September 27, 2022 · Bob Gass
“Parents…instruct them about the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 CEV
When you raise each of your children the same way and yet one of them turns out to be a problem child, what should you do? (1) Pray for wisdom. “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established” (Proverbs 24:3 NKJV). Don’t obsess over one child and shortchange the others. Reduce your concentration on your problem child. Instead of continually trying to fix them, enjoy all your children and watch things improve. (2) Give them the time they need. God didn’t make two snowflakes alike, nor two children. Some problem children are just late arrivers; they develop at different rates and in different ways. (3) Accept what you don’t like about them. Many families have a problem child, and they make us uncomfortable by not doing things like the rest of the family. What should you do? Accept them as they are until God either changes them or teaches the family mature, unconditional, noncontrolling love toward them. (4) Do your best and ask God to do the rest. The prophet Samuel’s sons “did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice” (1 Samuel 8:3 NIV). Yes, it was embarrassing and disappointing, but no charge of parental failure is laid on Samuel’s doorstep. He was as godly a man as ever lived. Yet when push came to shove, his sons didn’t choose to follow in his footsteps or embrace his values. (5) Respond by faith, not fixing. However dysfunctional your child may be, their greatest asset is a parent who responds by faith, not fixing; by praying, not prying; and who gets out of God’s way and lets Him work.