Like adults, children experience discouragement when things aren’t going their way. It may be due to frustration in playing with friends, rules set in place by parents and teachers, or simply having a bad day when everything seems to go wrong. Regardless of the circumstance, feeling disheartened is part of life for everyone. We can’t stop discouraging life situations from happening, but there are a few things that might help relieve some of the pain in learning how to deal with them. One Bible phrase that brings reassurance despite one’s age is found several times in Deuteronomy chapter 31 where Joshua is told: “Be strong and courageous … for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.” How can we encourage our kids to hold on to this Bible promise in practical terms when they face challenging times?
- Be Strong. Strength is not only found in muscular development; a person’s character can be quite strong as well. Holding firmly to Christian values taught in your home—from parent to child—is a type of strength that God can provide for your children in times of frustration. Remind your kids what the Bible teaches about challenging times, such as: “The Lord is the strength of our lives.” “God will supply all our need” “We can do all things through Him who strengthens us.” All of these reminders will bring about strength as your children need to fend off negative obstacles that come their way.
- Be Courageous. This word obviously speaks to bravery. Children are repeatedly hit with feelings of unworthiness and timidity due to cruel actions and name-calling from other kids. Living in a child’s world requires bravery on their part to withstand these types of negative attacks. But this, too, compels children to call on God’s help to be fearless in the face of hostility.
- The Lord is with you. This is sometimes a hard one for both children and adults to believe and remember since we can’t see God with our physical eyes. With kids, it helps to explain faith and trust in God through things we can see. Remind them of the way God has given their parent(s) the ability to provide for things such as love, food, clothing, and shelter. The Lord has also has given them protection from storms and other potentially dangerous situations. Therefore He can be trusted to be with them during difficult times that require strength and courage on their part.