Parenting Through the Hard Stuff - Part 3

When I was a freshman in college, a girl on our floor lost her father. We gave the young woman her space and were very careful to keep our discussions about her loss to whispers. However, an exchange student on our floor bucked this system entirely. Instead of the awkwardness and avoidance, she marched right into the young woman’s room and sat with her – sometimes in conversation, sometimes in quiet. It was so bizarre that we finally asked her why she invaded her space and she responded – “why would you leave her alone? In our country when someone dies we surround the person in mourning to support them.” 

It’s a curious thing how even in our Christian culture, we often spend more time dwelling on the circumstance than acting on a solution. We want to know why or how a tragedy occurs and can get so caught up in this long unending line of questioning that we lose the energy to respond. We can become SO heavy in our brokenness that we forget that we are the very ambassadors that God has equipped to transform the world!

Yes, our world is broken and unspeakable tragedies occur. Yes, it is riddled with sin and racism and all kinds of evil that continue to shock us. But after we mourn, we must rise and respond.

I was probably 8 years old when I attended my first protest with my mother. I recruited friends with pamphlets at recess to stand on the road and carry signs. For years I grew up watching her make signs, hand out pamphlets, and champion for change.

Our response as Christians doesn’t have to involve marches and protests. The act of love in response to sin and tragedy will differ amongst Christians based on how God has gifted each of us. For one mother who was struggling with the loss of her child’s preschool friend, it meant writing a letter with her son. In response to Charlottesville, you begin to speak against racism in your home amongst your children and embrace all the colors that God made us. This week, instead of reposting that you are praying for Texas, make sure you ACTUALLY pray for Texas with your family, and consider donating your time or resources as well.

Model this love for your children, as Christ modeled love for us. His response, to the sin and brokenness in our world, was to give up everything, even his own life, so that we may live. John 15:13 says, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” What would the Gospel be without Christ dying on the cross? We probably won’t be called to lay down our life for another, but couldn’t we learn to sit with them in their tragedy?

Give your children a Gospel framework of faith, and sin, and grace, and then show them how to respond in love.