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Word4Today Daily Bible Devotional

by Bob and Debby Gass

‘A time to gain, and a time to lose.’ Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV

What else do young children need when they’re grieving?

1) Our honesty. They need to know we’re hurting too. When they see you crying, but you tell them, ‘I’m all right,’ they’re confused. They think either you’re not hurting, and tears don’t mean anything, or you’re not being real with them. They need to know the genuine you, so they can be real with you and trust you with their hurts.

2) Our awareness of their feelings without overprotecting them. For them, as for you, ‘There is a time to weep … mourn … lose’ (Ecclesiastes 3: 4, 6 NKJV). God has made all these experiences ‘appropriate in its time’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NASB). Don’t try to stop or play down their sadness, anger, and depression. It’s part of their God-given humanness and will help them become balanced, compassionate adults.

3) Sensitive listening. Kids learn and grow through loss when they have an open and understanding listener. Listen, then reflect on their feelings. ‘Sounds like you’re angry. Want to talk about it?’ Don’t analyse; ask! Listen with your eyes and ears. ‘Your words say you’re all right, but your eyes suggest you’re sad.’

4) Permission to express negative emotions. Anger and resentment aimed at family members, you, and even God is normal! Don’t say, ‘You shouldn’t say such things.’ Instead, say, ‘Sounds like a real, honest expression of pain and disappointment. Want to talk more about it?’ Expression detoxifies negative emotion.

5) Inclusion in our grief process. Include them in family gatherings, funeral planning, and services, and they will find comfort in the validation, closure, and healing these times bring!

SoulFood: Judg 19:16 – 21:25 Mark 8:14-26 Ps 119:137-144 Pro 18:22-24

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2024

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