Monday, January 28, 2013

Mothers, Don't Give Up on Your Difficult Child

Mothers, do you have a difficult child?

Yes, you know the one--that child came to mind as soon as you saw the title of this post.

You have been praying over that child a loooong time, crying out to God for wisdom. Crying out to God to even help you deal with it all.

I am here to remind you not to give up on that special child. God has a perfect plan for that child. And God has a perfect plan for you too.

You see, He uses challenges in parenting to draw you closer to Him. To stretch you. To refine you. To cause you to see your weak spots. To remind you that you cannot do it without Him. To draw you to become more.... holy.

He challenges us to love the unlovely. To be patient when we'd rather lose it. To show kindness when we we feel there is no more.  Yes, this parenting thing require every ounce of strength we can muster and then some. But we need not do it alone...there is Christ.

We cannot turn a blind eye to difficulties in parenting. We all have them. But we must remember to seek the Scriptures for wisdom and to send up prayers to heaven on behalf of our children.

We must also be careful to see that we, the parents, are not part of  the problem. We don't want to raise our children in a child-centered home. Are we enabling certain behaviors? Are we being passive? Child centered homes can lead to quick burn out for parents. Instead we want to raise them in a home where only God is center. Not sure what kind of home you have? Click here to find out.

Parents, this will require much sacrificial work from you so you cannot grow weary. Don't give up! The work that is required of you necessitates a daily dying to self. The scriptures say,"But an undisciplined child brings shame to his mother."  Proverbs 29:15b. We need to watch over our children and their ways as if their very souls depended upon it, because in many ways it does.

 Now don't get me wrong there will be times when children do things they shouldn't (sometimes that might even feel like it's all the time!). But there needs to be some margin and  room for error and parents would be wise to understand the different levels of child growth and development.  Children are in constant training and children and always learning. We need to extend grace to them but also discipline when necessary. The importance is knowing when and where to draw the line and also having discernment (for example, a two year old is not going to be handled in the same manner as a 10 year old or a teenager).

Often children with strong personalities can grow into strong leaders for their own families, the community, and the church, if we help them direct it for good and not for wrong. Strong personalities can be used for God's glory and to mightily advance the gospel on earth.

We certainly need the Lord for this enormous task of parenting, this high calling to raise disciples for Him. But remember, dear mothers,  don't give up...especially on those hard days. Keep your eyes and thoughts focused and be steadfast in His name.

We will one day reap what we sow and my prayer is that we would raise a harvest of righteous for Him, for His glory, and for His kingdom.

Need more encouragement on this topic? We recommend The New Strong Willed Child:

Is a willful little darling driving you to distraction?

 The New Strong-Willed Child is the resource you need—a classic bestseller completely rewritten, updated, and expanded for a new generation of parents and teachers. Challenging as they are to raise, strong-willed children can grow up to be men and women of strong character—if lovingly guided with understanding and the right kind of discipline. 

Find out what Dr. James Dobson, today’s most trusted authority on parenting, has to say about what makes strong-willed children the way they are; shaping the will while protecting the spirit; avoiding the most common parenting mistake; and much more. If you are struggling to raise and teach children who are convinced they should be able to live by their own rules, The New Strong-Willed Child is a must-read! 

You can find this book HERE.


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Anonymous said...

This is an excellent article but I am probably nit picking but I wish you would have picked a different picture to display it. The picture is of a very normal boy playing and I was wondering if some would get the impression if your boy is doing this it would be the difficult child because of the cultural climate right now wanting guns to be banned and I know many christians without a biblical worldview who buy into this kind of thinking. I am in a homeschool coop that banned all weapons even toys and I am so saddened by that, that we would just go the way of the world and ban these things instead of teaching right ways of thinking and behaving. We should not be sending any subtle messages at all that weapons are abnormal or wrong. They are not the problem. The heart of man is the problem and the only solution to that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Please consider what I have said.

June Fuentes @ A Wise Woman Builds Her Home said...

Dear Anonymous,

It is interesting that you get that from looking at the picture. It by no means implying that weapons are "abnormal or wrong". In fact, it just reminds me of how sons love adventure and are zealous for life and sometimes end up in trouble because of it! It is meant to be playful and certainly not harmful.

Many blessings...

Erin@TheHumbledHomemaker said...

I love this, June--and I needed to hear it today! Thank you! :)

Anonymous said...

i had a difficult child (who is now 26) There were times we staayed on top of the situations that arised, other times we were "Too Busy" and didn't.
He eventually made his own choices and ended up with a drug addiction and left-we stayed in touch for 6 years,but he chose to live a different life.My husband and I learned a tremondous amount of lessons and were humbled and lovongly disciplined by our Lord. He changed us while He was also watching over our son.Anyone who is going thru this-Do not lose touch with your child-He knew how much he was loved and prayed for and over. There are times when you don't want to keep in touch, but don't do it, it was one of the things,he said that kept him going-A parents love. He has since moved home-detoxed-paid off debts and isnow engaged to be married and is on fire for the Lord.We bow in humility to what all Christ has done.Thank you. Becky
P.S>-I understand every situation is different-but allow Christ to work in you and Storm the gates heaven for your child:)

Unknown said...

