For the difficult moments in life when nothing seems fair or right, Psalm 16 can guide our hearts to pleasant places.
“Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge. I say to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing…’ LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance…I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead…You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” (Psalm 16:1-2,5-6,8-11)
When the brokenness of this life comes crashing down on our children, we can teach them to find safety and refuge, joy and pleasure, in Jesus Christ.
-When their teacher gives them a “C” and they clearly deserved an “A.”
-When someone posts something about them on social media that isn’t true.
-When a friend hurts or betrays them.
-When someone takes credit for what they did.
-When another child breaks their favorite toy.
-Or, yes, even when the only jelly doughnut gets devoured before they get to it.
No child is too young and no situation is too insignificant to bring their hearts to the truth of Psalm 16.
It’s not wrong to remind our children of the many blessings in their lives, but ultimately we want to teach them to focus on the Lord. We want to remind them that:
-Even if everyone were to betray us, the Lord never would.
-Even if nobody loves us, God always will.
-Even if we were to lose our lives, we are safe! God will not abandon us to the grave. We have eternal life through Jesus and we are going to have the most fun and experience the most pleasure doing amazing things with Him throughout eternity.
When we see our children becoming upset because things didn’t go the way they wanted, we can teach them to find joy in the Lord. We can remind them that He will always be with us and bring us safely into His Heavenly Kingdom, so we can assure ourselves that the boundary lines have fallen for us in pleasant places. We can help them from a young age learn what to do when they face terrible situations and disappointments in life. Instead of focusing on how awful the situation is, we can refocus on how good we have things in Christ. We don’t have to look for things to be fair. We can, instead, fill our hearts with joy in the Lord’s presence as we remind ourselves just how pleasant our lot really is.