Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | April 27, 2009

No clue!

Have you ever had a moment with your child when you had no idea what to do? I’ve had many of those…times when my baby would cry and I just couldn’t settle him down…times when my toddler would uncharacteristically freak out and I would be amazed at his behavior…times when my child would be obstinate about something that seemed so out of character…times when I would think, “Now what am I supposed to do?”

Sometimes talking it out would help, other times it almost seemed like whatever I said in response to my child was making it worse! I would literally feel like I was searching all of the ideas in my brain and I had run out.

So what’s going on here? “Is anyone among you suffering?” James 5:13. Absolutely, in these situations some sort of suffering is going on. The child is suffering in some way deeper than the behavior, and the parent is suffering by feeling inadequate.

Thankfully, James 5: 16 continues with some great advice, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Awesome! First we’re being told that when we confess and then pray for each other we will be healed. Isn’t that a great word for it? Healed. When I feel like I’m really messing up a situation with my child, it hurts. I feel like I’m hurting them and failing them at the same time. A little healing sounds good in those moments.

Second, we’re being reminded that our prayers mean something, that they will accomplish something. Healing and accomplishment at the same time! Remembering this can take me from feeling clueless to feeling like I have a goal…praying for my actions to be wise and helpful, and praying for my children in their moments of suffering.



  1. I LOVE this post! A sign of spiritual maturity is recognizing what you DON’T know and leaning into Him. Thanks, Cathi.

  2. There is a story that will remain in my memory forever of a child who cries and cries and her mother doesn’t understand why. She had taken off her coat, and had it placed over her arm. Someone had suggested to her that she should put her coat on. The child stopped crying. In her child’s ordered world a coat is meant to be worn, not hung over the arm. I learnt a lot about children and how they think and learn by reading about their sensitive periods. I recommend the book ‘The Secret of Childhood’ By Maria Montessori

    • There are lots of options when it comes to education, Montessori being one, and others are public schools, Christian schools, private schools, homeschooling, etc. What are other people’s thoughts on what they’ve tried?

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