UnReachableI’d tried to help, really I had. I had explained the situation to the best of my ability, tried to help him understand the circumstances, and even gone so far as to instruct him in how he should have responded. Unfortunately, no matter what I said or did, my son was a bundle of frustration. Then, it occurred to me. There was nothing I could do to reach him, this was a situation only God could handle.

It took me a long time to finally understand this concept. After all, I am the parent, right? I’m supposed to have the answers; I’m supposed to be able to manage my kids. Shouldn’t I know how to reach my child and help them turn their behavior and attitudes around? Was this some kind of lack in me?

What a failed to take into account was two things. One, these children, like myself, have free will. I can lead them to the truth, but I cannot force it upon them. They have to choose for themselves the right and good. Second, these are not just my children, they are God’s children and He understand them better than I ever could.

No matter how good a job I think I am doing, or trying to do, I am only human. My knowledge and experience only extends so far. Instead of drilling into my children’s heads what they are supposed to be doing and trying to force a change upon their attitudes, my best option is to do what is truly right… leave it at the feet of Christ.

While my children’s hearts, for that moment, might be unreachable to me, they are never unreachable to Christ. Where I am unable, God is able. Where I am weak, He is strong. Why would I continue to trust in my own strength and wisdom, when I could rely on God to do the work in my child’s heart?

Does this mean I never attempt to correct their behavior? Of course not! We instruct, train when needed, and disciple them as any parent should. However, we have our limits. In the midst of the chaos, hurt, and anger, we lift our children before the Lord, praying He will touch their hearts and help them see the truth of the situation. We also pray He would give us wisdom in how to best reach them and restore the broken bond. If we have done all we can and still our children seem unreachable, we continue to pray the Lord would be doing a work in them, leading them back to a right relationship with Himself.

This is the heart of what we do, really. Yes; we teach our children as homeschooling parents. We instruct them, raise them, and help them become the adults they need to become. But, the heart of all we do is this: to bring them into a right relationship with Christ. If, at the end of day, we have done everything else and somehow missed this point, what we’ve accomplished is meaningless.

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?” – Mark 8:36

May this encourage each of us. When we our children’s hearts seem unreachable to us, they are never out of God’s reach.

Time to Chime In: Is there a special prayer you say over your children when they are frustrated? Please share it with us and encourage other homeschooling families who struggle with reaching their children’s hearts.


10 thoughts on “UnReachable

  1. Actually, I have not collected a collection of special prayers. I just pray spontaneously. I don’t remember the words long after.
    I must say, also, that although I prayed for my children while they were in the home, and still do pray for them as they create their own homes, it was their dad who did the counseling, correcting, and praying over them when they decided to try placing themselves out of my reach.
    Sometimes, just a different voice can make a huge difference in the life of a child. I found that my words, at times, were more like the sound of a mosquito in their ears, or worse, even like muzak. The best thing, then, was to change the tune.
    There is something about the sound of distant thunder in a dad’s voice that reached deeper into the soul of our children better than the worried tones I could produce, no matter how right I was or how sincere.
    And he would discipline them, not only for the original foolishness, but also for the foolishness of not listening to their mother.
    We seldom had to go there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been here too.
    Had to send our son to his room and realize that nothing I could say would bring repentance . This was between him and God. The least I could do was keep myself from saying something that would push him farther away.

    God is good. He will work when we, even as moms , stop trying to do His job .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t know how it will work with a full homeschool curriculum as next year will be our first year. Catie does get stressed and frustrated and breaks down with homework or even with self induced projects. For example, tonight she decided she was going to sleep in the living room under a self constructed fort. Well try as she might she could not get the “walls” (couch cushions) to stand up by themselves. The fact that our kitten thought this would be a grand thing to pounce upon only maturated the issue. Catie ended up screaming at the kitten, throwing down the sheets she was trying to drape over the cushions and stomping off. I went to her and only corrected that she should never speak to anyone, including the kitten, in such a vicious way. I then let her cry a bit then suggested that maybe it would be fun if we completed the last chapter of reading we had then if Daddy and I constructed a fort for her. She thought this was a grand idea.

    Before I opened my child’s bedroom door I said a quick prayer, “Heavenly Father, please help and guide me to what is needed in this situation.” But even my prayers and meditations have often brought me to the conclusion that I sometimes must just back up and let her work it out for herself.

    With hard math assignments I have had to let her walk away and do something else for a while. Usually I find that when we come back to it, the next day or in a few hours, then she is calmer and better able to grasp the task at hand. I am no psychologist but I feel like when something is so stressful allowing her to walk away allows something in her conscious or subconscious (?) is able to still process the information. Not sure if this helps, but just my thoughts as I read your post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My hormonal 12 year old son has been struggling with his attitude lately and no amount of my saying that he needs to change it does the trick. I’ve learned to let him be grouchy and not get grouchy myself (there’s the REALLY hard part!!) and he always comes around on his own and apologizes. One day he was SUCH a mess that I tried praying with him and he didn’t even want me to. I did anyway. 🙂 He later came around. It is really hard as a mom not to want to make everything better. We just can’t. They have to learn to be responsible for their emotions and to take them to God themselves. We should pray for them, too, of course. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love how people always assume girls are the emotional ones, don’t they? Having a growing boy, I can attest to their mood swings. We’re learning how to best help our son manage his feelings and allow the Lord to guide his actions.

      Thanks you for sharing your thoughts!


  5. There is so much wisdom in this post that really helps me realize that I don’t turn to God enough. I take matters into my own hands and don’t understand why it doesn’t work. Just recently I was at the end of my rope with my son and school. I had no more ideas on what to do differently. Finally I took a walk and asked God. He answered and life is better. I had to but life on pause for a moment and go be alone with God. I have recently started praying for my kids before school. My kids pray before school as we sit together for Bible Time. My son asks God for help in school. He is doing better!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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