How to prepare your children for the difficult seasons of life

Preparing your children to face life is a huge parental responsibility!  At first, certain things are obvious: hot stoves, busy streets, harsh weather, dangerous terrain, evil people, etc., these are things your children need to know. But, there is no way to prepare and protect your children from every danger and uncertainty of life. There is too much which is beyond your control and your ability to discern all that they might need to know.

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You cannot fully prepare your children for life itself.  The storms in Matthew 7 come to the wise and the unwise alike.  Until we go to be with Christ, sin, and uncertainty will be a part of life.  You must not deceive yourselves and your children and give them the false impression that unexpected, painful things will not happen. You have to prepare your children for the unexpected. But it is okay. God has provided the answers you need in His Word!

The first principle is from Luke 12. Don’t be controlled by worry. Worrying about what might happen will lead to a lack of stability and faith. Worry creates a relational climate of fear and doubt. Worrying about what might happen is spending energy on thinking about you cannot control.  Honoring God through obedience is the opposite of worry.

The second principle is from Psalm 46. God’s care is certain. The psalm assumes that hard things will happen and that God is a refuge of strength when life becomes difficult. This psalm teaches that even if life is falling about around you, God’s care is constant. He is a refuge strong and sure.

The third principle is from James 4. Your children must be conscious that things happen because of God’s will.  Do not be presumptuous to the point of thinking that something will or will not happen simply because of what you want it to.  James specifically speaks to the uncertainties of life:

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”

By putting these three principles together, you have a good plan to prepare to your children to deal with the uncertainty of life.

Tell your children what is certain and uncertain life. If you faithfully tell your children that your plans will happen if God wills them to, you will help them to order their own priorities.  We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but God does. While future situations are uncertain, God’s care is not. There is no need to worry. These three principles will help prepare your children for the uncertainties of life.


Jay Younts is the author of Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, and he is the Shepherd Press blogger. He is a ruling elder at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.


 

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