The Importance of Struggle – Part 2

Last time we saw that a Biblical worldview acknowledges there is importance in our struggle. Because we serve a good and sovereign God, there is purpose in our suffering. This purpose is our growth and God’s glory.

Now we follow the logic of this truth to the next step. Namely, what does this mean for our children?

We would all agree that we want God to be glorified in our children. We want our children to have a relationship with their Creator. We want our children to dwell with their God and enjoy Him for eternity. But wait, in Luke 9:23, Jesus said, “Anyone who would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” And the converse in Luke 14:27, “The one who does not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” If this is true, then we must acknowledge what is also true is that our children, if Christians, are gearing up for a life with trial, struggle, and suffering. If we can swallow this, let’s then ask, “Are we preparing them for these trials or are we protecting them from these trials?”

Is not our God, the sovereign and good God, over their lives as well? Are we teaching them to lean into the trial, entrusting themselves to their God, and learning to endure suffering for the glory of God? When we attempt to protect them from all difficulty, are we not forgetting the Lord’s purpose in trial? If we want our children to be faithful children of their King, then we must teach them to entrust themselves to their God, especially when it hurts.

If we are not purposeful about this education, then we do nothing more than create pleasure seeking, struggle fleeing, comfort addicts. We give them the world and expect them to be grateful. We create an insulated bubble wrapped world with no sharp corners and no danger of falling, all the while hoping that they learn to stand for truth, goodness, and beauty in the face of opposition. We expect them to desire to faithfully serve their God, even when it hurts, yet we shield them from discomfort. We expect them to be trained by their trials, rather than grumbling and complaining through them, yet we remove obstacles that would teach them to lean on their God.

If we are honest, we should acknowledge that we cannot comfort them like He can. We cannot care for them like He can. Then let us be intentional to instruct our children to entrust themselves to the good and sovereign hands of their God.

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