Yep, my hubby and I, unashamed, snuggle up to watch The Bachelor on TV. It's a fascinating study in human nature, right? This week's episode was no exception so bear with me here.
Sean, the bachelor, is visiting the hometowns of four women, each of whom is his potential future wife. In each location, he is seen exploring the local haunts and then the show transitions into scenes of him having somewhat awkward dinners with the families of each young lady.
Inevitably, he has one-on-one conversations with the girls' parents and siblings. Here's what I have been hearing for many seasons on this show. Every single parent or sibling expresses their deep concern to the bachelor or bachelorette that their beautiful daughter or son is going to end up with a broken heart.
The camera zooms in for the look of fear and concern on the relatives' faces. Some of them are stern and say the words as an ominous warning, “Don't break her heart; I don't want to see her hurt”! Others smile hopefully and plead, “I just don't want her heart to get broken so please don't lead her on.” It's natural for a parent to want to protect even their adult children from pain.
But as a Christian parent, I know that heartbreak will come to my kids in many forms throughout their lives and so I have a different approach.
There is no greater angst for a parent than to watch their child suffer. I would rather allow 10,000 methods of torture for myself than to see one agonizing moment come into the life of my little boys.
But rather than protect them from pain, I need to prepare them for pain.
I want to train my sons now as small children that they nor I can prevent their hearts from breaking. But, we can turn to the Healer of broken hearts and be made whole again.
Psalm 34:18 says, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” And in Psalm 147:3, God assures us that “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
The Lord knows I have had endured this kind of grief myself-broken engagements, scathing false accusations from a friend, being excluded from events, or feeling the loneliness of a directionless stage in my life. And yet, I have also experienced the miraculous restoration that God has done for me! Knowing that God has our good in mind, that He allows suffering for our growth and refinement, and that He will always bring beauty from ashes, is a deep comfort that I want them to learn now.
How wonderful to know that my children can grow up to be strong and courageous in the Lord, able to be like a tree that flourishes even in the deserts of life because they have grown up knowing that God is on their side is a rich blessing for me as their mother.
Let's not forget to train our children to realize that no friendship, spouse, opportunity, profession, or other pursuit is their end goal in life.
May our children not be devastated by life's trials because they fail to grasp that this life is not about us or our own desires. Surely, God has given us these things for our pleasure and they have a beautiful purpose for our enjoyment and for our refinement. But all things that fill our days with so much joy and often deep disappointments are parts of the puzzle that make us more like Christ. I'm praying my sons are so deeply found in Christ that they lean into His sovereign plan for them and that they will be able to say like Job did, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
YOUR TURN! What's the hardest part for you when it comes to helping your children through tough times? What part of today's post meant the most to you personally? I love to hear from YOU! Blessings!
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