When all kinds of trials and temptations crowd into your lives... don’t resent them as intruders, but welcome them as friends! Realize that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character...
James 1:2-4 (Phillips)
These verses apply to me (especially the trials that come with being a stay-at-home mom) ...and these verses also apply to my boys. I need to love them enough to allow them to struggle sometimes.
I so truly want the best for my sons... and part of that is allowing them to experience (and hopefully learn from) life's hard-knocks. So often I want to soften the blow of disappointing circumstances—but as "nice" as that seems, it only makes them weak. "Nice" and "good" are two different things. Jesus didn't strive to be nice—He was good and He did good. Do I value being "nice" over doing what's right? Am I willing to do what's best for my kids, even though it might bring discomfort (for everyone involved)?
Much as I hate to admit it, it is the trials that grow our character. When I shelter my child from difficulties—whether it's sugar-coating an answer I know will disappoint them, or appeasing them by telling them they can just exchange the Christmas gift they didn't really care for—I stand in the way of valuable life lessons and character growth for them.
Lord, give us discernment in our dealings with our children. Help us to be willing to allow hardship in their lives, so they will develop perseverance and mature character—and so they will be strong men and women for Your Kingdom purposes!