“God, couldn’t you have given me easier boys?”
It’s a question I’ve asked God many, many times since realizing my two blessings were of the “hard-to-handle” type. So often I’ve wished he had given me easier boys, quieter boys, boys who love to read instead of run, build instead of blast.
I’ve spent time on this, you guys, questioning God’s love for me, and why he thought I could handle hard-to-handle boys when I plainly struggle in every way…
But today I want to focus less on the habits and personality of my boys, and more on my own, because there comes a time when a mom has to embrace the truth of who her kids are instead of wishing they were something else (<<—– Tweet That!)
When you’re angry that God gave you hard to handle kids…
What God Wants us to Do with the Hard Things
Gomer was a prostitute, Hosea a prophet of God. In the Old Testament book by the same name, God tells these two to get married and allows the ensuing devastation to paint a vivid picture of his love and commitment to the nation of Israel. In the story, Gomer gives Hosea children, then betrays him, committing adultery over and over again. In a nutshell, it’s the story of how Israel turns to God, then leaves him to follow idols, turns to God, then leaves him to follow idols, and on and on. (It’s also an accurate portrayal of how every one of God’s children fails him again and again, and how his love never fails us. But that’s for another day).
My gut reaction to this familiar story in the Bible is “God, why in the WORLD would you ask someone to live that kind of story just to prove something about yourself?” It almost feels cruel, as if God created a human life—complete with feelings and limitations—just to make himself look good. As if proving his love for Israel somehow trumped the need to be loving to Hosea.
It makes me feel like Hosea got the raw end of the deal, forced by God to spend his life chasing after a woman who embarrassed, hurt, and humiliated him over and over. My question, “why would you do that, Lord,” seems legit…
But I’m learning that thebetter question is, “how, like Hosea, would God like to use the hard places of my life to demonstrate his love and commitment to a hurting world?“
I have hard-to-handle boys. I just do.
I can teach them, train them, and pray for them…but in the end, they’re still going to be hard-to-handle. It’s who God made them to be, and one day he’ll use it for something good. This is the battle God has given me, and he wants me to fight it in a way that proves his love, character, and power to those around me.
It’s the way of the Jesus-follower. The way of the one sold out for Christ. The very definition of ambassador, representative, hands and feet of God. Jesus said, “not my will, but yours, be done” (Luke 22:42, ESV), and calls us to follow him.
It’s why the Writing Team and I bare our souls for you in this space, sharing our challenges, hurts, and victories—so the hard places of our lives can demonstrate his love to you, helping you believe that what he does for us, he can do for you.
Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “I didn’t sign up for this when I became a Christian. I didn’t know God would ask me to (fill in the blank with your hard thing) when I chose to follow him.” I get it, mama. I’ve thought it, too. But here’s the thing…
God never promised us an easy life, and what he does for us now, to make our lives less frustrating or painful, isn’t proof (or lack thereof) of his love for us. In fact, he has nothing left to prove. He showed his complete and unending love for us when he gave us his son. Everything he asks us to do now he’s done for us first.
What do I mean?
Everything God asks you to do for him, he’s already done for you. Even the hard things.
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still” (Exodus 14:14, NIV).
Fight for your boys, leaving complacency behind in exchange for intentional parenting.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39, ESV).
Be absolutely unwilling to give up on your boys…God was unwilling to give up on you…
“But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5, ESV).
Endure hardship, humiliation, and heartbreak for the sake of reaching your son’s heart. Jesus was spit on, mocked, cursed…for the sake of yours.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16, KJV).
Give God permission to unfold his plan for your child’s life. No matter what (I know this one hurts).
Maybe, just maybe, the main reason God gave me hard-to-handle boys was to prove his love to you, mama. Maybe the reason you’re enduring your hard place, whatever it is, is so you can be living proof of his unfailing love to someone else. It really is all about him.
If you’re going through something hard, could we pray for you?
Leave us a comment below with a request and our team will cover you in prayer!