Loving parents make it their constant care to protect their children from harm. This is a natural part of love that always wants what’s best for their children. While this makes perfect sense for most people, I have come to realize that protecting our kids may not always be the best.
Of course, I am not suggesting that we remove our protection and let them fend for themselves from now on. Rather, I want to bring light to ways in which we might actually be hurting our children in certain circumstances when we seek to shield them.
Let me explain. Consider a situation where Dad loses his job and has little reserve resources to tide the family expenses over until he can get another job. The family is now exposed and vulnerable. Most parents would seek to do their very best to act normal, as if all is fine. They’re hoping to shield their children from worrying about their future.
I would suggest, after a time of prayer and the Spirit’s confirmation, to allow your children to know what is going on with the family. In doing so, along with words of comfort and encouragement that all will be fine, this becomes a teachable moment that God will be their source of peace and comfort.
I believe that our children would benefit more from understanding what the real situation is and watching Mom and Dad go through these uncertain times with God! By choosing to go down this road, you not only prepare your kids for tough times ahead but also give them important examples of HOW to depend on God for your provision.
I remember having a conversation with my oldest daughter Sarah who was in her freshman year of high school. I informed her that I had no savings account (working as a Youth Minister in the Catholic Church :o) and, therefore, no college fund for her to go to school. She immediately freaked out and started to worry that she would not be able to go.
I simply informed her of the truth. “Oh honey, you don’t need to worry. God will take care of getting you through school,” I said. She immediately replied, “But how”? I responded, “That is the exciting part. I don’t know. But the good news is that I don’t need to know, because I have God – He knows everything.”
As she was preparing to enter Franciscan University of Steubenville, I asked her about the money to go. After four years of high school, she had grown in her faith enough to simply trust that God would provide.
Sometimes we need to allow our kids to see difficult things so that we can give them something much more valuable than a worry-free childhood – faith in a real God!
1 Peter 1:6-9