Protecting Our Kids From Pain
At Access, we are in the midst of an amazing series called “Lets Talk Parenting.” We’re only two weeks in and already I feel challenged and convicted. This past Sunday, Jason said something that really struck me and stayed in my mind. He talked about the error of always assuming we need to protect our children from pain. He was not talking about physical pain, of course. He was referring to the emotional pain that we all assume is harmful for our kids, and, as such, make great efforts to keep them from.
But should we be doing that? Listen, I’m a momma bear, so I get it. I hurt when my babies hurt. It is physically painful for me to watch one of my children suffer. But I also pray for my kids to come to know Jesus in a deep and intimate way. When I try to reconcile these two things, I’m suddenly hit with a mega truth – some of the times of closest intimacy between myself and Christ came because I was hurting and in pain. It was in those times that I truly learned of God’s loving nature and His care for me.
To pray that my children come to know God’s love and then pray against any and all pain they could face seems somewhat contradictory, doesn’t it? I think the prayer maybe has to change from “God please keep all pain from my kids!” to “God, if my children must see pain, be their God in the midst of that pain and show them how strong your love is. May they see your goodness and how it is so much greater than any pain, and may their pain have purpose.”
It’s a small change in the way I pray, but a change that has major implications for the kind of people who my kids will grow up to be. So today, don’t fear the pain your kids may face, but pray that God’s love reaches them through their pain. When they see for themselves how much of a comfort and peace God can be, it plants the seeds of a relationship with our Savior that will not be easily shaken nor fail or rise based upon my own experiences with Christ. It fosters them from a place of accepting God because I do, to a place where they can see and experience God’s goodness for themselves. Don’t fear the pain, just trust the God who is greater than all the pain!