When I was in my mother's womb, she had a prophetic dream where the Lord told her to name me Jeremiah. He outlined in detail many specific instructions for my life and the destiny that was before me.
At 9, I remember openly prophesying from the platform in the church that my father pastored and receiving prophetic dreams almost nightly starting at 11. By the time I was 13, I was prophetically ministering weekly in a homeless shelter downtown with a worship team.
I grew up in a prophetic culture where I actually was taught and believed that I could function in the gifts and anointing of the Holy Spirit regardless of my age. Looking back on those years, I recognize how intentional my parents really were in encouraging the gifts God had given me and also making great sacrifices to create an atmosphere where the gifts could grow and mature. But you must understand, there is so much more to the journey.
After hearing my prophetic testimony with the Lord, one of the most frequent questions I receive from parents around the world is how to raise prophetic children. What do we do with our son, who, at 9 years old is having crazy prophetic dreams that are scaring us and others? One woman told me: "I didn't ask God for this prophetic little girl. Her sense of right and wrong drives me nuts! What do I do?" My answer to this question has typically shocked many parents, but it is the secret to my personal prophetic journey. How do you raise prophetic children?
I certainly do not have all the answers, but I do have my convictions from how my parents raised me by the Holy Spirit and how I choose to raise my children now. As a parent or guardian, the greatest contribution you can make to the life of a prophetic son or daughter is to teach them to listen and obey your voice and provide appropriate consequences when they choose to ignore or disobey your words.
One of the primary issues in the current prophetic movement is that we have made hearing the voice of God the measuring line of maturity when in fact it is merely elementary. I know 10,000 prophetic people who can hear the voice of the Lord and even do a great job teaching others to do the same, but I know very few prophetic voices in the earth who actually obey the voice of the Lord as a lifestyle.
God does not speak because He loves to hear the sound of His voice. He speaks because He wants us to obey. We need to stop asking our children, "Did you hear me?" and start inquiring, "Have you obeyed me?"
Parents, part of training healthy and mature prophetic children is helping them to understand that being utterly dependent and obedient to your instructions will lead them down the path of life and when they choose to disobey, they will reap destruction and consequences. They must not only see you as a parent who hugs and kisses them when they walk in obedience, but also parent who discipline them when necessary.
Boundaries create safe environments for children and are necessary to establish security and peace. Without them, there is all sorts of unnecessary chaos and disorder. As a young prophetic person, your child must understand by the example that you set what God is really like. He is not only a loving Father, but also a Dad who chastises and rebukes when He must. His discipline and consequences for our rebellion are not a sign of His rejection of our lives, but actually a hallmark of His love for us.
If your prophetic child never knows a God by your example who will discipline them when they disobey His voice at an early age, they will certainly never accurately hear and obey His voice when they are older and out of the house.
Dr. James Dobson speaks great wisdom when He says, "I firmly believe in acquainting children with God's judgement and wrath while they are young. Nowhere in the Bible are we instructed to skip over the unpleasant verses in the Scriptures. The wages of sin is death, and children have a right to understand that truth from an early age."
Teaching your kids that there are terrible consequences for sin, even if you repent, will bear forth more fruit in their life than you can imagine.
There are 116 places in the Bible where we are told to "fear the Lord." So many children are only taught about a God who is a loving Father, but have never heard of a God of judgment because their parents hid part of the truth from them.
By what authority do we eliminate God as a just judge to our children and portray Him out to be a Santa Claus in the sky who only ever gives presents? Don't forget, God gives spankings too."
Raising prophetic children is no small assignment, but it can be done by God's grace. It starts with modeling for them who God really is, a God who is rich in mercy and grace, but also a God who is just and disciplines those whom He is jealously in love with.
I believe a new prophetic generation is being raised up in the earth right now. Many of them are 9 years old, some are 12 and others are teenagers. These young men and women all have one primary thing in common: parents who rather than let them get away with rebellion and independence without consequence, have chosen to faithfully discipline and instruct them in love.
These children know the voice of their parents and they have been taught to obey. They understand the consequences of their disobedience and are therefore more than ready to mature in the prophetic call upon their life.
This will be a new prophetic generation that will respond to God's voice with startling quickness and will be constantly eager to accomplish His will upon the earth without delay. The need has never been greater! Keep up the job well-done, parents. Heaven is cheering for you and so am I.
Jeremiah Johnson planted Heart of the Father Ministry in Lakeland, Florida and is on the Eldership Team. A gifted teacher, book author, and prophetic minister, Jeremiah travels extensively throughout the United States and abroad as a conference and guest speaker. Jeremiah and his wife, Morgan, reside in Florida with their two children: Bella Grace and Israel David. Check out Jeremiah's new book release, I See A New Prophetic Generation and visit him online at Behold the Man Ministries or connect with him on Facebook.