The Closet Door Has Opened!
As parents, we often discover things about our children that we wish we didn’t know. Upon learning their secrets, truths or traumas it can be mind numbing and hurtful. In the moment of hearing their distressing news, one may experience shock, anger, shame and say hurtful things. This is normal and to be expected. The Bible tells us how to respond when we hear bad news. In Psalms 112:7 it says, He will not fear bad news; His heart is steadfast, trusting [confidently relying on and believing] in the LORD. (Amplified Bible (AMP)) The parent’s feelings of being upset and overwhelmed must be processed to move the parent/child relationship forward.
The first thing one should do is to get calm. Gain control of your emotions through a quick prayer or deep breathing exercises. Do not say or do anything out of anger.
Once you are calm, depending on the emotions expressed, you may spend the initial moments consoling your child. This is not the time to ask a barrage of questions or have a deep discussion. Just agree to speak in depth at a later date. While you wait to have the conversation, use the time to process your feelings. Know that whatever the news is, nothing is your fault. Your child didn’t “do” anything to you. Please don’t beat yourself up for not seeing red flags or warning signs; chances are they were hidden from you very well. Maybe there weren’t any signs exhibited. What are your beliefs, thoughts, and values surrounding the issue? Try practicing articulating your feelings about the situation so you can respond with clarity. Keep in mind that there is a difference between approval and acceptance. Acceptance is acknowledging the truth of the matter at hand. Even though you may need to put up boundaries, don’t withdraw your love from your child. Creating a negative space doesn’t help matters. Being a Christian parent, you are to show unconditional love, give your child grace, and be courageously wise.
As you navigate a different relationship with your child, continue to pray. Pray for yourself as you learn more about your child and yourself. What is the lesson you are learning as you navigate through this journey? Continue to pray for the child as they live their lives. Remember, God doesn’t put more on you than you can bear.
Peace today and always,