There is a quality and a substance of character that we long for our kids to have, but which can only be worked into their very fabric through difficulty. If we remove every trial and tribulation, every hard thing from their path, then there is nothing left for them to resist, oppose, or endure. We must love them enough to allow them to struggle.
As a mom, I want every little thing to go smoothly, nicely, and easily. I want to rescue my children from trials and shelter them from pain. I want to move things around to make the way easy for them. Everything within me wants the best for them, but sometimes their “best interest” means allowing them to experience life’s hard knocks.
We learn perseverance by pressing on, even though we don’t get our own way. It’s a natural fact of life for everyone. Children must be allowed to experience this most aggravating emotional experience. We don’t always have to make things even-steven. Some days the scales will not balance no matter how hard we try. This is simply reality. Life is not equitable in all circumstances. We must stop trying to be the “almighty balancer of the scales” for our children if we’re going to see our kids become the kind of adults who persevere. How do we expect to produce strong individuals if we don’t allow strength to be built through trial?
- Muscle is built by resistance.
- Patience is produced by painful endurance.
- Character is cultivated when circumstances bring disappointment.
Think for a moment. When have you learned your most valuable lessons and experienced your finest moments along the path of life? My answer has to be: during trial, hardship, and contrary circumstances. It was truly while traveling along the roads of perseverance and endurance that my capacity was enlarged the most. Why then do we long to shield our children from difficulties and rob them of the blessing of true character riches? How will our children remain committed through thick and thin if they were never required to endure hardships along the way? What kind of parents will they be, having never grown up themselves?