31 Days {In Pursuit} Of Your Child’s Heart- Day 22

Day 22: Discern Their Sufferings


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“Be quick to discern their pains and sufferings, and be ready to bring help.”

(Charlotte Mason, Ourselves, p. 90)

* * *

She is absolutely one of the sweetest and loving girls I know. Now, I might be biased, but I’ve watched my daughter blossom through the years. At six years of age she has such a heart for God and for children. She loves to put a smile on others. It’s not a surprise to hear her say, “Mom, let’s go visit Pauline (our widowed neighbor).” Sit with her for a few minutes and she’ll talk your ear off. She’s smart. She’s fun. She’s filled with joy. Her life is like a musical (she sings and dances ALL day!).

She blesses my heart.

Teenage son, same thing. He has a laugh and a smile that’s contagious.  He’s courageous and brave. Steady even. I’ve seen him go through things adults wouldn’t be able to handle. I’ve watched him sit in a hospital bed for 23 days without opening his mouth to complain.

I’ve heard him ask real questions. Seek real answers. And not be satisfied with a ‘just because’. He’s a fighter. He’s strong. He loves God, loves to worship. On most days you’ll hear sweet music flowing from his room through the hallways, filling the rooms and filling my heart.

Stepson. The sweetest young man I know. He has a true heart of generosity. Put something in his hand and he looks for a way to give it away. He’s very respectful and obedient. He loves to sit and tell you about his day… even the little things. He has a heart of gold, that one. He’s wise, always thinking ahead to the future. Makes decision with a goal in mind. He’s confident in his decisions, and is not easily persuaded. He’s comfortable in his skin. I love that about him.

They’re my “Treasure Box”, God’s gifts to me.

Then There Are Days…

When I’m asking, “Where are my precious ones and what have you done with them?!!”

On those days it’s easy to resort to yelling and “showing them who’s boss”. But can I share with you something I learned several years ago?

That doesn’t work.

See, God’s entrusted us with children filled with their own dreams, desires, and needs. Although I believe discipline, correction, and rebuke are necessary, I’ve seen parents, myself included, run to these without stopping to see the heart of the child.

There were times when what looked like rebellion was really a heart filled with hurt.

There were times when what looked like complete defiance was really a child who doesn’t like to be put on the spot.

There were times when what looked like disregard for authority was really a child who was battling extreme pressure in school.

There were times when what looked like disrespect was really a child who wanted a safe place to share their heart.

There were times when what looked like laziness and uncleanliness was really a child who gets overwhelmed with too much stuff.

There were times when what looked like disobedience and disorder was really a child who was exhausted and needed some rest.

If we’re not careful, we can crush their hearts and their spirits because of our blindness to their suffering.

Today’s Challenge

Today’s challenge requires us to get with God. Let’s pray He’d help us to walk in wisdom, compassion, and love. That He would help us to discern their pain and suffering so that we’d be able to respond in a way that doesn’t contribute to the problem.

Again, there’s a time for discipline, correction, and rebuke. But sometimes, all a kid needs is a hug, a kiss, and an encouraging word. Other times, they might need us to just come down to their level and help them makes sense of things.

Let’s go {In Pursuit} of their hearts by giving them a safe place to process things through. Let’s walk in the wisdom of Charlotte Mason’s counsel, “Be quick to discern their pain and their suffering, and be ready to bring them help.”

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Posted on October 22, 2013, in 3-5 YEAR OLDS, 31 Days {In Pursuit} Of Your Child's Heart, FAMILY LIFE, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, PARENTING, TEENS. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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