Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What Do You Do With Your Problems?

We all have problems in life. Problems with people, jobs, child-rearing, marriage, money. And in this age of social media everyone shares their problems with the world. In moments of frustration, anger, and hurt we lay our problems before the world, expecting either sympathy or help. I think we really want people to feel sorry for "poor me." 

The problem is that most people don't care about your problems. Why? They have their own. They read your status or tweet, hear your complaining, and they might even be glad that they aren't the only ones having problems. Misery loves company after all. 

photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/davidcastillodominici

You will also get a lot of unsolicited advice this way. People want to solve problems. And tell people what to do. So often we complain about people telling us what to do and never realize that it's partly our own fault for spilling the beans to everyone. 

For most wives and mothers our frustrations are in our marriage and children. Don't tear down your family with your words. They deserve protection from the critical eyes of others. Don't tell everyone the things your children are struggling with or what they are doing now that frustrates you. Don't tell them that stupid thing that your husband did. Do you want your family to tell all of your mistakes?

As Christians, we have to be aware that people are watching us. The world holds us to a higher standard that we even do ourselves. They see us freaking out and realize we are no more settled or calm than they are. We ruin our testimony by blabbing everything we feel or experience. We can ruin the world's perspective of Christian marriage by complaining about petty situations that we won't remember next week. We can destroy the beauty of motherhood by focusing on our frustrations. 

However, there are times to talk about problems. 
1. You are asking a specific person about advice. This might be your husband, your pastor, your "mentor," whoever. But you knows this is a discreet person who can give godly advice. Even then don't talk about your problem all the time. In an appropriate setting, ask for advice and then leave it alone the rest of the time. 

2. You are encouraging someone else. This is normally a place where you have conquered the problem. Or are commiserating with a person who is in the same boat. (Sometimes knowing that it's not JUST you is so helpful.) Again, be careful with your words.  Be discreet and protect the people in your life. 

So what do you do with your problems?  Tell them to Jesus. You can talk to Jesus and tell Him anything. He'll never tell anyone else. Jesus loves your family more than you do. He loves you more than you can imagine. He cares about your problems. He cares about how you feel. He won't hold those things against your family. It won't lower His opinion of your husband or child. He won't rejoice in your problems. But He will carry your burdens and give you wisdom and strength. 

And while you're at it- leave your feelings with Jesus too. Don't go around in a rage or pouting over your problems. The world needs to see steady Christians who can depend on God in their problems.  

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