Parenting Through Adversity: Keeping Jesus at the Center


Parenting through adversity.

Are you parenting through adversity? If you are, you’re probably thinking about keeping your children safe, allaying their fears, explaining what’s happening, helping them adjust, finding things to do, figuring out how to lower the stress levels in your home, and much more. It’s not easy. You’re juggling practical, emotional, psychological and spiritual concerns.

While there are many things to consider when parenting under challenging circumstances, what’s your number one priority?

Now, I don’t ask the question to raise your stress level but to lower it. Knowing what matters most during tough times should help you set aside the trivial and do what’s urgent. As the German literary figure Johann Wolfgang von Goethe wisely reminds us, “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.”

What matters most?

So, what matters most? What is the one thing you should do over every other thing when parenting through adversity?

One thing. The phrase “one thing” is used sixteen times in the Scriptures. There is one thing God wants you to do regardless of your circumstances. In the story of Mary and Martha (cf. Luke 10:38-42), Jesus spoke tenderly to Martha, saying, “You are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary” (ESV) and Mary has chosen that one thing! And what is it? To focus on a person – to meet with Jesus.

Are tests or trials distracting you from this one thing? While dealing with whatever challenges you face is necessary, it’s not the most important thing. The most important thing for you and your family is spending time with Jesus.

Amid all the concerns, distractions, uncertainties, or complications you're dealing with, do one thing well - help your children see Jesus. Share on X

Jesus must be your primary focus, not your worries or problems. “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18. Note the phrase “we fix our eyes.” This is why you’re a parent – to make Jesus the highest priority for your family. Amid all the concerns, distractions, uncertainties, or complications you’re dealing with, do one thing well – help your children see Jesus.

Keeping Jesus at the center.

When you’re parenting through adversity, it’s an incredible opportunity to connect your children with Jesus – maybe in a way you’ve never done before. However, it won’t happen ad hoc. Focusing on Jesus takes planning and intentionality. Here are a few primers to help you get started:

Invite your children to open their lives to Jesus

Your children must believe in Him to receive Him (cf. John 1:12). They can’t know Jesus if they resist Him. Faith ushers Jesus into the home.

Introduce table talk

Mealtimes are great opportunities to have conversations about the things that matter most. Tell your children they must bring their Bibles and brains to the kitchen table. Explore the Gospels together because this is where Jesus is seen most clearly.

Open up

Let your children see you being honest with God. Are you worried? Pray about it with your children. Do you want to help your children overcome fear and anxiety? Memorize Deuteronomy 31:8, Psalm 27:1, John 14:27, or 2 Timothy 1:7 with your children.

Let your children see you being honest with God. Are you worried? Pray about it with your children. Share on X

Watch and listen to Jesus-centered media

We think about what we see and hear. Give your family hope. Draw your children to Jesus by filling your home with stories, songs, and movies about Him.

Be an example

More is caught than taught. Words are adequate, but actions are more effective. Actions that endorse words form a powerful statement about your family’s value system. So, live for Jesus every day, not only through what you say but also through what you do.

Related Article

Parenting with Purpose: Aligning Your Goals with God’s Will

© Scripture Union, 2024

2 Corinthians 4:5


Christian Parenting in Tough Times: Keep Jesus Center Stage.
In tough times, parenting as a Christian brings many worries. But amidst the challenges of life, what’s the top priority? Luke 10:38-42 reminds us to focus on Jesus. Even when life gets hard, ensure your kids’ connection with Jesus stays strong. Shift attention away from worries and onto Christ, just like 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says. Talk about Jesus daily, be honest in prayer, and watch shows about Him. Teach your kids what it means to live like Jesus every day. When times are tough, keep one thing in mind: helping your family get closer to Jesus. Use these simple strategies to make your Christian parenting journey stronger.  (Summary created by AI)

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