It is difficult to anticipate, on any given day, the challenges our children face. While we can often see exterior hardships — sickness, physical limitations, arguments with friends, and academic struggles — it is difficult to detect our kids’ inward battles. So much of what happens in their minds is a mystery. At times, inward struggles exhibit themselves in outward behavior or symptoms. But how much might we be missing of our childrens’ battles?
Thankfully, there are universal truths and unchanging, timeless promises from God’s Word that are sufficient to meet our children in whatever they encounter. Walking with our kids through difficult circumstances, we can often remind them of what God’s Word says about His love. Further, we can model to them how we depend upon God’s love in our own hard times.
It can be easy for a child to assume the challenges they’re up against are new. It is, after all, the first time they have encountered them. In the past couple of years, our kids have observed us as parents facing hardships we never anticipated, which felt new and unknown to society. And yet, as we point our kids to our heavenly Father, who is timeless and all-knowing, we can assure them that God’s love is bigger than anything we’ll ever face on earth!
He exists outside of time. He is not surprised by what happens because He’s already present in the future. Before Jesus left His followers and ascended back to Heaven, He assured them with these words from John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
His words remain just as true today. Everything we are up against, He has already overcome, and He wants to guide us into His victory!
When children are young, they’re often taught to identify specific emotions, whether by intentional lessons or passive observance. They learn what it is to be sad, angry, happy, or excited. They also discover, over time, what might cause these emotions inside of them. While it’s important to identify what we are feeling and triggers for certain emotions, we can also use these lessons to contrast emotions with God’s love. His love does not fluctuate like feelings. Instead, His love is constant. Whether we feel it or not on any given day, His love is at hand and ready to comfort, strengthen, and help us. A powerful passage to help our children memorize is Romans 8:38-39, which reads:
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We can help our children think through what each of these statements means:
There is a beautiful passage we can point our children to when they feel weak. Ephesians 3:16-20 makes an undeniable connection between God’s love and His promise to strengthen us. Because His love for us is perfect, it will fully equip us for all we need. In His love, we lack nothing! Notice in this short passage parallel themes of love and power:
“I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.”
As we learn to grasp how wide, long, high, and deep the love of Christ is, we are strengthened by His power which is actively at work within us! We can teach our children this truth through the concept of a battery. God’s love is the energy stored within a battery, and it empowers us! However, unlike human-made batteries, His love never runs out!
This passage acts as a conclusion to the one we read above in Romans 8:39, which declares, “neither height nor depth … will be able to separate us from the love of God.” No lofty height nor gaping depth can reroute us away from God’s love because His love is wider, longer, higher, and deeper than we’ll ever comprehend. It always reaches us.
Although we cannot prepare our kids for every unique battle, we can equip them with God’s promises and His all-powerful love. In every circumstance, they can declare, along with 1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”