Q: We're getting a divorce and it's a nasty one. My kids are legitimately angry. What concerns me is that they're not only mad at us, but they're also mad at God. How do I help them? If I were honest...I would have to admit that I'm mad at Him too. read answer
A: We don't need to tell you that divorce is heart breaking for everyone. It's very hard to help our children deal with their pain when we're hurting as well. There are some great resources out there to help you and your children navigate these challenges (see the 'Resources' page), however, here are some thoughts regarding their feelings about God...
We all let our children down. No matter what the circumstances of your divorce may be the reality is when their parent's divorce, children feel betrayed. The two people they think they should be able to count on, left each other. The message that can be planted in their hearts is: every one has the potential to leave and, therefore, you can't trust anyone completely. This message can poison their relationship with God as well.
It's critical that you help them focus on who God really is (Faithful, Loving, Never Changing, Everywhere, All Knowing, Merciful...). He will be with them no matter what and He will never leave them...no matter what. God is still in control (even if it feels like He's not) and He will make sure that His good will is accomplished in their lives as they cling to Him. Make time now, more than ever, to go through the Family Adventures With God whenever you have your children with you.
The minute you take their focus off who God really is and begin making this about justifying your behavior (even if it's justifiable) your children will loose confidence in God. Be diligent to teach your children who God really is and that He will NEVER divorce them! In the process you may find the hope, encouragement and answers you're looking for as well!
Q: I'm so tired of fighting with my grade school daughter about her clothes! She wants to wear tops that are too tight and too low cut, and her skirts that are too high and barely cover her. I tell her that God would not approve but she says He's out of touch... and she's not even a teenager! Help! read answer
A: Oh my word I feel your pain! It is sooo hard to find trendy clothes for our young girls without compromising their modesty and innocence. I've found, however, that if I'm always saying "no" to my daughter because "God doesn't approve" she can quickly come to resent God. Jesus didn't focus on the "rules" He focused on the principles and the heart of God behind the principles.
Here are the principles of modesty:
Q: My friend recently lost her battle with cancer. We had prayed for months that God would heal her. My children are crushed that He didn't. What do I say? read answer
A: Your children are not alone. I've wrestled with this question myself. Here are some basic questions that arise from our hurt:
Take your child to the Creator/King and talk about the fact that He is always in control and that because He Knows Everything, is Always Right, Merciful, Faithful and Loves your friend more than anyone ever could, you can trust His decision to say "no" to your prayers for healing and "yes" to your prayers for comfort.
Our children need to know that prayers do make a difference, but it's not like a magic wand we can wave and get whatever we want. (Look at the Family Adventures Bible Times on God's Power and Faithfulness)
Q: We're losing our home and my kids don't understand why God didn't supply what we needed to keep it. What do I tell them? read answer
A: I asked a dear friend of mine to give her perspective on this very challenging experience. She's a single mom with three children, one of whom is physically challenged. Left to raise the kids on her own she struggled to make ends meet. Her landlord unexpectedly announced that they would have to vacate their home within days. She had no deposit money and couldn't find any place she could rent without it. It appeared that her car was to become their next home. God answered her prayers by sending a couple to her who offered to let the family stay with them until she could save the deposit money.
Her advice is this:
First, I never let the kids know how bad it was. I just didn't feel like they could process it. I told them that God had provided for us to live with someone else until He arranged for a different house. They didn't know until years later how close we came to living in the car. But even if we did end up in the car I would have focused on God's provision of the car. He always provides. Sometimes our decisions and choices make it seem challenging, but He never abandons us.
It's important for our children to know what God promises and what He doesn't. He doesn't promise to answer every prayer with a "yes", but He does promise to provide for our needs. However, He doesn't always provide the way we expect. Explore the Family Adventure on God's Faithfulness with your children and help them see His faithful provision in the midst of difficult loss.
Q: We can't seem to have time for family devotions. I know it's important, but everyone is so busy we hardly find time to eat a meal together! read answer
A: I think you just found your answer! If a family mealtime is the one thing you are trying to make happen--then weave your family devotions into the dinner experience!
Family Adventures includes 'Table Talk' questions with each Bible Time. Use them to encourage dinner conversation about who God really is and why that matters in their lives. Then, before anyone leaves the table, take a few minutes to open God's Word together... of course we would recommend using the Family Adventures Bible Times!
Family devotions can happen any time, anywhere. Figure out what works best for your lifestyle and do it your way. Don't embrace the "lie" that life is too busy. If it's really too busy to meet with God as a family, it's time for a change!!!!
Q: What do I tell my son who says that our neighbor, who's not a Christian, is nicer than the boys at church. He can't believe that God would send his neighbor to hell and let the mean boys go to heaven. read answer
A: Wow, don't we all know people who act more like "Christians" than some Christians? (Of course, just because someone goes to church it doesn't mean they've accepted Jesus as their Savior.) I encourage you to take your child through the Family Adventure on God's Love. It will give them a context for the answer to this question.
Why God's Love? Because under the disguise of His Love that the enemy makes his case. God's "love" is used as a tool to dilute the importance of the sacrifice Jesus made for us.
How? One of Satan's most effective tools is "bending the truth...just a little". Here is the "bent truth", or more accurately, the "Lie":
Your child will hear that God loves us so much that He sent His Son to pay for our sins... However, He also loves us too much to send a "good" person to hell...that would be cruel. So, He provided many ways to get to heaven.
God's Perfect Love would never send His precious Son to die a horrible death on our behalf and then declare it unnecessary.
Either Jesus is the only way or He's not. God is either truly Loving or He's truly cruel. He cannot be both.
It's important for your child to remember that it is because of His Perfect Love that God keeps knocking on the door of a person's heart until the day they die.
The Holy Spirit is also referred to as the Holy Ghost, but He's not to be confused with the ghosts we read about it stories. There are some serious differences however.
Explore the Adventure on God's Holiness to give your child a clearer picture of who the Holy Spirit really is and how He helps us.