Our Kids Are Like Us

Instructing a Child's HeartWhy do your children fight? The short answer is, the same reason you do! They fight because they do not have what they want. As adults, we think we have moved beyond childish selfishness, we have developed “mature” reasons for our arguments. However, if you strip away the adult “sophistication” of our arguments, you will find that you are not much different from your children who squabble over a favorite toy. We believe the lie that if we are hurt a robust defense is justified. Getting into a fight seems like the right and necessary and “real” thing to do; we have to protect ourselves!

Our kids are like us.

The hard truth is that you and I fight because we don’t have what we want. The hard question is this: do you have the courage to want what God wants instead of what you want? We can easily see that this is the problem with our children, but it becomes more difficult to see our problems this clearly with the pressures of life’s deep hurts.

Psalm 27 brings this vital question to our immediate attention. Dr. Mark Futato provides rich insight into this psalm. The following thoughts are based on his commentary:

The central request of the Psalm, what the psalmist wanted most is this: to live in the presence of God, delighting in his perfections. In God’s presence is safety; in God’s presence is victory and joy.

So, where to fights come from? They come because we don’t delight living in God’s presence. The truth is that fights come because we ignore the presence of God. 

If you and I were conscious of God’s immediate presence with us and delighted in it how quick would we be to fight? I can respond to unfair treatment with peace because I am living in the presence of God who is my safety and my joy. He has provided victory in Christ. I don’t have to defend myself! I can respond with joy, kindness, love, and peace instead of engaging in a destructive war of personal defense.

This is the message that your children must learn from us. But as long as you and I cling to our “mature”, adult reasons for fighting, we will only lead our children to become mature fighters as well. Instead, teach your children that safety and peace comes in relying on God’s presence for safety and security.

Where do fights come from? They come because we rely on ourselves for safety rather than the presence and protection of God. We fight because we refuse to acknowledge the presence of God. Delight in the presence of God! Teach that to your children.

Shepherd Press