Overall, I have really enjoyed having older kids. C.J. is in tenth grade, and Ryan is in fourth grade, and they both attend an international school with other missionary kids. I never was a mom who just relished the baby stage. I loved it when my kids were old enough to do things for themselves. So, when my husband’s mom stated, “Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems,” it made me think.
And, as C.J. grows and expands his horizons, I can see what she means. His problems aren’t so simple anymore. I’m sure those of you who live in the States with teenagers can relate! I can’t just bandage his knee and make it go away. His issues need to be discussed and processed through. Sometimes we as parents, no matter what continent we’re on, need to make decisions in love, with the big picture of our kids’ lives in mind that hurt at the same time.
A few weeks ago, we had to make one of those decisions. It wasn’t anything bad he was doing, he was just overdoing a good activity to the detriment of his homework. So, we decided that he needed to stop that activity on school afternoons and save it for the weekends. Now, mind you, a part of C.J.’s heart was tied up in this activity. And that hurt him to take it away, and it hurt us to watch him hurt too.
God used that parental hurt to remind me of how He feels about us when He allows us to go through painful things. He’s not being spiteful or aloof. He loves us like a father, and it hurts His heart when we hurt. But, He also has the big picture in mind, and He is always working for our good. And He is willing for us to go through pain if it is for our best in the end. That’s what love does.