Why teaching children to push past their feelings is so vital

Our feelings are not always based on the truth.

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  • I have a dear friend whose child's favorite line is: "This is the worst day EVER!"

  • You can't help but laugh when you hear the words emotionally roll out of his mouth. I know just how he feels. I have those same days too!

  • In fact, I think I had one yesterday. It didn't take me long before I was reciting "It's the worst day ever" in my head.

  • And that's all it takes, isn't it?

  • One email.

  • One attitude.

  • One feeling.

  • And in that moment, you respond not in truth but in how you feel.

  • But there is a lesson in these moments. It is a lesson we all dare to learn and teach our children.

  • How we feel is not always based in truth

  • And just because we don't understand it, doesn't mean it's wrong.

  • I hope you see where I'm going with this ... If not, keep reading.

  • We live in a world that tells us we are our own masters. We are told that how we feel is important, almost to a debilitating degree. We unintentionally tell our children to follow their heart, which is subjective at best, but seldom point them to objective truth.

  • And there is a difference: Our truth and God's truth.

  • And you don't have to always understand that truth, but as believers, it's in your best interest to follow it.

  • Sometimes, it is much easier to go with my own subjective view of truth than walk in God's. Why? Well, because God's is not always fun, or easy, or popular. It's in the times that I know what God's word tells me to do in situations that I find myself yelling in my head, "Worst day ever!"

  • But it doesn't change the truth because I don't feel like walking in it

  • I was dealing with a situation the other day that literally made my blood boil. Two years ago, I would have responded totally different, even as a believer. I seriously thought of lashing out and apologizing later but God shut my mouth and reminded me of His truth ... and it had nothing to do with my feelings.

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  • And here lies the issue with teaching children to feel their way through their lives.

    • When things get hard, they succumb to the pressure.

    • When God's ways are different from the worlds, they make a rendition of truth that is not backed up in scripture.

    • Objective truth is traded for feelings.

  • It's dangerous and we, as parents, must teach our children to push past their feelings. To push past their flesh and submit to God even when we don't feel like it. It's a little old thing called obedience.

  • Editor's note: This article was originally published on Sarah West's website. It has been republished here with permission.

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Sarah is a Christian Author and Speaker. She wrote the parenting book, "Walking the Talk: A Parent's Guide to Intimacy and Healthy Relationships" and maintains the blog A Life Inspired. Her passion is to equip the next generation of families to speak boldly and walk confidently in their faith and charge as parents. You can stay up to date with Sarah on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Website: http://www.a-life-inspired.com

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