Number 1 has been sick all week with a ferocious stomach bug. He's been looking forward to this week at Grandma and Grandpa's for Spring Break for quite some time, and so far, he's spent most of it on the couch and in the bathroom. My mom-heart breaks for my miserable boy, for his disappointment in dashed vacation hopes, and for all the delicious meals he's missed out on. We've been praying for him to return to health, and for the other four boys to not be next in line.
I see the discouragement in his face, and I don't blame him. How do we as parents, offer perspective and encouragement when our kids (and we ourselves!) are sick and frustrated in the sickness? Here are some ideas that I'm working through myself, as I point my child and my own heart heavenward...
1. Remind our kids that God is still in control.
2. Help them to count their blessings in the midst of it...number them all!
3. Demonstrate a gracious attitude towards their frustration without encouraging it.
4. Teach them what real suffering is...in the physical sense.
5. Teach them what real suffering is...in the spiritual sense.
6. Pray with them for healing, but also for perspective.
7. Share lessons you've learned when experiencing illness.
8. Look up verses with them to combat worry with confidence in His provision. (Psalm 55:22, Phil.4:6, Matt. 6:25, 1 Peter 5:7, 1 Cor. 10:13, Romans 8:28)
9. Remind them that God is good; that all things from Him are good...both blessings and trials.
10. Lead by example with an attitude of trust for the Lord.
Is your family currently experiencing sickness of some kind? Will you allow this to be an opportunity to point your kids to Christ and His provisions in the midst of the discomfort and suffering?