Did you know a transmission water main break can deprive an entire large county of water in minutes? I didn’t until this morning. The massive lack of water meant an emergency unplanned grocery run with the rest of the county and took a large chunk out of my well planned, well intentioned morning. And my kid is in college!
You’ve probably had days which are much worse. If your kids are passing the latest mystery illness back and forth, those stretches can last weeks. You are in survival mode – with little to no sleep and no energy reserves. So you finally get two seconds to look online and chill, only to see the latest Parenting Like Hannah Christian parenting blog post.
Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you if you wanted to throw your iPad against the closest wall in frustration. Believe it or not, I get it. My kid got sick. Our cars broke down. We even lost all sewage capabilities the day before a huge Thanksgiving at our house, requiring emergency plumbers and thousands of un-budgeted dollars to get back.
Whether you realize it or not, you are indeed Christian parenting while in survival mode. Don’t believe me? Here’s what you are teaching your kids about God and what He wants from them and for them during those rough seasons of parenting.
- We live in a fallen world. Your acceptance that bad things can happen to Christians – without blaming and rejecting God in the process – communicates a lot to your kids. It shows you understand bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. It wasn’t God’s original design and it breaks His heart probably more than ours. It shows your kids you don’t believe God is somehow out to “get you” just because a lot of bad things happen in a row. Like Job, you refuse to “curse God and die”.
- God wants to help us survive tough times. Just making statements about how glad you are to have God in your life and knowing He is there to help you survive and even thrive this tough season, speaks volumes to your kids. If you mention how praying is helping you survive or how thankful you are God gave us Church families to serve us when we are struggling, your kids will understand the message even better.
- Teach them about prayer. If you are like me, some of your most fervent prayers are when your kids are suffering. Knowing you are praying for them to be healed (or whatever the issue) is important. Understanding that sometimes God will make them wait for things like healing is crucial. We might not always understand why, but God saying “wait” or “no” are also answers to our prayers.
- Teach them godly character traits. The way you love and serve them, shows them how God wants them to love and serve others. Your patience, perseverance, conflict resolution skills and more give them real life examples of how to live out their faith.
- We need to be grateful to God in all seasons. Thank God for the slightest improvement. Or that something happens to amuse them in spite of feeling lousy. Or that someone remembers to deliver their schoolwork so they wouldn’t get too far behind. Looking for things to be grateful to God for helps remind us of our priorities and our blessings.
So don’t despair. When things calm down a bit, you can go back to all of those wonderful, intentional Christian parenting things. Remember though, even in this rough patch, you are still pointing your kids towards or away from God – even when you are too tired to realize it.