Your Sovereign Childhood
with Martha Kilpatrick and John Enslow
(J) So are you saying that even someone’s abuse from neglect, or whatever, is sovereignly ordained to form and fashion someone? Is that what you’re saying?
(M) Yes, exactly. Those things have formed God’s purpose for His Son. It’s… In other words John, it’s not ‘about me’, and if it remains ‘about me’ that is the ground of bitterness, discontent, and taking an offense against God for your parents, because ultimately if you have an offense about parents it’s really with God. You can’t really ever receive God as your Father, and Christ as your Husband, and the Holy Spirit as your mother, if those issues are not resolved. Don’t you agree?
(J) Well He gave you the parents that you have, I mean there’s no question. He put you in that family. And so to resist that and hate that is truly hating God.
(M) And what I read in Proverbs gives the final result of this cursing of mother and hating of father. It ends in blindness and death. And you will be cruel and not know it, you will be arrogant and haughty. And I believe that pride comes with being human, but I believe the occasion that pride is birthed is toward parents. And that is… It is pride that is in that passage in Proverbs that is described; haughty, high lifted eyelids and the haughty look, and teeth like swords. You can be cruel if you really think you’re better than your parent. You will have enormous and cruel pride.
(J) But it’s amazing, I’m just thinking your statement, when it’s ‘about you.’ If this is really for ‘you’, you will develop a bitterness because it doesn’t serve ‘you’, and isn’t this my life. And that’s an amazing, amazing statement.
(M) Yeah, it’s, it’s really… You exist for Christ. You exist because God created you for the Son and for Himself.
(J) And so when we fight that, when we resist that and live for ourself, then you’re saying bitterness is the result, period?
(M) Absolutely; and there’s no way to overcome it. I believe the best overcoming of that bitterness is one, the sovereignty of God, and two, understanding that your childhood was sovereignly arranged to produce in you a message, or an attitude, or a heart that is going to fulfill what God wants for His Son. See, the whole thing is going to be about Christ. Everything’s going to be summed up in Christ. Your childhood is about Christ. It happens to be your life, but you are not the center, and we live so much, especially in this country, but it’s human to do it. We live as though this Christianity is ‘about us’… (Martha laughs) that God saved me for me, so He could do something for ‘me’, and that it’s all about ‘me’, and what’s my temperament? And what is my gifting? And what is my etc. etc. And it… To be free of that and to live completely in the purpose of God, that it’s all for the Son, and you will be fulfilled, you will be accomplished, you will ‘become’, to the degree that your life is about Him and for Him, and the explanation of your life is His purpose.
(J) So is this the corridor, so to speak of every human life that is going to live for God? That every single person has to go through that corridor, so to speak, where they see that their life is not ‘about them’, that they have to deal with the past of their making peace with their childhood, of God’s choices, and seeing that the entire thing was for God all along and for His purposes. And yes, it did cause you pain in this way and that way, but ultimately it is about Him, and so… I don’t know, I’m sorry, that’s just huge, really huge.
(M) Yeah, it really is. And what we’re seeing is that it is the core of who we are. The one who said our first introduction to God… And it’s not so much that you meet God in your parents, you may not. You may not meet God at all in your parents. But you have met is God’s sovereignty over your life.
(J) So then aren’t you really meeting God in that?
(M) Yes, that’s really what I mean by it.
(J) Aren’t you, aren’t you having to say, ok, well You are God? Even if, if I don’t like it? Even if it’s not wonderful and good, You still are God.
(M) And so, there is no allowance for blame. You’re free to respond to your parents the wrong way. You’re free to rebel against them. But because that is the sovereign choice of God, then there is a sovereign protection over those parents. And as Bill Gothard used to say, if your parents can damage you more than God can heal, He has no problem taking them out. And that’s how sovereign He is. He took my Mother out, and by that He left me in some very difficult circumstances. But all of it formed a person that understands pain. I want to read from Matt. 15:4. This is Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees. For all their religiousness, apparently the Pharisees didn’t get the basics. And I’ve taught on some tape series, John, that their inference is, and it is here; one of the places is here that the Pharisees were religious and blind as in Proverbs 30, because they did not honor their parents. And here they’re saying to Jesus, “Why do you break the tradition of the elders”, “Your disciples don’t wash their hands. And Jesus said, “why do you transgress the command of God, for the sake of your tradition. For God said honor your father and mother, and he who speaks evil of father or mother is to be put to death. But you say, whoever says to his father or mother, whatever I have that will help you has been given to God.” That’s a very religious type statement. It is… Oh, so bad, too bad, it’s for God. “And he is not to honor his father or mother, and by this you invalidate the Word of God. You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophecy of you that this people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain do they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of man.” See, God… There is a… Jesus restated that to honor the father and mother, and in one place He says, you will live long, so that you’ll live long. So actually John, your very life-link, is tied to your attitude toward your parents.
