Are you a parent who suffers from stinking thinking? Do you beat yourself up, believing you must have done a terrible job because of how your child turned out? They abuse substances, have a mental illness, self-injure, disrespect authority, are incarcerated, desire a same-sex partner or something else.
Dear friend, we live in a broken world where horrible things happen. It's likely your child's behaviors and choices are a result of something that occurred when they were growing up. Take a moment to recall the worst thing that happened to them when they were young. It's probably nothing you did.
Please be easy on yourself. Even if you raised them right—you didn't raise a robot. They had a free will to make their own choices, and you couldn't protect them from everything in this corrupted world.
What can you do now? You can use the Scriptures to change your stinking thinking into right thinking. You can replace lies with truth. What truth? Biblical truth from God's eternal, infallible, irrefutable Word.
These are a few of the lies I believed and the Bible verses that helped me correct my stinking thinking:
The Lies and the Truth
Lie: I'm not smart enough to get through this.
Truth: "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding, In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths" (Prov. 3:5-6, AMPC).
Lie: I'm all alone. I have to do this by myself.
Truth: "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20b, HCSB).
Lie: I can't bear all this pain. It's too much for me.
Truth: "My grace is sufficient for you; my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor. 12:9a, NIV).
Lie: I never expected __________. I thought if I did everything right, my child wouldn't _________.
Truth: In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33, NIV).
Lie: I must have done something wrong. This is all my fault.
Truth: "What more could I have done for my vineyard that I have not already done? When I expected sweet grapes, why did my vineyard give me bitter grapes?" (Isa. 5:4, NLT).
Lie: There's no hope. All is lost.
Truth: "As for me, I will always have hope" (Ps. 71:14a, NIV).
Lie: I'm so afraid of what might happen, I can't cope. I'm going to have a nervous breakdown.
Truth: But now, this is what the Lord says ... Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior ...Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you ... Do not be afraid, for I am with you (Isa. 43:1-5a).
Lie: I'm not strong enough to carry this burden.
Truth: "The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace" (Ps. 29:11).
Lie: No one understands.
Truth: "The Spirit helps us in our weakness ... intercedes for us through wordless groans ... intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God" (Rom. 8:26-27).
Lie: I'll never be the same.
Truth: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God" (2 Cor. 1:3-4).
Prayer: Dear God, please help us recognize the lies we erroneously believe and replace them with solid truths we can stand on. Change our stinking thinking into right thinking. May Your holy words comfort, heal and strengthen us. In the name of Jesus, the Word made flesh. Amen.
Dena Yohe is the author of You Are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids (2017). Co-founder of Hope for Hurting Parents, she is a blogger, former pastor's wife and CRU affiliate staff. She and her husband, Tom, have been guests on "Family Talk With Dr. James Dobson," "Family Life" with Dennis Rainey" and "Focus on the Family" with Jim Daly. A proud mom of three adult children, she loves being Mimi to her grandchildren. Find out more at HopeForHurtingParents.com.
This article originally appeared at hopeforhurtingparents.com and is an excerpt from Dena's book, You Are Not Alone: Hope for Hurting Parents of Troubled Kids. You can purchase a copy by clicking here. They're also available wherever fine books are sold.
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