it and others really struggle. We don’t know what is in the home OR in the heart. 

Sometimes the advice giver feels impassioned to share their FAILURES with other moms because of their past mistakes with their own kids. They’re grieved deeply about their own DECISIONS which have led to all kinds of pain and heartache with their own children. Just keep this in mind when someone is telling you what they think “YOU NEED TO DO.” 

DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING UNTIL YOU PRAY FIRST! PRAY. FIRST. PRAY FIRST!

No human being should carry more clout with us then the Lord Jesus Christ who loves us, has a perfect plan for us and is teaching us to be more like Him. You must guard your heart and be careful to not take man’s advice or MOM’S advice over what Jesus Christ says. The greatest mistake is to depend on man for our TRUTH and not God’s Word. No matter who it is that gives the advice, they are tainted because they are human. That is why we MUST seek God’s Word for everything we do. It must line up with His word or it’s not okay.

You might be hurting over what someone has said to you about your parenting skills or your kids. You might allow satan to use this to defeat you and make you feel like you want to give up. DON’T DO THAT! Don’t allow yourself to believe lies. You must choose to believe Jesus and kick Satan to the curb.

 

So what do you do if YOU’VE blown it?

If you know that you’ve blown it with your kids, ask Jesus to forgive you. Ask your kids to forgive you and do better.

Pray more. Study His word more. Read more. Learn. Grow. When you put good stuff in, good stuff comes out.

Have you taken care of your temple? Do you have unconfessed sin? Do you struggle with laziness? Have you checked out or unplugged? Are other things more important to you then them? HONESTY is critical. When I blow it, I ask my kids what I need to do better. And guess what? They tell me. We talk. A lot. I don’t want to make excuses. I want to do better. The goal is to do MY best. Not be THE best. I want to be what Jesus wants me to be.

Finally…

FORGIVE YOURSELF. If you’ve asked Jesus to forgive you, He does. Do not hold on to guilt and shame when Jesus doesn’t.  Satan is tricky and he’s going to try to make you think that you are not what Jesus says you are.

DO NOT BELIEVE SATAN OVER JESUS CHRIST. 

Satan is the king of UNSOLICITED advice. WHY on earth would we believe anything he has to say? Any time we have sinned, there are consequences. If we haven’t been doing what we need to do with our kids, of course it’s going to be a difficult adjustment. That’s life. Don’t let the fact that you’ve blown it and now it’s HARD, stop you from doing what you need to do NOW. God can repair ANYTHING.

And…

FORGIVE OTHERS if they’ve hurt you or said things that aren’t true.

 

Whatever side you find yourself on today – the unsolicitee or the unsolicitor…PRAY. FIRST. PRAY FIRST. Should I say this? Why am I saying it? What does Jesus say? Pray first.

1 Comment
  • Tite44Lgh
    Posted at 14:58h, 16 May Reply

    This was just what I needed today. I’ve been struggling. Please pray for me.

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