7 Questions Parents Need to Ask Themselves When Things Go Wrong

whyWhen things started to go wrong in your child’s life, even though you gave your best and did all you knew to do, did you start asking “why?” Why is this happening to me? Why can’t my son stop drinking and drugging? Why does my daughter suffer from mental illness and make repeated suicide attempts? Why is my child attracted to the same-sex? Why does my child have this relentless eating disorder? Why can’t they stop cutting themselves? Why can’t I help them? Why? Why? Why? It’s a crazy-maker.

The following thoughts are excerpts from a blog by Michael Hyatt. They were so powerful that I wanted to share them with you. He suggests that instead of tormenting ourselves asking why questions, we need to start asking some different ones, like “How can this make me better?”

You want to stop reading right now, but please give this a chance. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask why at all, but at some point it stops being helpful. Almost immediately, I think! Instead, we need to begin asking a whole new group of questions that will enable us to move forward.

Before I tell you Michael’s what questions, listen to his explanation: The answers we get are often determined by the questions we ask. Ask bad questions get bad answers and vice versa. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Now, here are his seven better questions to ask: (these can apply to any situation in your life)

1. What if this isn’t the end but a new beginning?

2. What if the answer to my prayer is just over the next hill?

3.  What if this is necessary for me in order to be prepared for the next important chapter in my life?

4. What if God knows exactly what I need at this particular time?

5. What if God is speaking to me through means I would not have chosen, for a blessing I cannot see?

6. What does this experience make possible?

7. What will I be telling my grandchildren that I learned was so valuable in this season of my life?

God, help every parent reading this to shift from asking why to asking what. As they do, I pray it will bring about a change in perspective. And may this lead to a greater capacity of giving thanks  for every trial they face in their lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Does it feel impossible? This Bible verse may encourage you:

“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.”  (Zechariah 4:6) NIV

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2 thoughts on “7 Questions Parents Need to Ask Themselves When Things Go Wrong

  1. I am not a parent but I agree that there are times when we need to challenge and change our perceptions and responses. It can be enlightening (even freeing) to contemplate, “how can God use (or is using) this experience or situation to move me (or someone else in my life) along a spectrum (or to a another level) to advance His purposes?”. Speaking for myself, I needed (and still need) the lessons that can only be taught through failure, frustration and humility. Thanks for this reminder.

    • Thank you for your comment, Darrell. I’m glad you found something helpful here even though you aren’t a parent! Yes, as you said, we all need lessons that can only be learned through hard times.