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They Break our Heart - Issue 239
February 24, 2012
Hi there! ....

This week was about gently moving from one season to the next. Our family time focus is nearly at an end and it is time to move on to study. We've discussed what our study routine will look like. The kids started to fill in their diaries with their daily to-do lists. Daniel worked on his desk space though the girls still need to do that. Next week our focus time will be about study.

The first key activity for our day is our family meeting which generally happens at 8.00am. By this time the kids should have done all their personal responsibilities and be ready to start the day. At our meeting we spend time in Gods word, we pray and then we discuss our plans for the day. Do you have a key activity that sets the tone for your day?

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They Break your Heart

As a parent we love our children so deeply – they are the thing we protect the most, treasure the most. And in doing so, we want the best for them. So much so that when they don’t walk in that way it breaks our heart. I’m not talking about the teen who leaves home, or who makes a huge mistake with their life that is so contrary to all that you’ve taught. I’ve not walked that path and though I know it would break your heart our children break our heart with other situations as well. When it comes to our heart there is no big break and little breaks – when our children make foolish choices it breaks our heart.

What to do?

The first thing we want to do is fix them! We want the shake them at times and make them see how wrong they are and how simple it would be if they would just follow the truth! We may walk down this path – but it is a fruitless path. A heart that is set in their sin is not going to see the truth; they may not even want to see the truth. They will certainly switch off from our tirade.

The second thing we want to do is punish them. We may feel embarrassed, frustrated, desperate, discouraged and we reach for our last resort – punish them. This doesn’t work either. They may or may not endure the punishment but all we’ve done is hurt the outside of them – and I don’t mean a spanking here – we may ground them, or take away something we think they treasure but it is all external.

The third thing that can be done is we ignore them. We may send them to their room until the ramifications of their actions are no longer in our face, till our anger subsides, we may not talk to them, or we may banish them from the house. When we have these reactions (to whatever degree) we are just reacting from our anger, from our hurt – we are not dealing with the problem.

The problem is our child’s heart – they are not seeing things from God’s perspective, they have hardened their heart to God’s ways. This is the bottom line – it isn’t about us, it is about our child and God. Does our heart break because they’ve inconvenienced us? Or because they have disobeyed God and walked away from Him?

The first thing we should do when our child breaks our heart is pray.

  • Pray that God would guard and protect your heart – that He will give you a loving heart, a compassionate heart towards your child. That He would take away your frustration, anger and disappointment towards your child, and fill your heart with love as He loves this child, His child.

  • Pray that God would move in this child’s heart. Only the Holy Spirit changes hearts – beseech the Lord – get down on your knees and pray in earnest for God's intervention. As you do this you are recognising that it is a work of God – that you can’t do anything but God is bigger than any situation, God is bigger than your child’s attitude, God is bigger than our own shortfallings.

  • Pray that God would give you wisdom (as He promises He will, James 1:5) God has given you this child, He has given you a love for them, a responsibility for them to teach and train them towards godliness and for that He sent the Holy Spirit to teach, guide and comfort us. Wisdom is the practical application of knowing Jesus. How is knowing Jesus going to change how you now address your child?

Sometimes we need to travail in prayer. That is an old fashion word – in this day and age of instant gratification we want God to do it NOW and that is not always going to happen – we may need to carry this burden to God for a while – don’t put a time limit on God – spend time in His presence praying for your child, praying for yourself, thanking God for your child, thanking God for His love and wisdom. Once we have taken it to the Lord in prayer we can step back into the situation with a different attitude. Our broken heart can change to a heart of peace. Oh for sure, the situation still hurts, that our child could have done such a thing, but there is a peace that surpasses all understanding. Don’t deal with your child till you have that in your heart.

Then you will experience God's peace,
which exceeds anything we can understand.
His peace will guard your hearts and minds
as you live in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:7 (NLT)

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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