Thursday, October 15, 2009

Broken Bones, Happy Hearts

In the middle of the night, I came down the stairs in the dark. I did not want to disturb my sleeping family with the lights. Misjudging the last step, I tripped and broke two bones in my foot.

I noticed something about going through struggles. Your kids will mirror your reaction to difficulties. Deciding to go to the hospital, waiting for hours, dealing with pain ... my kids were watching me and Steve's reactions to everything. I was keenly aware of this. I noticed that my son, one year old, had his thumb in his mouth almost the entire day. He was trying to cope with all that was going on around him. I did my best to remain upbeat, telling him we were "going for a race in the wheel chair" and held him tightly as we were manuevered to X-rays and doctors. He cheered up a bit, looking to my face for assurance. Kids are very smart, and pick up on so much more than we give them credit for. God gave us the grace to handle this tough situation in a way that was comforting to our kids.

What if we would have ben panic sticken or grumpy? For one thing, we would have had an upset four-year-old and screaming one-year-old at the hospital. Not only that, but it is important to think of long term affects of our attitudes. What would that have taught our kids about difficulty? "Yes, we tell you God is real. But we can not believe that He is in control of unexpected difficulties. So its okay to lose your cool since God is not in control."

To raise kids that will be adults who can cope with difficulties, we must give that example. If we show a happy heart in the midst of a trial, it is more likely they will do the same as adults (and maybe even now as children!)

Let them see, through our example, that our God is to be trusted with whatever comes our way.

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