We find ourselves each day in the middle of a struggle to live transparently with those around us versus masking the harshness of reality. Oftentimes, the relationships we have with our children are among the hardest. Jacob gives valuable encouragement for us to depend on Jesus and dive into real transparency.
If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another…
1 John 1:7
Scripture clearly encourages us to live a life of transparency (walk in the light). And the result? Fellowship with one another.
What could our relationships with our children look like if we brought them into the harsh realities of the world around us? There is hope for us in this realm!
Let’s look at a couple of natural ways to live transparently with our children:
- Talk about reality – Our children need to know there are hard things in the world and it is ok for things to be hard. We have a God who can handle it – ALL! Don’t sugar coat it! Acknowledge the world around you and them. Remind them, as God promises, “If we walk in the light…we will have fellowship with each other”. We can get through this together…with the help of our ultimate hope…Jesus!
- Pray together – A great practice is to use the current events of the world as ways to inform our children of some harsh realities while at the same time pointing them to Jesus. The Denison Forum is a great tool for (as they say) discerning news differently. We can discuss the most recent tragic event and teach our kids to pray for the families affected. These events can be in our own family, regarding close friends, or the world at large. Acknowledging hard things in the world and leading our kids to talk with God about those teaches them habits they can continue to use for life.
- Have eyes to see and encourage – While we understand the harshness of reality in our world, our kids are learning to deal with it in their own world. Our kids might not naturally bring us into the hard things of their life, yet they long to be encouraged in these hard areas. As parents we need to make sure our schedule isn’t so full we don’t take time to listen. A good time for this might be right before bed time. Tuck them in and ask them what was hard about their day. Listen intently and encourage them from Scripture on how they can respond or turn to Jesus in those hard moments.
Our children need to know there are hard things in the world and it is ok for things to be hard. Don’t sugar coat it! Acknowledge the world around you and them. Remind them, as God promises, “If we walk in the light…we will have fellowship with each other”. We can get through this together…with the help of our ultimate hope…Jesus!
Where is one area of life you experience hard things? Did anyone say something hurtful to you today? How did you respond? Who do you know that is dealing with hard things we can pray for?