It’s hard to believe that just a few years ago our family would travel to our provincial children’s hospital in hopes to get answers from specialists there about our daughter’s condition. What is even harder to believe is that every time we left that facility, our hopes for an answer and cure were crushed. We were told by the GI specialist to ‘keep up the treatment but give her more’. What was more annoying was his arrogance when he told my husband and me that he gets parents in all the time who think they know better than he does, but with his 30+ years of expertise, he is the one who knows best. (I think I may have taken that as a challenge). Yes, we left unhappy with the visit…again…and again…the tears began to fall as we turned onto the highway. However, even deeper than the frustration and loss of hope, I needed some truth. This desperate mother needed to know How Our Children Thrive On God’s Promises.
I had lost my hope. The hope of my little girl being able to attend extra-curricular activities without me. The idea of her going to a friend’s house without me was quickly fading away. Her condition made it almost impossible for her to be without me for more than an hour. And, as I looked at my little girl and a question came to mind. I just had to ask her.
“Emily, do you think that this difficult situation is God preparing you for something He will ask you to do for Him later on that will be much harder?”
She didn’t even hesitate in her response.
And she went back to her Lego construction. I was in awe of her response and relief washed over my hopeless spirit.
She understood exactly what I meant.
Her heart knew the truth.
She was barely 9 years old.
I suddenly realized a humbling truth about myself – I had doubted her. I doubted her ability to understand spiritual truths of God’s promises. What if I hadn’t asked her the question? What if I hadn’t risked it? And what if I just didn’t bother discussing those challenging topics because I didn’t think she’d understand? Then I would be cheating her of something great and wonderful.
We Must Have Courage
When we risk discussing deep spiritual truths with our children, we open up the opportunity for them to draw closer to God. They will be able to apply His truth to their own lives easier when we are open to talking about them. Our kids will start to see how God is working in their lives – even when they are young.
When we introduce the unfathomable certainties about God, we invite our children to listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to them. We can train our kids to be obedient to God’s voice in their life. And when they start obeying Him, their relationship with God becomes real. They start to ‘own’ it.
I have found that when I focus on my being obedient to God, they finding obeying me easier. It is actually quite amazing how that works. I want them to ultimately obey God – they need to learn this early on so that when I am not around OR when they are adults, they will desire to obey God.
A Perfect Example
I want to share an example with you from my own life. My 16-year old daughter went for a sleepover at a friend’s house a few months ago. This friend is not a Christian, but she is very kind. When I went to pick her up the next morning, she shared with me how one of the other girls the night before wanted to watch Deadpool. Sarah knew it wasn’t appropriate and voiced her opinion respectfully, saying she did not want to watch it. The girl who suggested the movie mentioned to Sarah that her parents would never know (Oh, dear girl, obviously you have no clue about the relationship between me and my daughter. Sarah tells me EVERYTHING because she trusts my heart for her). Thankfully, Sarah’s friend also said ‘no’ to watching that movie.
Needless to say, I was very proud of my daughter. However, I told her that if she had watched it because of peer pressure, I would not have been angry with her, we would have discussed it and come up with a strong plan that would help her hold to her convictions…we are a family of grace, after all. I asked her if she had been worried about me being mad if she had watched it. Her response amazed me and made this mommy’s heart fill with joy.
She said that she wasn’t worried about my reaction. She was concerned about disappointing God by not being obedient to Him. And she knew she would feel incredibly uncomfortable watching that show.
You see, friends, this training of obedience to God started long ago when she was little. She understood the importance of obeying God no matter the situation or consequences.
I am also thankful for her non-Christian friend who did not say anything to make Sarah feel bad. That’s more than I can say about a few Christian friends she has had in the past…
A Stronger Parent-Child Bond
When we are brave enough to talk to our kids about the more challenging scripture verses, we strengthen our relationship with them, too. They can see us struggling to understand such profound ideas. This helps them to relate to us better. They feel more comfortable with their own struggles and they are open to asking those hard questions like, “Why did God put the tree of knowledge of good and evil in the garden if He didn’t want Adam and Eve to eat from it?”. Tough one, hey?
And then there are those moments when our kids speak truth into our lives!
Have you ever had that happen with your kids? You’ve had a rough day and your child hands you a little note with a scripture verse written on it? I have 2 right beside my desk as a reminder…Psalm 73:23 and 1 Peter 5:6-7.
Never Returns Void. Never.
When we present His Word to our kids, they will ‘get’ something. God says that His word does return void. This means that when we attempt to teach our children God’s word and His mysterious ways, they will get something from it. It means a seed has been planted within their hearts and the Holy Spirit will nurture it.
This also means that even if our kids don’t fully comprehend right in that moment, the seed has still been planted and the ground is fertile. God will make sure it grows in due time.
That’s just what He does. We do our job and He’ll do His. Pretty amazing, right?
Maybe you are looking for some quality faith-building resources for your family to help you in this area. I’ve come across quite a few!
Kim Sorgius has several resources available to help parents teach children vital spiritual truths. She is not afraid to encourage kids to dig deep in understanding. Some of my favourites are Foundations of Faith, My Brother’s Keeper, A Content Heart and Developing A Quiet Time.
My friend, Sarah Ann has a Family Bible Study Toolkit that is very handy.
I Would Have Missed Out On Something Amazing
My youngest had been struggling through a medical issue that started when she was a toddler – encopresis and enuresis…if your child has this problem, then you know how challenging and discouraging it can be.
Her daily accidents hindered her from doing things without me like dance classes, playdates, etc. Knowing she would have an accident at any moment caused us great anxiety at swimming pools – and she did have accidents on occasion, this was very embarrassing for all of us.
She had to wear pull-ups when other kids her age didn’t need to. And she knew it. This caused a lot of shame for her.
The list of struggles continued and doctors continued to fail to provide an adequate answer and treatment for us.
But, what if I hadn’t asked her that question because I didn’t think she’d understand? We both would have missed out on His peace and hope that comforted our souls. I would have missed the blessing of witnessing my daughter deepen her faith. She would’ve missed that story becoming a part of her bigger story.
We would’ve missed an opportunity to trust God with this entire situation.
A situation He has been so faithful in taking care of, healing my little girl and enabling her to not have the shame of accidents anymore.
We may have missed the chance to see a miracle.
My friends, what miracle are you missing out on by not seeing How Your Children Thrive On God’s Promises?
By The Way…
Oh, yeah…and I did find a solution for my daughter’s problem. Without any help from the specialist we saw, thank you very much. It was actually my incredible Google searching skills;) Ok, maybe not…I think it was really a God-thing. The right resource at just the right time. And a little help from Google. I’d LOVE to go back to that arrogant specialist and tell him that my daughter has been healed…but, for some reason, I don’t think he’d listen to me…
But my girl has been ‘clean’, dry, pull-up free, soiling free, panty-wearing, unashamed, faith-deepened, full of God’s joy kid for the last 2 years. Yup…she’s all better!
PS – if your child has a problem with messing throughout the day, regardless of age, please don’t blame him/her. This is not their fault. Try this site if the traditional approach by your doctor or pediatrician doesn’t work. And keep praying.
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