“David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground.” 2 Samuel 12:16
“It hurts when our kids hurt.” I heard a friend say on the phone. It does hurt. It’s a deep kind of “I want to fix this desperately” kind of hurt. The problem is we can’t always fix it. Learning to overcome pain is one of life’s lessons. It’s a lesson that teaches discernment, compassion, and often even wisdom. But there are a couple of things we can do.
- We can listen with our ears and open arms. Listening allows the hurt to be shared so it doesn’t stay trapped inside. Open arms allow tears a safe place to fall.
- We can pray and fast for our children. We can ask for God’s wisdom and guidance for our children. We can fast from food, entertainment, social media…. (The list goes on.) to help focus on the prayers over our children. We can also pray and fast over our role in the struggles our children go though.
A walk and/or a hot cup of tea (cocoa, insert beverage choice) might help the moment, as well. Along with the reminder, “This too shall pass.” Although, I’ll be the first to admit, that’s hard to swallow when the wound is deep.
It’s easy to want to lash out, unfortunately that can teach our children to handle hurt with anger. (That’s not real pretty. I’ve learned that one the hard way.) However, there are times we have to step in and stand up for our children. Each situation is different. That’s why listening and prayer are so important. When we listen we can discern better and gain a broader picture figuring out what questions to ask. Then when we pray we can surrender to God all the hurts and questions, waiting to listen again for His peace and/or His guidance in action.
One last thought. Praying with our children through their trials not only teaches them who to take their hurts to, but also that they are not alone through them; even when we are not there to embrace them.
We may not be able to fix each of our children’s hurts, but we can certainly teach them what to do when hurts come.