It is hard to see our children struggle. For those of you that don’t know, I have 5 children. They range from age 10 down to 3. They are incredible and are my world! My wife and I have a different approach to their struggles.
For instance, one of our boys likes to say he “can’t” do things. When Mommy is around there is a little bit of encouragement to do the task himself but in the end, if he persists long enough, she will end up doing it for him. She doesn’t like to see her babies struggle. So, momma bear instincts kick in and she “saves the day”. I can’t fault her for this because it is a mother’s natural reaction most times. I don’t say that to take a shot at my wife. She is an incredible mother! But this is about making a point 😊. You see, when she “gives in” she is just doing these things for him. She is doing this out of love because we don’t like to see our children struggle. But this doesn’t foster endurance in hard times or confidence in their abilities.
When I am around a long discussion begins to take place. Some pouting happens. And what should only take a couple of seconds to accomplish takes 20 minutes. I give Socrates style quotes to my 10-year-old. You know! The ones that even we as adults have a hard time grasping at times. Because I know that he will understand them (I say sarcastically). I lecture him, probably too much, and try to get him to do it himself. I am still learning the best way to approach these situations because sometimes I probably lecture for too long or say something too philosophical for a 10-year-old boy to understand. That is beside the point. Let me get back on track.
What is relevant is that I am trying to equip my son to be able to do things on his own. I am trying to foster a mindset that brings independence and problem solving. I want him to think about ways to accomplish whatever it is that he claims he “can’t” do. I am trying to give him the tools needed to do this. I am trying to build his confidence and give him hope. Hope that he CAN do it the next time. I am trying to teach him to endure the tough times because just on the other side of that is the hope he needs. I may not be the best at doing that but I am learning and growing as a parent every single day.
There is one that doesn’t need to grow as a parent. There is one that has just the right balance of doing things for us and allowing us to struggle and endure. You see our GOD says the struggle is good. GOD sets us up for success every time. HE is helping us develop the tools we need to do it on our own. HE is preparing us to receive the blessing he has prepared for us. We don’t always see it and sometimes we even want HIM to just do it for us. I have even been frustrated at GOD for not doing something for me. But, if I would have just listened to my GOD I would have seen how to do it myself. I would have learned and grown in to who HE wants me to become. I would have gotten stronger, gained endurance, gained hope. HE wants me to be able to do it myself.
We all need to spend less time complaining about our struggles and realize that they are good. We need to realize that GOD is just being the father that we need. HE is helping us become who we are meant to be. We need to rejoice even in the struggles and hard times. We need to just trust GOD when HE is teaching us and equipping us for greatness!
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith in to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 ESV
God, I ask that you continue to teach us daily and help us to realize that everything you do is to give us the endurance, character, and hope we need to become who you meant for us to be.