Despairing Parents
Susanne Scheppmann

"My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word." Psalms 119:28 (NIV)

Thud! I heard my son's feet hit the dirt outside his bedroom window. My heart sank. I had been right when I told my husband, "He's going to run-away. Watch."

The whole afternoon and evening had spun into a disaster. My adolescent son had gotten into trouble. We were in the middle of discussing it with him when the phone rang. My husband listened as his ex-wife told him that his daughter had run away that afternoon. I watched the panic cross my husband's face as he dug for more details about what had happened.

In addition, I spied my son's alert face and witnessed a light bulb go off in his adolescent brain. I could tell he thought, "I'm going to run away too!" We sent my son to his room while we managed the bigger problem of the moment – my stepdaughter.

Sure enough, he went on the lam. My thoughts raced. Should I go after him? Should I lock him out of the house? Or should I wait and search for him later? I felt emotionally and physically exhausted.

Both my husband and I were stricken with confusion and sadness as we battled through all the drama and trauma in our family. That evening we despaired. How could this happen? We tried to be good parents. It seemed that with three teenagers, life was a never-ending crisis.

Things did turn out OK. My stepdaughter returned home to her mother. We found my son, and my husband coaxed him home. Everyone went to bed, and two exhausted parents prayed for a better tomorrow.

That was several years ago. Children mature. Time heals. And God is faithful to the prayers of a despairing parent. He feels our heartaches. He sees our tears. He grants us the courage and guts to keep on parenting.

Our key verse today acknowledges the pain we may experience, but it also points the way to gaining strength—God's Word. If you are a despairing parent, seek the Lord's comfort, wisdom and strength by reading and praying Scripture each day. God is our source of strength when we come to our wit's end in the life-long career of parenting.

Dear Lord, thank You for the gift of my children. I am honored You set me apart to be their mom. Yet, at times parenting is hard! I ask You for guidance and strength. Remind me of the joys of parenting when I despair. Help me keep a balanced outlook. I ask You to provide me with special Scripture that I can pray for my children. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Divine Prayers for Despairing Parents by Susanne Scheppman

Blended Families by Maxine Marsolini

Listen to Today’s Radio Show for more encouragement when parenting is hard

Visit Susanne’s blog

Application Steps:
Read and memorize Psalm 4:3 and 5:3. Then pray for your children and know that the Lord hears you call to Him. Wait in expectation for His guidance.

Where do I place my trust and hope when it comes to my child?

Do I recognize that Jesus loves my child more than I do?

Power Verses:
Psalms 144:12, "Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace." (NIV)

Psalms 147:3, "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." (NIV)

Isaiah 49:25, "But this is what the Lord says: 'Yes, captives will be taken from warriors, and plunder retrieved from the fierce; I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.'" (NIV)

© 2009 by Susanne Scheppmann. All rights reserved.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

My children are still small (3 and 8) and I'm exhausted all the time. I feel sad that I have no energy left for my husband and just want to go to bed after I put the kids to bed. Ana (3) has been a huge challenge and I've prayed for peace in our home and over their dreams many times. I want to foster the strength but not quench her spirit. My son Nik (8) has a huge heart and he wrote a song for me. The Holy Spirit has been quick to remind me after I have to discipline them that they bring me so much joy. My husband Bob and I have also asked their forgiveness at times when we showed too much anger and that has taught them to say "please forgive me" without being prompted. I tell them at bedtime that I thank God for making me their Mommy. :)

Blogger monicaadoley said...

All I can say is praise GOD that HE provides us with what we need to be good parents,and even when we seem to fail GOD still says in HIS word that HE is working all things together for the good and as a mother of 7, that's such a comfort I couldn't do it without HIM!!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words My family has not been a family that attends church i just started a year ago after many years away and my 20 year old daughter who lives at home is my greatest joy and biggest aggravation all at the same time. I need to pray before i approach her becuase i always seem to lose my temper and i can't imagine my life with out her.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh how I remember those days but I still have one more teenager at home. (How I need God daily!)

All I can say is if it was not for the Lord in mine and my husband's life, I don't think we would have made it during those teen years but I know that is what kept me on my knees and trusting in Him more.

He was and still is my strength.
I just thank God for His faithfullness because my two oldest children are seeking after Him.(Thank you Jesus!)

And to those of you who are teen parents, I ask that God will give you the strength that you need daily and also please stay faithful to God and you will see that He will stay faithful to you.

Blessings always!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was just what I needed to hear today. I am the mom to 3 teenagers the middle one is testing every bit of parenting skills I ever thought I had. This week I just don't want to deal with it. This reminded me that I am not alone.

I have been meditating on Psalms 119:28 today and laughed when I read the NirV version "My sadness has worn me out. Give me strength as you have promised."

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for inspiring message

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember those days. I had four teens. Hard enough with just one but praise God,He is faithful. It was only through God's grace that my marriage survived the turmoil. Hold on to the Lord and His word. Also, other Christian friends will pray and are a great help and comfort.

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