Take a Step Back, Mama Bear: Allowing Our Children to Endure Hardships
We do it hundreds of times a day without even knowing it. We do it at the store, we do it when we are watching TV, we do it when we talk to family and friends, and we even do it at church. We tend to look at situations and people through our own particular shade of colored lenses. We all have our perspectives on life and that alters the way we see things around us. This view of events around us and the daily interaction with people around us has been shaped d by many different circumstances and events in our life: Where we grew up, our family life, and the ideas and places and events that we have been exposed to all contribute to the way we see the world around us.
Another major factor that shapes the way we see things is our age. Would you think that a ten-year-old would have the same perspective as a twenty-year-old, or a fifty-year-old? I would think not. When I taught fifth grade back in the dark ages, I would tell parents not to believe everything their child told them about me, and I would not believe everything their child told me about them. I believe there is some truth to that saying. My children would come home from school with stories about their teachers that just did not sound right. Later, after I had spoken to the teacher, I saw a totally different side to the story. Was my child lying? Was he being dishonest? No, not at all. But his perspective was one of a child. He did not see the entire picture because of his immaturity. Don’t get me wrong — I have seen ten-year-olds with a better view on life and more insight into a situation that some fifty-year-olds, for sure. But for the most part, that is the exception, not the rule.
This morning as I was driving to school, I heard a speaker say that we are often quick to judge and condemn when our children are going through hard times, but slow to try and see the situation from God’s viewpoint. He said we need to ask ourselves two questions.
1. What is God doing here in this circumstance? In other words, what is His purpose? What is He trying to accomplish through this difficulty my child is going through?
2. How can I get on board with what God is doing? How can I help my child see God at work through this hard time?
These are good questions to ask when your child is going through a tough time, whether at school, home, or during an activity. We all need to learn to see God at work, not only in the lives of our children, but in our own lives as well. It is a proven fact that the best growth has the potential to come when we face hardships.
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.