Example #1: Your child hurts my child
What are we going to do when our children hurt one another? This is a sensitive subject isn’t it? We love our children, we defend our children, we protect our children, so when my little angel gets hurt by your little terror then it can get really complicated.
What are you going to do? We might gossip to the other parents and say something like, “Be sure to watch your children around that “one” over there. We might attack and say something like, “You need to do a better job of watching your children!” We might suppress and become bitter so every time we see them we think to ourselves, “Yep, there they go doing a horrible job of parenting!” When we are doing this we are telling ourselves God didn’t want this to happen and I need to do something to fix it! But what if we were more than friends then the gospel will shape our relationships with one another and we can:
- Admit Our Sin: Admit that we fail as a parents all the time and there is no way I am going to raise a perfect child. Also, my children are sinners, and just because they told me what “Happened” doesn’t mean it is always what “Happened.”
- Forgiveness: Often times in these situations we will have this burden to unload shame, guilt, and condemnation upon another parent and that is not our role. We don’t need to replay this event in our mind over and over so we don’t forget, and we can extend forgiveness.
- Trust: It is an opportunity to trust that my identity is not in my parenting. I don’t have to defend my children. God is going to defend our children because He cares more about our children then we do. Their life is in His hands, and this difficulty is for their good and their growth.
- Humility: I can talk with this parent with the understanding that we are all trying to work together toward the same goal and none of us have it completely figured out.
All of our children are going to experience great joy and great pain. Wouldn’t it be great when we enter into our season of pain that our friendships wouldn’t be a place of critique, comparison, and difficulty, but instead a place of safety where we know we are for one another and remind one another of these four characteristics.