Four Truths for Parents in Pain

Grief is a painful emotion. It’s usually connected with the death of someone we love or with someone we have enjoyed a close relationship with.Grieving

Grief can also be connected to those we love or have a close relationship with who are still alive  It’s a common emotion deep within a parent’s heart when their child is making destructive decisions.

This shouldn’t surprise us but it seems to take us off guard when we first experience it. We can’t figure out what’s going on until someone suggests that we’re grieving the loss of several things regarding our child. Here are just a few:

The loss of hopes or expectations of what we anticipated their lives becoming as they grow and mature.
The loss of a close relationship we once enjoyed.
Times of laughter or meaningful conversations.
Fond memories of special occasions or milestones in their lives.

Lately I rediscovered a passage of scripture that put a new perspective on my grief.

“The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The LORD was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” Genesis 6:5-6   NIV

God grieves deep in his heart at the rebellion and destructive decisions of each one of us.  The Bible teaches, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  What I failed to realize was not only have I sinned but I have caused considerable pain in  God’s heart.

Another passage I pass over without giving it a second thought is:
“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”  Ephesians 4:30 NIV

When I sin, I cause God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit grief and pain. This pain is no less than what my own heart feels when my child makes destructive decisions. This pain goes deep, to the very core of our being.

As I turned these truths over in my mind I made a few other connections:

1. God feels the grief and pain that I feel in my heart with my child’s destructive and rebellious decisions and behaviors. However, it’s a far deeper pain than I can imagine.
2. I am not alone in my pain.  
3. I have an opportunity to know more intimately the heart of God for His children.
4. I can turn my focus from my child to focus on my relationship with God. What are the ways I hurt Him by my various choices to disobey, neglect or harden myself toward Him?

God, use my pain to remind me how I hurt you when I disobey, rebel, neglect or take your loving kindness for granted. May I learn more of your heart for broken and hurting people.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

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