When my kids encounter difficulty, whether it is with friends or life in general, I want to protect.
I want to make the path a little more straight and even. I want to remove the rocks and make a pavement of foam.
I have to fight against making them think the world should revolve around them and and instead teach them that sometimes things simply don’t go their way— and that is the way of life. Instead, I encourage them to genuinely cheer for those who get what they want. Not only that, but when they are treated unkindly, I show them how to love with grace those who treat them wrongly.
I have to fight against demeaning the ones who hurt my children to make my children feel better or superior. Instead, I use the opportunity to teach them mercy and compassion.
Honey, she is probably having a hard time. When people say things like that, it shows that they are a little broken inside. What do you think you could do to help her? Let’s pray and see what God thinks about this and ask Him to give you compassion and wisdom so that you will know how to handle this.
Son, that must have really hurt. Guys your age are just trying to feel secure and they sometimes put others down so that they can feel better about themselves. Let’s talk about what’s true about you and what’s not. Let’s pray for wisdom that you will know what to do when this happens and let’s pray for him.
I have to love my children enough that when they make wrong choices I enact consequences that can sometimes be difficult for me.
I desperately need God’s wisdom to go beyond what is happening in the moment and get His perspective on the situation at hand. He always has one. That’s the amazing thing about being in relationship with Him. He has all of the wisdom that we will need for our children, and He loves to give it to us.
Just like Joseph, Moses, David, Esther, Joshua, Paul and so many others throughout history, God marries His wisdom with my children’s situation (or mine for that matter), and it will become something beautiful in their (our) lives. We can waste our situations by having a small perspective or wrong reactions, but when we get His perspective and wisdom, He will use it to work His character into our lives.
Joseph had the perspective that he needed to see his situation for what it was. When his brothers found out that this powerful ruler they stood in front was the brother they had sold, they were understandably afraid. Listen to Joseph’s response to his brothers in Genesis 50:20, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Joseph had perspective. He had suffered much so many could be saved. (Joseph points me to Jesus; I, too, want to point my children to Jesus.) I am guessing he thought it was worth it.
Father, please help me to see my children’s situations as You do. Give me wisdom to teach them to handle adversity by gaining Your perspective and relating with others as You do—with love and grace. Give me the wisdom I need to guide them down the correct path. Thank You that I can come to You on behalf of and with my children, and You will provide everything we need to walk through whatever life holds. Amen.
Author: Wendy Gerdes