The Long Haul
- Thursday, June 27, 2013
1. Personal quiet time with the Lord
I emphasize this over and over with everyone I know, simply because it is true. There is no way we can grow as disciples and be prepared to handle life if we are not giving Him sufficient time through prayer and the reading of Scripture. Colossians 1:10 is a great memory verse regarding this.
2. Apply God’s Word to your trials
That is how we grow. We take our circumstances, whatever they may be, and apply them to His truth. I am very big on Scripture memorization (or at least knowing where certain verses are located) for this reason - to be armed and ready for when the battle begins.
In the Battle
Paul tells us in Romans 5:3-5 that our struggles will lead to perseverance, character, and ultimately hope. Now, I’m sure when we’re in the middle of a fire, “hope” isn’t exactly the first thing on our mind. However, as believers we also need to understand that faith and hope are two of the main foundational points in our walk with Christ. Going back to some of the guys I’ve witnessed experience parental alienation, I can tell you that although it may seem like an impossible situation at the time, the majority of the time things have worked out in the long run. I have also noticed that it is those individuals that are strong in their own personal relationship with God that were able to endure.
That’s not to say that the battle isn’t uphill usually, because it is. There are often lawyers, counseling, and lonely times of despair along the way. One of the key points to remember is staying calm and not getting vengeful. In fact, this is an excellent time to draw even closer to God and exercise His Word in your life. Paul gives us later on in Romans 12:9-21 some amazing principles to not only apply when severe times arise- but for life in general. It is in our intimate time with our Father that we can lay out all of our deepest fears, concerns, and petitions at His feet; trusting the promises He has given us through His Son. It is also a time when we need to pray for our children and their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual protection. Although parental alienation cases vary in so many ways, it is easy to envision how children and teens can find this an extremely upsetting time. The alienating parent may think they are doing what is in the best interest of their sons or daughters (or it may be pure spite and they’re not thinking at all), but if it is for any reason other than the kids are in imminent danger, the whole thing could blow up. I can tell you of several adult friends I have that were withheld intentionally by one parent to the other. All it ended up doing was creating resentment on the children’s part toward the initiating parent or guardian. If the mom or dad who is being alienated is not serving jail time (and even then there are some options), then the sooner the better to get a foundation of help and prayer in place.
1. Surround yourself with other mature believers
I cannot put enough importance regarding a strong support system for the victim parent during this time, and prayer changes everything. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 reminds us of how we can hold each other up and Ezekiel 22:30 encourages us to “stand in the gap” on behalf of others. This is not only for the alienated parent, but especially for the children during this time too.
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