It's part of the parenting experience. Little ones challenge us physically and emotionally.
And... older kids stretch us physiologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Neither stage is perfectly smooth or easy.
But... God is faithful in the strife and struggle.
Even though there are times it doesn't feel like it, he has perfectly chosen and equipped you and me to be our child's parent.
Many parents of tweens, teens, and young adults are perplexed by the issues their kids are facing or by things in which they choose to participate. ( I have had my share of surprises. )
It is puzzling, when your formerly obedient child begins to change the rules and do the unexpected.
It is during the challenges, the unexpected situations, and in the pain that I have prayed a prayer I crafted from Psalm 118.
I have shared this with many hurting moms and dads in my parenting courses.
For me, God has used this psalm to bring me out of the pit and back to the battle; a battle fought on my knees spurred on by hope.
If you are in the muck of disappointment, the mire of despair, or the pit of depression due to your young person's choices, I know this prayer will encourage and empower you to move forward and trust God.
At first, just to get out of bed, I would repeat, "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it." That worked for a bit. Then honestly, I felt— annoyed.
Until... God moved me to read Psalm 118 in its entirety.
Check it out! David isn't having a worship and praise fest. He is smack dab in the middle of a battle. A fight that looks mighty bleak!
Yet he preemptively praises.
Against all odds he counts on a victory.
He prays this while he is surrounded by his enemies.
Okay, now this is a psalm that speaks to my heart. This is a psalm I can relate to. This is a psalm I can pray.
David, the psalmist, speaks my struggle and...knows my God!
Lord God, I give you thanks God, you are good and your loves endures forever for me and (insert your child's name). Let my whole family say , your love endures forever. You know I am in anguish, I am crying out to you, Lord. Answer me, set me free, set my child free. I know you are with me. I know you are with my child. I will not be afraid! You are my helper. I will look in triumph at (insert the issue here). I take refuge in you. I trust you. I am surrounded on every side. My child is surrounded on every side. But you will cut (the concern) off. I have been pushed back, about to fall but you Lord are my strength, my song, my salvation. You have done and will do mighty things! I will NOT die, my child will not die. I will proclaim what you have done! I will give you thanks. This is the day you have made and I will give thanks and be glad in it. Save my child. Shine your light upon this family. I give you thanks. Your love endures forever. Amen
Rather than wringing our hands, let's fold them. And.. let's not forget, we (and our young person) are loved by our good and great God. We can't make him love us (or our kiddo) any less or any more by the things we do or don't do.
I pray this helps you, if you are in a difficult spot with your child or young adult. Hang in there. God is with you. He tells us he is!
I'd love to hear a prayer you pray when you are in a hard parenting place.
Co-founder of 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting, co-author of three parenting books. Contact Lori for your next speaking engagement.
If you are the parent of a tween to young adult and found this post helpful, head over to Amazon and get Raising Big Kids with Supernatural Love.