Choosing the Lessons We Teach Our Kids

Dear Reader,

Here is the short version of the  lesson I am learning: we don’t get to pick what our kids learn. I know in my head that they are possessions of God entrusted to us (that is straight out of our baptismal vows) and not really ours. But I think learning to trust them completely to Him is a different matter.

When my daughter was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, she was 19 months old. It is all she has ever known and so far at least she has been pretty accepting of it. Coming to terms with my ten-year-old’s chronic headache is a different story. He has had his headache for almost eight weeks now and he is certainly old enough to know this is not normal. Mostly he handles it pretty well (better than I would), but he does occasionally get frustrated. It is hard to not know why it is happening, medically speaking, or when and if it will end. But there is also the theological aspect. As it stretches on and on, I also worry that it will try his faith. We have told him that God is in charge even of this and that somehow He will use it for good. But I worry that my son will begin to despair. And I realize that I am trying to shield him. My prayers are the beginning were just that it will go away. But now I find that they are changing. I still pray that God will take the headache away. But I also pray that He will give my son the strength to stand up under it, to remain faithful and trust God during this trial. It is funny to me that that did not occur to me at first. But it didn’t. I was viewing my child as a child who should not have to deal with such spiritual trials. But though he is young, he is still a child of God and God works in his life as much as He does in mine. I can encourage my son. I can try to remind him of those vital truths that God is in control and works for the good of His children. But ultimately I cannot go through this for him not can I give him the faith to endure it anymore than I can take away the headaches themselves.



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