This post was meant for me to see this day. I have a daughter, who, is named Grace- and so many many times I think, boy, her name was fits her perfectly. I am constantly reminded of God's grace with us as his children as I am constantly needing to show more grace with my daughter, Grace. She's my spirited one. <3

Anonymous said...

I just wondering if this sentence "We must also be careful to see that we, the parents, are not part of the problem" is worded correctly. Shouldn't it say "the parents ARE part of the problem"? Maybe I'm just not reading it right.

Anonymous said...

I love that picture..reminds me of my childhood playing cops and robbers with my cousins and our plastic pistols pretending to ride off on our horses with our moms brooms,hiding behind the sofas.

Anonymous said...

When I saw the picture it made me smile. I like that you said..the child you thought of when you read the title and not the child you thought of when you saw the picture :-) mine happens to be the same :-)

Mandie said...

When I look at that picture, I see a little boy full of adventure, mischief and life like my middle son- who I thought of immediately when I saw the title. I think it's endearing and adorable. It captures boys perfectly. I didn't see what Anon. saw at all.

Mandie said...

When I saw that picture, it made me smile. It personifies my middle child (who I thought of immediately when I saw the title ;)- full of adventure, mischief and all boy. I didn't see what Anon. saw at all. It's adorable :).

Caroline said...

I thought basically the same thing. Maybe not so much about the guns, but the picture (to me) shows a little boy playing, not a "difficult child." Just my 2 cents.

cooperkelly4 said...

Amen! We have had seasons of difficulty with each of our children (some more than others and longer than others!) but God is faithful! I need to be faithful with these children God has entrusted me with. I know that my children have a will of their own, but I also know that, "women are preserved through the bearing of children" and in the greek it isn't just the actual delivery of a baby, but all the "motherly" type things that we do as Moms. Being preserved in the Greek is translated as "complete" so I know that there are things that God uses through my children to deliver me from my own selfish sin nature, etc. An amen to that as well. =0)

Anonymous said...

Yes, yes, yes, and amen! As the wonderful Ruth Graham wrote how she rattled the very gates of heaven continuously for her rebellious child's return....God is faithful and has returned my 18 year old son back from darkness, transforming our whole family in the process.

Kirsty said...

Thank you, very encouraging.

Anonymous said...

I believe it was meant as in "we must be aware not to become part of the problem (as in enabling.)" A beautiful post, nonetheless. Especially for a struggling new parent.

Unknown said...

I don't have a child yet but I can relate with you because I've experienced to take care of my youngest brother and I know the feeling when they insisting they wanted. Thanks for posting this inspirational blog.

Bible Teaching Church in Oakville

Finding Joy said...

I had a difficult child with ADHD (and I mean difficult for 18 years) and I push and push (he attended a public school that was very good - they do exist) and now he is 25 years old, married to the most wonderful girl (his one and only true love) and is a great cook (does all the cooking - makes the best bread), holds down a full time job, organises the budget and is an adult I am so proud of. Whilst it can look very bleak when you have a difficult child, the results at the end make it all worth while. Never give up and never give in. Its 2 feet forward and 1 foot back. Don't listen to others who have "perfect" children, they will just make you depressed - stay focused, pray and pray some more (my husband is a non-believer so I did all the praying in this marriage) and you will get through. The other side is wonderful:)) My other son was not a difficult child but became difficult as a teenager and that was so much harder. He is slowly growing out of this "stage".

As to the picture - that is a difficult child if he starts to annoy the sleeping dog!!

Anonymous said...

This article spoke to my heart so deeply, I appreciate the encouragement. Today all I wanted to do was give up, but I think I may spend the night in prayer instead of pity. Have a blessed week. Tara.

Is It Not I said...

Such a beautiful post. It is well with my soul in the background moved me deeply as well. Thank you for sharing.

Living in His Mercy,

Suanna said...

I enjoyed reading this and love the picture at the top. It makes me think of when I was a kid - adventuresome, learning about life, busy, etc.

Henna Maria said...

I have been reading your blog for years and it has encouraged and challenged me so much. You are a role model for me. I know you are not perfect, no one is, but nevertheless your example is greatly appreciated!
Yes, I had a child come to my mind as I read the title. This child is the one in the picture too :)
I clicked on the links to your other blog posts... Great stuff!
Thank you for writing.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder. We have one who extremely difficult. We can't seem to make progress on discipline with him. I am very grateful, however, in the last year we joined a new church family after moving and God has placed a couple of ladies in my life who have already made the journey with difficult sons. They are a great encouragement to me. Besides I can see both of their grown sons in the church and see the evidence that it gets better.


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