To raise resilient children, you must be willing to let your kids face some difficult circumstances. Kids develop resilience when parents practice and demonstrate resilience themselves. The Bible talks about letting patience have its perfect work done through us. Resiliency involves patience and endurance working through us so we can mature and pass on the legacy to our children. As parents, we want to raise resilient children because this leads to increased faith in the strength of Christ and builds godly character.
Here are 7 ways to stand with your kids as they learn to overcome challenges, leading them to become more resilient.
- Encourage Them to Pause and Get Quiet
Some might think of pausing and getting quiet as a “time-out,” restricting your child from something. However, this isn’t so much about restricting as it is about receiving what God wants to give—peace and self-control.
It is an opportunity to quiet the mind and reflect on a difficult situation or feeling, such as worry, disappointment, or sadness. Encourage your kids to sit with difficulty and see who God is in it rather than rushing to find something “of this world” to fill the void. This is who God wants to be for us in hard times, our safe place. The process of getting quiet allows their minds to be “transformed.”
- “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”—Romans 12:2
- Talk to Them About Spiritual Warfare
We know that a real enemy seeks to “kill, steal, and destroy” us (John 10:10). When we can talk to our kids about the reality of spiritual warfare, we set the stage for God’s strength to enter the situation. Talk about the armor of God to your kids to raise resilient children. Seeing the spiritual reality of the physical world as they mature helps them become wise and discerning adults equipped to overcome the schemes of the enemy.
- “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.”—Ephesians 6:11-13
- Don’t Step in to Solve Every Problem
Allowing kids to develop their problem-solving skills helps in raising resilient children. Encourage them to become problem solvers by reassuring them that God has given them what they need to overcome the little snags that come up throughout their day.
Are there problems they could solve on their own, but you tend to jump in and solve them to save time? As much as possible, allow them to come up with a solution. This will save time and energy in the long run while building resilience.
- “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”—2 Timothy 3:16
- Incorporate Praise
God’s Word corrects and trains us, but the Bible also tells us to speak His Word to others, encouraging and training them (including our kids) in His ways. When we incorporate words of encouragement and praise into our daily lives, our children are more likely to do the same.
We can encourage and praise our children for a job well done, efforts made, and simply being who God has created them to be. When we incorporate words of encouragement and praise when speaking to our kids, they are more likely to offer up words of praise too. There is power in a child’s praise. Their words can silence the enemy.
Tell your kids you are proud of and love them, that they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and have a purpose.
- “Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, because of Your enemies, that You may silence the enemy and the avenger.”—Psalm 8:2
- Have Them Pray for Their “Enemies”
Every child or teen has come up against hurtful words. Maybe they’ve been teased because of what they have done or said, how they look, or what they wear. However, to raise resilient children, we must encourage them to see past the hurtful words spoken and into the heart of the one who said it. This isn’t to say that your children shouldn’t set their own boundaries. These can be necessary. However, Jesus commands us to pray for those who persecute us.
Perhaps you’ve heard it said, “Hurting people hurt people.” Lead your children to pray for those who have hurt them and ask God to “bind up their wounds.”
- “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…”—Matthew 5:44
- Teach Them to Stand by Commitments
Raising resilient children goes hand in hand with teaching them to be men and women of their word. Often we feel the need to justify, rationalize, and make excuses for why we did or said something. Our kids do the same. But Jesus said we can be men and women of our word, having integrity and not pretending. We teach our children to be men and women of their word by making our yeses be yeses, and our noes be noes.
Teach your kids to follow through with their commitments, even when they change their minds. Perhaps they decided to play a sport or volunteer and wanted to quit halfway through. Encourage them to finish strong and reevaluate if they want to continue after the season or time is complete. This cultivates integrity and truthfulness in their hearts.
- “‘But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No.” For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.’”—Matthew 5:37
- Allow Disappointments to Take Place
Disappointments are inevitable. There will be things your children long for that simply don’t come to pass. But disappointments are opportunities to raise resilient children, revealing how they may have put their hope and trust in things of this world. During disappointments, point them to the faithfulness of God and how, in Him, we lack “no good thing.” Stand with them as they journey through the difficulty.
- “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; but those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.”—Psalm 34:10
12 Bible Verses About Resilience
Resilience doesn’t come naturally to us. It takes practice, and a great way to practice resilience is to lean into and live by God’s Word in the day-to-day. As your kids see you practicing resilience, they will adopt this way of life and learn to embrace opposition, adversity, and trials in ways that bring them out on the other side stronger and closer to God.
Use God’s Word to raise resilient children! Meditate on these verses and ask God to show you how to put His Word into practice so you can guide your children well.
- “…rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer…”
- “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”
- “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
1 Corinthians 16:13
- “Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”
- “‘These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’”
- “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
- “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
- “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
- “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!”
- “‘Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
- “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.”
Without question, parenting is one of the most challenging jobs anyone will have. These tips for raising resilient kids are not a one-and-done event but a daily practice. Just as God has called us to raise resilient children, He will use our children to teach us to be resilient too.
This is the beautiful nature of God. He wastes nothing. He uses all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). This is why raising resilient children puts you, as a parent, in a situation where you will need to embrace resilience too. Know that it is God working in and through you and your kids to produce something that lasts for an eternity, not only for one or two generations but for a thousand generations to come.
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