This last March I was at an AACC Church Leadership Conference in Riverside California. It was a lovely conference and I was able to develop some new friendships and ministry partners over that week. I always find it interesting to see who God puts beside me. He always has a plan and I just get to watch it play out.
At this conference I was blessed to have Dr. Sheri Keffer in the booth next to mine. She was so inspirational to me as she shared about her new book called, Intimate Deception; Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal. As I sat and listened to her share her story with those who walked by I found myself intrigued with her passion for a very difficult topic. Sheri has lived through the devastation of relationship betrayal of her spouse and has been able to find healing through that journey. In her book she shares how marriage infidelity impacts every dimension of your core being; trust, confidence and self-image. Here is a short description of her book:
When it comes to tragedy, it is important to remember that life presents us with a series of teachable moments for our kids. Some of those are not very stressful, and some are tragic. As parents, and those who work with kids, we need to make sure that we don’t let these teachable moments slip away in the process of dealing with a tragedy. Deuteronomy 6 is the picture that God gives us a capitalizing on the teachable moments in our lives to impart spiritual truth in our children. In tragic events, there are things that we can learn and things that we can model for our kids.
In preparing my notes, I must have read 20-30 articles from different experts with lists of how to help kids. Those lists all boiled down to 12 general things you should do to help kids in the face of tragedy. I have added a couple of my own to come up with a list of 14 things. It is my prayer that these will help you to help the kids in your influence deal with the tragedies of the past week as well as any future tragedies which may happen in our fallen world.
I. STAY CALM
Children take their cues in terms of how to react to a tragedy primarily from their parents and also from the other adults in their lives.
In the end, our kids will cope with tragic events as well as we do.
Accordingly, we must avoid being overly protective of our kids.
Be honest about your own emotions with your kids, but we must also model strength in the face of sadness, grief and other emotions.
As a follower of Christ, this presents an opportunity to model reliance on God in dealing with strong and overwhelming emotion.