Widow for a Season: Finding
Your Identity in Christ
Chapter Eight: Presence of the Invisible
Learning about some of the predictable patterns of behavior for children
who have lost a parent to death are based on statistics and other helpful
studies. A scrutiny of Deuteronomy
6:4-25, Proverbs 22:6, and Psalms 68:5 will be the foundation for developing a
strategy and attitude as you deal with the behavior of your hurting children.
Suggestions for how to deal with older teens and the child that chooses
to take the prodigal road will also be covered.
Courageously releasing hurting children to the Lord for His intervention
and trusting God to be the Father to the fatherless without looking for
substitutes is not often the advice a widow will receive from others.
Though God is invisible, His presence is not. Learning how to recognize that presence and the evidence of
His involvement will be examined.
Eight - Presence of the Invisible
As mothers struggling to help hurting children cope with the loss of their
father, a widow often finds herself without support from extended or
church family members. Many have not experienced a loss of this kind and
don’t know how to help. While your children’s struggles will be similar to yours,
they may not cope as well as you depending on their age. We are each so different in the way we grieve and practice
our faith, that our children’s responses will predictably be as varied
as are their personalities.
This may be your child’s first experience with death, and they will have
to wrestle with the reality that relationships cannot be taken for
granted. The place of safety
that home and family have always provided has been violated, and they
perceive that the world is spinning out of control.
Their reactions will be directed by their fears, their confusion
about life’s meaning, and their doubts about God. The need to re-define
their world in an effort to regain the control that has been lost will be
urgent. They will test every
relationship and every other constant, being brutal in their evaluations.
On some level even loved ones they have always trusted will become
the enemy in their minds. It
is best to give them as many choices as you can.
They desperately need answers that you may not have because
discovering life anew will be your task, as well. This is a faith-walk you
will have to take without the advantage of prior experience.
Things will never be the same, so don’t imagine that someday you
will all return to what everyone defines as “normal.”
. . .Proverbs 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and
when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
It has been my experience that often this verse becomes a
discouraging snare to parents instead of the promise God intended.
Basically there are two parts to this verse.
First is the command to train up a child in the way he should go,
and second is the promise from God that when the child is old, he will not
depart from the way he should go. Confusion about the meaning of this
verse is widespread. It does
not say that if we do well in training our children that they will not
depart from God, nor does it say if we don’t do a good job they will
depart. If this were true God
would be eliminated from the formula because the success would be
dependent on the work we performed, not on God.