Do you like it when bad things happen to good people? Or to you? I know I don’t, yet the Bible tells us that while you and I are living on this sinful earth that we will have troubles.
We can take heart though! Jesus has overcome the world! And until the Lord calls us home, we need to learn how to suffer well.
We could whine and complain. But that’s what our kids do.
Bad times will come. If you aren’t in a hard time right now, then just wait.
So how can we suffer well and, at the same time, teach our kids the same lesson?
1. Face the problem. Determine what is bothering you. Ask your kids what is bothering them. What are you concerned about? Don’t model to your kids how to “stuff” an issue away, or yell out the problem. Model how to identify a problem.
2. Pray about it honestly. We Christians are so good at using “churchy” words when we pray. We need to learn how to pray like Job or David, in the Psalms. In the midst of a trial we need to model to our kids prayers that ask God, “Where are you in this?” “I’m having a really bad day, Lord! How can this be good?” Read Psalm 145:18. God can handle our questions. Call on Him in truth. Even Jesus prayed with loud groanings and cries.
3. Share what you are suffering with someone you trust. Spouses are great, but having a mentor or another person of the same sex to be able to voice hurts and failures to can be invaluable. Parents need to allow their kids to have the freedom to talk with another adult or mentor. There are some things kids just don’t want to tell their mom or dad, but they might to a youth pastor, or a close family member.
4. Find scripture to memorize that is encouraging during your adversity. Concordances are great. You can look up a subject and find a list of verses that have that word in it. Find 1-2 passages that you, or your children, can memorize during a time of adversity. There are also online sites that can help you find verses pertaining to your situation.
Suffering is not fun. It can be heartbreaking. But we can please God even through suffering. We can train our children to handle adversity instead of blaming others. We can teach our kids that humanity has no strength of its own, but that every good thing comes from dependance upon the Lord.
We can allow God to teach us and mold during the hard times as well as those days when everything seems to be going right.
May everything we do bring glory to God.