Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 027 - Facing Hard Stuff With Your Child
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast
Episode #027 – Facing Hard Stuff With Your Child
Are you yearning for greater connection with your child? Would you like to parent beyond the moment with eternal perspective? Let’s grow together now with practical tips, scripture, and stories geared to draw your heart to Jesus and guide your child into His arms.
The day our child accepts Jesus as their personal Savior and begins to grow in faith and maturity is a monumental day for families of believers! But if we stop there, thinking all is good and well now, we are mistaken and deceived. Teaching your child that they have a need for Christ, then guiding them with Holy reverence for God and His plans and purpose for them is the greatest joy you will experience as a parent. It is also one of the hardest tasks you will be privileged to complete.
When I parented my first two children, I was a very young Christian lacking in discipleship and depth. I naively thought that once my children knew Jesus and professed to follow Him, all was good. Now I know it’s just that starting point.
What an honor it is to be the one to lead your child to the feet of Jesus to know and follow His heart. There is nothing more important we can impart to our children than the truth and power of the Gospel of Christ.
Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
This also pertains to helping our children grow in spiritual wisdom, their knowledge of and trust in God, and their insight into His Word, character, and desires.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
When we pray for God to mature our personal walk with Him and enable Him to lead our children in the ways He desires, you know He will honor those prayers! The closer we grow to the Lord and the stronger our mind and heart, our words, actions, and reactions reflect Him, the more our children will be drawn to Him as we lead and guide them in His Word and ways.
It is not easy to see our children suffer through the various trials they encounter in this world. I praise God that I have His wisdom and Words to bring to my children. We are each blessed that although no child comes with a manual that tells us exactly how to proceed, we have been blessed with a playbook for life – the Bible. God’s Holy Word truly does carry everything we need. As we read and study the Bible, we see parallels in our own lives, we see the mistakes others have innocently and purposely made and the repercussions suffered personally and through generations because of them. We understand more clearly the ways God has gone before us to provide and protect, the way He sacrificed to bring us to himself, and we understand the more we study this gift of words we will better parent the children He entrusted to us.
1 Peter 5:6-10 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”
The pain, but also the beauty of parenting is that each hardship or burden faced is not meant to be carried alone. I believe the key to parenting under the Lordship of Christ is to view every difficulty with joy that we are able to allow God to use it for His good purposes and to direct our child (and self) closer to Him through it.
As we draw nearer to Jesus, our mind and heart are “reset.” As we allow Christ to continue transforming work inside us, our mindset adjusts so that we see the world more clearly through His viewpoint. If you are a parent, you understand that the hardship of watching your child suffer in any way. We want to rush in and rescue our precious baby, no matter what age they are. However, if we continue to direct them to God through every life circumstance, and allow the Lord to mentor us as we guide them through the pain and into His arms, we set our child up for eternal success.
1 Chronicles 16:11 says, “Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His presence continually!”
If you listened to the Purposed Parent/Connected Child Podcast Episode 025, “Facing Hard Stuff to Become a Godlier Parent,” which aired 12/15/22, you may remember that I posed several questions and scriptures to help you face and overcome hardships in your life that may affect you as a parent. For this episode, I’ve taken many of those questions and applied them in a slightly different way for your child. Let’s hear those now.
1. Character Examination: The next two sections of questions is designed to help you examine your child and clearly see where you need to help them grow, where God can enable you to grow as you mentor them, and to help you think of other questions or recognize needs you may need to consider.
How does your child handle problems?
Does your child carry visible stress?
Does your child know how to lift problems to God to carry them for him?
Does your child close down when worried?
Is your child prone to fall victim to anxiety or depression?
What situations bring feelings of depression or unhappiness for your child?
What steals your child’s joy?
Does your child freely express emotions to you?
Does your child find it difficult to talk about what bothers him?
2. Life Examination:
How do you want your child to handle problems?
How would you like to see your child react to stress?
