Suffering and trial may be the greatest avenue of growth for us and our children. How we live through suffering teaches our children how to walk through their own pain.
Let’s be real. Sometimes our kids seem aloof to what we are going through, the amount of pain we are experiencing or the mental battle within but in the midst of their aloofness is a sense that something is not right. Most children are more aware of their parents than they reveal and they are always feeding off of our spiritual, emotional and physical state. Your pain effects your children. It hurts them too. They just don’t know how to communicate it to you.
Let’s look at the very important role that you play in your children thriving and practical ways to do that while you walk through physical ailments.
First, praise Him today whether you are in a season of sunshine and rain or you are walking through the desert. God brings water in the desert. Gather your children and praise Him together. If you are in an incredible season of darkness it is so very hard to see light. Grab a jar and some paper or a journal and begin choosing to see things to be thankful for and write them down. Have your children look for the things they are thankful for too and have them add it to your list. It may be the butterfly that fluttered by or the food served at the table. Maybe it is the wiggle in your toe or the ability to smile and see. Start simple and choose thankful. It is contagious and your children will see God’s hands throughout day.
Second, be honest. You are not fooling your children. They can see your body language and demeanor. They know when things are off but if we are not careful our children can take the blame upon themselves for how we are feeling or behaving. Especially a child who has experienced any type of trauma (small or large), he or she can take your pain and your issues and believe that they have caused it in some way or another. We must communicate our love, appreciation and preciousness of the child often.
Piggy backing on the second, we must create a safe environment, a place where each individual in the home is accepted as they are. Talk to your children, learn their needs and how to meet them. If you are limited in a physical capacity, you may need to have more assistance with the physical side of meeting the needs of your children but you can meet your child’s emotional and mental needs. You get to bring comfort and love to your children. Set your own aches, pains, and hurts aside to tend to the children entrusted into your hands. I know it is hard sometimes but in the long run worth laying your life down for these babies of yours.
Fourth, choose your words carefully. This does not come easy to me. I love to talk and share everything on my heart and mind but God’s word warns us that “in a multitude of words, sin is not lacking.” Choose well. Speak words of life to your children. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 Let our words be uplifting. I don’t complain about my pain often but I have noticed that a few of my kids have said, “my legs hurt” when there wasn’t a legitamite reason for saying it. I do not find that a coincidence since that is the area I have the most pain. I find that they are hearing their mama say it and thus they believe their legs hurt. I have to remind my kiddos that they are healthy and strong and fully able. I have to remind them WHO they are and how capable they are.
Next and last for now, is our self talk. How are we talking to ourself? Our children will hear if we say, “Oh, good job, Charise, you messed up again. You can’t do anything right.” Or when we say, “I will never be able to do>>>>>>> again.” And ” I am _______.” Speak words of life to yourself and your children will see that too and practice it in their own lives. You have the power to speak life and and death. Speak life, live life full!