Our culture has convinced us that life should be painless. If one does experience pain, he should, in some way, be compensated for it. Our Christian culture has magnified that expectation by a form of teaching that coaxes us on to obedience through the “promise” that obedience brings blessing, that being interpreted as, life will be painless.
The bogus promise of parenting is that if we do it right, our road will be smooth, our relationships will be healthy, marriages will be peaceful, the bank account will always be black, our children will grow up and live next door for their entire lives with all of our grandchildren happily playing in our side yard where the flowers bloom twelve months out of the year on the swing set that never gets rusty, well… you get the picture.
May I introduce to you another suggestion: life is painful, oh and by the way, so is parenting. God intended it that way. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33.
I have had the special vantage point as a shepherd of people to observe deep hurt and grief, even in the healthiest of circumstances, even when the people involved have done it well. I have been able to look past the beaming face of young bride, to look into the faces of her bride’s maid sisters. There I observed a quiet death taking place as they bid their sister farewell.
I have observed young men broken and hurting at the close of a God-honoring, counsel-seeking courtship. They had done it well. They had submitted to spiritual oversight. They had acted honorably toward a young lady, her father, and family. But now all that remained were quiet nights alone to wonder.
Life is painful.
I offer this those of you who are hurting. Disappointment and discouragement have not singled you out. Your pain is normal. There is sovereign purpose in your pain.
Note Psalm 119:67, 71
Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word.
It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.
The goal of Biblical parenting is NOT to prevent pain in the lives of our children. Ultimately God has put parents into the lives of children for the purpose of creating adults out of them. Our Father’s desire is that the generation that follows us will be equipped to serve Him. Instruction, training, and releasing all ultimately find their fulfillment in a generation of mature, Christ-seeking adults that no longer require government from the outside to make Godly choices.
Prepare yourself for the pain of parenting. Equip yourself and your child with an unending allegiance to the Lord Jesus Christ. As you rear your children, be willing to allow them to learn through the painful experiences of maturing. Walk with them, know their hearts, and allow them to communicate their own pain. In everything turn them to the Lord their God who desires to be their strong tower and place of refuge.
The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10