Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Fighting the Good Fight with Faith and a Conscience

"I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about
you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith."
1 Timothy 1:18-19

In the past year, I have experienced anger unlike any other time in my life. One time in particular had to do with my first grade daughter. Earlier this year, she was the target of a bully in her school. I saw a big change in her . . . she didn't want to go to school, had frequent stomach aches, and seemed to lack the confidence that she normally had.

Once I came to understand what was happening in school, I quickly intervened and stood up for my daughter. We taught her how to stand up for herself and that she could trust us and come to us with problems like this. In the end, it was a good learning experience and I think she came out of it a stronger and more confident little girl.

But it wasn't always like that. In the middle of our bullying situation, my daughter had a hard time understanding why she was being picked on. She asked me point blank several times what was wrong with her that someone would want to be so mean to her. She wanted to know what about her was so ugly that someone would want to say and do hurtful things to her. As a mother, my heart broke.

Along with that sadness came anger. Lots of anger. I wanted to march up to this classmate's house, demand to talk to the parents, and give them a piece of my mind. I wanted to make that family feel the hurt that we were feeling. I wanted to tell my daughter that she could say mean things right back to her bully and do whatever she needed to do to show her that she wasn't afraid of her.

But that isn't what God asks of us. He asks us to "fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience."

As a mother, I had to help my daughter understand that while we don't have to like all people, God does call us to love them. Bullying this classmate back was not an option for my daughter, even though every ounce of me wanted to tell her to kick the bully in the shins. I also have to remember that the real enemy here is the Great Deceiver himself and that I had to cover our family with prayer in this situation so that we could resemble Christ and not give in to our hurt and anger.

As parents, we are going to encounter times of anger and pain, but it is important to remember that our fight isn't always with the human standing in front of us. We must hold onto our faith and allow others to see and experience Christ though us.

God, We know that we will face hard times in this life, especially as we parent our children. Please guide our thoughts and actions and help us to always resemble You. Amen.

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