Did it ever occur to you that it is not our job to protect our children from pain? Could it be that it is our job to teach them to walk through pain? To struggle well.
John 16:33 says “In this world, you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
It is a guarantee that we will have struggles, difficulties, and trials. How we walk through them is the question. Are we overcomers or do we lay down in self-pity and resign ourselves to being victims?
I’ll never forget the evening my youngest at 17, barged through the front door of our home in tears, “She broke up with me, mom!”. His first heartbreak was my heartbreak.
My oldest son, at around 8 years old, said, “Mom! Stop getting in between Dad and Me when we argue! Let us work it out!”. You see, when I would step into their argument, his dad and I would end up in a fight. It was worse for him to watch us fight than deal with the argument himself. Ouch!
On another occasion, my oldest son, during his first semester of college, called us one evening, “Mom, Dad, there is a boot on my jeep. I didn’t register my car to be on campus. I have too many parking tickets and they put a boot on my wheel. My friends tried to get it off and now it’s broken. It’s going to cost me $500.00 to get it off.”
It would have cost him $7.00 to get the on-campus vehicle permit…
We had a choice in each of these situations to rescue, make excuses, blame other people, baby our children into our bosom and tell them, “Mom and Dad will make the pain go away.”
Instead, we chose to walk through the pain with them and teach them how to grow from difficulty, how to rise above heartache. How to handle conflict, and how irresponsibility is costly.
Every struggle, every heartache, and every misstep is an opportunity to teach them to struggle well.
These commandments I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you walk on the road, when you lie down and when you get up.(Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
The struggle is real. As we get older, the consequences just get bigger. In the Art of Living, it is our honor to teach our children to struggle well. If not us, then who?
Veloris Junneman is a regular contributor at Paola Lane as the writer of The Art of Living. She and her husband own and operate a motel in Branson, MO.