Struggling with a Struggling Child
I think we can all agree that one of the most difficult things in the world is to watch your child struggle. Whether that is watching them struggle to make friends, struggle with their grades, struggle with a learning disability, or struggle to find their purpose. Nothing brings more anxiety and pain for a parent than as their child wrestles with life’s difficulties.
The Bible isn’t absent of this idea of struggle in fact ever since the fall, God describes our nature and environment as “cursed.” Genesis 4:11 says, “Now you are under a curse.” Meaning struggle is a part of everyone’s day to day experience while here on this earth, including our children. The theme of struggle isn’t hidden or swept under the rug throughout the Bible. Most of the Bible shows how God helps people live amid a broken world.
I have to wonder what it was like for God the Father to watch His son, Jesus Christ, struggle in a fallen world. Jesus had no home and at times struggled with basic needs. “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Luke 9:58
God saw His son experience loss and grief. In Isaiah 53:3 it says that “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”
And God watched as Jesus suffered physically on the cross. Nothing could be more frustrating for God than to watch His son suffer on this earth.
God completely understands the frustrations and fears we have when it comes to our children because He experienced them as a Father. It’s through the cross we are reminded that God loves our children more than we love them. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, …” John 3:16 When we are at the end of our rope with worry and fear it’s with ease that we can hand our kids over to God, because He demonstrated His love for them by sacrificing His son.
There are times we can step in to help a struggling child and other times there is absolutely nothing we can do. A large part of parenting is learning how to give our kids over to God, especially when they struggle. It’s in His perfect love we know He will work, guide, and build our children as we surrender them to Him.
Cactus Men’s & Marriage Pastor