Weathering the Storms of Parenting and Family Life

family in hurricane

Perhaps you took the time to look at this post because you and your family are going through a storm.  Your son seems to have lost all moral direction.  Your daughter never listens to anything you say anymore.  Your teens seem to genuinely hate you.  Sometimes you find yourself genuinely hating your teens.  Maybe things are actually fine in your family relationships, but one of you has just been given a scary diagnosis.  Whatever the details, a ferocious storm seems to be raging through your home and the lives of your beloved teen or kids.  And you really don’t understand why.  And you have no idea how long it will last.  Or what will be the outcome.  Or what to do at all.  I may not have the answers to your specific questions about your situation.  But God has taught me some key lessons I believe are important to remember when facing any life storm in your family.  As another storm is rolling through the emotions of my household, I am reminded of what He has taught me about facing storms.  In fact, some of the most important lessons came in the midst of one of the worst storms my family and I have yet faced together.

Several years ago, my wife and I were just beginning to process some awful news we had received and the mind-blowing implications of this situation.  We decided to book a long weekend at a nearby spiritual retreat and counseling center to find some peace, guidance, encouragement, and strength. Our time there was all that we hoped it would be. God’s Spirit breathed into us just what we needed at this time in our lives. And it all started with a storm.

As we stopped for an early lunch of burgers at Riverside Patty on the way out to St. Amant, we knew the dark, foreboding cloud-cover meant a big storm was on the way. We had barely made it through the doors to place our order when the bottom fell out and we got a downpour like nothing I’ve experienced in years. We both agreed it was fitting for our mood – somber, heavy-hearted, weary, and burdened. The storm really seemed the perfect way for us to begin our retreat. We made it safely to the Hermitage, dashed into our guesthouse, and sat out on the patio, taking in the fury and the beauty of the storm. As we sat together, considering and discussing what God might be preparing to teach us, I realized He was already speaking to me through the storm. I heard several important life lessons about storms as I sat there with my wife and God:

1. When the storms of life rage intensely, it is good to have shelter with someone you love and trust.

2. Storms don’t just bring danger. They also bring new life.

3. Storms have a way of cleaning away trash and debris from our lives.

4. Storms are very good at interrupting our plans and making us stop and just be.

5. Storms never last forever.

6. Storms make us aware of our own weakness and God’s power.

7. Heavy storms never leave the landscape like they found it. Some things break and fall, while other things are uncovered and rise up.

8. There is a time for seeking shelter, and a time for stepping out to face the landscape.

As you encounter the storms of your life, I sincerely hope you will reach out to God and receiving His loving shelter and guidance. Sometimes that reaching out includes reaching out to another person God has provided for you. If you need someone to be there in your storm, feel free to call on me.

With Hope – Dr. Butner

ps – Click here to read my previous post, “Surviving the Storms in Life.”

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