My two boys, ages 13 and 14, were walking with their friends a couple of months ago, when they were attacked and robbed by a group of older boys. My oldest tried to play the tough guy and ended up on the ground and kicked and hit repeatedly. He gave all of the stuff they asked for and then all of them ran home bruised and upset. Of course, we called the police to make a report but they didn’t know the culprits so the chances are that nothing will happen. So, what lessons can you learn when your child is hurting and life doesn’t seem fair?
4 Lessons When Your Child is Hurting
I have to be honest. My first reaction was to try and figure out who these kids were and give them a piece of my mind. I was angry, I felt a sense of injustice, and I wanted them to pay for what they had done. However, when I had time to think and settled down, I counted my blessings. I praised God that they were not seriously injured. We prayed for these boys and their families.
Here are four lessons the Lord taught me and I hope they are relatable to you whenever you find your child hurting. Whether you are dealing with a bully, an injustice, hurt feelings, or just a misunderstanding, I hope that these help us to move forward with a Christ-like attitude and Biblical understanding.
1. Vengeance Belongs to the Lord
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.Romans 12:19 NIV
I don’t consider myself a violent or spiteful person. However, when my babies are hurt, Momma Bear tends to take over. I seriously had the thought, “some one needs to pay for this.” After I had time to cool down and talk with God, He reminded my heart that He is the one who takes care of evil. It may not be what I want but in His way and in His time, He will work everything out.
It was a great teaching moment for our children as well. When some one does us evil, we do not repay evil for evil. Earlier in Romans 12, Paul said, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.” (v. 17 NIV) We seek to rise above the situation and submit to God so that He can comfort us, teach us, and grow us.
2. Forgiveness is Critical When Your Child is Hurting
But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.Matthew 6:15 NIV
We all know that if we let a situation play out over and over in our minds; we are going to become bitter. We find a way to justify our anger and tell ourselves that we have a right to withhold forgiveness to those who have hurt us or our children. But, Jesus said we have to forgive and if we don’t, we will not be forgiven. Pretty good reason to forgive!
As for our children, we must lead them to forgive. The first thing we did once the police had left was have a time of prayer. We bowed our heads and praised God for keeping them safe from serious harm. In closing, we asked the Lord to help us to forgive the attackers and we prayed for their salvation. It’s super hard to hold grudges against people you bring before God’s throne.
3. God Loves Them More Than We Do
We love because he first loved us.1 John 4:19 NIV
As moms, we like to believe that no one loves our babies like we do but the truth is that God loves them far more than we could ever fathom. The only reason we can love them so well to begin with is because He loved us first. Ultimately, they are on loan to us from Him anyway.
So, with this mindset, we can trust them into His loving hands. He is with them when they are away from us. He is working all things in their lives out for good and for His glory. He takes them through trials and learning experiences to grow their faith just like He does with all of His children. We have to faithfully give them over to His watchful care.
4. God is Full of Justice
“Listen to me, my people; hear me, my nation: Instruction will go out from me; my justice will become a light to the nations. My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm.”Isaiah 51:4-5 NIV
God will bring justice. It may not be in the way or the time frame that we would like. His justice is the hope of all the world. It’s when those who know Him are freed from the hurts of this world and those who chose the path of evil are punished.
We can rest assured that He is just and while it may seem this world is unfair and injustice, we can look forward to eternity and remember that He is going to have the final say.
What the Bible Says about Hurt in this World
The Bible speaks a lot about how in this world we will have hurt and troubles. Here are some verses that speak directly on our present sufferings. You can rest in these promises and share them with your hurting child.
- “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
- And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 1 Peter 5:10 NIV
- But as for me, afflicted and in pain— may your salvation, God, protect me. Psalm 69:29 NIV
- For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17
- You have delivered me from all my troubles, and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes. Psalm 54:7 NIV
- Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV
Hope Beyond Hurt
The good news is that we can be sure that our God is always working everything out for good. When we suffer, He comforts us and gives us peace in the midst of it. He can use our hurt to refine and teach us. Finally, the ultimate hope is that which we have in Christ.
When we have Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we can be sure that He gets the victory. He conquered the grave and death. He gives us life but more than that, eternal life. We can know that some day, he will wipe every tear away and heal every pain. Revelation 21:4 (NIV) says, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
Prayer for Your Hurting Child
Lord, it hurts me when my child is hurting. I know that it hurts you as well. Please comfort him/her and help them to forgive and heal. Please erase any bitterness, anger, or fear they may have in their hearts and minds. I ask that in your great mercy that you will work this situation out for good and Your glory. Keep our family from further harm or pain as we deal. Give me the words to speak life, peace and encouragement to my child and the situation. Thank you for being with us. Amen.