10 Biblical Promises to Remember in Parenting and Politics
- Dena Yohe hopeforhurtingparents.com
- 2016 10 Oct
This is an election year. It’s politics on steroids. I’ve been giving it some thought and I believe parents have a few things in common with politicians: making speeches, addressing problems, protecting reputations and giving hope. I have a little experience on the parent side of things, being the mom of three adults—one of them extremely challenging.
We’ve all heard a myriad of campaign speeches. Most of us are tired of them. Since the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, the presidential race has shifted into high gear. In preparation of November 8 there will be many more. A friend's frustrated comment echoed my sentiments, "I'm sick of it! If I hear one more speech I’m going to throw up!"
Politicians make hundreds of speeches in their careers. So do parents. But ours—we call them talks—tend to become more like lectures. Our intentions are noble, but sometimes our efforts to communicate tend to deteriorate into threats and warnings, especially when we’re worried. If we think our child’s headed for trouble, those talks may sound more like sermons. I’m sure mine did, especially when I discovered my daughter wasexperimenting with drugs and alcohol while struggling with depression and self-injury.
Unlike politicians, we aren’t necessarily gifted communicators and we need to learn how to be better listeners. In both groups, some are better than others. But, like politicians, parents are often misunderstood and don't always do a very good job of saying what we mean. How many times did I miscommunicate with my daughter? Too-many-to-count times. Oh dear, I didn’t mean that. What I was trying to say is . . . I did my best, but I’m embarrassed to admit I did rather poorly. If communication was a graded subject, my daughter would probably have given me an F, adding “You’re grounded!” or “Mom, you don’t understand me at all.”
She was right. I didn’t. Neither of us did.
Another similarity between parenting and politics is addressing problems and concerns. Most government leaders probably chose their careers because they really did care. They wanted to make a difference. I’m sure many still do. Like them, parents address concerns we have on our hearts. We’d do anything for our children. We care more than they could ever imagine. We’re driven to make a difference in their lives. We long for them to accept assistance from us. “Won’t you please listen and take my advice?” we plead.
Sadly, getting our sons and daughters to cooperate is rather difficult, especially when more serious problems are involved. They’re certain they know better and many of us tend to over-help. It turns into enabling: doing what they could and should be doing for themselves.
Then there’s the matter of reputation. Politicians take great pains to protect theirs so people will trust in their wisdom. Shhh. Keep those skeletons in the closet or they won’t believe Mr. or Ms. So and So can do the job. Parents feel that way, too. Not wanting others to think badly of us or them, we hide the truth.If you knew, you might look down on us. So, we keep secrets and pretend all is well.
Lastly, as the parent of a troubled child, I need hope—the very thing politicians attempt to give. “Can anyone please make some promises I can count on?” I need ones that are real, dependable and true.
Wait. Someone has done that.
He’s the ultimate Promise-Keeper. Look in the pages of the Bible and you’ll find thousands of promises from Genesis to Revelation. God’s words are the most influential ever spoken or written. They can affect change. They have the power of life and death. They can make all the difference in our lives and in our world.
These are 10 of my favorites. I turn to them on my toughest days:
1. God is with me. I am not alone.
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age (Matthew 28:20b).”
2. God loves me and my child with an unfailing love.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
3. God will provide the help I need.
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever” (John 14:16).
4. Jesus prays for me and my child.
“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
5. God will give me endurance.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall (Isaiah 40:29-30).”
6. When I pray, I’ll have peace.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
7. My pain has a purpose.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:7).
8. God is near when my heart is crushed.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18).
9. God will make me strong.
“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11).
10. God can do the impossible.
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27)
Parenting and Politics. Both are challenging. Both need supernatural help and divine intervention. May you find what you need as you face the unique challenges of your life.
DENA YOHE (pronounced YOY) has been a social worker, pastor’s wife, and Cru staff member. She is the mother of a formerly troubled daughter, Reneé Yohe. Reneé was the suicidal, addicted, depressed, self-harming girl whose situation led friends to start the well-known nonprofit To Write Love on Her Arms. Reneé’s life was also portrayed in the 2015 Sony Pictures release by the same name. Dena is an avid blogger. She and her husband, Tom, have three grown children and love being grandparents. They live in sunny Orlando, Florida.
For more information please visit hopeforhurtingparents.com and check out Dena Yohe’s new book You Are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids.
Publication date: October 10, 2016