How Can We Help Our Kids Struggle Well?
How often do you encourage your child to try something hard? When they do and fail miserably how do you encourage them? We often want our kids’ lives to be easy and only full of success. Rachel points us back to the truth of what we have to gain by admitting our weaknesses because of God’s great grace.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
Growing up my home felt like a place where my brothers and I were free to try and free to fail without being shamed for the places we fell short. Looking back, I see a large portion of that freedom came from a mom who was never afraid to admit to us when she missed the mark. Her confidence in her identity in Christ gave her the liberty to be transparent about her imperfections.
We are a people who both fear failure and, by nature, fail often. How can we, as followers of Jesus, live confidently, even with our weaknesses, so we can boast all the more of the power of the One who NEVER fails?
- Don’t hide our emotions. – When we are honest about the frustration, embarrassment, or shame we feel in our shortcomings it opens the door for intimacy with both our Heavenly Father and the people we choose to let in. In Mark 5, we’re reminded when we’re open with Jesus about our weaknesses, He is quick to meet us, hear us, and heal us. Our weaknesses get to create intimacy rather than isolation when we surrender them to Christ.
- Look to Christ for our identity first and foremost. – We find purpose in our weakness when we walk confidently in who Christ says we are. Like Psalm 119:11 models, we are to store God’s word in our hearts, so we don’t forget we are redeemed, chosen, beloved, righteous, holy, blameless, and an adopted child of God. When we believe we are who Christ says we are, we are able to admit our faults knowing our worth does not waver based on our success, rather on the victory Jesus already achieved for us.
- Practice confession and reconciliation. – Instead of trying to ignore the places we fail, practice admitting fault and asking for forgiveness. Jesus willingly gave His life so we wouldn’t have to carry around the burden of guilt and shame anymore. According to James 5:16 one of the benefits of this free gift is when we walk in confession, we get to hand that burden over to Jesus to carry instead of trying to bear the load on our own. Forgiveness and healing are only possible because of what Jesus did on the cross for you and for me. Let’s stop trying to pretend we are perfect and step into the freedom the gospel brings through vulnerable confession, and humble reconciliation.
If you have areas of your life where you are falling short, you’re in good company! Let’s lead the charge in training our kids that they don’t have to be perfect, because we have a Heavenly Father who is!
When was the last time you tried something new and failed? Did you try and hide it, or were you honest about how it made you feel? What do you think Jesus wants you to do with that experience? He loves you no matter what!