Protecting Our Kids From Pain

 In God, parenting

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!

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  • Amy

    This is so true, and while I’m not a parent, I can imagine very hard because I certainly feel this way about people that I love!

    I remember once when I was in Japan, going to a street festival where people dressed up as some kind of god (I think it was a dragon, but it’s been awhile now so the fine details escape me) would bite the heads of small children. This was terrifying to them but the belief was that if they had their heads “bitten” (it was a very gentle practice, and not vicious) it would bring them good luck. I remember in that moment being struck by how so many things in life are like that…terrifying and painful and scary in the moment, but they yield good things. So the parents were happy and encouraging this to happen because while it was momentary “pain” the end results were good.

    Lol, this felt like one of my few ~missionary moments where I felt I could make a spiritual cultural connection, but I have never forgotten it because the visual was just so strong to me.

    • Lis Burns

      Oh wow, what cool imagery, Amy!

      I love things like that and how they just stay with you over the years.

      Thanks for sharing!

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