As a mother of 3 I need your help. Sat down and talked with Sylvester and Cait. These kids have grown up with the presence of God in their lives. They are asking questions I just can’t seem to find the words to answer. The world is changing right before their eyes. Questions if God really exists, why did Newtown happen? I find their spirits in the “grey” area…any suggestions? I’m still learning everyday myself, how do I keep these kids engaged and positive in God’s plan when all they see is pain? Thank you friend for your time!
Such an important question and one that is a constant everyday battle for everyone who wishes to instill this in their children. I feel so inadequate to even respond to such a question. But, I will try…
Raising kids is like aiming arrows. At some point, we will need to let go and hope we aimed right. But peace is knowing that we can’t do it on our own. We need the Father’s hand to guide us through being the parent He calls us to be.
Yet, we fall down and we get up. We’re great at it and then we suck at it. I think half of the battle is all the pressure we put on ourselves to show them something in us that cannot be. We need to be honest with them and tell them perfection I can not show you, but that of a process I can.
The best way I can approach this question is this.. (and I am speaking to me here) I cannot give that which I do not have.
In other words, what do they see in me? How am I living in a way that reflects a growing relationship with God? Do they see me reading His word with a hunger to understand this life/my life? Do they hear me blessing others and not cursing at others? Do I try to have all the answers all the time instead of just listening to them and accept that I might not have all the answers all the time?
Sometimes they need to work it out by just talking about it and simply being heard. Do they see someone who constantly worries about the future or constantly trusts in Him for my future? Do they see someone who is quick to anger and quick to speak and slow to listen or quick to listen, slow to anger, and slow to speak?
All the polling that I have seen is that kids don’t need more of this or more of that… they get enough of that.
What they need is parents that reflect “this and that” behind closed doors.
But, don’t beat yourself up when you a make a mistake. Admit it. Talk about it. Show them how you are working through it. It’s a process. For me on all these things… trust me, I have a long way to go, but I aspire to arrive someday at that place where I let go of the arrow and in this, I hope to hear well done good and faithful servant.
Now secondly, why does God allow bad things to happen? I believe that when He created us, He wove into us the thread of free will. A risky proposition indeed. However, He could have created us as robot like, but He did not. He gave us a choice and in that choice, people, children, heartbeats get caught in the crossfire.
This very thought slays me to my core. It saddens me beyond belief for the innocent. I see all the time in my work to fight human trafficking where one child every 30 seconds is trafficked in this world. I even saw it in that courtroom that one day not too long ago.
But in all of this, I do not think we can have it both ways until Kingdom come.
As a society, we do not want God to mandate and control our lives. It is in our fallen nature. But, when something terrible occurs, we suddenly ask, where was He? How come He didn’t do this or do that? My friend, this is a tough question and one many have struggled with throughout time.
Do I have answers for why things like Sandy Hook happened? No and I will not pretend to know other than this is life in a fallen world. (Yet, is it any wonder sometimes when we live in a society that by the time our children are teenagers, they will have seen 8,000 murders via TV shows in their lifetime.) And, if we are going to believe in a good, we must believe there is evil as well. I cannot see anyway around this for I have seen both in this world.
In this, we must continue to reinforce that God is love and God is peace by allowing Him to be just this in our own lives first.
Yet, where WAS God in this act of evil? Brokenhearted with tear filled eyes. But be rest assured, this life is but a mist and Heaven is where life begins where there will be no more pain. Tough to talk about the unseen or a future unknown in the world of the seen and known without faith. Hard to reconcile such evil.
As I pondered recently… The heart knows not logic and the mind knows not emotion. The key is to move forward with balance. The same Hands made them both. How can I understand such acts knowing this about how we are? Only God can reconcile such incomprehensible evil. Only His love can overpower such darkness.
I think what is important when our children ask of these things and begin to question these things is to listen and let them talk it out. Also, listen to the tone in their voice as they question it. If it sounds sincere and with a sense of longing to want to find answers that is good. Don’t act like you have the answers, be honest and seek answers together. In this, we need to teach our children to be able to work it out.
However, if their is a tone of disdain in their voice as they question these things, still listen, but be aware that it may mean something more deeper is at the core of their questions. Something even more personal.
Look, i’m no therapist, or perfect father, or theologian. I’m just a guy who is blessed with my wife and daughter who have seen me through a lot of mistakes, failures, and poor reflection of who I ought to be. I have seen a lot of life and have lived a lot of life. I have often carried things in life I was never meant to carry but for the one who cast it upon me. (notice lower case one.)
In this, I too have lost a lot of life for being caught in the crossfire of hurt people… hurt people. Yet, when I finally found myself at a place of letting go of that which I was not meant to carry, greave the loss of life for carrying it.. a peace and hope kicked it I had never known.
In the end, I know this now that through it all… God believes in me. My family believe in me. Yet I fall down, I get up. But by the grace of God, go I.
This is my initial sit down and type my thoughts answer to your heartfelt post. I am honored and humbled you would ask this of me. i wish I could give you something more to consider. I pray for your family. Your are good people!! G!
thank you SO much! Your words have encouraged me and have also woken my eyes to see that I need “be” more! I need to “seek” God and “live”God! Knowing its not perfection I’m striving for, but to be a better example “INFRONT” of my three gifts God gave me. Your time and words encourage and comfort. Cait as you know is PROOF of Gods grace and love.
I explained to the kids that my faith in Christ is like the wind. You can’t physically touch wind, bottle up the wind. You can however feel the wind, see what the wind does, grass and trees moving swaying in the wind..I see what God does and most certainly FEEL God.
He will help you be. Lean on Him. Work with the wind and not against it. Peace!!