When was the last time you asked one of your kids for advice?
I recently asked my 13 year-old daughter for advice regarding a difficult situation I was facing. I honestly shared my feelings, presented my dilemma, and then asked her what she would do if she were in my shoes. I wasn't prepared for how God would speak to me through my teenaged daughter!
She empathized with me and related to my problem by sharing a similar situation she was facing at school. She not only helped me see things from "the other side," but when she shared her faith perspective, she flipped mine upside down.
She reminded me that just because a situation is uncomfortable, painful, or difficult, it doesn't mean God is not in it. It doesn't mean God is not working, leading, and guiding. In fact, the opposite may be true. He may have led me right to this place so that He can heal, change my heart and the hearts of those involved, and transform us to be more like Jesus. In the midst of my discomfort He may be meeting a need or answering a prayer.
This is the false belief I seem to keep coming back to: if I am following God as I should, it will be smooth sailing. Things will work out and be easy. My daughter reminded me this is not always true. Sometimes God prompts us, nudges us, or leads us to some hard places where we have some hard conversations and feel some not-so-pleasant feelings. The mistake is to not look for Him there, to not recognize His hand in the less-than-perfect places.
I encourage you to do it. Ask your child for advice. Ask him to share his perspective with you. Ask her to tell you what she would do if she were in your shoes. Give your kids opportunities to share with you what they are learning about life, faith, friendship, and God. They need to see that we are students as well as teachers, learners instead of "know-it-alls". Like me, you just might be surprised by how God speaks to you through your kids
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