Daily Devotions

Daily Devotions

Giving Thanks for Problem Children

Title:  Giving Thanks for Problem Children

Reading for June 10:  Psalms 28-33
Weekly reading for June 10-16:  

I give thanks to my God always for you...
1 Corinthians 1:4

You've tried every form of discipline known to man. You've taken every last electronic device and game they own away from them. They've been grounded now for the rest of their natural lives. You've run out of levers to pull. What can you do with your problem child?

What if you were to try giving thanks for them? It sounds crazy, but this is exactly what the apostle Paul did when he wrote this letter to the Corinthians. Corinth had every problem you could imagine, and Paul sounds quite exasperated throughout the letter. He used rebuke, shame, sarcasm, and even the threat of corporeal punishment (see 1 Cor 4:21). But he begins the letter with thanksgiving for them.

Why did Paul thank them?

1. Because they weren't all bad. There was evidence of God's grace in them and he thanked God for it (v 4-7). There's good in every child and we need to let them know we're thankful for them.

2. Because they needed to know he loved them (2 Cor 2:4; 12:15). Problem kids can begin to feel like they are a nuisance, like we would be better off without them. We should constantly reaffirm our love for them.

3. Because they need to believe they can do better. If all the problem child hears is what a problem they are, then that can become a sort of self-fulfilling prophesy. We should rebuke them when they do wrong, but always reaffirm that they are better than their behavior. (Note that Paul referred to the Corinthians as "saints," 1:2.)

Father, we thank you for our children. Give us eyes to see the good in them, no matter how bad (and frustrating) their behavior might be.