Can You Protect Your Child?

by Jack Schull

Can you protect your child? As parents we often want what’s best for our children – I love what Psychologist Jonathon Haidt suggest about hardships and how they shape us ~ he gives this  hypothetical exercise:

Imagine that you have a child, and for five minutes you’re given a script of what will be that child’s life. You get an eraser. You can edit it. You can take out whatever you want.

You read that your child will have a learning disability in grade school. Reading, which comes easily for some kids, will be laborious for yours.  In high school, your kid will make a great circle of friends; then one of them will die of cancer.  After high school this child will actually get into the college they wanted to attend. While there, there will be a car crash, and your child will lose a leg and go through a difficult depression.  A few years later, your child will get a great job—then lose that job in an economic downturn.

Your child will get married, but then go through the grief of separation.  You get this script for your child’s life and have five minutes to edit it.

What would you erase?

Wouldn’t you want to take out all the stuff that would cause them pain?

If you could wave a wand, if you could erase every failure, setback, suffering, and pain—are you sure it would be a good idea? Would it cause your child to grow up to be a better, stronger, more generous person? Is it possible that in some way people actually need adversity, setbacks, maybe even something like trauma to reach the fullest level of development & growth?  

*Condensed from Leadership Journal, © 2009 Christianity Today International. (article author: John Ortberg)

 So, may you and I be reminded of God’s proximity in the midst of our moments of calamity. May you open yourself to what those moments can produce within you, how they can sweeten you and how it can increase your trust in him!

1 Peter 3:7; James 1:2-4

 ~Jack   (I’ll leave you with this thought)…

    “Christianity does not so much offer solutions to the problems of suffering, but rather provides the promise of a God who is completely present with us in suffering. Only Christians believe in a God who says, “Here I am alongside you. I have experienced the same suffering you have. I know what it is like.” No other religion even begins to offer that assurance.”                            ~Timothy Keller, author & pastor

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