(J) But is your ministry not really related a whole lot to dead people who have cursed father and mother, spoken evil against father and mother? I mean isn’t that the…
(M) Yeah, it is to set the captives free, yes it is. And we’re very much aware of that issue. Being an orphan myself, and my father was an orphan, I’m very… I have a real heart for people who are either orphaned actually, or who were not parented. And yeah, the whole thing is my call to help the religious. It’s to help them get down to this core of very hidden, unconscious bitterness with the parents. That is the delusion that comes in from that is just huge. The blindness, I’m so aware of it. I wish I could explain how terrific that blindness is. It means you don’t see yourself, you don’t believe you have a sin. You believe you know what everyone should do. You become a person who carries it on down. Someone said to me recently, I took my revenge against my parents, and played it out on my children. It was one of the most honest statements about parental issues I’ve ever heard.
(GPS in background)
(J) So if you don’t accept God as the author of your life, and as the author and sovereign designer of your parental life, and your family life, and your life, then you will become… you will become God? Is that basically what you do? You become God and then decide what God should do, what God shouldn’t be doing? What everybody should be doing? You become basically God?
(M) Because, yes, you do. Because you believe you, that God should have given you different parents, so you know better than God.
(J) And so does the rest of your life… (GPS in background) Is the rest of your life ‘colored’ by the fact that you think that you know, and that you are god?
(M) Absolutely, absolutely. But what you do is… And as a sort of older… (GPS in background) As a sort of leader and as sort of a mentor to people, so many times they will take their revenge out on me. And this plays into marriage too, John, because you will deliberately marry someone like the parent you hate, or you will take the one you did marry and pour on that one all of your revenge and rage. There’s someone I’ve worked with for many years, and I keep telling that person, you don’t see that you are taking hatred for your parent out on your spouse. And that person will say no, I really don’t see it. And I will beg them, please ask God to show you, because the continuing cruelty, the vicious words, the teeth-like swords are always there. And the absolute blindness is just incredible. And that person does not know that they’re taking revenge. And I’ve said… I remember saying to one person, someone I mentored, and she became terrible cruel. And I said, I want you to know that have succeeded in murdering your mother; me. And she looked at me like she couldn’t get it, and I don’t think she did; I don’t think she believed me. But we do carry that revenge and that hatred onto, into our world. You can move to China getting away from your parents, but you cannot get away from your bitterness with them; that goes with you. And it goes with you into every relationship. And you replay it, not just to try to fix it, which is what some say. You replay it in order to get your revenge. So basically what I’m saying is, you are not free to be the person God made you to be for Christ if you’re dragging your ‘parental baggage’ behind you, and if you are in any way blaming them, consciously or unconsciously. If you keep a bitterness a long time John, you become so blind to it that you think you’ve dealt with it. And the life can be full of the evidence of bitterness with parents, and you just can’t see it. It takes some incredible, incredible breakthrough to see that. On the other side of that is that it becomes idolatry. If you aren’t realistic about a parent, if you don’t see that they’re human and they need to be forgiven, and you still want their approval, or you still live in their image of you, rather than in God’s image of you, then that’s idolatry. Someone said to me recently, I care too much what my mother… what pleases my mother, and that has got to be idolatry. She figured it out for herself. And I care too much to please her. And I care too much to want her to be happy, so it’s got to be idolatry. And she said I’m going to have to deal with it.
(J) It’s not like you can go through it without dealing with your parents, but isn’t it ultimately the issue about God? And then basically your parents are the agents of God to deliver whatever. And yes, you have to deal with them because they are a part of the story, you do have to forgive them. But ultimately, in the ultimate dealing, and the freedom on the other side, is ultimately when you deal with God about it.