Jen Clements, GFC Lutz
Have we ever considered that often as parents we strive to portray an attribute or lifestyle to our children without showing them the process? While it’s not always pretty, the blessing is in the process. Often, we don’t want them to observe the struggle of becoming, the hard parts of the battle, because we’re afraid to show the challenges along the way. How many times have we said to ourselves or others, “I never want my kids to see me struggle?” But, shouldn’t we?
I want my kids to see me struggle and wrestle with God because, in watching, it builds their faith and my own. We should allow our kids to have a front row seat to our testimonies. Allowing them to see parts of our struggles:
- With my faith and then choose to trust God.
- With my marriage and work it out.
- With being tired and yet faithful to still to go to work.
- Making the sacrifice of cooking vs. eating out and reflecting good money management.
- Paying my tithes first in the scarce and bountiful seasons.
- Facing health challenges, seeking God’s face, and winning.
- With killing my selfish pride and embracing humility.
- With learning to love people difficult people who mistreat me.
- Choosing silence even when I’m right (still lots of work to do in this area).
There are things that I can’t talk them through. Though, Lord knows, I have tried! But, they can learn by watching me walk through! If we pull out a Honey Baked Ham catered meal for every Thanksgiving because we can afford it, our kids will never know Grandma’s recipe. When we give our children things and have them see the end result of a struggle, we’ve created a lifestyle and appetite for a way of living they haven’t achieved themselves.
What happens when we can’t make our Ikea furniture look the way it does on the outside of the box? We get frustrated and sometimes, we throw the whole thing out—-or p, at least I have. Let’s not have them easily overtaken by the storms they’ll one day experience. Let’s have them see us navigate trials so what they’ve seen will one day help them navigate as well.
I take Philippians 2:12 seriously and I’m about each of us working out Christ in us. Let’s be living examples not vocal ones who try to speak a spiritual lesson that they will one day experience. I want my three boys to fully expect to wrestle with God on some issues. As parents, we want them to know that sacrifices are always necessary, and we need them to see that they can overcome each and every one of life’s obstacles with God leading the way.