Hi friend, this post is part of my series: parenting a hurting child. I pray that you will be blessed. Check out the other posts in the series and be sure to subscribe so you won’t miss any updates.
Barely in my teens, she found me slumped under the covers in hysteria. He had broken my heart and my 14 year old heart couldn’t stand the pain. Momma sat down on my bed and without once ounce of compassion said- “no boy will ever be worth crying over. Don’t waste your time.”
I remember staring into the hard lines in her face that day. Marks of her strength and determination to do what no woman should ever have to do. She sacrificed everything for us, yet she never revealed the pain. In fact, it wasn’t until I walked the same valley myself that I realized the secrets she kept inside. That deep pain that leaves debilitating scars. She just kept it hidden. Somewhere between despair and reality she decided that no one needed to know.
Oh friends, this is such a lie. People need to know or they will never be able to help. We should never be afraid to share our pain and should work hard to help our children express theirs.
Momma had every intent to help me, she absolutely did. She just didn’t know how… The message to my 14 year old heart was clear and it wounded. Instead of believing that this boy wasn’t worth crying over, I simply believed that I wasn’t worth being heard and it changed me. If there is anything that you can do for your hurting children, please let them cry. Because being afraid to cry is costly, beyond what we might imagine…
The biblical truth about crying:
Crying heals and blesses
- O Lord my God, I cried to you for help and you healed me. Psalm 30:2
- The righteous cry and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. Psalm 34:17
- I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Psalm 40:1-3
- Jesus said…Blessed are those who mourn. Matthew 5:4
Crying is Christ-like
- Jesus was a man of sorrows. Isaiah 53:3
- Jesus was overwhelmed with sorrow in the garden. Matt. 26:37-28
- When Jesus heard of Lazarus’ death, he wept. John 11:33-36
- While on this earth, Jesus pleaded for us and offered up prayers with loud cries and tears. Hebrews 5:7
Crying does not equal a lack of faith
If we claim that crying shows a lack of faith, then we are saying that Christ had a lack of faith. We know this isn’t true. One glance over the verses above makes it obvious that Jesus wept…even when he fully knew what God had planned. Both in the garden and over Lazarus, he wept not out of a lack of faith, but out of love and compassion for the suffering. Let us not buy the lie that our tears are a result of a lack of faith.
How to help:
If tears are ok, then what can we do to help our children? First, make sure that your child knows that crying is healing. Teach them that crying is a blessing by using the verses that I listed above. Help them to see that Jesus wept over some of the same things that he/she is facing. Most importantly, mourn with your child.
Romans 12:15 tells us to mourn with those who mourn. Ephesians 4:32 tells us to have compassion. There is nothing worse that feeling broken and facing a person with a big silly grin on their face. Now, I’m not saying that we should always live in a state of grieving. By all means, that is not healthy. But when your child is sad, let them be sad and don’t act like their are silly for feeling that way. Hold them and invest extra time in those broken moments. Remember, the dishes in the sink will always wait. The sadness will pass and the silly grins will once again be welcome.
Consider allowing your child to have mental health days. If the suffering is on-going, this may need to happen more than once. Allow them to stay home from school or take a break if they are homeschooled. If he/she is dealing with a wave of sadness, a school day won’t be productive anyway. Be sensitive to your child’s needs and offer that much needed break.
Be there to help guard them against despair. There is a point when crying reaches despair. If your child is comfortable opening up to you, the opportunity to help pull them out of the pit of despair will be helpful. Despair is that point when we begin to claim that God can’t fix this or God isn’t big enough. It’s that point when we blame God or want to punish him for what has happened to us. None of us wants to admit that we get to that point, but we do. We need someone to talk some sense into us. (Hey, that applies to parents, too. Do you have a friend to talk you down from the ledge?)
Teach them the scripture that they need to hold on to God. We are going to spend an entire day on this later in the series, but for now, I must at least mention it. One of the ways that I do this for my kids is through music. Our favorite: Seeds of Courage. These CD’s are straight scripture and Seeds of Courage deals with hard issues that kids face. One song is Psalms 40:1-3 that I listed above. (Side note about Seeds…every CD you purchase comes with a free CD to giveaway. How cool is that?)
Because I love you and I want your children to seek the only ONE who heals… I am giving away a copy of Seeds of Courage. Enter below.
Your turn… What is your experience with crying? Does this post present it in a way that is new to you? Share your thoughts with us so that we can all encourage one another.
This post is part of ihomeschool network’s Hopscotch series. Check out the other series plus win cool prizes.
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