A Little Help Along the Way


OK, pause for a moment. I want you to say this statement out loud, “God will sustain me through challenging times with my children!”

One of the biggest lies we tend to tell ourselves, is that nobody understands what we’re going through. And though there are times that feel that way, it’s not actually true. We all face difficult circumstances as parents and many are common. 

  • Consider these circumstances that many parents face
  • A child who has rebelled against God and rejects Him completely. 
  • A child is in an abusive situation and refuses assistance. 
  • A child has proclaimed that he or she is gay and wishes to live that lifestyle. 
  • A kid is acting inappropriately sexually. 
  • A young child has intense anxiety.

Each of us will go on an unplanned journey with our children. It’s not easy navigating these challenges, but there are several lessons I’ve learned that have truly helped along the journey. And I want to pass them on to you.

#1 Knowing what’s normal

Knowing what is “normal” is helpful. We go through some predictable stages. These stages are more like a maze than they are linear. In times of suffering, knowing that these emotions are common can be comforting. As we cycle through them and invite God into our grief, He can lead us to deeper levels of acceptance.

#2 Make genuine love a priority

Christ’s love for us has strength. He loves us without conditions and disapproves of the actions we choose that distance us from him. Our tone is just as crucial as the words we use. Your calm and concern must be genuine and warm. Children behave in this way because they are internally conflicted. They require our love, not our condemnation. Now, how do we stay calm in these heated conversations? Not in our own strength.

#3 Grow closer with Christ.

Take time to pray, meditate on Scripture, take walks and listen to God, listen to worship music, and journal to draw closer to Him. This is where we receive the opportunity to learn from God and become more like Christ. Our greatest growth comes from our greatest struggle.

#4 Prayer is everything

We must ask God to help us believe that our prayers are more powerful than our words. One mom of teens told me she sensed God saying to her, “You put more stock in what you say than what you pray.” Intercessory prayer for our children can…

  • Pierce those whose hearts we are unable to open. 
  • Protect those we cannot protect. 
  • Teach in places where we can’t speak. 
  • Where our hearts are unable to calm, provide comfort. 
  • Prayer has an invisible hand that can open doors for us.

#5 Release the guilt and shame

As parents, we want to find some reason for what is happening; often, the first place we look is at ourselves. The truth is that the significant influences in our children’s life are mostly beyond our control. The best way we can help is to release ourselves from guilt that doesn’t address the issue at hand. Taking a healthy and holy look at our hearts and our souls is essential, but it must be done accurately.

Psalm 139: 23-24 states “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Rather than a process of self-criticism, let this be a holy encounter with God. Ask Him to reveal what you need to know or learn.

#6 Let God be God

We can release our children into God’s care once we are convinced that nothing they could possibly say or do could ever cause us to stop loving them. Only then will we be able to simply be with them rather than attempting to change them. We know that trying to change them won’t be successful, but loving them will be very effective.

#7 Take care of yourself

As parents, it is important to prioritize our own need for support and nourishment during difficult times. Invite trusted friends into your pain, seek out spiritual coaching or counseling, and take time to enjoy God, friends, and life. Be compassionate with yourself.

#8 Be present in the moment

You have to choose to live in the present. Cast down what if’s and if only’s, and ask God to meet you in the now.

Most importantly, keep in mind that the same God who knows and loves you so deeply also knows and loves your precious kid. His goal for your family is for you to succeed and prosper. Even—perhaps especially—in your suffering, He is for you and by your side.

With you,


Thanks For Reading.

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  • Thank you -this is very timely. Like so many kids today we see our teenage daughter trying to make her way through a thicket of worldly messages and promises. Praying she will soon see the Shepherd telling her to “lie down in green pastures”….that there IS rest. There IS peace.

By Josh Glaser

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