Thursday, September 07, 2006

Most mothers would have to admit that we want our kids to be happy. We don't want our kids to struggle with failure or insecurity, and we want them to be accepted by their peers unconditionally. In a sense, we want their lives to be easy and hassle-free, unlike our own. In this we forget that the struggle is where God often meets us--and our children. He is present and available in their insecurities, fears, sadnesses and failures. It is easy to find Him in hardship simply because their need is so great and He is faithful to meet their needs.

As my daughters have become teens and their struggles have become more like my own, I am realizing what a great opportunity the hard times present to Craig and I as parents. God is providing practical moments, not to lead our kids towards happiness, but rather towards an intimate relationship with God. Rather than becoming frustrated with the struggles, we are learning to welcome these situations and work through them, always pointing our kids in the direction of God's path. The world offers temporary happiness as one of it's benefits, but seeking after it only leads to constantly striving for more, since we all know that the feeling of happiness is fleeting. Living a life following God and encouraging our kids to do the same, brings lasting fulfillment and purpose, both of which far outweigh temporal gratification.

Our children's lives will be full of happiness and heartache. Even if they struggle in their jobs, their marriages and with their kids, my hope is that they will have learned that Christ is always the answer. Learning early on that God's path is the best way to travel through life is foundational to their later years when they will be called upon, as individuals, to navigate their way through difficult situations. Life in Him may not bring constant happiness, but it will be an abundant life laced with peace and joy, and it is our job as parents to point them toward the right path.