How would you like your child to interact with God?
How would you like your child to communicate when challenged with troubles?
How do you help your child maintain or find joy?
How do you draw out open communication with your child?
What do you want your child to learn about God through their current difficulty?
How will the way you guide them lead them closer to God?
3. Eternal Examination:
This section is designed for you to attempt to look at your child through eyes like our Heavenly Father. View the life of your child as God sees it for eternity. See where you can grow stronger in the Lord and allow God to mentor you to guide your child as He would have you. Every step of parenting should be discipling your child into the arms of Jesus. Viewing every trial and triumph through the lens of eternity will help you shape your child to be more Christlike daily.
Ask God to lead you as you guide and help your child.
Ask God for His Holy intervention and understanding.
Ask God to open your eyes, heart, and mind to what your child needs.
Ask God how to lead your child to a closer walk with Him.
Ask God what your child needs from Him.
Ask God what your child needs from you.
Use the answers to these questions to guide your prayers for your child and seek God’s wisdom and ways.
Don’t be discouraged or afraid when the trials hit. Use them to guide your child to the feet of Jesus. Teach them to confidently rely on Him and seek Him first. Set your child up for a lifelong, maturing relationship with Christ.
Remember the promise of Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.”
Know that you cannot change your child, but leading them to Christ will.
Examine your relationship with Jesus and seek His wisdom on how to be a godlier parent.
Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.”
Proverbs 3:7 says, “Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.”
Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
The last verse I read from Proverbs has been a tricky one for many. Obviously, a child will choose their own path. We know that we cannot force our children to accept Christ or follow Him with an obedient and humble heart. Yet, we know the truth, power, and wisdom in God’s word. It never returns void. I know that although God allows each of us, including our beloved children, to have free will, that if we continue to seek God with a humble, loving, trusting relationship with Jesus daily, and model that to our children in ways directed by Him, God will be faithful to His Word. Our Heavenly Father has dealt with prodigals often. He knows the heart of our children, He sees the work we offer Him as we raise them, and God knows what each of us must endure to come to and remain at His feet. Trust Him. Be consistent. He is faithful. He is good. He loves your child more than you do. He wants to spend eternity with your child.
I find the three following verses full of promise and truth to remember in the hardest of times as you intentionally raise your child for Christ in this fallen world.
James 4:7-8a says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”
James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love Him.”
Romans 5:3-5 says, “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.”
Hard times will come, but they will also pass. Leading your children to Jesus, then patiently and painstakingly guiding them to trust Him despite circumstances and feelings takes effort. It takes faith and trust on your part. Christ will continue working in you, maturing your faith as you let Him. Leading you both to the foot of the cross in new and beautiful ways.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for Your holy sovereignty and mercy. Thank you for Your Son. We cannot begin to fully comprehend the goodness you have showered on us, but help us to trust and lead our children to You. May our parenting skills and faithfulness continue through all things and be a blessing to You and Your children. Father, Your Word tells us that in You we may have peace. You warned us that in this world we will have tribulation. But you also said that we can take heart because You have already overcome the world. Enable us to remember Your promises through the hard and the easy and to see through Your eyes for eternity as we mentor and mold the precious children You have entrusted to us. We so desperately need and desire You. In the name of Your Son, Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to the “Purposed Parent/Connected Child” podcast. This and the “Live With Eternal Perspective” podcast may be found at terrihitt.com, iHeart Radio, Spotify, and they are part of the Spark Media Network. Both podcasts may also now be found on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place for your listening enjoyment.
I’d love to know. Have you rated or reviewed my podcasts on Apple Podcasts yet? Did you know that when you review my podcasts on Apple, it helps to elevate the standing of the podcasts online so that more people are allowed to find and hear them. Will you please take a moment to follow the shows and think of someone you can share the podcasts with and encourage them to follow and share, as well?
Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ. I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Parent and Connect With Eternal Perspective.