One of the worst feelings in the world
for me for a parent is watching my child absorb the hurts of this world, while I sit in the sidelines with my hands tied behind my back. Since I like to think of myself as the connection-ninja of all mothers, the heart-wrenching pain my kids endure is amplified for me when no matter how fast my moves, I can’t dry their tears fast enough.
The hard-hitting reality is that there are pains our kids must suffer that we can’t do anything about–and aren’t suppose to do anything about. These are some of the biggest lies we’ve believed as a generation of parents:
- My child should be happy, and I am responsible for that happiness.
- The disappointments and pains of this world should not affect my child.
- If my child is not comfortable, I am in some way failing as a parent.
- If my child is not content, I must create some sort of distraction in order to calm them down.
- If I discipline my child, I will suffer the pain of that consequence and I’d rather not.
No where in the Bible does God call us to ensure happiness, comfort, or contentment for our children. Our jobs include:
- Helping children embrace all of the emotions that God gave us.
- Bestowing wisdom that originates from the Word of God.
- Preparing them for the trials and difficulties that are guaranteed in this world.
- For pushing them out of their comfort zone so they can depend on God more and me less.
- And providing loving and appropriate discipline for character growth and spiritual development.
Easier said than done, I know. But it is necessary for us as parents to challenge ourselves and our kids to becoming more like Christ. So when my daughter’s tears are falling like a waterfall, I can only hug her, perhaps shed a few tears of my own, and offer all the love I can find in my being so that she knows that she is not alone in this world. But helping her to cover her pain, ignore it, or pacify it so that I can feel like I’m a good parent gets in the way of God teaching her His sovereignty and His grace–two shoes I will never be able to fill, even in all my ninja-ness.
Confession time: How do you try and pacify for your child into comfort and happiness–in an unhealthy or healthy way?