When things happen that just don’t make sense, I think the very “Christian” thing to do is to put a Bible-verse-bandaid on it and hope that the bleeding stops.
But as a parent, I think it is a bad idea to cover up feelings and emotions with Bible verses.
I think it is a wise thing to heal feelings and emotions with Bible verses.
Let me explain the difference.
You know the verses I’m talking about…the ones that instinctively make you roll your eyes the second you hear someone say them to you.
And then you immediately feel that guilty feelings come over you because, who rolls their eyes at the BIBLE?
So it’s usually the “all things work together”, “be anxious for nothing”, and “I can do all things” ones.
And here’s the thing. The bible is not a bandaid.
It’s a sword, actually.
It’s for opening up wounds to reveal the heart.
It’s a light.
It’s for putting the spotlight on our sin so we can confess and repent and look more like Jesus.
It’s for relationship.
It’s for spending time listening to the living Word that shows us a real, loving person who wants a real, loving relationship with us.
So we need to start using it in that way.
After a big disappointment in life, I realized how I was feeling about God.
How I was feeling about his character, how I was feeling about the way he was treating my family, how I was feeling about what he thought of me.
It was not positive and even though I knew that it was based on my feelings, it did not minimize the emotions and the “Realness” behind it.
I also knew that my boys were feeling the same way.
What happens when you sit on feelings and emotions without addressing them, is that they start to creep into other aspects of your life.
You may not realize it, but you start making a little pile of hurts and misunderstandings.
After time, it becomes an enormous pile of big hurts and misunderstandings.
And after an even longer time, you look back and wonder how you ever got to this point of bitterness that you never saw coming.
So here’s the question. Should you let your kids question God?
My answer? YES. Yes, yes and yes.
Listen, we all question God at times. All of us.
I do not think that we need to raise our kids to feel guilty for the questions, but I do think we need to train them on what to do with those questions and emotions.
Here’s what I think it should look like.
After a disappointment, or hurt, or loss…I think it would be helpful if we did this.
Take your child out for an ice cream, or donut, or just make some hot chocolate and get some time alone together.
Bring a notebook and your Bibles.
Express the fact that feelings and emotions come from God himself! He made us emotional people!
It is not a negative. However, when we allow our feelings (heart) and emotions to control us, that is where we can get into trouble.
Tell them that everything you talk about today will be honest. Promise that you will be honest with what you say, and you want them to be honest with what they say.
No judging each other. Make it a deal. (Do a handshake, pinky swear, knuckles, whatever…keep it lighthearted but deep and real.)
Take out your notebook.
Make two columns.
One column will say “What I feel”
The other column will say “What I know”
In the first column, be totally and completely honest with how you feel.
You can go first so they know it’s a safe place.
I’ll share a little bit of what mine looked like.
1. I feel like God does not want to give me good things.
2. I feel like God does not want me to succeed.
I told you it would be deep and real.
This is real, life stuff and real, life emotions.
Now. Once you have both gone back and forth with what you FEEL.
You are going to look over your list and determine that you will find out, from God himself, if these feelings could be truth.
So with number 1. I feel like God does not want to give me good things.
Let’s do some research to see what God actually says.
Matthew 7:11 – …how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him.P
Psalm 85:12 – The Lord will give what is good.
Psalm 34:10 – But they who seek the LORD shall not be in want of any good thing.
Alright. So I know my feelings. And they are based on this, this and this with what I see, what happened, what I feel, etc.
BUT God says all of this about God giving me good things.
So, let’s check it out. Are my feelings based on truth?
In this case, no.
Alright, let’s go to the next one.
And you go through your list of your feelings, and you check them out based on God’s truth.
TRUTH OVER FEELINGS EVERY TIME.
You are teaching your kids that feelings are real, and shouldn’t be ignored or brushed off.
And disappointments and loss and hurt are all very real.
And you are teaching them that YOU are the safe place to go to talk about those very real feelings.
Do your kids feel safe to tell you “I don’t feel like God loves me.” or “I don’t think God hears my prayers at all”
and not be afraid that you’re going to say- come on… you know that’s not true. Don’t say that. That’s not right…
Also, there may be times when your kids feel like God is not hearing their prayers, and maybe that is accurate.
Do some research on what God says about that. Have him read the verse that says, if I have iniquity in my heart, God won’t hear me.
Be open and honest about everything God says, and don’t be afraid to admit that you don’t understand the answer,
but you are going to work together to find it!
Because if our kids are going to be feeling any of these things (And they will.) They will either hold it all in until they break,
or they may talk to someone who will just tell them that maybe it is true. Maybe God doesn’t love them, or hear their prayers, or you know what?
Maybe God isn’t even real!
Should you let your kids question God?
Well, I think your kids are going to question God whether you know it or not.
So the real question should be, should you let your kids talk to you about how they question God.
And the answer to that would be yes.
But let our questions lead us to the truth.
Let our questions lead us to the one. Jesus.
The one who is the way the truth and the life.
The one who came and lived among men who is full of grace and truth.
We need to correctly hand the word of truth with ourselves and with our kids.
Let’s raise our kids to be thinkers, to know where to go with their emotions, and to know what to do with their feelings.
Help them to use their feelings to find the truth.
Not their truth. THE truth.
We will then have strong, unwavering, godly kids who grow into strong, unwavering, godly adults that this world so desperately needs.
And in all of it, it helps you to put the truth above your own feelings, and it brings you closer to your kids.
Life is hard.
Doing it together and figuring out what God wants in all of us makes it better.
Yes, question God. But always let God give the final answer.
Truth over feelings every time.