Caringly responding to a hurting person through words, actions,emotional responses and physical touch; hurting with and for others in the midst of their grief or pain.
(Romans 12:15; Matthew 5:4; 2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

Meeting the Need of COMFORT in a Child

Without having to think too much I can tell about one of the most rewarding times with our kids.  We did the "tickle monster" chasing them around the house or trying to find them after giving them a minute to hide.  Once they were found or caught, we'd end up in a tangled mass on the floor tickling and laughing and having a blast.  We also did lots of baseball, tag, bikes, basketball, chase, sledding, snowmen, etc.  All those are wonderful memories that I would like to revisit should time travel be achieved in our lifetime.  

But many times those activities would end at night with a Bible story time, a "Mumford the Moose" story (a fictitious story with characters whose names were the same as our children) based on some truth from scripture that I had recently learned.  For a period of time in our younger children's evening routine came a time when I decided to read the Bible, while I sat in the hall outside both girls' bedrooms.  One and sometimes both girls were afraid of the dark, so Holy Spirit led me to sooth their troubled hearts and let them know someone was still awake who could "take on any monster that showed its ugly head from their closet or from beneath their bed".  That would be Daddy- me.

I usually picked a Psalm or other place of confidence in God or trust in Jesus.  I don't think I ever picked a story of an epic battle or the blight of famine.  They might have ended up in my lap in the hall.

I can see it now - their lights off in the room except for a dim nightlight.  The doors cracked a few inches....  My back against the linen closet door at the end of the hall by their bedrooms...with a Bible in my hands.  

I loved and love my son and daughters.  Their fears and unsettledness needed comfort and security.  That was my job and at times still a Dad and friend.

Walk in the Light of Jesus
Would you consider how you personally need comfort for hurt or fears you experience?  Jesus entered our world 2000 years ago but enters your world today to abide / live in you.  He is with you always.  He promised it.  Matthew 28:20.  He will speak to you and bring His presence into your conscious world whenever you call on Him.  Just as Jesus comes to you, please consider how to enter the world of your children in everyday life, as well as, times when they need comfort or security.  Perhaps they have been hurt by a sibling, disappointed by someone at school, or saddened by others who did not consider them important or worth loving.  

In many ways, fathers particularly and mothers too are the face and presence of God to children.  Can you see why unresolved conflict in the home, instability in the family, and separation or divorce can leave children in need of comfort?  Even without any family drama, there is enough drama in their little worlds to make them uneasy at times....check those closets and under those beds please.

Will you spend a few minutes with Jesus in quiet prayer asking Him to be present with you today and to help you be aware of Him as you work, relate to people, shop, interact with family, or serve Him today?  

Will you let your children know that you will pray for them, be accessible to them as needed, and even read the Bible in the hall or other strategic location, as needed?

  Walk in the light of God's Word - Do the Book
Would you "comfort one another with these words"?  I am not asking you to get into the deep theology of 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18 :
17:  Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18:  Therefore comfort one another with these words.

However, I would like you to take the Apostle Paul's admonition to heart.  First would you settle into this passage and know that Jesus is going to return and we who are His will "always be with the Lord"?   That brings comfort to a troubled soul.  This world is not our permanent least the world in its present condition.

In similar fashion, comfort your children with a listening ear, a kind response, and the reassurance that "no matter what" you will always love him/her; and that he/she has a secure place with you.  No need to get into all the "until you go to college" or "one day you will move out" until they want to discuss it or eventually need to be reminded.  ☺

  Walk in the Light of Real Fellowship
Can you imagine growing into a friendship relationship with your children as they slip out of childhood and through teen years into adulthood?  I don't mean trying to be a friend when the child needs a parent.  Nor am I referring to parents trying to be "one of the guys" during the teen years and attempting to recapture their own youth by acting 25 years younger than they are.....that has been a real problem I have observed.  
This is what I mean by a friendship relationship:
1.  The parent is a stable force of security during the son/daughter's formative years.
2.  The parent knows how to have fun and create an adventurous or exciting environment with each child.
3.  The parent loves God obviously and blesses the heart of God.
4.  The parent selflessly loves each child in ways particularly suited to convey that the parent knows each child and cares for him/her as he/she needs.
5.  The child grows up knowing that the parent is a friend to the other parent and cares for the family -  putting others first.

The only way I know these qualites can happen is when you and I come to receive Jesus Christ and humbly come to Him for forgiveness and for His powerful Holy Spirit to conform us to Christ's image.  

Would you and your spouse, your older children, or another friend ask God the following questions and listen for / seek after the answers?

1.  Father, would you help me know that my relationship with You is secure because Jesus is my Lord, the forgiver of my sin, and the Friend who sticks closer than a brother?
2.   Father, would you guide me to do Matthew 11:28-30 and come to you for the help I need .....even before I am in a desperate place or when I am in a desperate place?
3.  Father, you told me in I John 5:14-15 that if I ask anything according to your will, that you would hear me and your hearing me guarantees I will have what I ask.  Since I know you want me to be a great Dad / Mom; a spouse who loves my husband/wife as You love me; and a man/woman who builds comfort and security into my home, I ask these things knowing it is Your will and that You hear me.  Abba, may I see these things come to reality in deepening ways in my life, home, and relationships?  May You be honored and blessed as they come to reality.

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